59er Golden Reunion Directory

59er Golden Reunion Directory
59er Golden Reunion Directory

Monday, June 26, 2006

Two mistakes to be corrected

I must apologise for two mistakes in my last blog entry.

Thanks to 56er HS Uberoi (known to all of us as just UBI) for pointing them out to me.

54er Rahul Bajaj was not nominated to the Rajya Sabha - he fought and won an election to be a Rajya Sabha member.

The second is a more grevious mistake. I was taken in by the information that Rahul was the first Cathedralite to be in the Rajya Sabha.

This was incorrect and I blame myself for not having done my homework.

The late Piloo Mody was another Cathedralite who was in the Rajya Sabha after he served 2 terms in the Lok Sabha as the Swatantra Party Member from Godhra, in Gujarat. Like Minoo Masani, he was the President of the Swatantra Party. He later sat in the Rajya Sabha as the Janata Party Member from Gujarat from 1978 to 1983, a time when I was still in India. Minoo went from being a Socialist to founding the Swatantra Party.

Piloo was arrested in a midnight raid organised by Indira Gandhi after the proclamation of Emergency in 1975.

My recollection is that Piloo was a 1950er.

Piloo was rotund that he occupied two seats in the House whereas he was only entitled to one.

There is a story about Piloo which all of us know and it concerned his figure.

In the Rajya Sabha it is considered improper to turn one's back to the Speaker when walking out. Piloo Mody was once accused of doing this.

Piloo Modi was supposedly quick to reply, "Which is my back and which is my back? Even I cannot identify it."

Another version of this story is that Piloo was talking to a member sitting behind his seat. Mr. Sita Ram Kesari addressing the Chair said, "Sir, Piloo Mody is standing with his back to the Chair, which is highly objectionable."

The Chairman is known to have retorted, "Do not worry about Piloo Mody: he has no front or back, he is just round."

Another anecdote abot Piloo is worth recounting.

When Home Minister Giani Zail Singh was taking a Bill through the Rajya Sabha, Piloo participated in the debate. While replying Giani when referring to Piloo's comments on the Bill, stated in Hindi, "Piloo Mody to bade "seasonal member" hain".

The House burst into laughter and a Minister sitting next to Giani said to him that word to use was "seasoned" and not "seasonal".

Giani then said "Muje to angrezi thodi aati hai. Inko to inki biwi ne angrezi padhai hai."

Piloo then thumped his desk and raised a point of order.

The whole House looked at Piloo. The Deputy Chairman asked: "What is your point of order?"

Piloo said, "Gianji is grossly misinformed. My wife did not teach me English. I taught her English."

The House shook with laughter as everyione knew that Piloo's wife was Swiss!

Piloo was one of the funiest speakers in the Rajya Sabha. He was a technocrat who served both Houses with distinction.

My sincere apologies to all concerned for publishing misleading information in these blog entries. But I must thank the alert readers for picking me up on these issues!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Rahul Bajaj in Rajya Sabha

(Cross-posted on theKooler Talk (Web Version) Blog.

Two Cathedralites alerted me to the fact that 54er Cathedralite / 57er Stephanian Rahul Bajaj has been nominated to the Rajya Sabha. They were 54er Sadhana Madhusadan (née Shah) and 57er Dr. Behram Badhniwalla (more commonly kown as Budni).

<Rahul Bajaj


Sadhana also drew attention to the fact that Rahul had been interviewed by Stephanian Karan Thapar.

Karan Thapar

So I wrote this to Budni:

Date: 24-Jun-2006 14:56
Subject: Re: 'HAMARA BAJAJ'

Hi Budni,

Thanks for this input. Sadhana Madhusadan (née Shah) (another Puneite) beat you to it, however, when she gave me the news and about the TV interview by Karan Thapar.

Karan is much junior to me (about 12 years) from St. Stephen's, Delhi. He is a fearful interviewer. He is the one who drove Kapil to tears!

