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History created at the Faculty of Law, University of Delhi
History created at the Faculty of Law, University of Delhi

The 1983 Batch of Campus Law Centre, University of Delhi created history on 9th August 2008 when it held its Silver Jubilee Celebrations there. Never before such an event has been organised in the Faculty of Law, University of Delhi. And it is a first time achievement, in a number of ways.

To start with, GOD/NATURE WERE VERY KIND. On Friday Amitabha had sent me the BBC weather forecast saying "Saturday's predominant weather is forecast to be heavy showers". Looking at the heavy rains for the past few days, we were keeping our fingers crossed. Prayers had worked for us in the past, wouldn't they this time? How could the Herculean efforts of all those who had been working tirelessly for the last couple of months, for bringing together this memorable Reunion of our Esteemed Teachers and Friends after 25 years, go futile.

Our prayers were answered and there was not even a drop of rain since morning. No water logging, soiled pathways/passages, jams, etc. Of course, Sunil Goel, Manjeet Singh Kohli, Lalit Gupta, Manoj Jain and others were ready with emergency plans of shifting the dinner from the lawn to inside the Auditorium, if the need arose. Compliments to you all, we marvel your energy levels, you can work indefinitely.

Most of us were visiting our Alma Mater after 25 years. The ambiance was great, mood nostalgic, camaraderie writ large all over.

We started before time, the vehicle carrying our Gurus Mr UM Deshmukh and Mr RK Goel arrived at about 5.35 PM. Our faculty, friends and their family members kept rolling in large numbers.

The bewilderment (in trying to recognise not only our friends but even our teachers after so many years), the hugging, reminiscences of past gaiety, was to be seen to be believed, for me it's all very difficult to describe.

The Welcome Drink - Muni Lal ki CHAI (Tea) in the typical old glasses, tasted the same (rather better, we hardly get such good these days) after all these 25 years. The snacks complemented the savour, Rajeev Saxena, kudos, fantastic food and catering arrangements.

The Reception/Registration and distribution of Mementos, was excellently managed by Anil Bamba, Rajesh Goel, Amitabha Bose, Gulshan Sachdeva, Sanjay Gupta, Nalin and Namit (Saran Suri's sons), our office colleagues and staff. The informal interaction went off very smoothly and cordially, indeed. The beautiful Memento for the 1983 CLC Batchmates, specially made for the occasion, would be our fond possession for the rest of our lives.

On a rough estimate, I can say that we had about 150 friends (120 from 1983 CLC Batch) and their family members, a packed auditorium with about 300 persons. Vandana Chak from New York, USA and Sushil Kumar Singhal from Dhaka, Bangladesh, came from abroad, and another 26 friends had turned up from outside Delhi/NCR ? Amar Preet Singh Deol, Daldeep Singh Sukarchakia, Karan A. Singh, Deepak Kumar Saigwal (all from Chandigarh), Anand Kumar, Rajiv Bakshi, Sanjeev Sisaudia, Shiv Dayal Srivastava (all from Mumbai), Arun Kumar Sharma, Karma Tendup Bhutia, Koijam Radha Shyam Singh, Roland Keishing, Tsetan Dorjee Lepcha (all from North-East), Atul Saxena from Kanpur, D. Sunil Kumar, Desh Deepak Goel and M. Ravindranath Reddy (all from Hyderabad), Govind Chaturvedi from Bareilly, Gulshan Kumar Sharma from Pilibhit, Narottam Prasad Nidaria from Bahdurgarh, Neera Sanjay Bhatia from Karnal, Pradeep Kumar Bhandari from Kotdwar, Prashant Jayaswal from Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, Raghvendra Singh Chauhan from Jaipur, Sanjai Mathur from Meerut and Sharad Kulshreshtha from Lucknow, a big salute to all of you.

It took us a while moving and settling inside the Auditorium for the main programme to start. Sandip Beri took over as the Master of Ceremonies and courtesy Sanjeev Ralli we had a wonderful Saraswati Vandana followed by a Swagat Geet especially composed for us by the "Swar Anant" group.

This was followed by 2 minute silence in memory our departed teachers and friends.

Then followed the most important episode of the evening, "The Felicitation of our Teachers" which was done with thunderous applauses for our 18 Gurus (their names in alphabetic order are Mr APS Ahluwalia, Mr Arun Kumar, Ms Mano Devi, Mr Matadin, Mr MC Sharma, Mr NK Aggarwal, Mr NRM Menon, Ms Poonam Saxena, Mr RB Gupta, Mr RK Goel, Mr SK Gupta, Mr SK Luthra, Ms SK Verma, Mr SL Aneja, Mr Solil Paul, Mr SS Bhumra, Mr UM Deshmukh, Mr Upendra Baxi, and the present Professor?in?Charge SC Raina, representing our Alma Mater. The honours were done by our friends who came from far off places, assisted by Ajay Khanna and Sameer Sharma. Our Gurus were elated, this had never happened before.

