59er Golden Reunion Directory

59er Golden Reunion Directory
59er Golden Reunion Directory

Monday, April 30, 2007

Where are my photo albums?

When I received the photograph below from Hasnain early today morning, I felt ashamed that my photo albums have not yet been completed. It is quite a painstaking task. As I want it to be unusual and also beautiful, I must confess that I have been taking extra long about releasing the albums.

However, a process that started a few weeks ago, during the birthday call from Toronto, had our 59er Toronto sleuth trace and find a 59er.

We had some beautiful correspondence with the "lost sheep". Last night they got together at Willie and Pushpa Shiri's home.

Hasnain recorded these photographs, which really shows the quality of his work.

The first photograph is Pushpa and Willie with 59er Narsys (née Irani) and her husband, Dinshaw Punthakee.

Narsys was a student of the sciences, and hence Willie's student, coming to the boys school to attend Physics and Chemistry, and probably Biology laboratory classes (thanks to Ubi for this info). She was the very shy girl, Red House.

I do remember Narsys from then. She used to scurry through the quad when she walked from the back gate to the laboratories!

The second picture is a really beautiful study of a wonderful couple, Narsys and Dinshaw. It is a collector's shot!

They are both doctors, Narsys being a pediatrician.

I had been in touch with Narsys for a long time (thanks to 59er Farhana). Suddenly Narsys vanished. I felt lost as she used to send me really beautiful poetic email messages, filled with love for all our fellow human beings.

Soon after Hasnain tracked her down, she did send me an email, which is so beautiful I would like to share it with all of you.

Jacob and Annikki,

Your dear friend Chin contacted me @ my office.

We had changed our computer and server ...that's all!

I was there all the time.

The 'SELF' in me , you and all other names and forms is the All pervading SILENT ETERNAL PEACEFUL BLISSFUL REALITY ...was never born and therefore can never die! Only the conditionings or names and forms appear and disappear like dreams and passing shows!

If ONE wrongly identifies oneself with the costumes (names and forms) one suffers the false concept of coming and going, appearing and disappearing.... But if ONE KNOWS ONE"S TRUE SELF as the ALL PERVADING SPIRIT ...Changeless, Silent Peaceful Witness, there can be no suffering, or confusion.

Unfortunately we have been conditioned to rely only on our physical senses of perception, which allows us to sense only the world of matter. But to Cognize or Realize THE SELF, ONE needs to Transcend the finite mind (thought flow), into the depths of ONE'S own DEEP SILENCE (PEACE AND BLISS) This is achieved through MEDITATION alone with a clean and pure heart! Asking the question WHO AM I becomes the answer HU AM I

I am who I worship ....Having forgotten this Supreme Truth we act like brutes and ever-bemoaning mortals ....in fact we are All-Blissfull and Peaceful in our True essence.

What causes unnecessary agitation and suffering is ONE's
Wrongful thinking
Mistaken identity (with the name and form, instead of the eternal SELF, that enlivens it) and
False Imaginations (that this fake transient dream world can pleasure us or hurt us)

Just as one mistakes the rope to be a snake in the darkness of Ignorance of the Truth. With the Light of True Knowledge of one's true identity the false superimposition of the snake on the rope disappears to reveal the substratum of the rope .(THY SELF )

When ONE REALIZES (SELF-REALIZATION) The truth of ONE'S True Identity to be The Light Of Real Delight (LORD) and not the apparition of the ego, One disappears into his own DIVINITY and sees only Divinity everywhere in everyone at all times.

By practising Godly thoughts, Godly words and Divine selfless actions, any sincere seeker can Realize the Supreme Truth through the sacred art of MEDITATION.

Seek and thou shalt find ME seated in thine own heart, which was ever present and shall ever be!


From THYSELF (Sincere Ever Loving Friend)

Now, you will realise, why I am glad she is back in the fold.

These really beautiful photographs from Hasnain brings out the inner beauty of these very lovely couple and also the vitality and youthfulness of our much beloved Physics teacher, Willie, and another one of our girls school teachers, his wife, Pushpa.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Taste buds explode! Real MANGOES in Oulu!

(Cross-posted on my major blogs.)

I was at the Pailin Restaurant early yesterday waiting for the postman. Around midday, he arrived, bearing two packages.

I waited patiently while Unnop and Pailin opened them - and then came that delicious aroma of fresh mango.

The name of this fruit comes from the Tamil and Malayalam word, manga.

They packed 5 of them them in a plastic bag and I "literally" scooted home. :-)

Annikki was up reading the newspaper. Before she could ask me where I had been, I was in the kitchen, ripping open the plastic bag and attacking one of the delicious mangoes.

This mango, although looking like what is referred to in India as the traditional Polymango, had the taste of a good Malgova.

The Polymango is what every school child in India knows. At the gates of schools all around the countrty used to sit that old man or woman with a basket of green mangoes, unripe ones. For one anna( less than Euro 0.04), they would cut one open, sprinkle in chilli powder mixed with salt. The kids would walk home eating this delicious spicy salt sour mango!

Even thinking of this makes my mouth water.

But this is not what the mango has been come to be known for around the world. The famous varieties in the western world are "Tommy Atkins", "Kent", "Keitt", "Madame Francis", and "Champagne".

In my humble opinion, all these are quite tasteless compared to the varieties we get in India.

The king of all mangoes, for taste, is considered to be the Ratnagiri Alphonso. As a small boy I used to wait for the day they hit the market in Bombay (Mumbai) in May My mother would get baskets of them.

Not many people in India can probably afford Alphonsos today!

But there are many tens of varieties which are actually considerably tastiers than the Alphonso - Bangalora (Kilimooku), Banaganapalle or Banganapalli (also called 'Banesha' or 'Began), Dusserli or Dasheri, Imampasand, Khaderpasand, Langra, Maldah, Malgova, Neelam, Peethar, Rasalu, Rumani, Suvarnarekha, and many more. each one has his or her own favourite and their favourite way of eating their "mango".

The sweetest mango that I have ever had grew in our garden in Defence Officers Colony in a suburb of Madras (Chennai). This used to be an old mango grove before ot was acqyuired by the army to build houses for retiring army personnel. we were lucky to be able to rent a house for a couple of years in this colony.

It was an old tree and the mangoes that it produced was probably a cross between a Rumani and an Alphonso. Each mango, which was bright yellow when ripe, weighed about a kilo and there was just the right blend of juicy content with fleshy content. I used to be offered a lot of money by the professional pickers for the fruit from this tree - but we never gave them up as they were so delicious.

Our daughter, Joanna, was just a few months old when we had the first crop. This was to the horror of the older folks. They considered the mango to be too "heaty" for a small child - whatever that may mean!