Rahul is both a Cathedralite and Stephanian, like me and a few others - my elder brother 56er Ranjit, 57er Tony Jaitly, 58er Peter Philip, my classmate 59er Sujit Bhattacharaya (son of former Reserve Bank Governor) and a few later ones including Prof. Ajeet Mathur (who with me make up the alumni from both institutions in FINLAND) - details in a couple of entries can be found on ">the Seventh Heaven Blog.

I do not think Rahul will have any problem being a "industrialist" cum politician. (Sadly, I did not wish him this year for his 68th birthday two weeks ago.)

Rahul appears to be the first Rajya Sabha Member who is a Cathedralite.

We have had some leading politicians - Muhammad Ali Jinnah and Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto being the most noteworthy ones. Somewhere, long ago, I wrote in "Seventh Heaven" about our dear late Pop Pharoah's story about Bhutto and the Bacon Slicer!

If I am not wrong, Swatantra Party Leader Minoo Masani was also a Cathedralite of some great standing.

We also have a young politician presently in the Lok Sabha, Milind Deora.

I may do a new story about Cathedralites and politics on my blog one of these days!

India certainly needs more politicians from our school.

Best regards


There have been more than a fair share of Stephanian politicians - some good and some awful. I won't comment about who was what! Mani Shankar Aiyar and Arun Shourie are two from my era that made it into the world of politics and into the Ministry!

Maybe there are others and I will surely be taken to task for not mentioning them.

Hope Rahul does something positive in the Rajya Sabha - I know he can!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Artist Rehka, wife of Kishore

Kishore Shivdasani a 63er Cathedralite, and a dear friend. His wife, Rekha, is a very talented artist and has had exhibitions around the world. She is having her first show in India NEXT WEEK.

Can anyone identify Kishore and the other 2 63ers in this photo?

Kishore wrote to me about Rekha's show in Mumbai:

Dear Jacob:

I hope by the Grace of God this email finds you and the family in great spirits.

The summer must be in full swing with Mid Summer Day round the corner [22nd / 23rd June?].

How are you? Yet busy with the Cathedral newsletters?

Rekha is having her 1st Art exhibition in India [Mumbai] at The Museum Art Gallery (Rampart Row).

The opening night is from 1900 until 2200 hours on Monday 26th June. The exhibition is open from 1000 to 1900 hours starting from 27th June through 02 July.

Jacob, I toured various art galleries that have sprouted up in this vibrant city over the last three years to view the engrossing work of several artists - some famous and others almost unknown. It was during a weekend event not so long ago that I realized Rekha’s work had enough merit to receive recognition from the art-loving community of Mumbai. Although modest in scale, the suggestive mastery of expression and metaphor in Rekha’s Art is substantially real in a physical sense.

The works produced by Rekha are intimate poems and declarations of peace. Thus the title of her show - “Sublime” – a collection of paintings on canvas & paper rendered in different media – oil, acrylic and charcoal. Her Art exhibits a kind of simplicity in expression - somewhat different from Art produced through abstract principles. Hers is a reaction to the empyreal in a semi abstract sculptural form. Truly – a journey inwards!

Rekha started painting in 1995 and has exhibited overseas. This is her first exhibition in India. She is self-taught and her creative talent stems from an enthusiasm that has no borders! She continues to teach Art and has over 40 adults in her art group.

Should your travel bring you to Mumbai during this period, it would certainly be a privilege for both the artist and me [as her husband & inspiration] to welcome you to the opening night!

Once it’s ok with you – please visit her website Rekha Shivdasani select the photographs of the art you would like to display on the website and I shall email them to you.

Thanks and best regards,


I am sure that all you Catedralites out there really interested in some good art will make it a point to be at the opening on Monday next. And do not forget to tell Kishore and Rekha that your read about the show here on our Seventh Heaven Blog!

Please spread the word around about the Show.

