The saying for this issue:
"A smile :-) is the shortest distance between two people."
It was April 23rd when I last sent out Newsy Notes.
Today I had a message from Percy Mistri which read:
"Long time no hear. Hope you and the family are well
Vinay and Purnima are in Bombay but you must be knowing
that. Talk to me. - Percy"
The very next email was a horoscope which read:
"Sit down and take it easy. You're either working too
hard or having too much fun. Do a little laundry, pay
a few bills or groom your pet. The little things in
life need their share of attention."
Putting two and two together got me to Newsy Notes 009!
April 23rd was not just the day I sent out the last Newsy Notes.
It was also the day I had a meeting with my doctor and did some
tests - and the shock I got!
Sitting at the computer, eating chocolates and crisps had sent
my cholestrol through the roof as well as my blood sugar. And
my weight had hit 120 kg prompting my dear wife made a sly
comment that I looked as when she was 8 months pregnant.
My problem is that I do not ever look at a full length mirror
- so I had not noticed all these great features as my pot belly. :-)
Finns have a trait which is known as "sisu" - which is about running
like a mad bull to do what they think they have to achieve. Living
with a Finn for 35+ years and living in Finland for the last 18 -
some of that sisu seems to have rubbed off onto me.
I started by walking 3 hours a day. I cut back on all sweets
and fats. I increased my fibre intake. My weight started to drop.
I felt walking was not enough.
Going back to our school days and just after, when
Viney Sethi, Noel Ezekiel, Arvind Thadani and I used to go to a
gym on Waudbhy Road early morning, I started visiting a local gym,
not once, but twice a day. The guy who runs the gym is a former
Mr. Finland (and his wife is a former Miss Finland - bodybuilding)
After 4 weeks I checked my blood sugar and cholestrol and found
they were better than my dear wife's who is blessed with a strong
solid constitution. She complains like mad but I have not seen anyone
who is fitter than her for her almost 60 years. (She is going to hate
me for revealing her age this as most people accused me of cradle
snatching when I married her!! She just loved that.)
My weight had dropped to 111 kg - 9 kg in the month. Not bad,
But my triglycerides were still high, so I have been mecrilessly
keeping up the exercise programme. (I have been trying to the
Ayurvedic Guggul tablets which are just great to bring down the
triglycerides but they are not available in Finland.)
I do not know whether any of you remember me when I was in school
in the seventh standard - thin and skinny. My mom promised me my
first pair of long trousers when I crossed 100 lbs in weight
as I was hovering around 90.
Now my target is to cross the 100 kg limit on the back slide and
I have reached 104.1 kg and I am losing 100 gm per day. Not far to go,
and I feel at the top of the world.
Maybe I can then wear a pair of short shorts - Viney? :-)
So the horoscope was right and Percy's message was the trigger to
stop for the moment and do something I really enjoy - communicating
with all of you. So, here I am talking to you now - Percy!!
Yesterday, I sat enthralled at my computer watching India chase
the target of 325 to beat England in the Natwest One Day Cricket
final. It is sad that there is no live audio commentary as there was
from the West Indies during the Indian tour there. Of course, being
in Finland, we are not blessed with TV coverage. So watching the
scorecard move and the tense last over when the overthrows resulted
in the winnning runs for India was a great feeling as I watched the
Commentary at the CricInfo live scorecard site. But it was also great
to watch our very own Madrasi (Chennai) star Nassar Hussain reach his
maiden century and also show some great captaincy with his handling
of the bowling. Reminded me of some of our Vijay Nayar's and Ernie
Haskell's brilliant captaoincies in 1958 and 1959. Anyone have
Ernie and our very own 59er Jack Haskell's email addresses?
Let us welcome Ajit Mehra to our group. Ajit was a year junior to
us (60er). He was in London the same time I was there. He had a very
busy flat on Abbey Road (not far from where I lived). His pad was
the other centre for many Cathedraalites to congregrate.
