59er Golden Reunion Directory

59er Golden Reunion Directory
59er Golden Reunion Directory

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A troubling email

Although I feel greatly complimented by much of what is said in the email I received from Saudi Arabia, some of the contents troubled me greatly.

Hello Jacob,

Like other Cathedralites hooked on to your blog, I too have become an avid reader because it not only revives good old memories but also enables me to remember some names which had virtually been erased from my memory banks!

In your blog entry of March 25 about Marine Drive and Churchgate being populated by several Cathedralites, there are some names you had left out. The late Jaswant Ghatge, who happened to be a dear friend of mine, also lived in Chateau Marine. The Mistri brothers (Pheroze and Adi) lived in Krishna Mahal (corner of D Road) while I lived on the ground floor.

Incidentally, like Jaffer Hussain living with his aunt, the late Nargis, I was living with my cousin, Suraiya who died in 2004 and also happened to be a famous filmstar of her time. (JM: I had a feeling that Suraiya had a flat near the end of where Warden Road and Peddar Road met at the Mahalaxmi Race Course end! Wish I could remember the name of the building as my uncle used to live in that flat. I remember seeing Suraiya there several times.)

Unfortunately I left Bombay to immigrate to Pakistan in early 1961 and went into oblivion only to resurface after the death of my cousin Suraiya for settlement of property matters!

I began the search of my long lost classmates and friends and succeeded to some extent - thanks to you, without whom it couldn’t have been possible.

After several attempts to gain a visa for India, I’m still struggling to get one.

An official request was put forward through my Company here in Saudi Arabia to provide me a visa to recruit engineers from Bombay.

Guess what the Visa Officer had to say! “We cannot issue visa to a Pakistani going to India for recruitment!”

I just can’t believe its happening to me.

Perhaps having a Bangladeshi citizenship might have fetched me an Indian visa!

Say hi to Annikki for me.


Sheikh Zahur

The names I left out were not any deliberate plot - but just because they were the "limits" of my grey matter when I wrote the piece. It is the interaction with people like Sheikh that caused my brain to also recall what was said. So, this nostalgia business is a two-way street!

Sheikh, I cannot understand in today's world how any consular official of any country can behave in such a mannner.

Prof. Ajeet Mathur checks in

(Cross-posted on the Kooler Talk Blog for Delhi Stephanians.)

Prof Ajeet Mathur, like me and a few others, is a Cathedralite (72er) and a Stephanian (75er). Also, like me, he normally lives in Finland, in the industrial town of Tampere. There the similarity ends, as he is brilliant professor while I am one of the most run-of-the mill individuals that you are likely to meet.

However, Annikki and I are greatly honoured that Ajeet treats us like his elder sister and brother, sharing all his joys and sorrows with us.

Ajeet is related to Cathedralites 68er Kapil and 70er Shivi Mathur.

A few years ago, Ajeet had published an interesting and completely original study about trade between Finland and India.

He just informed me that he has updated that study.

The following Abstract can be found on the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad site, and there is a link to the complete study in pdf form. You can download and read this updated report.

Title : Finland-India Business Prospects 2007-2017
Author : Mathur Ajeet N.
Working Paper No. : 2007-03-01


Finland-India Economic Relations were researched for the first time in a study that analysed mutual trade and investment potential through the lens of revealed comparative advantage and identified profitably tradable goods at 4-digit and 8-digit disaggregated levels in the standard international trade classification (Mathur, 1998). This study was made freely available on the world wide web for five years through http:// www.uta.fi/kati as part of longitudinal action research to study how small and large players would take advantage of this freebie. This paper provides initial results of a sequel study initiated in 2005 to understand what happened thereafter, whether trade grew, and to analyse how trade could diversify from identification of new opportunities for product-services linkages after the expiry of the transitional period that brought GATS into effect in 2005. Finland's share in Indian imports and exports has grown rapidly and exponentially and the prospects are vast but the potential realised by 2007 remains considerably untapped and far below comparable figures for other EU countries. This study emphasises the need for policy research on institutional barriers to design new gateways beyond an increased frequency of contact between people from the two countries. The conclusion that robust bridges could be built through tripartite fora comprising business, government and academia points to the need for new institutionalities and deepening research studies, some of which initiated as part of the Finland-India Economic Relations project, are at various stages of progress and expected to be completed during 2007-2010.

