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The 1st Pan-South India XLRI Alumni Meet

For the first time ever an XLRI Chapter in a city held an alumni meet which invited alumni from other Metro cities too. Bangalore played host to the largest gathering of XLers ever. XLers from Hyderabad, Chennai, Kerala Baroda, Mumbai and of course Jampot turned up ! The total count for the evening was 475. The 2011 batch was the most represented batch with more than 50 people turning up from that batch.

This was the first time technology had played a big role in registrations, with alumni who pre-registered for the event on the XL Bang website getting an early bird discount. The venue was the picturesque ITC Royal Gardenia, who was the hospitality sponsor.

Special invitees to the event were Fr. Abraham (himself an alumnus from the batch of ‘78), current Director of XLRI, Prof. MG Jomon, the Alumni Chair, Prof. Sharad Sarin, Prof. Pranabesh Ray (alumnus from the batch of ‘77), Prof. Madhukar Shukla and Ms. RoshanDastur.

The evening kicked off by David D’Costa (batch of ’76 and President of the XLBang Chapter) introducing Mrs Sundari Thyagarjan from the ’55 batch – the first batch of XLRI – and who was felicitated by Mr Dominic Thomas (59 batch).


As the bar counter opened (courtesy the beverage sponsors Pernod Ricard, United Breweries and PepsiCo) and batch mates and friends started to mingle with each other and browse the books that XL authors had sent from across the country for the event – the fun event of the evening a special XL housie was compered by the one and only Abhijit Bhaduri. The winners got gift hampers courtesy Metro Cash ‘n’ Carry and a holiday for two courtesy Windflower Resorts & Spa. For XLers with kids a lovely kids room was available for the little ones to play darts, have yummy food and get away from the boring adults

Fr. Abe presented to the alumni on the various initiatives being taken at XLRI, including globalization plans, a new campus in Delhi and the growth of the Jamshedpur campus across the river!

Prof. Sarin updated the alumni on the XLRI Endowment Fund – the purpose and plans for the same.

Prof. Madhukar Shukla was felicitated by the XLBang Chapter for his outstanding contribution to the XLRI alumni committee over the last 14 years.


After this it was time for the festivities, with the band of the evening striking up music to which XLers from across the batches danced and had a merry time. Rohit Munjal (2001 batch) who had composed the super-hit cult song “XL ki Kudiyan” sang it and XL ki kudiyan danced on the stage! Other XL hits like “XL meri Jaan” were also sung.



With midnight approaching XLers then headed to the amazing Indian and Oriental food spread the chefs at ITC had put together.

Special thanks to the sponsors of the evening, P4P Consulting, Divyasree Developers, Sobha Developers, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, Wipro, Nokia, Pylon Management Consulting, Titan – Fastrack, Performance Consulting International, Aon Hewitt, The HR Practice, 5E Serpraise. The gifts and merchandise was sponsored by  Metro, Madura Garments, Windflower Spa and Resorts and Jacques Lemans thru’ Retail Interface.



Book Review: Married But Available

“Married But Available” is the second novel by HR professional Abhijit Bhaduri. In the first- “Mediocre But Arrogant” the protagonist Abbey spends two years drifting along in his B School, from relationship to relationship. 

In this one, Abbey gets into his first job, as a Personnel Manager at Balwanpur Industries, at the plant and the township owned and managed by the promoter Balwan Singh. The other people he meets are his first boss, Capt. Sobti, who has his own homegrown knowledge of people and HR. Then there’s the assorted other characters in his life, his father who thinks that he should be loyal to his employer, his mother who always thinks he’s a small kid. Then there’s Ass, his sister- Asmita. Then there are his women Ayesha and Keya and Priya. One is the one he lusts after, one is his love and then there’s one who has a crush on him.

As Abbey balances his work – getting to understand how the worker’s union works- with his love and then married life, life begins to take its own sweet pace. As he goes about acquiring the trappings of success – a bigger house, a car his marriage seems to be headed downhill. Finally his wife walks out on him, accusing him of being selfish. Devastated, Abbey looks for a chance to move out of the small township – and moves to Balwan’s corporate office at Delhi. He constantly compares his designation and personal life to his friends- trying to define success in the materialistic expressions of life.

Years pass, an old love comes back into his life – and everything seems to be fine – but life seems to be keen to throw his balance off-kilter. Abbey finds out unsavory truths about his mentor – and about his Chairman’s plan for the plant too.

Soon Abbey goes back to the township – to do the toughest job in his career so far – and to make the toughest self-journey he would make. In the end he understands that the sense of self he derives from a mere visiting card – and designations is hollow. As Father Hathaway – the Jesuit priest tells him:

“If you want success, think of yourself. If you want happiness, think of others. Stop asking about the meaning of life and instead, think of yourself as the one being questioned by life.”

So the book ends with a question: Will Abbey finally be able to break free of the selfish self involved pattern of behavior? Maybe we’ll find the answer in the next book. 

Overall the book is an easy read, however, sometimes the management jargon can get to be a little off putting to the lay reader. Like the gyaan that Rascal Rusty gives Abbey on the phone can get a little tiresome. The book is set in the mid 80s to the mid 90s – so there are few contemporary references for today’s readers – but quite a few nostalgic references for the generation that was brought up then 😀

Married But Available – Uncovered ;-)

Heh, caught your attention, didn’t I?

This is just a shout out to my friend Abhijit Bhaduri’s second novel – Married But Available – and it’s eye catching golden yellow cover with “married but available” engraved on a wedding ring.

Check it out yourself.

In case you don’t know, Married But Available is the sequel to Mediocre But Arrogant -a fictional story of Abbey – an MBA in HR. Noticed that both the books make the acronym of an MBA 😉 ?

Abhijit is a multi-talented guy. Apart from his day job as the Director of HR of one the world’s biggest tech firms, he also is a great cartoonist and even managed to act in the Shobhana – Irrfan Khan film Apna Aasman.

That’s called putting ALL of your skills to work!