Joanna was brought up on the juice of thee mangoes, and I think there were no ill effects!

I digress.

The mangoes we received from Thailand were really delicious. There were 5 and together they weighed 650 gms.

As the photographs below depict, I consumed mine, traditional style, with juice dripping down my palm, in less than a couple of minutes!

I sliced it open and to smaller pieces the way I had been taught as a child.

I cleaned the pieces to the skin, hardly leaving anything on the skin or the seed!

I cannot wait till next week when our next consignment arrives. Hopefully a nice ripe Papaya will also be there.

Yes, we can get anything we like to eat here now in this small town of Oulu!

Thank you Unnop and Pailin for this great service.

Friday, April 27, 2007

News from Pune

With so many of you sending your condolences to 57er Budni, the closure of his wonderful life was made earlier today. 57er Fleur (née Ezekiel) Mandani sent me this email:

from Fleur Madnani
to Jacob Matthan
date Apr 27, 2007 7:52 PM
subject Re: My tribute to a 57er Cathedralite, Budni

Dear Jacob & Annikki

Have just returned from a prayer service for the departed soul of Behram, at St Patricks Church Hall held by Carmie & family.

She had invited all family & friends who live in Pune & there were quite a lot of Cathedralites of all years who also attended. It was a very moving & interesting one & the introduction by the Father was also very thought provoking. He also described Behram Budni asa very good human being in every sense of the word.

Eulogy's were given by so many good friends & relatives & one & all spoke of him with great admiration for the wonderful person he was & with so many talents. It was awe inspiring to hear so many people talk of him so admiringly.

Carmie also had provided some snacks while the music played some of his favourites.

The Cathedralites who attended were:

54er - Saleem Fazalbhoy, Arnavaz Guzdar, Sadhana Shah
57er - Amol Merchant, Sunil Sahni's wife Kamal
58er - John Kurien,
59er - Statira Guzdar, Khushru Balsara, Vikram Kamdar, Pheroze Mistri

That's all for now.

Take care & regards to you both.


Thank you, Fleur, for sending us this info and we can get back to work making sure that we do not lose that wonderful memory of this wonderful friend.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Sharing this with you

I thought I would share this with you;

Hello Jacob,

You are getting this e-mail because last May you took the time to thank Stephen Colbert for speaking out at the White House Press Corp dinner. Thank you for that!

A dream has finally come true. After four years of hard work, the first of what will someday be thousands of the most trustworthy portals on the Web, is about to launch. It will be free of corporate/commercial bias, and FREE to the public forever!

Earth Portal (http://earthportal.org) is the result of 650 of the world's top scientists in 49 countries (so far) coming together to produce the highest quality, non-commercial, non-profit resource for information about our planet anywhere in the World.

Please go there and enjoy the vision video announcing the official launch this Friday.

Tomorrow (Thursday), we will webcast, the press conference in Washington DC at the Press Club beginning at 1 p.m. featuring Jane Goodall, Robert Corell, and Ambassador Richard Benedick among others.

And after the launch, please go back and register there to show your support for this breathtakingly ambitious effort.

Our children deserve no less. Our planet deserves no less.

Please also pass this on to everyone you know who cares about science and the environment.

The Earth Portal is a non-commercial destination on the Web for news, learning and debate about the state and future of our environment. There will never be any advertising on Digital Universe websites and it will always be free.

The Earth Portal will facilitate the emergence of a new community to emerge, directly connecting scientists, journalists, policy makers and you.

Join us and bring your children on April 27th at Earth Portal (http://earthportal.org).

More soon and thanks!


Cliff Lyon
The Digital Universe
ManyOne Networks
Salt Lake City Office

You may also view the Vision Video at:

YouTube: http://youtube.com/watch?v=zgqTTNzOY10

Google: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2250726429896198491&hl=en

Health Foundation - What plans?

Besides 60er Ronny Karkaria, 54er Rumy Kapadia and me, 59er Jacob Matthan, many others may have made private pledges to launch the Health Foundation, which was the dream of several.

During the membership to my Professional Society, we were able to contribute regularly, as we were earning, to a Benevolent Fund with contributions being made to suit ones pocket on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis.

The objective of the Benevolent Trust Fund is to provide support to members and their dependants in need, irrespective of race, colour, creed, location or nationality.

This Fund is being used, exactly like the way we thought the Health Foundation could work.

As is said "It is drops that make an ocean".

May I suggest the Alumni Association along with 57ers suggest this as a possible methodology for launching this Fund / Foundation, so everyone can have a feeling that they can be part of it without having to find a sum large enough to make it feel worthwhile.

We are not in competition to see who can make the largest contribution, but yet, even a regular contribution of Rs. 100 / Rs. 1000 can be of immense help to someone when many take part.

Why not make it possible to make a monthly automatic donation by bank transfer, much in the way I donate Euro 20 every month to Amnesty International.

What I would like to know is who is planning to take the responsibility to form this Foundation, who will form the Board of Trustees (including as many doctors and physicians who understand the complexity of caring and saving lives), and who will take the primary responsibility of running it ensuring that the funds collected are not spent on administration but yet make it possible for Staff and Senior Alumni to have access to it when they need it with extensive paperwork, etc.?

I understand that the School Alumni has some plans in this regard.

Please keep me informed as many want to know and they all are regular readers of this blog.

Please also let me know so that I can help in whatever way required this dream of many friends be realised.

Monday, April 23, 2007

My Speech Day is TODAY

Saturday may be the Speech Day for our school, but TODAY is my Speech Day!

Dear Cathedralites around the world,

Many of us around the world are still recoiling from the demise of our dear friend, 56er Behram (Budni) Bhadniwalla on Friday 13th April 2007.

Wilson - Champion House 1956;
Budni is in the first standing row,
on the extreme right, on his crutches.

Even yesterday, 58er Homi Khusrokhan, member of the Board of Governors of our School, was astounded when he heard of the passing. 57er Thomas (Tom) Korula sent me an email in which wrote: "Still have not gotten over Budni's passing away."

This is what our Alumni President, 81er Rajiv Bhatia, sent me on the day of Budni's funeral:

Dear Jacob

With a heavy heart my mother Pushpa (53) and I (81) went to the funeral, at 3:40 pm (IST) today. Fleur (57) was there too. I believe that and Pramilla (57) had come in earlier. We spoke to Carmie (Budni's widow) who appeared composed but the fatigue from a sleepless night was evident.

We waited in a `Bungli' (hall) at `Doongerwadi', while the prayers were being chanted. More about Zoroastrian funeral ceremonies at http://www.avesta.org/ritual/funeral.htm

As they took dear Behram away, we all prayed that his soul may rest in peace.