In business circles in Finland, India is the BUZZ word. If you are interested in jumping onto what appears to be a fast moving train - may I suggest that you read Ajeet's updated paper.

Finland is virgin territory for Indians. Already a couple of companies are successfully operating here. The early bird catches the tastiest worms. If you are peckish, there are two of us here, Ajeet and myself, who can help you catch not only the tastiest but probably the juiciest worms!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Birthday boy

We 59ers have several outstanding musicians in our midst, Jack Haskell, David Colaco, Teevor Newnes, Phiroze Mistri and, of course, "Baby Percy".

I was the frog amongst those nightingales!

Our birthday boy of the 28th of March 2007 is a superb Jazz Musician.

Here is a picture of him with his beautiful wife, Frainy, provided to me by our Class Photographer - Hasnain Chinwalla.

Have a great birthday, Percy.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Marine Drive and Churchgate Region

In a previous entry I wrote about the St. James's Court corner on Marine Drive, the building being owned by the Nayar family and with three 59ers living in it in the 50s.

In the 50s, the entire Marine Drive and the Churchgate region was populated by several Cathedralites.

59er Hasnain Chinwalla was also resident on Marine Drive. His photographs from his recent visit to Mumbai are truly outstanding and they are being compiled into different style albums.

He recorded this of the Mumbai Marathon on Marine Drive, which is just one of his outstanding compositions.

The one below certainly raised some wonderful memories.

This picture by Hasnain has from left to right, Viney's mother, Mrs. Sethi, Viney's sister, 64er Usha, 59er Viney, 64er Krupa (Usha's classmate), and 60er Rashida Anees (née Kajiji) who is married to 53er Anees.

59er Viney Sethi lived on Marine Drive in Chateau Marine.

This building was also a bastion of Cathedralites, with 58er Jaffar Husaain and his many siblings living there - with his aunt, who was none other than Nargis, of Mother India fame and who dominated the Indian Film screen for many years.

Viney's mom was also like another mother to all us 59ers, always concerned about us. Sister Usha was like a younger sister. So this one from Hasnain was like a family album photograph for me.

Thank you, Hasnain, for adding this to our collection.

Coming back to the Churchgate region, we had the Uberoi family and the Elias family on "A" Road, the Bhupinder Singh Anand family on "C" or "D" Road, the Ahmedbhoys, 59er Venkat Kurma, the Advani families, the Shivdasani's, etc., etc, all in this area.

I wonder whether anyone has done a study as to how and why Marine Drive semed to dominate the Cathedral School during the 50s?

Seems to be an interesting topic to research and also as to whether this trend has continued through subsequent decades!

As regards my absence from the blog for a couple of weeks, I had this input from 56er Ubi:

From: HS Uberoi
Date Mar 20, 2007 8:39 AM
Subject Thank God You Are Active Again!

Dear Jacob,

Can you imagine, no blog entry by you from 03/03 to 19/03?

You will have to take a pledge never to do that again!

Hasnain was not the only one to notice your absence without leave!@@!!

What an utterly delightful letter from Dawn Brown! Memories are made of this!

It should have warmed the cockles of every true blue Cathedralite.

Through your kind courtesy, I would like to say to her that I would be delighted to invite her and her son for a meal when they visit Bombay.I shall invite a few other like minded old Cathedralites and their spouses to talk of days gone by!

Take care,



And 59er Anil Ruia wrote:

Hi Jacob,

Have not received any mail over the last week.

Possible that it bounced since my mailbox was full as VSNL didn't remove my deleted mail.

By the way, I am not being able to access our group. Please advise. (Ed: Anil, the email address with which you must access the 59er Group is the vsnl.com one!)

Best wishes to you and family,


And our 50er Dawn was quick to come back telling me NOT to change the Seventh Heaven name to anything else!

Dear, dear friends - you do not understand how wonderful it feels to be in so many homes around the world.

So Barbara's email had me thinking!

From: 69er Barbara, Milano, Italy

Dear Jacob,

this is to say thank you for writing such kind things about me

and to say that it is fun to watch how people react to your blog, adding anecdotes, correcting dates ... like different voices of a choir, different instruments in an orchestra...

what however makes the difference is a good director

THAT's what you are!


a clapper /triangle sitting happily in the percussion's group, making noise, but keeping the beat!

