A trip down memory lane

K Kuthbudeen, alumnus of Government College of Engineering, Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, being felicitated by alumni of the 1958-’63 batch at their reunion in Tiruchi   | Photo Credit: M Moorthy

It was a time to share memories of college escapades and achievements when 32 alumni of the Government College of Engineering in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, held their annual reunion in Tiruchi recently.

Aged between 78 and 82 years, the ‘old boys’ of the 1958-’63 batch of the college, also felicitated a senior batchmate, nonagenarian K Kuthbudeen (1948-’52), at a special function held in Breeze Residency last week.

The college, established in 1946, was a noted educational institution for young men in the erstwhile Madras Presidency. “Since the college is now in Andhra Pradesh, almost all the alumni belong to that state. I settled down in Tiruchi after working as plant manager in Neyveli Lignite Corporation. Our batch has been meeting annually since 2013. Last year, when we met in Tirupathi, we agreed to hold the next reunion in Tiruchi. Though it is a long way from home for many of the boys, they were happy to come along with their family members to Tamil Nadu,” said V M Habibullah, who organised the two-day event.

The reunion included a tour of the local sights and historic temples in and around Tiruchi. “Within two days, our Andhra friends managed to squeeze in visits to the Sriranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam, Jambukeswarar Temple in Tiruvanaikovil, Uthamarkoil, Samayapuram Mariyamman Temple, Big Temple and the Kallanai Dam in Thanjavur,” said Habibullah. “Some of them extended their stay up to the following weekend to include trips to Madurai as well.”

At the reception on Saturday, alumni association president G Sankara Reddy lauded his friends for making the Tiruchi trip a memorable one. “Despite our commitments and physical ailments, it is wonderful to see our friends make the effort to meet up every year,” he said.

In his address, Kuthbudeen recalled the humble beginnings of the engineering college. “The Second World War was coming to an end when the college was established, so the authorities were unable to do much at first,” he said. “The classes and hostel functioned out of an Army barracks in Anantapuram, and then in Guindy (Madras) and Coimbatore, before shifting to its current campus. Students faced many difficulties in the initial years, as there were no toilet facilities and one had to travel several kilometers to the nearby town to find a dosa for dinner, but we overcame all the problems.”

Kuthbudeen is the last son of Mohamed Pichai Rowther Ibrahim Khalifullah, a distinguished lawyer and councilor who worked as the Dewan at the court of Raja Rajagopala Thondaiman of Pudukottai from 1945-1947 before the amalgamation of the kingdom into independent India.

Associated with many leading engineering firms, Kuthbudeen spent over 20 years from the 1970s in Libya, as part of the team of Indian engineers in charge of the construction of a steel plant in the northwestern port city of Misruata.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 6:11:05 PM |

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