Jamboree in God’s Own Country

Date: July 7th to 9th, 2023

Venue: Udaya Backwater Resorts, Alleppey, Kerala, India

It was a time of great excitement as we approached the much-anticipated Karunya Penta Batch Reunion: Jamboree 2023! It’s hard to believe we had an entire five-star resort for us to use in its entirety for three days to host the event. A total of approx. 150 of us were present, inclusive of family members. 69 batchmates from the USA, Singapore, Qatar, Dubai, and India traveled to Kerala, and in attendance were a total of 36 with their family members. I cannot help but feel a sense of nostalgia and fondness for the cherished memories we have had during this time together at the reunion.

What was new at the event? There were many firsts. At the outset, all of us in the Penta Batch (1990–94) were celebrating our Golden Jubilee birthdays. We had chosen a beautiful venue to host this milestone event, and it holds a special place and significance in the hearts and minds of each member of the Karunya Penta Batch. Furthermore, it was the first event with the maximum attendance of family members. The planning committee had been diligently working to organize a memorable reunion, and indeed, it was a few exciting days filled with laughter, reminiscing, and reconnecting with old friends and their families.

Day 1, July 7: A royal welcome was organized at the hotel for each attendee with an eventful “meet and greet” session. The reunion kicked off with the elegant lighting of the “Kuthu Vilakku” by all the ladies present from the Penta Batch. We also had a dedicated time for remembering those of our batchmates whom we had lost in the Journey of Life. A slideshow presentation featuring a collection of their photographs and a minute of silence to remember them was a real emotional moment for all of us.

Following this was a “break the ice” session orchestrated by the team, and we went back to our college days. It was very encouraging to see participation from everyone, including family members. Heavy rains spoiled our “Sunset View by Motorboat” plans, but that crisis made us creative. We took time out to celebrate indoors by sharing each other’s achievements and milestones over the years in a fun way. The highlight of the evening was a delicious dinner, carefully curated to cater to different tastes and dietary preferences. We had a variety of options, including vegetarian, to ensure everyone could indulge in the culinary delights. Additionally, there was “Karaoke Night”. Everyone engaged in friendly competitions, and there was something for everyone to have fun with! Least of which was to enjoy good music.

To add an element of super excitement to the whole reunion event, Day 2 opened with a sumptuous breakfast, followed by some formal discussions on the Penta Batch Alumni and the way forward. It was a fruitful discussion with everyone’s contributions. What emerged are some serious thoughts on how to make alumni interactions more meaningful and beneficial to all involved. Three key areas were focused on:

  1. Educational Guidance: This is to help guide the children of Penta Batch to choose the right university for education, be it in India or abroad. The decision was taken to form a core group specific to this requirement and utilize social media platforms like Zoom or MS Teams to run sessions or webinars at regular intervals where the group can answer any questions or provide clarifications or guidance on educational courses and institutions.
  2. Financial Assistance: The objective is to support those in need from the Penta Batch and their family members who are affected by unforeseen circumstances or adversities. A model that was successfully implemented by a few of the members in a specific case was highlighted to motivate everyone to be active participants in contributing to the success of such needs, which require quick action and easy execution.
  3. Group Insurance: The primary focus of discussing it was to address the concerns raised by members about the medical expenses that arise and the difficulties in meeting the expenses once retirement kicks in or when you are out of work. More deliberation in terms of the approach is to be framed by a selected set of group members who will work on it and update the members.

“Lunch on the Boat House” was the highlight of the day’s event. There was so much fun on two houseboats with live entertainment and amazing food in an unforgettable atmosphere.

The photoshoots, both formal and informal, added more fun with cameras flashing and drones all around capturing the moments of joy with the Penta Batch family in a scenic background, which was quite outstanding.

The day was filled with multiple group activities that needed a good close. We closed the day by hitting the floor with the rock band “Bay-Retro Night,” playing all-time hits live at the Banquet Hall. It was an engaging and memorable moment.

The third day was more of a “check-out” time for all of us. Some of our batchmates were unable to attend due to various circumstances. However, we were glad to have so many of us at one palatial resort, creating new memories together.

A lot of goodies were distributed to all attendees. It was the children of the Penta Batch who took the initiative to pack all the goodie bags. It was therefore a great time for the next generation to come together and network. A lot of sponsorships flowed in from the members to support this activity and its necessary arrangements.

The few days spent at such a lovely resort with active attendance from India and abroad made this reunion an unforgettable experience filled with joy, laughter and renewed friendships. We could celebrate our collective journey and create new memories to cherish for years to come.

We encourage others batches to have similar reunions. We found it inspiring and would be glad to help. If you have any questions, need clarifications, or would like to contribute a brilliant idea, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Karunya Penta Batch organizing leads, Mohan Kumar, Dr. C. Kezi Selva Vijila, and David Saul Singh.


Share This Post