Me, a good director! I never thought of my role as such.

Sometimes I feel I am intruding in the private space of other people. But, when I get emails like the ones from Barbara, Ajay, Hasnain, Dawn, Ubi, Anil - sitting here in the cellar hitting the keys of my ancient eMac, I often wonder if any of my computers, which date back from my 1984 Apple IIc to this 3 year old eMac, behave like the Windows PCs, I would really be in the soup.

As I always say - I am a computer idiot and would not know what to do should I get system freeze, a blue screen of death, or any of those things I hear from my Microsoft Windows touting friends.

Jacob's Reply: "Absolutely NOTHING. Zilch!"

So besides thanking God, I always thank Apple for giving me a computer that works and allows me to do what I am doing without depending on service men to come and fix my computer every few days or weeks. :-)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

What happens when......

My last blog entry accepted the enormous mistake that I made in a previous post.

57er Ajay (Biloo) Bhatnagar, who lives in Switzerland, was quick to point out another serious error.

I had written that Vinod and Joanne Paes were married in 2004 when both were in their 50s.

That really had Biloo worried - was he a backward child?

My suggestion would have meant that Vinod, who finished his HSc in 1958, was just less than a couple of years old then - and there was Biloo finishing his Senior Cambridge when he was more in the region of 15 or 16 in 1957!

Of course, I was wrong - I should have written "in their 60s" but I thought that maybe I had to give Joanne the benefit of the doubt.

To clear up the ages of the Nayar family - Vinod will be 68, Asha 66, Vijay 64 and Anil 61. Arun would be 43. Vijay was probably the oldest member of our class and he was also probably the first to get married in our batch of boys, me being the second by a few months.

The reason for these gross errors is undoubtedly due to my carelessness. With people writing in from all corners of the globe about my "unauthorised leave of absence", the Nayar story, which I had been researching for a couple of weeks, seemed just about the filler piece to use.

I published without rechecking my notes.

I am not passing the blame. These sorts of errors have crept in several times before. It appears that I now have an extremely agile readership.

I will give my pledge that such mistakes will not get through that easily in future (unless I want to test whether you are sleeping or not).

Friday, March 23, 2007

Made a real booboo!

In my last blog entry I made a real booboo!

That is because I did not know who Elizabeth Hurley is or what she looks like.

The first picture in the last blog entry was not Arun Nayar with Liz Hurley, but with another ex-Cathedralite, Haseena Jethmalani (née Lalwani).

Two people were quick to spot this

At 9.09 this morning, 56er Ubi pulled me up on this. 2 minutes later, at 9:11, Amita Maliye had me dragged over the coals.

Wow, you guys are quick!

I have only eyes for my better half, so you will have to forgive me if I do not recogise any of the other "beautiful" women hovering around! :-)

Thanks - hope this correction puts things in the right perspective!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

What does Liz Hurley have to do here?

I was watching CNN when, all of a sudden, details of an Indian wedding in Rajasthan flashed on the screen. It appears there was a fracas when the Police and TV crews got into a brutal brawl outside of yet another Elizabeth Hurley wedding celebration in India..

This was the third time this lady was married, to the same man, during the last week.

Here are the facts about the bride:

Liz Hurley British Model,
Name : Elizabeth Hurley
Date of Birth : June 10, 1965
Place of Birth : Basingstoke, Hampshore, England
Sign : Sun in Gemini, Moon in Scorpio
Height : 5' 9''
Hair : Brown
Eye : Blue
Education : London Studio Center in London UK (majored in Dance and Theatre)
Occupation : Model Actress
Sister : Katie Hurley (literary agent)
Brother : Michael Hurley (engineer).
Ex-boyfriends : Hugh Grant; Steve Bing, the millionaire who dumped her after she revealed that she was pregnant with his son Damian
Elizabeth (Liz) Hurley is a 40+ British Model who shot to fame for several unrelated reasons including the break up with her boy friend British Hollywood actor Hugh Grant after his unfortnate episode with a prostitute. Liz then had an association with millionaire Steve Bing, the millionaire who broke up with her after she revealed that she was pregnant with his son Damian.

But why should this feature on our Seventh Heaven page?

The details on the internet about this union are plenty, so I am not going to dwell on that. It is difficult to separate the truth from the fiction with today's media.

