Dear 59ers and Other Cathedralites,
What a hectic month.
Sadly, Annikki's father passed away on 9th February, so we were busy making all the arrangements for the funeral and memorial service. I lost a substitute father who was a wonderful man. You can read about this unusual individual in our main ezine.
I had a letter from Staff Member Willie Shri who complained that he could not see the face behind the beard in our photograph which went up with the last issue. So I am putting up what may be one of the last photographs taken of me without a beard.
(Ed: I was accused of cradle snatching when we got married! Got way with a great sentence of life imprisonment to the baby.)
Willie has also sent me a nice picture of himself with his lovely wife, Pushpa and equally lovely his daughter, taken by a 59er, Hasnain Chinwalla.
Here is the content of Willie's latest letter which corrects me about our Geography teacher's name. Now it flashes back - Zavala!! How could I forget that name. Only a Zavala with Peruvian Indian fury could charge me full pelt waving his hockey stick in the air in the staff vs school hockey matches?
From: "William & Pushpa Shiri"
Date: Tue, 27 Feb 2001 23:21:55 -0500
I feel guilty that I haven't responded to you after all the messages we have been receiving. I really don't know how you manage keeping in touch with so many all the time ! What a magnificent job you do, holding all of us together!
When I read all the familiar names of my past students, I have a great urge to get in touch with them, I try spotting them in a couple of old photographs I have. I perhaps could, if it is o k with you, send a message to all in your Seventh Heaven. (Ed: The feeling is one which should be curbed. With a motley collection of photographs of some goblydook guys and gals haunting your house - you will be having nightmares every morning.)
Incidentally, here are some names that will fill in the blanks re Staff photo:
The Peruvian geography teacher: Alberto Zavala
Some first names: Rider Salmon, John Billington, Arthur Morecroft.
Pushpa was a Class 2 teacher in the Junior School 1955-62. Became a peripatetic music teacher in England, visiting three different schools. Remained so in Montreal for a few years, then switched to class-room teaching.
I was curious to know what you looked like. In that picture of two days ago, behind that thick white beard and moustache, I can faintly recognize the old familiar face. Have you grown a pigtail of sorts? (Ed: I called a line at pigtails - I am not quite Charlesian but more Darwinian.) Annikki (did I spell it right?) is nice looking, like I had imagined (Ed: There cannot be a more beautiful person in this universe).
I met Nusly Pocha (' 60) when he visited me here last year. Do you know, it was only when I spotted him in an old Wilson House picture just the other day that I really remembered him! Nusly sent me a ' 60 reunion photo taken last year and the only one I could spot was a Hirjikaka (who, strangely, hadn't changed a bit). and some faintly, after checking their names. Most I did not.
Fond regards to you both.
It has been such a hectic month. I established contact with two more 59ers.
From: Peter Miovic
Subject: Re: Fw: Wish to contact Peter
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2001 08:57:34 -0500
I am alive even if my dellnet.com address is dead. I enjoyed looking at your web-site and am impressed by the energy you are putting into the "search for cathedralites" effort. I hope to get around soon to updating you on what I've been up to this past (almost) half century.
I don't think I ever knew John Beddow, although I had heard of him. Maybe he was gone by late 1958, early 1959 which is roughly when I began to feel comfortable enough in English to reach out and meet people. I knew Bobby and Billy Anderson (mainly through Patty), but they too had gone off to boarding schools by 1958/59, so I only met them a couple of times when they were back in Bombay for vacations. I believe that Bill, who was several years older than we were, attended Miami University of Ohio, so you might get hold of him through their Alumni network. I have no idea what Bob ended up doing.
More later and thanks for your persistence. I appreciated "being found". I guess I now know that I exist.
From: John Beddow
Subject: RE: 59ers: Is it really you?
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2001 16:37:09 +1100
Namaste baboo jee! you have indeed found John Beddow in Australia. Great to hear some of those old names from the distant passed. Visited Bombay (Mumbai) two years ago and the old parts of the city have not changed. Met some of the old pani wallas from breach candy and had a great time. John Vasica has Patty Andersons web number but we have not heard from either Billy or Bobby Anderson. I will send you a brief 100 pages on my life in due course,, meantime...chai biddy chai!!