The first one to submit a critical appreciation of this event will get a FREE and valuable gift from Seventh Heaven, all the way from Oulu, Finland!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Romesh Velu passes away

It is not long since I reported on the passing of Charles Velu.

Today, I have the onerous task of reporting the shocking news that Romesh Velu, son of Charles Velu, the School and the St. Thomas Cathedral Chuch Choir Master when I was there, passed away in England.

63er Monty Wilson in Canada received the info and sent it to me along with a photograph of a reunion held a few days before this tragic event.

63er Monty received it from Cecil Colaco (extreme left in the picture). Romesh is the second from the right.

Romesh Velu was born on 3 May 1950 and died on 6 June 2006.

Many wondered how I had not carried this news earlier on the blog. The reason is rather simple - Romesh was my informant about the happenings in the Velu family!

I remember the two little boys, Romesh and Sushil. They were the pride and joy of their parents. They used to come to the church choir practice and played with us bigger children during the short breaks. Romesh must have been in the 4th Standard when I left school.

Romesh came into my email circuit after the passing away of his father, and it was he that sent me the photo of the plaque commemorating his father.

The funeral will be held at Gwent Crematorium, Treherbert Road, Croesyceiliog, CWMBRAN. [Tel: 01633 482784] on Friday 23 June 2006 at 2pm.

Sushil, Romesh's brother, thinks that Romesh would have preferred that any donations are made to the charity which helps the street children in Mumbai. Details about this will be available later. A memorial service in Birmingham is being planned for sometime in the next few months.

May Romesh's soul rest in peace.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Arvind clears the air, a bit, and muddies it more!

Sheik was under the impression that when we 59ers are battling on this blog site, maybe the atmosphere is sullied.

What Sheik does not know that all of us 59ers are so intimate and we just love the fun of "quarrelling". All of us used to tease the hell out of the others. So when the Arvind controversy arose, no one could clear it up better than Arvind himself.

But Arvind is wrong on many points. Are we not getting OLD!

Hi Jacob

Good to hear from you & glad to see Vijay Nayar and Ashok Kapur are online.

Hi Vijay, haven't seen you in over 10 years. Met Meera a couple of years ago in Washington. Come vist us next time you are here.

Here's what I remember - After the Senior Cambridge exams in December 1959 - so we are batch of '59, - some of us went back in January 1960 for SSC. So, Naubir, Vijay & I were definitely back in School early 1960 for SSC.

So my memory is :

1. Vijay Nayar was School Captain in 1959,(but I cannot contest Vijay's memory) not in 1960. Since SSC exams finished before the end of 1st term there was no need for us to continue through the end of term. So, I believe we retained our 'prefectship' but no other position - eg school captain/house captain etc. I think I was Savage house vice-captain (did we have these positions ?) in 1959 and positionless in 1960/SSC. This explains the second picture 1960 prefects which excludes Mohinder, Vijay, me etc since we were not there for the 2nd term. Also our friend the late Kumar Advani sitting to the right of Gunnery makes him vice-captain - I thought he was school captain in 1961 (the plaque shows his brother Ashok Advani as school captain 2 years later in 1963).
2. So we must have played hockey Jan-Mar 1960 with Ashok Kapur as captain since he registered for HSC ? Mohinder was in 1960 SSC (for sure) & the hockey team.This also explain's why Ghatge is goal keeper and not Jacob Mathan + Ajit Mehra who was in the 1960 batch.

Jacob- you/Ooky/I must have gym'ed between March-June 1960 (didn't we go to Ruia's house/Mussoorie during this time ?).

I joined Xavier's in Bombay in June 1960; Mohinder joined IIT-Bombay in 1960. This places Naubir & me in Bombay - so perhaps we may have returned in November 1960 for the hockey picture ?

But then why not for the Prefect's picture ? - Cannot explain.

Best wishes
Arvind Thadhani

Arvind is wrong about Vijay being School Captain in 1959. Vijay was definitely School Captain in the first term of 1960.

