Friends of Max meeting in Kolkata

{mosimage}19th and 20th April, 2008 | Reported by Anshu Agarwal  

It was a day full of excitement and vigour because Viji (Amma) and Ayeshah had come especially for this meeting which was held at the International Club on the 19th of April from 1:00 pm- 5:00 pm.  This meeting was meant for the Kolkata core group to discuss the forthcoming Friends of Max All India Meet to be held in Kolkata in 2009 and the group meeting, which was to be held the next day i.e. 20th April in the Victoria Memorial gardens.

We started the meeting with praying for our dear friend Ranjana who passed away in March.  She was a true fighter and will be missed by all.

Ayeshah, who was on her first visit to Kolkota, gave us a short introduction about herself and her association with the Max Foundation.  After her, all other members present gave a few details about themselves.  Viji then gave a short presentation explaining the history and workings of the Max Foundation.  By this time everybody’s stomachs had started rumbling and we broke for lunch..

After having a nice heavy lunch, Viji spoke about the activities of The Max Foundation and their future plans.  The main point of discussion was the All India meet to be held in Kolkata next year.  Viji spoke about the annual meets held in Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore and what the strengths and weaknesses of these meetings were.  We made special notes of this so that we could keep these in mind and work for the meet to be held in Kolkata.

She informed everybody about the ‘Adopt a Buddy’ program where one supports a deserving member of the group and helps him/her by taking on his or her responsibilities to whatever extent possible.   

Viji also encouraged all FOM’s to become a part of the yahoo e mail group so that they can share each other’s experiences and keep themselves updated on the activities of the Max Foundation.  Viji also encouraged everybody to write their stories so that they could be included in the next publication of the book of stories.   

A little restlessness started to show and Naren da decided it was time to have some tea which was more than welcomed by everybody.   

Now was time for free discussion where everybody chipped in with their valuable suggestions.  It was decided that end January early February 2009 would be a good time to have the meeting.  The weather would be good and it would also leave us with enough time to work things out.  Various venue options were discussed and follow up allotted to core group members .

Viji then concluded the meeting, which was followed by an informal session of songs and jokes by all FOMs. Rajat da also treated us to a special half hour video recording of the Bangalore Meet!!  

Amma adds : Hidden talents came to the fore and we found out that Navin (Mr Anshu) sings beautifully !! One more golden voice to give Tushar company. Rajat da and Naren had worked hard at organising all the logistics for this meeting at this old gracious club on Shakespeare Sarani. Ayeshah and I stayed here in a very comfortable room tucked deep inside the old , elegant  Victorian building. Thank you Rajat dada for getting this done. We loved the ambience and the personalised care of the “butler” who made sumptuous omelettes for breakfast and made the most perfect black tea.  I must however add that to get to the large , comfortable room, one had to get into a cobwebby passage that was definitely unused (seemingly for years) and then up a steep flight of wide wooden stairs that curved and curved till you thought it was straight out of Bimal Roy’s Madhumati ki sun saan Haveli. One night , when Raju Bhaiyya came to drop us after dinner at their home , he was so shocked at the condition of the access to the room he wondered how we had agreed to stay in this “Bhoot Bangla”  (pun intended) But once he entered the room he was relieved to see it was a safe place. We could not help laughing at his reaction !! His expression was something else!!