Thanks to a Cathedralite a few years junior to us, Ranko Ivancevic, also from Yugoslavia, like Peter. He got the information from Peter's sister, and although the first mail bounced, with his perseverance, I finally got through.
Thanks to Vinay Dabholkar I got the email addresses of Bashir Currimjee and Wabhir Zayani.
From: "Vinay Dabholkar"
Subject: E mail addresses
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2001 08:04:07 +0000 (GMT)
Re your message about missing e mail addresses of some of the class of 59. We are sending two that we have which are on your missing list. Hope they'll be in the fold soon.
We love reading your mails. Just great to be connected.
Sorry to hear about Annikki's father. Hope the temperatures get warmer soon. (Ed: The day before the funeral was the coldest -35 C with a strong wind taking the temperature down to around -45 C. Now it is a mere -20 C.)
Don't think we can even imagine cold like that from here in Mumbai, which is really pleasant this year.
All the best to all of you !
Vinay and Sulabha Dabholkar
I thought I was lucky and I had managed to trace Bobby Anderson. But the lead I was so thrilled about was not so hot. I had a nice reply from the Pat Anderson - but it was not sister Patty. I still have the lead given me by John, so I am not giving up. Anyone know how to contact John Vasica?
Just this afternoon I had a very touching letter from 54er Sadhana Madhusadan. So you can see that I am giving you stuff hot of my iMac black ivories.
I wonder whether Sadhana knew she was writing to a Mallu. That is what we call ourselves in the wild euronorth!
For all you 54ers - I have a lovely relaxed picture of Aubrey and Pam sent to me by Aubrey.
This weeks picture of Cathedral School boxers has been provided by Aubrey to rack what remains of your brain cells.
No winners for our last picture identification competition. The prize of the Art Glass piece designed by the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto is being carried forward to anyone who can identify all the boxers shown below and also date the year of the picture. Only Aubrey is not permitted to enter.
From: "Sadhana Madhusudan"
Subject: Setting the record straight?
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2001 19:36:29 +0530
Hi, after a long gap. There were a series of losses in our compound in Pune and in our family in B'lore so I was unable to keep in touch.
Pam's sudden appearance through your page and then equally unexpected exit from our midst was very unsettling. How fleeting this life is and yet we do not really feel the urgency to do things that this slight stay on earth warrants.
At least you aren't included in this bizarre laid back world of mine. You seem to be going great guns. (Ed: My work ethic is to reply my emails within 48 hours as with 300 emails a day I would be in a total mess within a week.) Maybe the land of Aurora Borealis has touched you with magic....I am truly a great procrastinator and lazy too..
I am married to a Malayali from Trivandrum Kerala. This was a very great news for my class mate Nalini Nair (Savage house, great hurdles expert) class '54. I would always refer to her casually as a 'Madraasi" (Ed: Does this ring a bell with one 59er, Mr. Viney Sethi?) Much to her chagrin. When she said she would be going to Cochin for her hols, to me it was always to "Madras". So, imagine her glee when she saw me married to a Malayali, with my "thaali" around my neck....
It's funny how things catch up
I am a Gujuyali now....(Ed: I was thinking of reserving the domain name Finnyali - but opted for Findians instead!!)
I want to add that my brother Indrajit Shah (Palmer House) was in your class. In fact he still remembers the picnic-at-Vasind incident where you almost drowned. (Ed: Not almost - I drowned!! Hi 59ers - one more to the fold. Lanky and thin Indrajit. A slightly higher pitched voice if my memory serves me right. Very friendly boy.)
And, he rues it to this day that everyone including him panicked and instead of holding on to you, swam away as you pulled at them...(Ed: I don't. I would have pulled anyone else down with me. And, I may have also been denied the most wonderful experience of my life which taught me that approaching death can be a beautiful experience if one gives oneself to his Lord and Master!)
I just read your account of what had happened.
I must inform him to log on to your page and see it for himself.
