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Nava Nalanda High School reunited for Alingan 2018, with The Telegraph 

A cross-batch band of (l-r) Arnab Das and Suman Mitra (batch of 2000), Shantanu Mukherjee (batch of 1988), Urmi Bhattacharjee (batch of 2001), Debdoot Mukherjee (batch of 1994) and Debdeep Mukherjee (batch of 2000) narrated stories from their schooldays, interspersed with songs about friendship, Yaaron dosti badi hi haseen hai to Bondhu chol.

What: Alingan 2018 in association with The Telegraph
When: January 6
Where: Eastern Metropolitan Club

Not even a little power cut could dampen the spirits of old schoolmates meeting for the first time in years at Alingan 2018, organised by the Nava Nalanda High School Alumni Association, in association with 
The Telegraph. 

The event brought together diverse batches for an evening filled with music, food, laughter and memories. Games such as the innovatively named ‘ABCD’ (Aye Bondhu Chomok Dekhai), for which participants sashayed down a catwalk, or Paper Dance, kept the former students entertained, while a Punjabi spread kept them well-fed and happy.

The revellers also paid moving tributes to their friends who had passed away. Close friends reminisced about the times they had spent together and lit paper lanterns in their memory. 

The batch of 1992 celebrated its silver jubilee, with some members — such as Atri Sen (bottom row, second from left) — meeting their friends for the first time since leaving school. “It was lovely to catch up with the people I grew up with. I’m glad the association took the initiative,” said Atri, who could only attend because his flight back to the US got cancelled the previous day!
Anindya Sen (left) of the 1989 batch met Kanad Maitra (right) of the 1992 batch after exactly 25 years. “I didn’t realise how difficult the simple  question — chintey parchhish? — can be! It’s amazing to discover the things people remember about you, and the camaraderie still remains,” said Kanad, a business process consultant who won the Paper Dance competition.
Sanjit Adhikary of the 1991 batch picked up batchmate Rajib Mitra during Paper Dance. “Rajib and I were both sportsmen in school. I was a cricketer, he was a footballer, and while our shapes may have changed, our friendship hasn’t!” grinned Sanjit, a software developer. 
Event manager Jayeeta Ganguly from the 1994 batch shook a leg with batchmate Sopan Dutta. “It was awesome getting in touch with seniors and juniors, and running up to friends and hugging them,” she said.
“Alingan is a celebration of nostalgia. We wanted our ex-students to relive school memories with old friends as well as revive contact with friends across batches. It’s a very special annual event for us as we start the year with it,” said Dibyendu Bose (inset), secretary, Nava Nalanda Alumni Association. 
Mir and Bandage took the house by storm, cracking jokes, interacting with the crowd and singing Bollywood ’80s numbers as well as Bengali golden oldies like Ke tumi nandini and Sadher lau. DJ Nilashree, meanwhile, picked out current hits to make the crowd groove. 
Sanjukta Dutta from the 1991 batch flew into the city just to attend the reunion. “I had performed Rabindra nritya, which I had learnt in school, during last year’s reunion,”  said the Visakhapatnam-based teacher.

BABIES’ DAY OUT

Little Adwitiya Mitra twirled with mom Ananya. “My husband, Suman, is from the batch of 2000 and an active member of the alumni football team,” said Ananya. 
Tithi Roy from the batch of 2000 came with her 11-month-old daughter, Adhira. “I’ve been adjusting work schedules for this event for two-three months, ever since I found out about it from our batch’s WhatsApp group. Some of my closest friends met my daughter for the first time today,” said the pre-sales consultant who lives in Hyderabad.

Text: Rushati Mukherjee
Pictures: B. Halder

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