A typical example is utter tripe that was written in the major English newspaper "The Independent". They refer to Vinod Nayar's, the father of the groom Arun Nayar, stay in a council house in Leeds in the early 1960's, when he was a student at Leeds University when he married Gunnar. They implied he was just a "poor" student from india in Leeds! And they state that Arun was sent to the "posh" Cathedral school because and AFTER his mother made money with her textile company, Tijarat Impex!

Maybe "The Independent" would like to know that Vinod used to go on skiing holidays to the Austrian or Swiss Alps when he was studying in Leeds! The Nayarä's were millionaires before The Independent came into existence!

The Nayar family has been traditionally a Cathedralite one and one which I am proud to have known for the last 50+ years!

The hubby, 82er Arun Nayar (born 1964) and his younger brother Nikhil, are the kids of 58er Vinod Nayar & German ex-wife wife, Gunnar, and nephews of 59er Vijay and his wife Meera, and 63er Anil. Meera, although not a Cathedralite, is the sister of late 60er Disha Chunnilal, who was also a great friend of us 59ers, along with Meher Tata, Rashida Kajiji (married to 53er Anees) and Jotysna Jaitly (sister of 54er Ravi Jaitly and 57er Ashok (Tony) Jaitly).

Arun, Nikhil, Vinod, Vijay and Anil are all Cathedralites.

Arun, like his uncle 59er Vijay, went to the Millfield School, Somerset, England, and then went on to do Physics at Christ Church College, Oxford. He is the co-founder and presently the CEO of Directions Software Solution operating out of Mumbai. This is a software solutions company that he set up with brother Nikhil.

Arun is also known to be very active in relief efforts for HIV positive and AIDS affected children in Africa.

Arun married Valentina Pedroni, a Milanese model in 1994, but separated four years ago when Valentina returned to Milan after pictures of Arun and Liz holding hands at a Paris fashion show hit the tabloids. Vowing never to divorce Arun, Valentina yielded after receiving an alleged 'whopper of a settlement'.

Father, Vinod, did his HSc in Cathedral after finishing his schooling at one of the expensive hill station schools. After his HSc, where he was classmates with 56ers Ernest Haskell and Ubi, he went to Leeds University and completed his degree in textile technology. He married a brainy and ambitious German beauty, Gunnar, and settled in Bombay.

They divorced soon after the children were born. Gunnar is reputed to have set up a major garment export company, which she still heads. This is reputed to be the source of the wealth of the boys, Arun and Nikhil. :-)

Vinod married Joanne Paes in 2004 after 6 years of courtship. Both were in their 50s when they married. Joanne used to run her own restaurant in London after starting her career in Oberoi Hotels.

Vinod's younger brothers, 59er Vijay and 63er Anil (Lucky), were Cathedralites from Nursery School to Senior Cambridge.

I believe sister Asha was also a Cathedralite. She married a German. Asha was her father's right hand till she got married. Wish I knew where she is as she used to be a really friendly person.

59er Vijay was School Captain, an outstanding cricketer, a great hockey, football and table tennis player and also a good squash player. Like his nephew Arun, Vijay studied at Millfield School and then went Southampton University to do mechanical engineering. Vijay runs some companies out of Delhi and visits St. Petersburg often supplying shoe uppers to industries there. I am waiting for him to drop in on us as St. Petersburg is just a stone's throw away from us!

63er Anil was Indian Squash Champion and got his scholarship to Harvard University because of his squash and academic talent. Anil now lives in the US. His career has been covered in an earlier blog entry.

Their home in Bombay was at St. James's Court on Marine Drive which is owned by the Nayar family. (The value of this building alone would put the Nayar wealth above £50 million!)

That corner was where we 59ers used to meet almost every evening in the late 50s and early 60s.

59ers Ashok Kapur and Jack Haskell also lived in St. James's Court, while 59er Arvind Thdhani lived next door in Earl's Court.

I used to spend many hours in Vijay's parent flat on the top floor of St. James's Court. His mother, whom I understand is still full of beans in Mumbai, used to insist of plying us with all sorts of goodies!

The Nayar family have been in the textile business for generations and owned Castle Mills which made some of the finest woollen suitings. It was a partnership company and, hence, had enormous problems when they became almost a multinational in the 50's. Taxation on large successful partnerships used to be prohibitive in those days. (It may be the same these days).