It was a pleasure to have known Dr. Behram - Budni - Badhniwalla. We will miss him but promise to keep up his zest for life and love of music.


Rajiv Bhatia (Barham, 1981 ICSE)

I still recall the first email Budni sent me after we were put together by our Physics Teacher, Willie Shiri in Toronto:

Dear Matthan,

My name is Dr.Behram T. Badhniwalla (Wilson House Batch 57), in school I was 'Budni' !

I used to walk on crutches during our green years.

Of course, I left my disability behind in 1959-60 (Praise be to the Good Lord).

Today my Wife, Carmie and I, have retired, and live in Pune.

From all the Cathedralites of our generation, and many have met u., the common factor is we both are holding on to our flocks!

I am forwarding a message from our teacher Mr Shiri, and I hope we communicate more often!

We have regular get-together of the Pune Cathedralites and shall revert later with more information!

Cheers for Now


Notice how he capitalised the word "Wife". That instantly told me what sort of loving and respectful person I was dealing with.

From that day on Budni and I were the closest of friends, collaborating on whatever we did, Budni pushing hard to gather “HIS FLOCK” together, while helping me by spreading the word about my Seventh Heaven Blog.

He paid me some the greatest tributes that I have received, that to this day I cherish. He did not want to take the credit for his role, prepared to pass it on to others. In one instance he wrote:


U r really a centre point of all Cathedralites.

Very proud of you & your spirit of 'Prima in India' stuff.

I have in fact told all of our 57rs to keep in touch via your blog which is really cool!

Keep up the good work & whenever u r in India ...sorry Pune we will have a special 'Bash' 4 u!.. and i promise u a great one like the one for Abe & the R.O.B.Gang

& Warm regards to Annikki & the kids
from Carmie & Self

I basked in his reflected glory as Budni drove on his 57ers and many others to keep the ideals of our School.

Flock-gatherers are few: Sadhana (née Shah) Madhusadan, Gracie (née Hayeem) and Suhas Phadke among the 54ers, Bunny Rao of the 55ers, Meena (née Lele) Bhatt and HS (Ubi) Uberoi of the 56ers, Mithoo Malani of the 62/63ers, Shobha (née Agarwal) Jhunjhunwalla of the 57ers, Prakash Thadani of the 69ers are among those who stand out.

But Budni was our Shepherd extraordinary.

He inspired and drove many of us. He found the same intense joy as me when one, just one, more of our flock who had been lost was found.

54er Gracie Hayeem sent me this email:

from: Gracie Hayeem (California, USA)
date Apr 16, 2007 7:09 AM
subject Re: Budni's Obituary

Dear Jacob.

I am just Devastated with the sad news of Budni's passing away yesterday.

I just cannot comprehend it.

I did not even meet him after leaving Cathedral.

Abe was Instrumental in our connection. Because of the choir coming and Budni so graciously hosted them with a Party that was Memorable.


Budni and Carmie host Abe and his group in Pune-

I got in touch with Sadhana and mentioned to her that Budni lived in Poona and that my Brother Abe class of 57 was coming to Poona and Bombay with the choir. She should get in touch with my brothers friend Behram.

----BUDNI ______DR JAZZZ !! She of course got invited.

What a get together he had arranged Amazing!!

Also asked Sadhana if she could get in touch with Veronica Lely [Mudliar] our Blue House teacher as she knew Abe and would love to see her. Sadhana graciously brought her to the Party. She had a great time.

Budni's Graciousness and Caring and Thoughtfulness and concerns for others knew NO BOUNDARIES.

He even met a friend of mine whose parents were so worried about her. She was living in Poona in one of the Ashrams. He and Carmie checked on her and wrote her folks that she was A. O. K

What more can I say. The GENTLE MAN WAS ONE IN A MILLION.

She met Budni Too!!

And so the Friendship began via e mail and Budni actually called me one day, when he heard my health was not so good.

What a guy. At least I got to hear his voice. I ma sooooo happy and grateful for that.

We laughed and Joked and talked about so many things. He has been inviting me to come and visit him and Carmie in Poona, so he could make a great party and sing all the Oldie songs!!!

I feel so devastated that I will not receive any funny Emails from him.

I feel so sad that we cannot Josh any more about his emails!! But I have to remember that I was Privileged to have been part of his Circle of his Cathedral friends.

A Cathedralite is a Friend For Ever.

He even Knew Jehangeer Jehangeer. I was his K. G. teacher and his paths crossed with Budni's .

And For you Jacob, I know you will miss him great deal. He was always so excited to hear about news from a Cathedralite.

Our Prayers and loving thoughts and memories go to Carmie and their family and to ALLLLLLLL his Friends.

Our Great Memories of him while we were all connected was THE Best any Friend can ask for.



And when Budni sounded me out on his idea about a Health Foundation for Staff and Alumni Seniors, he wrote:

from: Behram Badhniwalla
Date: 11-Dec-2006 14:01
Subject: Hi There Jacob!

Hi There Jacob!

Yeah, I did go thro John's mail on your site, & the 56 re union believe me it was so interesting, it took me almost two & half hours ....going thro the 56 reunion. I think we should make your site, the official Cathedral site so every one is centralized.

Jacob will u kindly help me to promote the Idea of a "Cathedral Medical Foundation" For a long time it has been on my mind, about a year ago I did mention this to Saker!

This Foundation is based on the fact that today hospital admissions in India and overseas cost an arm & a leg. Although overseas Cathedralites do have state medical benifits, but the period of waiting is far too long for major surgery and a private surgery would cost both arms & a leg overseas.

Today India is coming up fast in professional management of the medical fraternity.. In fact the new thing is promoting ‘Medical tourism’, combining medical treatment in India + a short holiday, post - treatment!

For the overseas chap it falls far cheaper than a private treatment in their homeland. So with this concept in mind, I have been toying with this Idea, for quite some time, for us middle-class senior citizen Cathedralites.

Remember all of us are not affluent and covered by insurance so if we can create a Medical Fund in India, by voluntary contribution and make a Trust. The trust funds are handed over, to some good hospital (Like Jehangir Hospital in Pune or Bombay Hospital/Breach Candy/etc,etc with a provision for free/very nominal cost treatment for any Cathedralite over the age of 60 years.

As a family physician in my practice, my Seniors & teachers taught us medicine, where the main objective was our patient and not money, and under such Ideology I practiced in the poor locality of central Mumbai after working at Nanavati (Santa Cruz) & Masina (Byculla) Hospitals. I did full justice to my profession, I was even interviewed by 'The Boston Globe" at my clinic. So I can only modestly say that when I finished my work I was not an affluent physician, but a happy Dr. Jazz!

