Victoria Memorial Garden FOM meet

{mosimage} Meeting of FOM on 20th April 2008 held at the Victoria Memorial Garden at 4:00 p.m.

It was a hot and humid day but all the volunteers arrived on time to do their duties as had been discussed the previous day.  Navin took charge of the gate to bring in the FOMs and Ayesha and I took care of the registration.

People started tricking in from near and also from some far away villages across the state.  After registration, they joined one of the many little groups for discussions.

It was a large garden and it had been decided to have small groups of people with one group leader in each to discuss their issues.  Stuti, Rajatda, Neel, Gaurav, and Narenda had been appointed as group leaders.  All FOMs were encouraged to talk about their problems and anything else they wanted to discuss. For new members it was a chance to introduce themselves to the group.

 We were very happy with the response because by the end of the program, we had more than 100 people who had joined us for the meeting.  It was wonderful to see people clear their doubts and problems which maybe they hadn't discussed earlier.

After their little group meetings, everybody came together and Viji gave a speech.  As usual, it was very encouraging and all faces were beaming.  All the group leaders came forward to put forth the problems faced by members of their group and gave their solutions.

Viji then invited everybody to come to the All India meet in Kolkata and participate to make it a grand success.

The meeting concluded with sumptuous food packets for everybody organized by Neel and his brother Raj.

Amma adds : The sun had set and it was time for the Memorial gardens to close but still everyone lingered for no one wanted the lovely evening to end . It was cool and fresh under the huge banyan trees with the green grass more plush and comfortable than any Persian carpet. The core group leaders had done a wonderful job of putting everyone at ease and the sharing gathered momentum.  Once the delicious snacks had been distributed and consumed , the long distance FOM reluctantly tore themselves way while the Kolkota bandhus lingered – the excitement of planning the next All India Meet was palpable.

The full moon rose to rival the flood lights of the first IPL match being played in Eden Gardens close by and the latest scores were being sourced through cell phone sms. Suddenly came the news that there was a power failure at the ground and Dada was willing to play in the moon light !
Finally the lights came on and the Knight Riders won the match.

So with that happy news everyone finally dispersed but not before the last contingent moved to the famous Sharma Tea Stall on Elgin Road – Neel, thank you for introducing us to this most delicious of all "chais"  – more tasty and precious than nectar . A fitting end to a wonderful day.

Three cheers to the Kolkota Core Group who organised two fantastic meetings over the weekend that were so well attended and who have promised to have aworthy successor to the Bangalore 2008 Meet next year .

Let us drink to that – with a hot , piping , clay mug of Sharma's kesar chai – Neel has promised it will be on the menu in 2009 !!!