Castle Mills was famous for their woollen blankets which they supplied to the Indian Army as well as to major airlines. The Nayar family also used to produce the finest corduroy, probably the only manufacturer in India at that time. (So the story of Gunnar being the source of wealth of the Nayars rings a bit hollow knowing the standing of Castle mills and associated companies way back in the fifties, well before Vinod married Gunnar.)

Vijay's late dad was the real driving force that ran the Nayar empire, travelling out to Thana daily.

So when I saw the picture of Arun and Liz, I could see all the Nayar traits in this guy!

I remember meeting this young man way back in 1970, on our return to India, when he was just 6 years old. Annikki and I were being hosted to a dinner at Vijay's home in St. James's Court.

We wish them a very happy and successful marriage(s)!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Codenomicon gets prestigious Red Herring Award

I am absolutely delighted to inform you that Oulu company, Codenomicon Oy, headed by CHAFF Participant, CEO Isaac Sundarajen (from Madras), has won the Red Herring Award this year.

I just had an email from Isaac saying that he will be going to Cannes to receive the award.

Our heartiest congratulations to the entire Codenomicon team.


Award Recognizes the 100 “Most Promising” Companies

Driving the Future of Technology

CANNES, France March 20, 2007 – Red Herring today announced that Codenomicon Ltd. is a recipient of Red Herring 100 Europe, an award given to the top 100 private technology companies based in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region each year.

“This year’s impressive list of winners demonstrates Europe’s emergence as a major player in the global technology sector,” said Red Herring Editor-in-Chief, Joel Dreyfuss. “The exceptional accomplishments of European technology companies and entrepreneurs are a testament to the rapid advancements being made in building the European innovation ecosystem.”

Red Herring’s lists of top private companies are an important part of the company’s tradition of identifying new and innovative technology companies and entrepreneurs. Companies like Google, eBay and Skype were spotted in their early days by Red Herring editors, and touted as leaders that would change the way we live and work.

"We are pleased that our value proposition of delivering proactive pre-deployment security and robustness solutions for IP-based, Wireless, and Digital Media systems are being recognized worldwide," said Isaac Sundarajan, Chief Executive Officer at Codenomicon. "Both our customer success with Fortune 500 companies as well as being an honoree of this prestigious Red Herring award is a testament to our vision and technology."

Red Herring’s editorial staff rigorously evaluated more than 700 private companies through a careful analysis of financial data and subjective criteria, including quality of management, execution of strategy, and dedication to research and development.

For more information contact:

Codenomicon Ltd Codenomicon Oy, Finland

Brenda Fox Kristiina Forsberg

Public Relations Public Relations

+1 408 393 9000 +358 50 5580 114

brenda@codenomicon.com kristiina.forsberg@codenomicon.com

About Red Herring

Red Herring is a global media company which unites the world’s best high technology innovators, venture investors and business decision makers in a variety of forums: a leading innovation magazine, an online daily technology news service, technology newsletters and major events for technology leaders around the globe. Red Herring provides an insider’s access to the global innovation economy, featuring unparalleled insights on the emerging technologies driving the economy. More information about Red Herring is available on the Internet at www.redherring.com.

About Codenomicon Ltd.

Codenomicon develops and markets state-of-art software testing solutions for proactive elimination and prevention of security vulnerabilities for IP, wireless and digital media systems. The company serves industry-leading international telecom and internet companies. Codenomicon's DEFENSICS test solutions are available for a wide range of protocols and file formats. Codenomicon, the leader in security and robustness testing, is headquartered in Oulu, Finland, with offices in California and Hong Kong. For more information about Codenomicon and its products, visit the company’s web site at www.codenomicon.com .

Codenomicon Ltd. | Tutkijantie 4E | FIN-90570 Oulu | FINLAND | Europe

Codenomicon Ltd. | 101 Metro Drive | Suite 660 | San Jose, CA 95110 | USA|

Monday, March 19, 2007

Two reasons to say "TIME FLIES"

I have been busy organising the United Nations Week Against Racism" here in Oulu. Last Friday I gave a 2 hour talk on this subject to high school kids. I do not usually lecture these days, so it took me some time to get organised, finding my slides, etc. Hence, blogging and emailing came to a virtual standstill.

59er Hasnain was the first to note that I had been absent for "10 days". (Hasnain, I am working on a series of beautiful albums to encase your great photographs!)