So looking back retrospectively, many of us at school did not necessarily come from rich families. My brother & I were educated by our parents who were middle class people, but valued education and that is how we were educated. Many of the Cathedralites, specially the Anglo-Indians & others, were on free or on scholarship! Adding up all these factors, many of our chaps are still not very well financially. I think a Medical Foundation for the senior citizen Cathedralites, would be an excellent venture!

Take my own example: I paid Rs. 31, 000/- from Sunday evening till Thursday Morning, at the Jehangir Hospital, managed by the 'Apollo Hospital' group. The Jehangir hospital is owned by our ex Cathedralites Jasmine & Jehangir Jehangir.

He was kind enough to visit me, and gave me a discount but still landed up paying about Rs. 26,000/- (Our association is thro' Jazz as his wife Jasmine (Sax) & Jehangir (Trumpet) are in the same Pune Jazz Club we meet regularly), and gave me a discount but still landed up paying about Rs. 26,000/-which was still a lot for a 3-4 days stay for anybody!

Please don’t misunderstand me Jacob, I am not, for one moment crying poverty. Carmie & I are very comfortable with our finances, but I know for sure, in the days to come people like us, both here in India & our overseas chaps, can easily get wiped out on medical expenses, so why not find a self help solution?

We can raise funds thro various means, like in 1982, I did a show "An Affair to Remember", at the Rang Bhavan for the Handicapped Children of Mumbai ie, "The fellowship of the Physically Handicapped" also known as FPH (Opp Haji Ali),I had raised in those day approximately Rs. 165,000/- for the FPH. ( The show had 47 Musicians on stage – doing the complete history of a Western music from 1910 till 1980’s, covering Dixie, big band, be-bop , contemporary Jazz, latin , Rock, Elvis, Beatles till Donna Summers & “Saturday Night Fever”. It really was a show to remember and I don’t think, I can ever do such a big show ever again, but maybe on a smaller scale with computer music, raise funds. I could try that !

We can start an active voluntary participation by all of us. I would be the first to donate Rs. 100,000/-towards this trust, if it can look after all of us in the future! There will be many of us who can contribute – u have 3000 of our chaps on your list so if u can toy with this Idea a little more …and come back and surprise me ;-)

With or without you, I am going to try, I am quite a determined chap u must have judged me by now, and as two heads are better than one, your help will be deeply appreciated, by all! Remember we also have some of our teachers still alive over “80”++, who could benefit!

Yes, Jacob, this project I think, is very feasible, if we all pool in our re-sources to make it a grand success.

So till u come back on this….take care & stay healthy!



I did not take long, maybe a day or two, to let Budni know I was with him whole-heartedly. And he went at this with a vengance. Just at that time we had an email about our maths teacher, Mr. Karkaria, who had died in most tragic circumstances. This helped us build more momentum for Budni's Fund.

60er Ronny Karkaria, the son our maths teacher, Mr. Karkaria, on hearing of Budni's demise, wrote:

from Ronny Karkaria (Singapore)
subject RE: Budni's Obituary

Dear Jacob:

It is with deep regret that I have learnt today of the passing away of our dear Cathedralite Budni.

I am Rohni Karkaria (son of Mr. Karkaria) of the class of 60.

I had corresponded regularly with Budni regarding the Health Care Foundation for our present and ex-teachers and fellow Cathedralites.

It is indeed a great loss to us lose a person with so much foresight and as you have rightly put it, '"his dream of the Health Care Foundation (possibly now in his memory) should be completed by your 50th Year Reunion.'"

I, for one, had pledged a sum of money which I will full fill (God willing I remain alive after already having suffered three heart attacks).

My condolences to his family and to all fellow Cathedralites who had known him.

May his Soul rest in Peace and His Dream of the Health Care Foundation be fulfilled.

Rohni Karkaria

55er Bunny Rao, who, like Budni and me, has been keeping his flock of 55ers together, wrote:

from bunnyrao
date Apr 14, 2007 7:00 PM
subject Re: Budni's Obituary

I'm overwhelmed with the news.

Although I had only just come to know Budni we had developed a close and inseparable bond.

He truly enriched our lives.


bunny rao

56er Percy Mistri wrote:

from P Mistri
date Jan 1, 2002 12:25 AM
subject Obituary of a 57er, Budni Behramwalla

Dear Jacob,

This is Horrible News. What happened ? I am shocked.

Please convey our deepest CONDOLENCES to his dear wife.

I ( Frainy and I ) met him .............after 40 years or so in Poona.................... at a place called THE JAZZ GARDEN ........ .where
we had gone to play Jazz ............ there we met ........ofcourse I recognized him .......he briefly told my his life story and how he had miraculously shed his crutches ( and calipers ? ) ...........introduced us to his good wife .....and ..........I think they all called him Dr. Jazz

..............he was thrilled to hear us play and said he would invite our group down there again .......

I think we met Fleur there too .........not too sure ..........

By the way wasn't his name Behram Budniwalla ............nick named Budni ? .........living in Poona ......a doctor ....

Or are we speaking of different people ?

Talk to me ..............soon


56er Hasnain Chinwalla wrote:

from Chin (Toronto, Canada)
date Apr 14, 2007 2:27 PM
subject Re: Budni Behramwalla

Dear Jacob & Annikki,

Just read about the sad passing away of Budni, and I am in shock.

Although I did not know him personally, except for remembering him from school, I have received many jokes and anecdotes in my Inbox that originated from him, and forwarded by others, that brought me great pleasure.

Since you are in contact with his family, please convey my sympathies, and may his soul rest in peace.


- Hasnain

And 56er Ubi wrote:

from HS Uberoi (Mumbai, India)
date Apr 14, 2007 10:32 AM

Dear Jacob,

I am shocked to hear of the very sad passing of Behram Badhniwalla.

It was only very recently that I had re-established contact with him after over 50 years.

His efforts to unite and keep the Cathedral family updated with his efforts by means of his multi-addressed emails were heart warming, and although some of his jokes startled a few, it was good to hear from him. I remember Behram as a little boy in school, on crutches.

I was looking forward to meeting up with him. But that was not to be.

On seeing your blog entry today, I spoke to Navroz,his elder brother who was in class with me.

Quite obviously he and the family are shattered.

He did enquire as to how I came to know. I told him I read it on your blog.

Seeing the huge effort that Behram was making to ensure that the 50th Anniversary of the graduating class of 57 is a resounding success, It would be most appropriate for his classmates to dedicate their Anniversary gathering to his memory. But that is their call.

It is sad that one more link from that great Cathedral chain has fallen.