Ajit, Askok Kapur (were you with us?), Noel Ezekiel, Viney Sethi and self
(plus a non-Cathedralite, Navin Bhel), had a great holiday in St. Tropez
in the South of France in 1964 (before Bridget Bardot discovered
that sunspot as a tonic for her success). We drove through France
in a Bedford van, camped on the beach in St. Tropez, Viney donned
his Sea Captain's uniform as he struted around the busy pier, we
spent a few hours in Monaco, visited a Casino and lost most of
our money, drove through Switzerland, seeing the Luzzane Exhibition
on the way, and the guys dropped me off for my summer job at Bayer
in Leverkusen (near Koöln) after driving up the Rhine Valley and spending
the night at Lorelie. It was a great trip - must tell you the sordid
details in another issue!!
While I was at Bayer, I was looked after by Mohamed Noorani, who has
become a lifelong friend and who later married Cathedralite Surtaj Hai.
I introduced Viney to Mohamed in Bombay many years later and they too
have become great friends. Mohamed is the most perfect gentleman that
I have the pleasure to knw. (One of his many brother's is the writer
A. G. Noorani.) Surtaj's brother is Zaffar of great Indian film making
history and he was with me (one year my senior) in St. Stephen's.
Thank you Farhana, for sending me St. Theressa's Prayer:
May today there be peace within
May you trust your highest power that you
are exactly where you are meant to be....
May you not forget the infinite possibilities
that are born of faith
May you use those gifts that you have
received, and pass on the love that has been
given to you....
May you be content knowing you are a child of God....
Let this presence settle into our bones,
and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance,
It is there for each and every one of you....
I do not make a wish for anything for myself as I have everything
that I need. All I can wish for is World Peace and harmony between
all people of all religions.
Farhana sent me some info about Bobby Choonawalla and Yuku Hameed:
Hi! I am in Dubai visiting my daughter again.
What year was Bobby Choonawalla? Yes, he is still in
Singapore. He married Janu (Jehanara Rahimtoola) who
was I think 2-3 yrs our junior. Do u remember Shamim
Rahimtoola, one year senior to us who was that 'tomboy'
with Jean Hilel, Maki Bikaji etc I forget the other names.
Janu is Shamim's cousin. Bobby nd Janu hv two daughters
who are settled in the US, nd one has recently married.
Bobby has done extremely well for himself.
Yuku Hameed of Cipla, I think he is the one who married
film director Kardar's daughter. Kardar had six beautiful
daughters nd Fareeda married Yuku. Fareeda's elder sister
was Ruksana. She still is as gorgeous as ever.
Yes, we Cathedralites are all over.
Until next time.
Guju-Mallu Sadhana Madhusadan sent me this message:
Thanks Jake for the info!
Hope you and yours are enjoying the springtime in Finland.
Here it is the April heat dust and general feeling of despair over
the happenings in Gujarat- once the land of milk, honey and PEACE!
But, then, we shall ovrcome as usual in due course and become
wiser because of it! Btw, as far as our '54 class reunion is considered,
I was of the opinin that it should and would take place in 2004 here in
India when we would meet on ye olde school, go to ye olde Cathedral
for the services and have a bash with ye olde schoolchums. Meeting up
in London was not my idea. However, if any of my other classmates
plan on it and do succeed, well, I'll be happy for them.
It was great really great to know that finally my old friend Armaity
Mody's id has been traced. She was in Palmer (Orange House) and
I have played against her in several Netball matches. I was always
appointed "Attack" and due to my dimunitive persona, was very
aggressive and would deftly retrieve the ball from between legs of
taller, towering players. Much to Armaity's chagrin. I still remember
her smile If you are readng this, Armaity, pls do mail me direct. Arnavaz
Guzder now Wadia , and I were remembering old times here in
Pune. Tell us more about you and Naval. We must meet someday
and plan on our "54ers reunion. I have also been in correspondence
with another athlete from '54- Nalini Nair (Savage House). She is
headmistress of a school in Trichur, Kerala Will be meeting her soon
when I visit Kerala. Well, time to go now, Bye and stay cool.