Let me assure all of you, I am in "pink of health" gallivanting around Oulu on my new "scooter"! Let me also assure that Oulu is the safest city in the world to be on a cycle or scooter of 50cc or less as we have special roads so we hardly come across the heavy traffic! (I have fallen on the ice a couple of times, but no serious damage!)

The second reason why I say "time flies" is this amazing email I received from 50er Dawn Brown (nee Stuart):

Hello, Jacob, Hello Annikki:

Received an e-mail on March 14 from, like me, a Cathedralite who had just returned from India after a 5 week visit.

In the e-mail was access to Seventh Heaven.

This has proven to be a gross understatement. It is the 7th, 8th, 9th and beyond.

Jacob, I am still many days – and I mean that quite literally – days later, on all of those heavenly plains. Time to share a wee bit .....

My Dad had returned to India after serving in Egypt with the 8th Army and had been stationed in Deolali. The nearest school at that time was Barnes, where my parents placed me as a boarder.

I loathed it (sorry all of you who loved Barnes, not the fault of Barnes). I was

a) an army brat, and
b) a spoiled brat at that – spoiled by my Dad – disciplined, (thank you, Lord) by my wonderful Mother.

However, word got back to my parents that I was planning on running away from Barnes.

I was removed the following week (yes, spent one week at Barnes!) and the next thing I knew I was at the Cathedral & John Connon Girls' School in Bombay (not as easily accessible to Deolali) where I was placed as a boarder – this in the year 1945.

And here I stayed until I left in 1950.

I was a boarder from 1945-48 (the year in which the boarding school was closed – there was at the time, just 5 of us).

Dorothy King was the Head Mistress with her apartment on the very top floor of what is now referred to as the “Junior” school – this in even earlier times was the John Connon School.

Our dormitories were located on the first floor (not the ground floor, the first floor).

The Head Girl, who also happened to be a boarder, was Cynthia MacKenzie.

Some of the boarders who come to mind, were Diana Guzder, Elizabeth (Betty) Smith, Pamela Bayley, Hannah and Sumra Kelly, Krishna of Dharampur – crikey, there were others and if they come to mind before I conclude, will add them.

The matron was a Miss Fernandez, whom I nicknamed “Dearie”.

Some of the teachers, who lived on the same floor as Dorothy King, were Sheila Ferguson, Mary Bamford, the Dixons, – mother and two daughters – Dorothy Austin, Dorothy Brown, Mrs. Nissen.

Access to Dorothy King's apartment was via a winding stone stairway with which my legs and I became well acquainted – in fact, if they are still there and anyone would like to check them out, the center of that stairwell dips noticeably – I was constantly on the summons list.

Yes, I was somewhat of a hellion I'm afraid – the epitome of every teachers wildest nightmare. We had an open balcony which afforded me great sport in the dropping of water-filled balloons on passers by; hamals who were in league with us in obtaining some of the most superb Indian food – chappaties and keema being a couple of the favorites – for our midnight feasts; changing the direction of well placed tracking markers when we found out when some of the boys from the boys school were going tracking.

Invariably, no matter what is was, if it went wrong, was wrong, whatever .... neither a rocket scientist nor the all-revealing crystal ball, were needed.

“Dawn Stuart, Miss King needs to see you”!

There was a roster for teachers to do “boarder duty”. During the week this would perhaps be a quick trip to the Oval or to Marine Drive, back to do homework, supper and then bed. Weekends – perhaps a movie on Saturday afternoon – on completion of our chores, cleaning our cupboards, putting up our clothes which the “dhobi” returned each Saturday morning, cleaning shoes, etc., etc. Sunday it was church in the morning and evening at St. Thomas. After luncheon, we would go out somewhere or t'other – if it was Mrs. Nissen who had boarder duty that day – it was a foregone conclusion – away to the Clock Tower at the university.

The classmates I remember were Thrity Antia, Banoo Commissariat, Maki Dubash, Rhoda Wadia, Lulu Dharamsey – tell you a story about Lulu in a minute – Mary Moody (with whom I have been in contact recently).

Lulu was perhaps the quietest in the class, but a group of us were able to convince her to bring a stink bomb to be used, I believe in our Hindi or was it Urdu, class – the teacher was a Mrs. Moose. Of course, my desk was slap up against that of the teacher's podium! At any rate, Lulu revealed this tiny glass vial, swathed in ashes in this huge box just about a minute before the class was to begin. The decision had been made to break it and place it in the wastebasket near the teacher's podium – remember who was near both the podium and that basket!