Many more such tributes to this outstanding human being, a Cathedralite, lie in my email Inbox. Whether we had met him or not, whether we knew him or not, Budni touched the hearts and lives of Cathedralites around the world.

It is important to realise that many of Budni's jokes that he sent out to all of us, had an underlying message. Many just read them and laughed. They appeared to be just jokes.

However, to me, they were so important, as Budni's character came through. The very important aspect of how beautiful it was to be alive, permeated through each email I received from him. Although sent to many, it was as if each email was sent to me, personally!

I use just one example from the hundreds he sent me:

from Budni
date 30th December 2005

PS: Many of u will be receiving my mail for the 1st time, so please excuse my very improper attitude (Very Un-British as we have not yet been introduced, and will do so very shortly)...but a Cathedralite is always a Cathedralite from any corner of the world.


End of another year approching, nothing much achieved except the boom in our stock market, some thoughts as I see it, like.....

India is shining but our infra structure is far from the shine...

Pune is becoming crowded & more crowded...

Like the Indian media has awakend and people are fed up with corruption...

Like the corrupt & criminals are now accountable even if u have political connection...

Like the cable operators can no longer call the shots.....

Like we had a "Terrible Tuesday" in Mumbai when Bombs blue up trains on the Western Railway tracts killing thousands, but Mumbai was up an about the very next days...

Like the world wants to see a new order......

Like 'Sadaam Hussain's' pre planned sentence was carried out, without a single 'Bushy' men around .....

Like Iraq is ready for more slaughter with internal strifes.......

Like our planet is burning along with all the oil we are burning.....

Like there is much more bad news around, and I am afraid I'll have a nervous breakdown...

Like I am looking for a moment of Joy... I am searching..... I found it last night after a long telephonic call to Bill Shiri in Toronto, and he is looking forward to visit us at our G2G and wants to swing at our bash in Nov...

Like Bill's Clarinet playing is improving, after his 80th birthday gift from his wife Pushpa and wants to play with a band when he comes to India.....

Like.... after a close encounter with peripheral Cynosis ( 2nd Time) & seeing my own x-ray chest.. I gave up smoking after 48 years... (Pramila please note!! ;-) & also Carmie!!)

Like my lungs ....ARE TRYING TO GET MY BREATH BACK...... makes me feel great.....

Like I still hate " As u like eat"... "midsummer's night Dream".... "Othello"... "Twelth Night"... because it used to be the 1st Period after lunch on every friday at 2:05 and ......... Mr Ryder Salmon, mercilessly taught us Shakespeare... who never became my favourite!....

Like I still love Puns as it makes me laugh... .like....

Entries from the International Pun Contest sent to me by our very own Usha Shroff.. Charu's sister:

1. A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, "I'm sorry sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger."

2. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. One turns to the other and says "Dam!"

3. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

4. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says "I've lost my electron." The other says "Are you sure?" The first replies "Yes, I'm positive."

5. Did you hear about the Buddhist monk that refused Novocain during a root canal? He wanted to transcend dental medication.

6. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse." But why?" they asked, as they moved on.
"Because", he said, "I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer."

7. A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named "Ahmal." The other one goes to a family in Spain; they name him "Juan."(vahun) Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, "They're twins! If you've seen Juan, you've see Ahmal."(em all)

8. The friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened up a small florist shop to raise funds. Since everyone liked to buy flowers for the men of God, a rival florist across town thought the competition was unfair. He asked the good fathers to close down, but they would not. He went back and begged the friars to close. They ignored him. So, the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to "persuade" them to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed their store, saying he'd be back if they didn't close up shop.
Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that only Hugh can prevent florist friars.

9. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him (Oh man, this is so bad, it's good ...............) A super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

10. And finally, there was the person who sent ten different puns to his friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh!

No pun in ten did.


My favorite game with Carmie (to pun on any word she said), while driving down from Pune to Golvad Ishe said "Wheel..." and I replied:

"Where there is a wheel there is a way"

So Ladies & Gentleman hope on Monday would be another day & another Year for all of us! & please please

...Stay fit & heaalthy...



Dr.Behram T.Badhniwalla
Retd Family Physician
Wilson House
1957 Batch

It is possible to characterise Budni from these last couple of emails I received from him. They will remain among the ones that I will treasure.

In response to an idea that I was planning on for the school, yet to be publicised but shared with him and just a few others, he wrote, copying our School Principal, Ms. Meera Isaacs:

from Behram Badhniwalla
to Jacob Matthan
cc "Ms. Meera Isaacs"
subject Re: Introduction from a 59er


What a wonderful suggestion by you......I hope Maam agrees !!

Jacob u do really have the Best CAT BLOG!

Dr.Behram T. Badhniwalla
aka Budni 57er -Wilson House

And his very last email to me, just a few hours before he passed to a heavenly abode, as that is the only place available for such a caring loving human being and a Cathedralite:

from Behram Badhniwalla
date Apr 13, 2007 9:44 AM
subject Re: Introduction from a 59er

Jacob your blog should have an automatic-hyperlink with catalumini & vice versa.

Believe me that would would really be very 'Cool'.

What a "Cat-a-blog" it would be!!



Thank you, Budni, for allowing me to be your friend.

And, I am not angry (and have never been) that for the first three months of our relationship you dubbed me as "John". :-)

Budni's last gig.

My Speech is over - it won't be the Official Speech at School Speech Day 2007 this Saturday, but I do sincerely wish it was.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

An Update

(Cross-posted on my main blogs.)
(Click on images to see enlarged versions.)

I have not been ill or otherwise indisposed. Just very very busy, happy, sad, and going through every emotion that man or woman is capable of.

Over Easter we were especially blessed to know that our three children, Susanna, Jaakko and Joanna, in the UK, were able to get together with their families and also join up with us over the telephone.

This has been recorded on several entries on Susanna's Billinghay Blog with beautifully emotional pictures of all members of the family. They especially enjoyed a buffet lunch at the Lahore Restaurant in Birmingham. Joanna, who has really become quite trim, did say that she did overeat on that occasion. (I must also note that Susanna has also become quite trim - but just wait till they arrive and start consuming their mum's cooking, when they will bloat, like me!)

The grandkids were in their element. Susanna has recorded and put up a few short video clips, using effectively the UTube service.

This has prompted Joanna to think seriously in investing in a better digital camera and to start her own blog - which would be just wonderful for us, the grandparents. Maybe, even Jaakko can be persuaded to start his blog once he gets the old iMac that Susanna is thinking of passing on - Old Macs never DIE. I had promised them my old software, but unfortunately much of te old system software discs are corrupted. Jaakko being an outstanding photographer would certainly add a new dimension to blogging should he decide to take it up.

