59er Golden Reunion Directory

59er Golden Reunion Directory
59er Golden Reunion Directory

Sunday, December 15, 1996

SHV02-Issue 6: 961215

Au Revoir Web-surfing Stephanians and Cathedralites,

The time has come to say au revoir to all of you wonderful web-surfing Stephanians and Cathedralites.

Many of you are probably too young to know how Indira Gandhi effectively introduced censorship of the critical news media during the mid seventies. Besides imprisoning the political leaders and her sharpest media critics, her most effective weapon was to restrict the quota of newsprint to the critical press and also the amount of Government business directed to the outspoken media - very effective ways of shutting them up.

Here, in this western democracy called Finland, the establishment has a very effective method in this tightly run society. All your contracts vanish, making it impossible to survive if you are in conflict with the establishment. Hence Findians Oy had no option but to seek outside assistance to prop it up while they tried to restructure their actvities to be able to withstand the tirade. They attempted to raise sufficient funds to save their three popular webletters. This was not successful. They reached only part of the initially targeted amount.

Hence, the new owners of Findians Oy (Annikki, my better half, and I had to sell out our interests in the company for technical reasons) have informed me that they are returning all the cheques, money orders and cash received from many of you wonderful people out there. This will be done over the next two weeks so as to avoid any loss during the present Christmas postal rush. They will be returning the documents registered post acknowledgement due.

If you do not receive the contribution, you so generously made, by the 7th of January 1997, please send me a message.

I have succeeded in getting myself a private email address outside the clutches of the authorities and outside of Finland.

I am glad that KOOLER TALK (WEB VERSION) and SEVENTH HEAVEN lasted 18 issues.

I can honestly say I had a lot of fun putting up these pages every fortnight. During these last 9 months I made many wonderful friends from all around the world from different school and college generations, older and considerably younger to me.

Surprisingly, I did not get a single bad vibe during that entire time, which, as a professional editor, was quite a feat - no, not even a single staff member complained about my abraisive style and content!

I am taking the optimistic view that the alma mater webletters are temporarily suspended till I can raise enough funds to put them up without any assistance from Findians Oy. It may mean setting up my own web server equipment, my own computer with sufficient storage space, etc. which, unfortunately is rather an expensive process and outside of my present financial (and probably technical) capabilities. After all, as you all know I am not one of the present youthful generation and in my younger days we were lucky if we learnt how to operate a calculator which weighed as much as my present portable Mac on which I hammer out my books. My next one, Handbook For Survival in India, which is a sequel to our last local best-seller Handbook For Survival in Finland, is about halfway through at this stage.

Hopefully I can leave the archives on line for some time. If I manage to locate a permanent home for these archives, katy1.html, katy2.html and the one one which will go up next week katy3.html for Stephanians and sevven1.html, sevven2.html and sevven3.html for Cathedralites, I shall move them there and post the location in the World Alumini Register. I will leave the entire index archive as a single entity as koolertalk.html and seventhheaven.html till such time I can restart them.

What pleased me the most and made me particularly happy was that many of you thought me to be of just your generation, although, in some cases, I was at least 30 to 35 years ahead of you at the alma mater. Thank you for all the compliments which flowed like water from all of you.

In a way I am sad that it had to come to an end in this way, for no fault of any of us. Unfortunately, Annikki and I are people who believe in freedonm of expression, and we accept criticism as much as we give it. My grandfather, the late K. C. Mammen Mappillai (KCMM), stood for this principle, which saw him suffer many ignoble things, but the foundation he laid has resulted in the Malayala Manorama becoming the largest circulating newspaper in India.

It may be too much to hope, but one of these three webletters may hold a similar position on the web well after my time - and that thought itself spurs me to be ready to hand it over to capable hands that may come forward. Consider that the Malayala Manorama had to stop publication for almost a decade when KCMM was imprisoned and it was restarted only after India attained independence.

Your Stephanian/Cathedralite colleague

Jacob Matthan
Oulu, Finland

Sunday, December 01, 1996

SHV02-Issue 5: 961201

Hi Cathedralites,

It is nice to get 93er Vivek Sikri's occasional newsletters with a couple of interesting letters. Also, he has taken the trouble to maintain the directory but has asked someone to relieve him off this responsibility.

I still think that the World Alumini Register is the best bet and all Cathedralites should register there. It only takes a couple of minutes. They have a useful monthly reminder service in which any entries to the Bulletin Board which is maintained on the site is also informed to all those whose names are registered there, besides informing the names of new additions. I get four reminders from them, and therefore, am fairly up-to-date with all my alma maters.

Many of you have been intrigued by the Tin and Bottle Competition that I mentioned in an earlier issue. It was for the badminton competition which we used to have at school, the entry fee being either a tin or a bottle of something. In our childhood days most tins and bottles were great delicacies - there were not many Kissans and other brands around, so the collection of tins and bottles was quite an attractive package to play for.

The Nestles Milk Maid condensed milk tin was my favourite. I could finish an entire tin by myself in one sitting, and I probably still could, if my wife were not so strict in keeping my triglycerides down.

I wonder why Bombay is so quiet about setting up the Catcall Web Site. It would certainly relieve a lot of pressure on me if they would put up regular issues of Catcall on the web so that I could gradually make this webletter a monthly rather than a fortnightly. I do not want to reduce the momentum that we have achieved so far for almost a year, but I would certainly like to have some others share my load.

Oh, that Ooky had a web presence. His imitable style would have all of you in splits of laughter. That is something, unfortuately, whch is not my style, because I am more a political satirists rather than a humourist.

Could someone out there give us more details about the new school principal. Is she the first woman principal of the combined schools? Sorry to show my ignorance, but it does show you how far I am from the city of Bombay!!

I have discovered some more old photographs in my collection here in Finland, and hopefully will put up some of them in the coming issues.

57er Kashinath Dandekar had one comment that got me a bit worried - he mentioned that someone had equated the title "Seventh Heaven" as sounding like the name of a Bangkok massage parlour.

I hope I have massaged your senses, but there has been an overwhelming mail to maintain the name as it is, as after all, it was the class newspaper for us in 1955 when we were in the Seventh Standard, and it has a lot of sentimental association to many of the readers of that era.

More in a fortnight, and do continue to send me your criticisms and comments. Above all, I love the criticisms as it spurs one to do better - that was one of the best lessons that I learnt from the red ink of Pop Pharoah from his correction in my geometry Xth Standard classwork book.

Your Cathedralite friend

Jacob Matthan
Savage House Captain 1959
Oulu, Finland