Just that day of all days, Mrs. Moose had been detained at her previous class, consequently by the time she arrived at ours, St. Patrick's Day had nothing on us, we were every shade of green you could imagine.

Yup, got an order mark – but by some miracle due solely I am sure to my guardian angel having solicited the aid of just about every other available angel, never did get a house mark!

Mary and I reminisced about this during one of our conversations.

Academically I was OK, but I loved sports and did the lot – swimming, netball, athletics and the year I left, 1950, won the award for the Best All Round Athlete.

I forgot to mention that after the boarding school had closed, Miss Fernandez retired and my Mother took over as housekeeper until I left in 1950.

There was a group of alumni who would meet once a week to play badminton at the girls' high school. Yezad Kapadia, Raj Bhandari, Soli Doctor, and some others were part of that group.

My Mum and I left India in 1958 to join my Dad in England. Since then I have traveled extensively, and finally settled in the USA where I have been the last 31 years.

My last day in school was a wrench and I was a basket case as we sang our closing hymn which in my time was “Savior again, to Thy dear name we raise, In one accord our parting hymn of praise. Guard Thou the lips from sin, the heart from shame. That in this house have called upon Thy name”.

That was 55+ years ago – but I remain a Cathedralite – bless the day I decided to make a run for it from Barnes, that my parents found out about it and double bless the day that they enrolled me as a boarder at the Cathedral.

Jacob, I did not intend that my reminiscing should reach such episodic proportion. Forgive.

Before I close, please know what tremendous pleasure all of the contents of Seventh Heaven has afforded me, particularly your tributes to Annikki.

To you both and your families, my very sincere good wishes for continued good health and prosperity.

Incidentally, my youngest son (I have four children 2 boys, 2 girls and 7 grandchildren, 6 boys and 1 girl) and I are planning on visiting India. It has been a while and despite all the changes I am sure have taken place, it remains the land of my birth, the place of my old school, and above all, the place of memories created from a wonderful life, the freedom in which to live it and the love of parents and the security of God Almighty in which to enjoy it.

I am blessed.

Again - yes, I am going to sign off, my very best to you and Annikki.

Take care. Blessings.

Dawn Brown (née Stuart)

That letter brought much joy to my heart just as much as it did tears to my eyes. Time has flown since I too remember saying goodbye to the school. Just like Dawn, the memories of friends, teachers, heroes, classmates, hamals, choir mates, linger, deeply engraved in my heart.

Seventh Heaven has provide me so much as my partially destroyed brain (over-indulgence in alcohol - I have been a teetotaller for 24 years) has been reconstructed due to the inputs of so many of you.

It is my turn to say "Thank You", not only to Dawn and Hasnain, but each and everyone of you out there who have shared your most intimate memories with me.

I still cannot think of changing the name "Seventh Heaven", even though 57er Kashinath Dandekar wrote to me 10 years ago that it would feature on every Search Engines as a sleazy Bangkok massage parlour.

But Seventh Heaven was our class magazine in 1955. The original editors, Viney Dabholkar and Wabhi Zayani, and the cryptographers, Deepak Kaikini and Venkat Kurma, are still out there, reading this blog

This blog remains my tribute to them as also all my 59er classmates, and all of you Cathedralites who are my loyal readers!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

First of Hasnain's photos

59er Hasnain (Chini) Chinwalla was on a long trip to india. He promised to diocument his trip for us. I have been anxiously awaiting his input. He informed me, today, that the processing was in progress and I could expect the inputs in the course of a few weeks.

However, before he left India, he had sent a few of the photographs to 59er Percy Mistri. Percy forwarded them to me.
Here is just one to whet your appetite:

Back row: Percey, Naubir, Chini and Ratan
Seated:Adi, Shivi, Ramesh, Piloo.

The quality of the photographs from Chini are astounding. I eagerly await the remainder of Chini's collection.

For those who have been waiting patiently, I have set up a page of this first set, and other pages will follow.

59ers in 2007 2

Click on any thumbnail on this page and you will go through a slide show.

Hope you enjoy this.

Remember, our thanks go to Chini and Percy.