We lost my dearest Papa in 1955 and he was packed off to Ahmedabad with a younger brother Jagdeep Shah (also Palmer) So, he lost touch. There he joined St Xavier's. Later on graduated from Elphinstone College, carrying away the English Literature prize. Worked with Dunlop's India and retd (Ed: Retired at 58? Prime of ones life.) from Hyderabad a few years ago, Lives in Pune now, does some writing. Has submitted a letter to the school rag.
My other brother Randhir Shah (Ed: My elder brother's classmate. I remember Randhir very well - although did not realise he was Indrajit's brother.) graduated with best All Rounder student prize in 56. He was in Fulmala Maniar and Reema Savara's (Ed: Vickram Savara is a 59er now in USA and younger brother of Reema) class. He scored highest marks in Cambridge, went on to becoming an Engineer with Greaves Crompton. Passed away suddenly in Pune in 1989.
Some names in your student list have been mis-spelt. Gracie, will bear with me. It is Armaity Mody, Zarin Lam, Georgina Fannagan, Tutu Lahiri, Nilina Pillai... (Ed: Thanks for the corrections - I got some of the names from Catcall!!)
Incidentally, Mr Kuruvilla Jacob (Ed: My landlord of a veritable mansion) in Madras was the Headmaster of my husband's school in Madras-Christian College School.
My hubby joined the TS Dufferin as a cadet and qualified as Master Mariner with a British certificate...we used to bump into those guys at the Golwalla swimming pool at Backbay. And, we would run pell mell shouting "The Dufferin boys are here, hurry up put on your uniforms". (Ed: Wasn't it the Dufferin guys who were supposed to be wearing those uniforms. Naughty, naughty. :-)) You remember, those lockers had no doors. (Ed: Why did no one share this secret wiith me before? )
Those were the days...
All for now, stay well, love to Annikki.
ps could you send me Pam's message asking for my e-mail? Sounds senti but I,d like to see it? Thanx. (Ed: With pleasure - will be forwarded forthwith.)
What a warm letter - which makes the putting up of this rag such a worthwhile pleasure.
I was equally thrilled to get this feedback from Armeane:
From: "Armeane M. Choksi"
Subject: RE: 59ers: Is it really you?
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2001 13:24:19 -0500
At long last I managed to find some time to explore the 7th heaven web page. What a fantastic job you have done. It's terrific!! All of us owe you a debt of tremendous gratitude for hooking us up to each other. While I have seen some of our friends on the distribution list in the past couple of years, I am using this simple facility that you have set up to say hullo (I'm still around!!) to those whom I have not. I live in Washington, DC.
If any of you is passing through please send me an email or call me and let me know. I would love to see you in person. Hopefully we would be able to recognize each other after so many decades!!
Again thanks Jacob for the wonderful service you have provided. What's with the beard??
And I do also have a message from a 49er.
49, 54, 59, ... - Does some pattern seem to be emerging? Before, I thought before it was the 7-year itch - hence Seventh Heaven.
From: "Yezad Sam Kapadia"
To: "Jacob Matthan"
Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2001 07:48:41 +0530
Thanks for your Special Edition of Seventh Heaven. It is good to know that you are still keen on tracking down old class mates.
The class of 49 is attempting yet another Reunion around Founder's Day this year. We are targeting those who could not make it in 1999. We are making a concerted effort.
Many of those of you who enjoyed my occasional Seventh Heaven Newsy Notes have asked me to make it a regular feature. I am resisting that call because of the bounced mail from those who do not update their email addresses to me.
Please register at the International Alumni. This is in addition to the Catcall alumni. This international one is the one which is usually found by the search engines. You can keep your privacy without a problem. It hardly takes a few minutes. DO IT NOW!!
Keep those emails and photographs coming. Armeane says that you all owe me a debt. I would like to say it is the other way, as I have had such fun doing this, that it makes life as the Dead Chicken worth living. I cannot put up these issues without your active co-operation. See you in a month when I will answer those queries about my beard.
Seventh Heaven (Web Version)
Cathedralite 1954 - 1959
School Hockey Goalkeeper - 1958; 1959
School Prefect - 1958; 1959
Savage House Captain - 1959