Last Friday brought Annikki and me much grief when we lost a wonderful friend, a Cathedralite by the name of Behram Badhniwalla, who went by the nickname of Budni. Budni was a couple of years senior to me in school. He stood out as he had been afflicted by polio and was the only boy in school who was on crutches. But that did not stop Budni being one of us. During the latter half of our school years I had an excellent relationship with him.

When I left school, our paths diverged. It was not till 2005 when they came together again. He had been doing almost exactly what I had, in finding his classmates and then making sure that they were kept together.

Introduced to me through our former school Physics Teacher, William Shiri, living in Toronto, Canada, Budni wrote in his first email to me:

from: Behram Badhniwalla
to jmatthan@gmail.com
date 21-Oct-2005 10:15
subject Fwd: Hello again

Dear Matthan,

My name is Dr.Behram T. Badhniwalla (Wilson House Batch 57), in school I was 'Budni'!

I used to walk on crutches during our green years.

Of course, I left my disability behind in 1959-60 (Praise be to the Good Lord).

Today my Wife, Carmie and I, have retired, and live in Pune.

From all the Cathedralites of our generation, and many have met u. the common factor is we both are holding on to our flocks!

I am forwarding a message from our teacher Mr Shiri, and I hope we communicate more often!

We have regular get-together of the Pune Cathedralites and shall revert later with more information!

Cheers for Now


From that day we have exchanged many hundreds of emails on topics ranging from sharing pictures of our school friends, sharing our email lists, finding new alumni, our common interests in music, organising class reunions, his idea of forming a health foundation of retired staff and elderly alumni who were not so fortunate financially, and many more. Budni bounced ideas off me. If I gave him the go ahead, he went about his task of rousing the masses.

Not only that, both of us got on like a house on fire. We assisted each other sharing our ideas, agreeing and disagreeing on issues, but above all promoting our "school spirit". Although our styles were different, but the objectives the same.

Budni made everyone feel loved and happy and part of a beautiful family.

On the morning of Friday 13th April 2007, I had two emails from him in the space of just 10 minutes, te first telling me that he would be away from Pune for 10 days and he would take up an issue I had requested as soon as he got back. The second email was about school, pushing the joint working of my Seventh Heaven Blog to be linked with the official school alumni site.

Budni was thinking of what wonders could be achieved if we all worked together.

By evening I received a message from a common friend in Pune that Budni was no more.

When such tragic news reaches me, I become immobile, unable to speak or do anything constructive. Annikki was at my side when I read this email. She comforted me, as she too had learnt to know Budni and his spirit. I was roused to work furiously to let "our flocks" know of the demise of someone who had become my right hand just so much as I had become his left!

The sorrow, grief and the tributes poured in from every corner of the globe. For the past week I have been composing a web page which I will call "A Tribute to Budni". It is difficult, as each time I enter some text or put in a picture, the sadness that flows through my veins makes me realise the frailty of life.

On the same day, we got news that our granddaughter, Asha, who will be 10 in August, had passed her Grade 3 Piano Examination with distinction, 134/150.

Budni, on the extreme left, is crooning at a CAT bash in Pune a few weeks ago.

Susanna put up a clip of Asha playing the piano on her blog, which helped me greatly to face the sorrow of losing a friend, as he was a great musician.

CEO of Codenomicon, Isaac Sundarajan, has been really jet setting. He flew to Cannes to collect the Red Herring Award, flew in to Oulu, flew out to spend Easter with his wife and elder daughter in London, flew back to the US (San Francisco) to prepare for his next year's strategy meeting, and was here, back in Oulu, yesterday.

Royal Garden Menu

We spent the evening together at Michelle's new Indian Restaurant, The Indian Cusine Section of Royal Garden. The last time he had been there, he had said he wanted food as hot as "Jacob's". Michelle and crowd only address me as "Mr. Matthan". So Isaac was a bit disappointed.

This time, Michelle's brother, Philip, dished out a really superb Chicken Vindaloo and a spicy lamb off the bone curry, which both of us relished. This was followed by some Guju Tea, which is laced with Indian spices.

I think the levels of spice in Michelle's Indian and Chinese restaurants will have to have new labels - "Joanna's level" (which is our daughter Joanna's taste buds saturation point and super not), and then "Mr. Matthan's level", which is only slightly lower, but does bring a fair amount of sweat onto the forehead.

Isaac and I sat and chatted well into the evening. Michelle and Philip regal led us with stories of their life in restaurant business. they were surprised to hear from Isaac that "Indian Chinese" is the "in thing" in California - so Philip has promised to didh this up for us on our next visit!

50 years ago today

Need I say more?

Great cricketer, and a wonderful and jovial sport.

Our hearts are with his family, fellow Cathedralites and 56ers, who remember him today, like I do.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

From Times of India today

(Thanks to Percy Mistri in Mumbai for sending me this.)

Whomsoever is able to attend, please convey Annikki and my sincere and heartfelt condolences to Budni's family.

We still remain in shock at the news which came just a few hours of two emails to me from Budni on the 13th morning.

There is so much to write about Budni, that my tribute to this wonderful individual will be online later this week.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

State of Shock

Earlier today, 57er Budni Behramwalla had emailed me that he was out of Pune and would attend to some matters that I had addressed to him as soon as he returned. He sent me this email:

From: Behram Badhniwalla
Date: Apr 13, 2007 9:37 AM
Subject: Re: Do you know


I am currently out of town, I will return on 20th April!

Will check out some facts after I return!



And then just a few minutes later he sent me this email:

From: Behram Badhniwalla
Date: Apr 13, 2007 9:44 AM
Subject: Re: Introduction from a 59er

Jacob your blog should have an automatic-hyperlink with catalumini & vice versa.

Believe me that would would really be very 'Cool'.

What a "Cat-a-blog" it would be!!



PS. Re the 1 lac Tatamobile - send some details for me to go & visit their Marketing Mgr. in Pune, for initial discussions.

Just a few minutes ago, when I returned to my computer to close up for the evening, this message was waiting for me from 54er Sadhana Madhusadan (née Shah)

From: Sadhana Madhusudan
Date: Apr 13, 2007 10:50 PM
Subject: Re: out of Pune


Dear People,

This may come as a shock ...

Much as I wish it were'nt true, this might be perhaps the last mail you and I shall get from our dear Budni.

Our Doc had a massive heart attack this evening (Friday 13th April), as he and Carmie were attending a wedding reception in B'bay.

The end came within 15 minutes or so and what seemed to be an asthmatic attack was termed a heart attack by the doctor who attended on him.

Mercifully he did not suffer too much.