Faculty of Law, University of Delhi
ANOTHER FIRST ? none, whatsoever, except our 18 Gurus and the present Professor?in?Charge, was sitting on the Dais. All their disciples (many of them holding high position/status in the society, and no mean achievers in their own right), were in all humility sitting/standing down, continuously applauding and thanking them, for what we are today. Not only a first, but may be the only one of its kind, very difficult to repeat.

Dr Matadin, in his old inimitable style, then addressed us on behalf of the teachers. Vikas Singh responded on our behalf, briefly stating how this event conceptualised and finally culminated into THE MEMORABLE EVENING, a result of the tireless efforts of the members of the Coreteam.

We then had the brief introduction of each of us (of 1983 and other batches) present, very ably compered by Sandip Beri and Renu Jawa Khanna. On his/her name announced, the person got up and waived to the thunderous applause of the gathering, to show how he/she looks today, after 25 years, when most of us had last met.

As we were running behind schedule, we had to cut out on the next item in Agenda, "Some moments in lighter vein". Never mind Manjeet Singh Kohli, you had already done so much this time, reserve it for the next good occasion, which I hope would be much before the Golden Jubilee Celebrations.

Choked with emotions, I knew I would, and did fumble with the Vote of Thanks. National Anthem marked the closure.

And what followed thereafter was also a wonderful experience in itself - the Group Photograph of the 1983 CLC Batch along with their Gurus. Another great task, to make all stand/sit/kneel together, ably guided by Atul Sharma and Amitabha Bose. We pitied the poor photographer who had a very tough time, repeatedly asking us to shrink. How could we? Why couldn't he understand that this photograph was not being taken 25 years ago? A lot of wait and sweating, there were so many clicks and flashes. We hope the photographer finally shot all of us. Anyway, we thoroughly enjoyed it.

Dinner was terrific, so much variety and top quality. Many friends were asking for the contact details of the halwais/caterers. I advised them to instead contact Rajeev Saxena (our Catering Incharge), he is the one who gets the best out of them.

Arun Khurana's idea of having exhibition of our memoirs old time photographs blown up, examination papers, etc, pinned up on the Board, was an instant success with everyone. Not only the friends and their families, even the teachers were totally flabbergasted, reliving those past moments.

Arun Khurana, who had also made the transport arrangements for some of the teachers who were to be picked up and dropped back, had doubts, whether we would be able to pull off this show on our own. In one of the Coreteam Meetings, the idea to have an Event Manager to handle a function of this magnitude was also discussed, but looking into the cost factor we decided against it. Arun was not comfortable, he would often call us up from Goa (where he had gone with his family and relatives from abroad for his Golden Jubilee Birthday Celebrations), to enquire about the progress of our preparations. Great of him to have cut short his Celebrations and stay at Goa (he was originally scheduled to return on 10th August), he along with his family and all guests from abroad, flew back to Delhi on 9th evening itself and he along with his daughter joined us on this occasion. Arun, we hope we have not let you or your sentiments down.

The general consensus was that CLC (despite its non airconditioning you can see us sweating in the Group and other photographs) as the venue for this event, was the right decision, purely for nostalgic reason alone. No other venue, with all its comforts, could be fitting the occasion.

Kamiyan to theen, hoti hain, aur rahengi, but as we had assured, Mehsoos nahi huyeen, we were all so absorbed and enthralled that nobody complained of any shortcomings. Please excuse us for any discomfort, we tried and did our best.

We are sorry that some of our friends, despite their best efforts, could not make it on 9th August 2008. We continue getting Emails, SMSs, telephone calls, in this regard. We appreciate that it was only because of the circumstances beyond their control that they could not come. It has been our loss, as much as theirs. All those 1983 CLC Batchmates who could not come but asked for the Memento, your Mementos are ready and you would be getting them soon.

Well, members of the Coreteam ? Ajay Khanna, Amitabha Bose, Anil Bamba, Arun Khurana, Arvind Dhingra, Bhagwat Prasad Agarwal, Gulshan Sachdeva, KK Rai, Lalit Gupta, Manjeet Singh Kohli, Manoj Kumar, Manoj Kumar Jain, Pankaj Jain, Pawan Aneja, Rajeev Saxena, Rajeev Sharma, Rajesh Goel, Renu Jawa Khanna, Sameer Sharma, Sandip Beri, Sanjeev Ralli, Sima Gulati, Sunil Goel, Vijay Gupta, others who supported and encouraged the cause with your generous contributions ? Vikas Singh, Prashant Jayaswal, Preeti Mehta and Anand Kumar, not to forget Karan A. Singh for arranging and getting sponsored the gifts for the teachers, again Vikas Singh and Lalit Gupta for arranging accommodation for some of our outstation friends, and how can we forget Muni Lal, and of course the great Badri who also worked tirelessly (just like a Coreteam member), and all Teachers, Friends, Families present, A BIG SALUTE AND THANK YOU, A GREAT JOB ACCOMPLISHED, A LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT FOR ALL OF US, THE MEMORABLE REUNION OF THE TEACHERS AND STUDENTS AFTER 25 YEARS.


Ajay Kumar Tandon

The 1983 Batch of Campus Law Centre