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Bakri - ID 1983

Taste Buds Turn Nostalgic & The Finest Experiential Lesson on Indian Hospitality

Bakri- ID 1983 was special in ways more than one; the Class of ’86 had somehow, yes somehow! managed to complete the first half of their 1st year academic session. Impromptu, about 30-40 boys who included some 2 year Diploma students and some Craft course students found ourselves at Mr. Rafique’s residence. To wish him and his family but the actual motive to try our luck for enjoying the traditional Biryani and Sevaiyan - otherwise we could have wished him the previous evening or the next day at the Institute!

One among us- the leader I suppose or the guy who was pushed to his shock, rang the doorbell. We waited with mixed feelings; apprehending a stern look and a glass of water to be shooed away but the optimists – the majority were betting on his goodness.

As he opened the door, we noticed the smile was genuine; the warmth was welcoming as was his invitation to come in.
As we struggled to behave like gentlemen, the aroma of the Biryani acting on our glands was clearly visible. All of us had wished him and the family. And waiting, salivating. Without much ado he instructed his nephews to act fast and begin the service. It was endearing to see this man get into the act as did Ma'am. Within no time the contents of the huge Handis were being digested by us.

They ensured we ate till our sides split as a perfect host would; till we couldn’t breathe. Did we, now need a hollow theory classroom session on the nuances of hospitality- traditional warm Indian hospitality, mind you not the cold Continental hospitality after this experience of a lifetime.
Little did the Rafique family know they had set a precedent playing host to us bowling us over with their hospitality. Like a 'bad penny', we would return and not just for Id!

It was a sublime experience for me to draw and implement the learning’s as a teacher at the IHM, Pusa when my students just dropped in to wish us, also for Id, Good Friday, Thanksgiving Day...

-By MS Neelakantan. Class of 1986.

Rajesh Moindra

Remembering A Gentle Soul

It is comforting for the heart, albeit temporarily to accept an untimely demise of a loved one but if the person’s whereabouts are not traced over 2 decades despite personalised searchby friends, acquaintances and related people, personally on the ground, social groups, online searches et al. On ademise the heart grieves and the eyes become moist to get back to reality in ashort time. With Rajesh Moindra roll number 2 if memory serves me right, preceded by roll number 1 Navneet Kumar Malhotra, followed by the southpaw Kamal Dalal at 3- the slot for the best batsman in the team- The Class of 1986; the first batch to pass out from the IHMCN, Ahmedabad.

To sum up; Rajesh Moindra just vanished into thin air. Nobody has a clue. Very frustrating indeed. As one is searching in thin air, literally. Anil Goyal, the Alumni President whose painstaking efforts connected allof us expressed his helplessness. That means a Herculean task has not yielded the fruit.

I remember him as a gentle soul from Delhi. Polite and well- manneredin contrast to the others from Delhi. Well-read beyond the text book it was a pleasure to chat with him after classes. He probably was the only one in our batch who could enlighten you on the horrors inflicted on the Jews by the Third Reich, detailing the Concentration camps Stalag, Auschwitz, Bergen- Belsenetc. The manner in which the Jews were transported, their reception on arrival, the grim tales of detention etc. I could see he was affected by reading Anne Frank’s diaries as many of us were. His views on the genesis of the Arab- Israel conflicts, the wars etc. and its effects across the world. His mastery of world history was second to none as was his depth in geography and related social sciences and Science.Fortunate I am to have spent time with him. He has stumped me once more than once on talking about the greats Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Picasso, Rembrandt... Many a time I went home in a state of awe! He never flaunted his knowledge but just shared it with like- minded people.

He took comments on him sportingly but as it is quoted ’Never doubt the fury of a silent man’. Though mild mannered he certainly was no pushover as we found out when things crossed a limit and hell broke loose! We scampered for cover!

These and many more warm memories are just what I remember him for. A warm hearted genuine human being who would not think of hurting a fly.

What happened to Rajesh Moindra is frustrating, depressing, sending the mind into a whirlpool of turbulent thoughts.

-By MS Neelakantan. RollNo. 4 – Class of 1986.