Here was a message from Naval Patel, Armaity's husband
- so Sadhana will have to wait another 3 months to meet up with
Yezad and I had a phone conversation just yesterday,
during which he remarked what good service he was
getting from Mantraonline! Rati and he were away to
New Zealand for a holiday last month, could you have
had the trouble then? I got messages through to him
successfully in end Apr.
Right now the Kapadias are visiting their younger daughter
in Bangalore, then to Mysore and Ooty. Nevertheless I will
let him know of your problem.
Did I tell you that we are off on 6 May to stay with our son and
family in Chicago, hopefully for 6 months. Tatanova assure me
that messages sent to this address will reliably be redirected to
Minoo's system and the mailbox will not be allowed to get stuffed
full, as happened last year. If correct, we shall have no difficulty
in mutual exchanges. However if you find messages being
returned, then send them to Chicago.
Our walks are only at Hanging Gardens, and these have
recently petered out. The temperature and humidity have
detered us entirely; if we shed some mass through a walk,
we reacquire it immediately on return home by soaking up
a beer! Hopefully we shall trot frequently beside the Lake
in Chicago, though the speed of progression might be
determined by the grandson in tow. :-)
Armaity does not recall the names you mentioned as being
in her class, and certainly they were not in mine and, to my
best recollection, not in either of the following two years' classes.
When hunting for some old papers yesterday, I came across a
trove of School Prize Dat programmes, from 1948 to 1955
(with some gaps). Any interest for your archives?
(Jacob says: YES, please.)
However I shall be able to access them again only after
my return home.
Also, there is a long article in today's Times of India on Dr
Ardeshir Khambatta (who as Eddie was in the class of 1950).
He is a Harley Street ENT Consultant, with several opera divas
and tenors among his patients. I shall take the clipping with me,
and mail it to you if you are interested. Or can you pick it off the
Net through TOI's web site?
Please note, Yezad, your mantraonline address is still bouncing
mail so I am sending this to both your email addresses.
Another who joined the Grandpa's club is Rumy with
a TAXI-born grandson. Is this a crazy world
or is it that crazy things like this only happen
to us Cathedralites? :
Seeing that the Club now features in your newsletter,
I felt it my bounden duty to let you know that I
became a member of it on 29 December last year.
Emile's parents (he is my son's son) made elaborate
plans to have a water birth at home; in the event, he
was born in a taxi, my son helped to deliver him in
the back of a black cab (driven by a Pakki) and his
Birth Certificate shows the place of birth as a
roundabout in Sheffield!
He will be 4 months old soon (one need not have taken
Add. Maths. at school to have worked that out) and
will soon start solids, but not in the grand fashion
of the Royal Princess of Japan, who was fed her first
solids traditionally by chopsticks!
Had this newsy email meant for his batch mates from 69er Prakash
Thadani (edited version below):
Its been raining here but not that much. Yesterday was a sunny day.
Mumbai has seen a lot of activity in form of new restuarants
Hav'nt met any of our batch during the past 2 months except for Rohet
who I met at a party at 3 flights up.( The bar cum night club behind
the Regal Cinema on Battery Street)
A new Italian restaurant in Cumballa Hill where the old Nish Resturant
used to be has opened up and it sounds like good Italian food. Will let
you know when I go next week for a sampling courtesy Meher Moos.
By the way many of us our turning 50 soon. Any views that can be shared.
please email I'm sure all would like to know what happening and what we
plan for the 50th year of our lives?
I have a lot of say but first lets hear it from someone else.
Ranjan Mark Mirchell Nee Sukhthankar sent me her new email id.
Shekhar Shah called up sometime back to chat after he read about
my winning the MEN CAN COOK CONTEST.
Took my boys for an eye check up to Anand Shroff's Clinic at
Gobind Mahal. A state of the art Clinic. No one would imagine
that such a clinic does exsist in Mumbai. Anand specialises
in Glaucoma cases.
