Shackman’s suggestion for this week’s Friday 2 on 1 Blog Post came as a total surprise to me and coincidentally, as I write this on the day prior to the Friday post, I have just returned from a reunion.

I have been attending three types of reunions the last two decades. The first are family ones where the family and some close friends get together during weddings, special anniversaries, upanayanams, special birthdays etc but, since the last three years I have stopped going out of Pune as I find it difficult to tackle airports, railway stations etc. So, an understanding family has decided to accept my absence with grace and forgive me my inability to attend.

Another reunion that I attend is of my classmates from Business school and here too, I attend only those that are held in Pune or, at best near Pune. The last one that I wrote about is this one. Subsequently, there have been a few more and one with many out of town and country visitors who exited to Mahabaleshwar via Pune in January. Some of the classmates who live in Pune now get together often particularly when one who normally lives in the USA visits Pune in the winter. Sometimes, some visitors from Mumbai on business to Pune give us an opportunity to get together and those too are very much looked forward to.

The third reunion that I attend regularly is that of my ex colleagues from Mumbai which is held twice a year. I wrote about one of them here. These reunions are held mostly in Mumbai or around these parts as, travel is easy for all of us. This is the type of reunion that I attended today at Lonavala. Some of my colleagues had come up yesterday and spent the night at the resort where the reunion took place but some of us just made the day trip for obvious reasons. Two of us from Pune drove up in the morning and returned after lunch.

For me such outings are emotionally very charged and I enjoy every moment that I am with old classmates or colleagues. I am however sad that I am unable to attend more due to my health issues. My regrets however are somewhat assuaged as I am in regular touch with all of them through daily WhatsApp group messages exchanged. A great way to keep in touch and share news and other information of interest to all in the group.

To see what Shackman has to say on the subject, please do visit his blog. Thank you.


A First After 25 Years.

I have lived in Pune for near a quarter century and have been invited to a number of weddings, receptions, and other functions.  I have mostly sent my regret letters because I try and avoid crowds and because I am nervous about inadequate seating arrangements in public places.

Without exception, the invitations would be in English or in Marathi.  For the first time ever however, three weeks ago, I received an invitation in the traditional Tambram Tamil in the following format.


I was thrilled to receive this particularly since this was for the upanayanam ceremony for two young lads. Most young Tambrams have now stopped this initiation ceremony for their sons and to get an invitation sent my pride soaring that there are still some left who follow our traditions.

The invitation was sent by the elders in the family of a young lady alumnus from the Pune chapter, who has recently successfully published a novel and someone that all of us Alumni in Pune are very proud of. I promptly wrote to her to confirm that I will attend the upanayanam and made a particular point of informing her that I was happy to receive the traditional invitation.

I duly attended the function last Friday morning and became quite sentimental seeing the full ceremony which took me back to my own upanayanam ceremony in 1957. The same rituals and dodas brought back so many memories for me. The function was organised very well and the conducting priest knew his job well and I had a grand time attending the function and meeting some new Tambrams of Pune as well.

Here is a photograph of the lady in our traditional nine yard madisaru sari standing in attendance while one of the lads and the father sitting and performing the rites can be seen.   You can click on the image to get a larger resolution.  What is remarkable about this is that the lady is not a Tambram but has married into a Tambram family and has adapted herself to it so well that it was a treat for me to see her performing all the roles that this rite calls for from the mother.