This is all the news that I could gather.

The Funeral will be tomorrow afternoon at the Towers of Silence.

Heart goes out to Carmie and I want her to know that I am always there for her.

Memories of the last time we were all together at the Toscana are still fresh in my mind. Although he was not too well that night, he showed so much spirit and enthusiasm to make a great success of the "Bash" as he loved to call it.

His capacity to spread cheer and bonhomie with a never ending background score of 'Jazz" was astounding.

We shall always miss him for there can never be another Budni..

I happen to be in Pune but, funnily, this evening, when he was attending the wedding in B'bay, I suddenly thought of him and even played a few bars from Satchmo's fav "When the saints go marching in" on my son's Yamaha.. saying to myself "I shall surprise Budni with this rendering of mine next time...."

Praying for his soul.

May God grant eternal rest to our wonderful friend and a great human being and wherever he rests, let there always be plenty of music.

"Om Shantihi".

Sadhana Madhusudan

Dr. Behram T. Badhniwlla, Cathedral school Batch 1957, Wilson House,
Passed away 13th April 2007 in Mumbai of cardiac arrest.

In the short time that Budni and I have been corresponding, Budni was so energetic that he drove me and the Seventh Heaven blog in many different ways.

He was after me to review his idea about the Health Care Foundation for Cathedral Staff and older Alumni.

He was a man on a mission with a passion.

He took up the case of Mr. Karkaria's tragic passing away in dire circumstances. It drove him to work harder on his Cathedral School Staff and Alumni Health Foundation.

He would not take "No" for an answer.

He sent me his idea before he published it to the world. As soon as I gave it my considered opinion, he pushed it hard so that he could achieve it as the contribution of 57ers to all Cathedralites at their 50th Year Reunion, which he was instrumental in driving forward with fellow Pune classmate, Fleur Ezekiel.

Just like I mourned the passing of 59er Bala Parasuraman a short while after I discovered him on the internet, or the passing of 54er Pamela Ballantine just after she received her OBE and we established our relationship on the internet, here was the third instance of a renewed friendship horribly cut short.

I cannot but write tributes to this enormous human being.

The sorrow of his passing tells me that we must be prepared to go as soon as God calls us.

As I learnt from my relationships with so many of you, and especially Budni, let us remember that we have so little time together, that we must enjoy our company to the fullest, as I did with Budni, so long as God lets us.

Let us, tonight, pay tribute to a wonderful human being who has left us and let us send our heartfelt condolences to his family through our fellow Cathedralites who will attend his funeral tomorrow in Mumbai.

Goodbye dear friend.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Not my fault

Many of you let me know that the Seventh Heaven Blog was unreachable for a major part of today.

The fault was not mine or my service provider. It was the fault of the Search Engines.

One of several articles on the media to describe the
7 goal victory of Manchester United!

Manchester United won their European Champions League quarter finals yesterday 7 goals to 1.

BBC used the phrase "Seventh Heaven" to describe the victory, maybe as early as 3 am GMT.

As a result many internet football fans used that as their search term, and literally thousands of them landed up at our Seventh Heaven - to their disgust.

When I saw the activity on my site, I was very puzzled, but when I turned on my satellite TV early mornng, it became obvious. Nothing I could do about it!

back to normal now - hopefully - Liverpool playing this evening, so I cannot promise that the same may not happen tomorrow. :-)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

56er Doreen's crow

56er Doreen Heimlich (née Feibusch) sent me this email and picture.

Hi Jacob:

It's been quite a while since I last e-mailed you, although I religiously keep up with your Blogs.

I too, felt your absence when there was no update from March 3rd for about 3 weeks, but since I myself haven't exactly been diligent about writing, I didn't think I should fault you for keeping us in suspense for a couple of weeks.

Thought you'd enjoy this photo I took when some of us '56ers took a tour of what, in our time, was the Boys' School.

I only took the picture, because one of the Old Boys in the group said,

"Look at that crow on the classroom door! Some things never change. Do take a picture."

So I took a picture, and here's the result.

I don't remember who made that request, but if you put this photo on your blog, there should be some Old Boys who'll remember, and get a chuckle out of it.

Spring has arrived, all the trees and bushes are in full bloom, and the pollen is all over the place, causing much grief to allergy sufferers. At least, today, we're finally getting some rain, which should help in washing away all that yellow powder from our cars, and furniture on the terrace.

Glad to hear that you, Annikki and your Mother-in-law are keeping well. The latter seems to have enjoyed her birthday, judging from the photos you posted.

Best regards,


No need to apologise, Doreen. It is an outstanding picture and goes into my "greats".

Wonder whether it is the same critter who used to caw when I was in school. Certainly looks the same.

However, quite impressed with the new Class signs.

Anyone remember how our classes were marked during our times? Or were they ever marked then? Seem to remember a small oval white plaque just above the door on the frame held on with rusty nails!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Hold it, guys and gals

I just wrote an email to some of you about one of my planned articles - School Bus Routes, as a continuation of my take on Marine Drive. Before I could say "Dead Chicken", my mailbox was flooded with several of you giving me great inputs about "your" bus routes through the ages.

(Thanks to 69er Barbara in Milano, Italy for sending me these which were contained in the 1958 School Prospectus!)

When I think back about my bus route No 2 in 1954 to 1956 (not exactly seen in the above routes) - from School, along in front of the University and the High Court, to Cooperage Road, where I was the first on, down past the front of BEST, down Colaba Causeway towards Strand, across to the road on the left before Radio Club, turning in near the Nanking Chinese Restaurant, behind the Regal and out in front of Dhanraj Mahal and then along in front of Elphinstone College to Flora Fountain, the Junior School, the side of the Girl's school and to end at the boys school. It was a journey which was filled with meeting a lot of great friends every morning. And it used to cost us Rs. 5 per month!

60er Omaiama Tayabji and 56ers - the late Tara Malkani, Michael Tahseen and Sudhir Grover, were some of those who shared the route with me. I am sure many of you are going to tell me about your route as well the friends who were on the bus with you. Plus, I am going to hear of some interesting experiences, especially of the teenage crushes that bloomed on many routes! ;-)

I just can't wait to hear from you.

From the emails I have received so far, I am going to enjoy writing this article!

Friday, April 06, 2007

A tinge of sadness

The President of our School Alumni, 82er Rajiv Bhatia (son of 53er Pushpa Bhatia (née Dongersee) and nephew of the late 56er Kirtee Doongursee) informed us of some sad news:

Mr. Gilbert Bose: Ex-Vice Principal, passed away in Bangalore last month. On behalf of all of us, I extend our sincere condolences to Mrs. Suri Bose and other family members. His son Ronnen was in my class and we look forward to making contact with him.

82er, the late Judah Ronnen Gubbay.

Judah Ronnen Gubbay: Head Boy, 1982 ISC, passed away on March 13th, 2007 in New York. He was a year my senior and we traveled on the school bus together from 1970-81. Our condolences to his wife Alexis, daughter Ariella, mother Tarnar Marge, sisters, Irith, Talya and Eilat (all three in Savage house as was Judah). His friends and well wishers may have already attended the memorial meeting for him at the senior school on April 5th, before this message is widely circulated.

Col. Eric Simeon: Ex-Principal – is ailing with cancer at the Army Hospital (R&R) New Delhi. His son Dileep is taking care of him as are a number of well wishers from the armed forces and his Doon School connections. Cathedralites have been in touch with him too. We wish him well and strength and courage to Dileep and Col. Simeon, through these trying times.

56er Ubi also checked in with these news items to share with all of you. (Another report says that Col. Simeon is in the hospital in Pune!)

I am sure all of you join me in passing our sentiments to the people concerned through our Alumni President.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The rascals in Toronto....

59er Hasnain sent me this set of photographs - and would you believe it, they (59ers Viney Sethi and Hasnain Chinwalla and former Cathedralite staff members Willie Shiri and his wife, Pushpa) ate my birthday cake in Toronto, Canada, without giving me a piece, even as they were serenading to me on the phone!

Jacob's birthday cake halfway across the globe from me!

Thanks, Pushpa, for producing it.

And a few more photos from Toronto, all courtesy of Hasnain, of the gang of rascals!

Viney, Pushpa and Willie.

Willie and Viney.

Torontonians Willie, Pushpa and Hasnain standing over visitir Viney.

Willie, Viney and Pushpa.

Willie, Viney and Hasnain.

Seeing these pictures today, sitting here in my cellar, I wonder what monster I created 11 years ago with the humble effort to find 59ers.

That birthday cake is one of the greatest tributes ever paid to me. I must thank Willie, who sowed the seeds of thirst for knowledge in Physics in me 50 years ago!

I am overcome with nostalgia!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Yesterday and today...

(Cross-posted on all my main blogs.)

It was a great day, as all days are great these days.

Birthday greetings started pouring in from 4 am Finnish time starting from Toronto (59er Hasnain Chinwalla) and Australia (nephew Chacko Kovoor, son of Malli and Thamban) and reverberated around the globe - Chennai (Anand & Shalu), Mumbai (56er Ubi, 59ers Ashok Kapur, Ramesh Mirchandani, Piloo Tata, Percy Mistri, Nihal Kaviratne, Naubir Mohindar, Elijah Elias (Ooky), etc.), Billinghay (Susanna, Chris and Asha), Hewcastle (Joanna, Tony, Samuel and Daniel), New York (59er Ellis Hayeem), Milano (69er Barbara Mont Ros), Washington D. C. (59er Arvind Thadhani), Serbia (62er Ranko Ivancevic), and ended ending back in Toronto when 59er Viney Sethi, in the company of our Physics Teacher, Willie Shiri and his wife Pushpa, and 59er Hasnain regaled me with the happy birthday serenade.

The quartet thought I would not recognise their voices after so so many years. But Viney's was so identifiable and crystal clear (but not quite the old Elvis-like) as also the rich tenor-bass voice of Willie was easily identified, as he had sung behind me in the choir stalls of St. Thomas's Cathedral in the 50s.

These greetings were combined with hundreds of well-wishers from all across Scandinavia.

Such beautiful messages, such beautiful cards, such beautiful email greetings.

I felt awed by such an outpouring of love and friendship - that makes living one more year waiting for the next birthday, really something to look forward to!

The first to wish me was Annikki, who stayed up till 4 am, just so that she could show her appreciation of our ageing together as I woke up.

And the last to greet ME was again Annikki, who prepared a delicious cake - fruit salad and cream, which was being watched over by our most hawkish cat, Iitu! She (the cat) licked the platter clean. (I was out most of the day attending various public events and only got home around half past nine in the evening for our evening together!)

Michelle, the Chinese Calcutta Restaurateur opened her new Indian Restaurant (The Royal Garden) today. I enjoyed my super spicy Madras Curry for lunch and later brought home a Rogan Josh for Annikki and Mika.

Pailin carved me a watermelon as a gift.

Pailin gives me the carved watermelon as my present.

In between, the many Thai families who have adopted me as their father and grandfather, celebrated my birthday with Pailin carving a beautiful watermelon as one of their many gifts to me.

Heikki, Emilia and Päivi.

Eija, Eric and me.

Päivi, Eija, Eric and Heikki.

The organisers of the UN Anti Racism Week helped celebrate the public occasion by toasting the successful week with a closure meeting with a raspberry cream cake!

Old and young friends kept my mobile phone ringing, making it a day that I will remember for many years ahead.

Thank you to all of you, many whom have gone unmentioned in this blog entry - but I do remember all of you and your good wishes.

Monday, April 02, 2007

An Ivan Nissim event!

One of the regular contributors to Seventh Heaven, 62er Adil Gandhi, let us into a get-together held in Mumbai last week. (I just watched Cyrus on a CNN programme - looked very knowledgeable and distinguished!)

Group photo: standing left-right:Farokh Pastakia, Dhunji
Ardeshir, Adil Gandhy, Ivan Nissim, Firdosi Jussawalla, Ali Merchant,
Feroze Vakil, Neville Modi, Rashid Taleyarkhan. Siitting right - left:
Cyrus Guzder, Soosan Wadia, Farida (Dhunji's wife) Lily (Farokh's
wife) and Minnie Cooper.

Dear Jacob,

I have just mailed you a few Pics from our dinner party held at my home in Bandra, Bombay last night where a few of us old Cathedralites of the '62,'63 & '64 batch were there.

They were mostly friends that Ivan Nissim was associated with, since he had come down to Bombay from Israel, where he has been living the past over 40 years and whom he wanted to catch up with.

We truly had a great fun evening, what with this 'funny showman' Ivan keeping us double folded up with laughter with not only some brilliantly orated jokes, but also describing various incidents in school as also his inimical imitations of various teachers.

Every one truly had a great evening and a few of us hope to go up to Matheran next week end, where Ivan usually proceeds to spend 10 days at his favourite beloved Hill station 'Matheran' where he spent some most memorable times of his childhood and school holidays.



I do remember Ivan - but thought he was an overtly quiet person in school. Savage House?

Still waters run deep!

Any more part-time school oriented stand-up comedians around - I am sure they will be in good demand for Reunions!

Thanks for the input Adil. (Other photos went into the appropriate albums!)