Arvind was definitely at my side as Savage House Vice Captain in 1959. And he was a great Vice Captain.

Ashok was not Hockey Captain in 1960, but as Vijay was not in school when the photograph was taken, Ashok is in the photograph as the Captain of the side. The reason Arvind was not in the Prefects picture was probably because he did not have the right "clothes" for that occasion!

I am a little surprised to note that Arvind went back to school to do his SSC. But thinking back, he is right.

Arvind, Viney and me in Mussoorie, May 1960.

It was Noel Ezekiel and me that went for training at the beginning of 1960. We used to stop off for some cricket practice in Azad Maidan after that. Arvind joined us for training a little later in the year, right up till the time we went to New Delhi and Mussoorie for a holiday in the searing heat of May 1960. The others on the trip were Vijay Shivdasani, Viney Sethi, Ashok Ruia and Noel Ezekiel. Noel sat for his test to join the Indian Air Force, but failed on the grounds of a hearing defect. But we managed to cheer him up.

This nostalgia is something that is haunting me - is it you?

Saturday, June 03, 2006

59er controversy now settled, new one arises...

Finally, after much goading, Vijay Nayar checked out this blog and wanted to correct some of the misconceptions that have arisen.

Dear Jacob

I want to correct the following : -

1) I was Head Boy during the 1st Half 1960. By the time photographs were to be taken I had left for the UK and joined Milfield School in Somerset. Thus the missing photograph.

2) I never won the Indian Squash Championship.

3) I was Hockey Captain (1960) and Cricket Captain (1959) and played football for School. I also played Badminton and Table Tennis.

4) In the UK I won the UK Universities Athletic Union Squash Championship in 1965, played cricket for Sommerset 2nd XI - 1962, Cricket and Squash for Southampton University 1963 - 1965, Cricket for UK Universities Athletic Union 1964-1965.

Vijay Nayar

cc. Ashok Kapur. Pls use your fat influence and take up with school.

Is it not nice to get the info direct from the horse's mouth.

I apologise for some of the errors as my memory cells are a bit worn after 40+ years, but I think that I was near accurate. Also, it explains why Vijay is not seen in the Prefects and Hockey photographs for 1960, as he had already left for the UK.

Ashok Kapur is featured as the Hockey Captain for 1960!
Actually, it was Vijay.

But this picture troubles me. Arvind Thadani did not go back to school in early 1960, as he and I used to spend the early mornings of the first few months of 1960 going to the Gym and then lazing at his home listening to music.

Did Arvind go back to school to do his HSc in 1960, and then get back onto the hockey team?

So now we have a brand new controversy developing!

But, is that not why this blog exists so that we can get things sorted out.

Vijay wants Ashok to help get the school correct the Plaque. I think that, like 49er Yezad Kapadia, it maybe best if Vijay writes to the Principal himself, as it is not a question of influence, but a question of the School Information Boards being correct.

Maybe one of you readers can point the authorities to this BLOG and ask them to see what the issues are, as besides Vijay's name missing, as pointed out in another entry, another Head Boy's name is missing!

Or maybe someone could inform the Alumni or School official websites to take up the issue.

There are some political issues involved here. People jockey for "power" in terms of trying to claim that they have the best info, etc.

I am not in this "rat race".

The Seventh Heaven Blog is for fun and frolic and I hope all of you realise that. I am not trying to have this BLOG declared as THE official Blog of the school or the Alumni. It is just my personal blog and when I make a mistake, I try to correct it as soon as possible.

The Official School Web Site as well as the Alumni Web Site can do the needful, if there are any of you interested in getting things correctly done in the school.

That many of you find this blog interesting makes me happy and let it stay that way. And remember, this is for FUN - yours and mine!

100% attendance yet again

The Finnish School Alumni Reunion had a 100% attendance as we had a three day binge.

We discussed every topic under the sun with all the candor that only us Cats can muster.

Both of us are looking forward to the next reunion.