Remember Rustom Joshi the guy in white. Well he continues to wear
white shirts and trousers - even to this day.
Can amble on but first I'd like some responses from some of you.
So just spend a few minutes and send me an email.
Its never too late
Cheers and have a great weekend
Here is a messge from Doreen Heimlich (nee Feibusch):
I've been slack about writing to you lately. Fact is,
I am most impressed with your careful planning and the hard work
you're putting into a reunion in Finland. Cannot say quite yet
if I'll make it, but I'm very tempted.
Tomorrow (Thursday), my husband and I are flying from Charlotte,
N. Carolina, to London, where we'll arrive on Friday morning. The
exciting thing is that on Saturday, the 27th, I'll be seeing two of
my very old Cathedralite friends [Joan Densham (nee Myers) and Jane
Bigg (nee Simon)], who I haven't seen since the very early 1050's,
so that would make an absence of about half a century! We'll be
returning to Clemson on May 11th. So that gives us two weeks in
England, which makes me very happy, since I feel more "connected"
to my friends over there, and I also have some family to see in
London and near Bristol. In London, we'll be staying with an old
Bombay friend of mine, Gay Millen (nee Helms), who lives in
Pinner. Her father was an Optometrist in Bombay. His shop,
Helms Optics, was near Flora Fountain. Gay went to the Loretto
Convent in Darjeeling, and she has some nice get-togethers in
London with her "Loretto girls," which makes me positively envious.
It's 10:30 p.m. now, and I must get on with the business of
what to pack. It wouldn't be such a chore if it weren't for all
the gifts that have to be taken, and having to go prepared
(clotheswise) for the unpredictable British weather. I like to
travel light, and it drives me crazy to take even a pair of extra shoes!
So, I'll get in touch again after I get back.
In the meantime, please forgive my slackness --
I have enjoyed your last two Newsy Notes.
Thanks to Doreen and Prakash for their inputs and for Prakash for
including me on your email list. Congrats on winning the Cookery Contest!!
I got a cookbook once but I could never do anything with it. Every one of
the recipes began the same way - 'Take a clean dish'. So, for obvious reasons,
my wife barred me from the kitchen after we got married!
And now some comments:
Noel, your former email address is sending out virus emails -
I have received two from that address.
Willie Shiri was worried he was sending out viruses, but I
did not receive any from him.
What or which was the first computer virus?
The germ of the idea can be traced to John von Neumann, the father of the
computer program. In the late 40s, he came up with the notion of a program
that could reproduce itself.
In the 60s, when time-sharing on large computers was still common, two
programmers at the Bell Labs invented a routine that could steal time on
the machine from other programmers. By the early 80s, several harmless
programs that we would recognize as computer viruses had been
demonstrated on Apple computers.
(That, in my humble opinion, is why Apple computers are now immune
to almost all of the 90000 viruses you have on the PC, and especially
Windows platform, and I do not have sleepless nights of my hard disk
being wiped out!)
With self-replication and the potential ability to cause mischief in place,
the stage was set for real digital deviance. In 1985, the EGABTR virus,
disguised as a graphics program, was spread via email. It wiped out
everything on a hard disk, leaving only the message,
ìArf, arf, Gotcha!î Oh, you dog.
My other Cathedralite friend (Prof. Ajeet Mathur) in Finland is away
in India so we have not had any reunions here lately. Waiting for his
speedy return, as he is missing an absolutely great summer - with
temperatures of over +35 C (in the shade). But midsummer is over and
the days are slowly getting shorter - although it is still bright
right through the night. Last night I was painting the new garden
fence till aroung 3 am!! Burnt some 3500 calories in the process.
Kashinath Dandekar has been updating me on the stories that
appear in The Times of India about our school - sadly, I do not
find the Archive Page at the Times Site to pass on the links to you.
And keep your emails coming as I love to hear from all of you.
And I do love some juicy gossip.
Savage House captain 1959