Reunion of 1993 batch of Customs and Tax officers in M’luru marked by fun, culture, emotion

Media release

Mangaluru, Mar 1: A rare reunion took place in our coastal city of Mangaluru recently. Assistant Commissioners of Customs and Central Tax (GST), coming under the Ministry of Finance, department of revenue (formerly CBEC and now the CBIC), who had joined the department as inspectors in February 1993, met in Mangaluru for their 31st year reunion.

This batch of Inspectors who had first met one another in Belagavi during their induction course in the year 1993, built a rapport with one another and though they met often in the course of their service, the first grand reunion took place in Bengaluru in 2018 for their silver jubilee and then in Dandeli in February 2023 for their 30th anniversary.

While at Dandeli, the officers agreed that they need to meet more often and it was was decided to henceforth have an annual reunion. And Mangaluru was the place selected for hosting the 2024 reunion. Their promotions from superintendents to IRS cadre as assistant commissioners happened in July 2023 and most of them got busy settling down at their new work places in outside states and in Karnataka.

However, by January the officers posted in Mangaluru headed by Shubha Rodrigues from Mangaluru Customs went on to plan a glorious two-day event which was to showcase Namma Kudla’s art, culture, tradition, cuisine and scenic beauty, along with rejuvenating the bonds of friendship.

The whole event was visualised and planned meticulously so that the batchmates could have a wonderful time, without wasting precious moments, commuting long distances or waiting for permissions.

This reunion which took place on February 24 and 25 was attended by 30 batchmates of the 1993 batch of Inspectors, who are presently working in Goa, Tirupati, Chennai, Salem, Vellore, Mysuru, Bengaluru, Shivamogga, Palakkad and Mangaluru and also included a few who voluntarily left the department to pursue their dreams elsewhere, but did not leave the friendship of this batch of their colleagues.

After meeting and greeting each other, the morning of February 24 was spent visiting New Mangalore Port and the officers who had not worked in Mangaluru Customs got to see and experience at close quarters, the activity taking place there, such as the cargo vessels and the Customs patrolling boats.

Post a sumptuous coastal cuisine lunch followed by the “never say no” Pabbas ice-cream, the team left for the highlight of the day, which was arranged at a serene and beautiful beach house.

The décor here was in keeping up the theme of our Coastal culture, using natural fruits, vegetables and leaves and the gentle lull of the sea waves in the background added to feel of Mangaluru. The evening wore a festive look with the officers dressed in the local attire. Men wore Mundu (lungi), jubba, byras (towel) and it was the rustic colourful handloom sarees for the women. Dressed in this, they made a grand entry to the venue for the main celebration in a procession, dancing to the beats of chende and the sound of kahale (kombu).

The group was also caught by surprise when towards the end of a yakshgana performance MC Vishwas Gurupur announced that the performer was none other than their batchmate Vasudeva Naik, AC Customs, Karwar in Yakshagana attire. Naik was trained by Yakshagana natya guru P V Paramesh and was the companion of Sharath Kumar Kadri.

As movie playback singer Mallika Gatti sang the Tulu number “Yekka Saka….” from the movie Koti Chennaya, freshly cut tender coconuts were served and the friends started unwinding and many hidden talents of singing, dancing etc came to the fore. They also danced to the music of Tiger dance and Vishwas Gurupur & Mallika Gatti couple enthralled them with their singing. The evening was memorable and the party with song and dance went well into the night.

Since many in the group were meeting after one year, they did not want to end the reunion just in a day. So the second day was spent on an island in Brahmavar, Udupi. For the in-landers, hopping on to boats and heading to a small island in backwaters is a novel experience. The island is well-equipped with all the sports activities, both in water and on land, with all required safety measures.

All the water activities were within an enclosure of safety nets. There were kayaks, volleyballs with nets, wooden bridges built on water with little alcoves along the way with seating arrangements. On the land, there were nets to climb, swings to swing and hammocks to laz!

There are two things that will always make the Mangaluru 2024 reunion stand apart – first and foremost was the meticulous planning and execution by Shubha Rodrigues, whose initiative, ideas, and talent in network, execution and micro-management were par excellence. For the execution, she was ably assisted by her batchmates working in Mangaluru – Lionel Fernandes, Vasudeva Naik and R K Bhat (Retd). Besides them, she had the maximum support from Roshan Fernandes and Vipin Das.

Secondly, the local traditional touch added an emotional and cultural quotient to the reunion. The 1993 batchmates, have been role models to their junior colleagues in the way they have united and stood together despite being posted at different places in the course of their service. This event validates the feeling. Most of these officers joined the department in their early 20s and are now in their 50s, but the hearts are ever young and they hope to continue being so, even after retirement.

The reunion ended with the symbolic handing over of the Mashal to the Assistant Commissioners of the batch now working in Goa, as the next reunion of the 1993 batch will be held on February 22 and 23, 2025 in Goa.

While the rejuvenated officers were returning to their respective work places, they expressed that they had never experienced so much of art, culture, tradition, scenic beauty, cuisine all put together. So until they meet again they wish to repeat the words of the poet, Robert Frost “The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.... “



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Comment on this article

  • Sangeeta, Mangalore

    Sun, Mar 03 2024

    It is nice to meet and connect with batchmates and share such a wonderful time together. We need to keep in touch with our school mates, college friends and colleagues. A day of leisure is essential to feel rejuvenated.

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

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Title: Reunion of 1993 batch of Customs and Tax officers in M’luru marked by fun, culture, emotion

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