Friday, April 25, 2008
Am I the oldest Savageite on Facebook as a 59er. House Captain in 1959!
I am located in Oulu, Finland.
Many other older Savageites are in contact with me including H. S. Uberoi (Ubi) who is a 56er and was School Captain, Bhupinder Singh Anand, a 57er, who was School Captain in 1959 (when doing his HSc). Almost all 59er Savageites are linked in with me also.
Blog: Seventh Heaven for Mumbai Cathedralites
Saturday, April 19, 2008
I was happy that when I found I had a 45er on board. But today I was humbled when I was told by my favorite detective about a 35er in New York!
from Gracie (née Hayeem) Lerno
to Jacob Matthan
date 19 Apr 2008 07:15
subject Re: Thank you and Organising a Reunion
This was truly Amazing to be able to send our feelers out and have Sarah find the Cats!!!!
I am so happy that we all have this great connection.
I have been again sick with a Bronchitis Pneumonia now for two weeks. It is finally shaking off.So have not been inclined to go on the computer.
Glad you have that Babylonia c.d.
I spoke to Sarah Manasseh's mum who is in New York now with her brother Yakov. Same class as Barbara Rossi!
She told me she is 1935 Graduate of Cathedral!!!! Rachel Mansseh.
Will talk again soon. What a job you do. I am always humbled by what you have achieved for all of us.
Blessings to you and your family.
In this short email, a sick but truly devoted 54er conveyed so much to me. I pray for a speedy recovery to this wonderful friend in California.
62er Sara Mansseh, in London, is indeed a great contact and has helped unearth several 64ers. Sara's brother, Yakov, is 69er and the classmate of another of my favourite correspondents. 69er Barbara Mont Ros, in Italy, did say she was one of my youngest informants. When I hear her name, this image always comes to mind:
Barbara will always remain, mentally, as my "youngest"!
To hear about a 35er, Rachel Mansseh, truly made my day.
I had been taken to task and corrected by several people about some year mix-ups.
60er Claire Knight (née Pharoah) wrote in to say she was a 60er and not a 61er, as I had assumed. This therefore corrected that Suchita Shivdasani (née Assomull), Purnima Sethi (née Mazumdar), Elizabeth Matthai (née Matthan), Ranjini Kalappa (née Chinappa), Surtaj Noorani (née Hai) are all 61ers, and not 62ers as I had assumed.
Thanks Claire, 59er Vijay Shivdaaani, and others for helping me correct a long standing error.
I had this interesting news from a 58er Homi Khusrokhan about a 59er who refuses to get on board the computer wagon world:
from Homi Khusrokhan
to Jacob Matthan
date 19 Apr 2008 02:26
subject RE: Identification Parade
My friend “Jingles” (a name I gave him in our Glaxo days) is becoming more and more idiosyncratic with each passing year! (We worked together in Glaxo for about 15 years before he retired at the grand old age of 44!).
He has, a couple of years ago, consigned his old computer to the WPB (Waste Paper Basket) and of course shuttles between the plains of the Deccan and the Himalayan mountains, with the latter getting the Lion’s (or should I say the Moose’s) share of time.
I can certainly offer to print out your mails to him and scan his snail mail back to you if you like. I have reminded him just yesterday that the 59’ers are revving up and I am sure he will be there in Nov. 2009.
After I wrote to you I spotted, Jaffer Hussain and Soli Guzder from my class. Today we may spot some more.
Bye for now.
"Jingles" is none other than 59er Jangoo Moos. I recall meeting him in a friend's room in 1976 where he was lounging on the floor. As I walked in, he recited our 59er Class Register, overshot my name, but then tracked back, to identify ME!!
Homi and crowd are busy organising their 50th year Reunion THIS YEAR, so if you know ANY 58er, please ask them to get in touch with me.
Homi and many Cathedralites are co-operating in a game called "Identification Parade" that I am playing of identifying people from a school photograph. The photograph we are presently discussing is the 54 Champion House, Wilson.
If you have a Champion House Photograph, do send it to me and we can add it to the list of ones I will include in this game!
The Babylonia CD cut by several Cathedralites is truly great!
Sunday, April 13, 2008
(This entry was sent out by email as a TRIBUTE to several who have tirelessly helped me over the years and to many who are no more. Sorry for the several errors in the email which have been more or less corrected in this entry. Also, I forgot to send copies to the Staff Members of my time who have been helping me over the years - Thanks especially to Willie and Pushpa Shiri!)
Dear Gracie, