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Like all narrations have a back-drop, this too has one.
In 1971 two young gentlemen after their education started off to start their respective professional careers. One-armed with a Diploma in Hotel Management & Catering Technology, started from Delhi towards Ahmedabad while the other armed with an MBA degree from the IIM-Ahmedabad traveled from Ahmedabad to Delhi. It is highly likely the trains they were on crossed each other oblivious to them. Both destined to be academicians, who would, later on, meet to forge a friendship of equals.
The former was tasked with commissioning & starting the Food Craft Institute, Ahmedabad with a handful of students only in the Food Canning certificate course.
While the latter was entrusted with the responsibility of laying the foundations of the premier OSM, now the OCLD. He would go on to head the HR Department of ITC Welcomgroup Hotels, author books for the students & teachers at the IHM’S, moving on than to start the hotel school at Lavassa, then the Middle East. In between, he served as the Principal of the IHMCT, Pusa New Delhi from 1989 for a brief stint.
The former, Mr. NM Rafique the fine man he is ploughed on single-handedly, with an equally fine team of teachers offering a variety of Craft courses with the Institute bursting at the seams. In 1986, his first batch of 3year Diploma for Hotel Management & Catering Technology passed out after the FCI being upgraded as an IHMCT three years earlier. A tribute to his sterling efforts.
In the summer of1989 his student serendipitously was appointed as a Teaching faculty by Mr. Sudhir Andrews-the quintessential gentleman, then the Principal of the IHMCT, Pusa, who asked this youth to take over as the Faculty Editor- Writer’s Club, which he did joyously forming a team of 2nd year students from The Class of 1991- slated to go for industrial training in the 2nd phase: namely, Samir Roonwal, Shivani Gupta, Sanjay Makkar, Sandeep Jhingran & Vikramaditya Razdan.
His team given the circumstances & the resources produced the first issue of the Writer’s Club; A Black & White issue typed on an archaic typewriter. He vexed a little on the importance & absence of a logo on the cover page masthead.
But he found to his surprise adorning the masthead of the 1st draft of the cover page with the name of the periodical Some-Achaar was a logo created by Samir Roonwal (a quiet lad who could otherwise shame Kiran More in sledging when keeping to Javed Miandad!).
The logo appealed to Mr. Andrews on first sight, to be adopted as the official logo of the IHMCT Pusa, New Delhi to find its rightful place on the letterheads and on all official banners, etc. since that summer of 1989.
That, I was instrumental in the creation of the logo of IHMCT Pusa, never crossed my mind while I was serving there. All, I remembered was my idea of naming it Some-Achaar. In the summer of 2019 on meeting Vikramaditya Razdan at his residence in Dehradun, I was reminded of the same. This large-hearted boy had preserved one copy of that Some-Achaar which he gifted me
Over-ruling my objections with “Knowing you. I knew you would not have bothered to keep a copy”. But you led the team, in creating history. Hence this is yours by right.”
And as I bask in its warm glow in these winter days, I realized, I owed narrating this story to all from IHMCT Pusa & IHMCT Ahmedabad. Of course, especially to my 1st team of students of the Writer’s Club from My Class of 1991 as named above, in addition to Mr. NM Rafique and Mr Sudhir Andrews, the duo for whom I don’t need to wax eloquently!
IHMCT Ahmedabad has received many a gift (notably its founding Principal Mr Rafique, in addition to many a teaching faculty member) from IHMCT Pusa, which it may not have acknowledged nor has it been grateful for but with the gift of the logo by an IHMCT Ahmedabad’s student being instrumental for its creation and for his teaching stint with IHMCT Pusa; IHMCT Ahmedabad has acknowledged & thanked IHMCT Pusa in full measure.
Other Articles by MS Neelakantan
A California-based travel writer, lover of food, oceans, and nature.