sharing the memories
In going through virtually hundreds of photographs taken during the Utica Reunion by different individuals, and going through the program from Day 1 and obtaining a personal sense of the atmosphere, I wanted to highlight a few photos, that shows the best spirit of this reunion. These are not necessarily, the type of photos that will get awards in photo competition (but they are very good quality), but when you see the picture and the accompanying write up, what feelings they evolve in you? Are those feelings indicative of the environment at Utica Reunion? These are the questions I have asked before picking the following photos.
The Grand Award for the Best Overall Photo went to:
Happy people means happy reunion.
This photo (actually, it is a pair of photos) clearly shows the overall focus of the reunion, viz., having fun. When we think of reunions, we want to re-live the good old days at the college, but at the same time integrate our families into the mix. So, the overall idea is to have FUN. Everyone has busy practices and busy personal lives. So, we want everyone to be completely FREE of all inhibitions and be themselves (be the kid in you) on these days. Obviously, when we look at this photo, we have accomplished it. Look at the photo. Not only KMC-ites but the family like Leena, Annie, Susan, Jacob etc. all are having fun. (Ike and Mony are taking the photo; so they are not in the photo. Not sure where Meena is.)
Second Runner Up
Ike-ay, look out for any speedboats. I think I am feeling sea sick. I better not look out.
I cannot say Ike and Jaya has improved. They were great from Day 1. (That is why they got the MVP in the first of the reunions in 2006.) Old wine cannot be improved!
This photo shows great commitment. Jaya is afraid of water; she was afraid of getting sea sick. But she do not want to stay back, but wanted to be in the midst of things. Ike and Jaya had sacrificed quite a lot to make it for the reunion as it was especially a hard weekend to travel for them. Now with this background, take a look at the photo. They richly deserve to be one of the Editor's Choice.
First Runner Up
Mathukutty: Sankhupushpam Kannezhuthumbol, Leena mole ninne orma varum
Leena: It is OK darling. I would prefer that you remember me when you see a banana.
If old wine cannot be improved as in the case of Ike and Jaya, this couple is perhaps the most improved in this category. The photo was selected for its shock and awe value. You would not expect Mathukutty to be in any romantic setting, especially in public. It is just not in his character. He thrives on one to one encounters (at least till this year.) This year, both Mathukutty and Leena opened up. I guess Leena is not afraid any more. They have jelled with the group. This photo shows that they were quite at home within the group and at the reunion. Do I need to say anything more?
Editors Choice for the Best Photograph
Mony, honey, Savio and Annie had been going for all these honeymoons and we didn't have one.
This trip had been so much fun. Let us also go for another honeymoon, just two of us. What do you say?
It is getting very hard to take pictures where the subjects are not aware of being photographed. People like Jane and Meena immediately changes. In fact Jane had been so suspicious that even for simple questions I ask her, she would reply, "enthina? internet -il idan alley?" (Why do you want to know. Aren't you going to write that on the Internet?) Since I had been teasing Meena about her attraction to be in the photos like a magnet, she had been avoiding being in the photos (you would not believe it when you see the photos, do you?) Actually, Meena figured out a way, she became the photographer.
So, I am really proud of catching this moment without them being aware of it.
OK, back to the photo. Why is it so special?
If you recall, Mony had been very shy on the first reunion. He stayed back and observed. He slowly opened up and at the end charged into the stage pushing Meena aside on Sunday morning, much to the wonder and amazement of Meena (That was a Kodak moment; but I didn't have the camera at that time!)
Mony opened up more last year at Milwaukee. This year, he was quite at home. (Yes, there were more of escapades with Meena, I suspect.) I feel that this photo illustrates the integration of the family into the reunion. Our family is getting more comfortable being at the reunion. So, that had been a great accomplishment. Long gone are the days, when Leena could not remember anything special about Utica or Annie could not say anything about Little Annie. Even the normally reserved Susan laughed a few times. So, for all the family, we dedicate this special photograph.
Personally speaking, when I think of Meena, I think of queen bee. Queen bee has the knack of getting everyone to do the tasks. This queen bee, however, does lot of work herself unlike the real queen bee. Thank you for the memories.
PS: Shila thought one photograph where she was in would be a good photo to choose. I told her that it would be inappropriate to choose her. She said, forget about inappropriateness, just choose it. WOW! That Leena-Annie-Meena mantra must be taking effect. What were you guys telling her all that 2 hours in the boat?
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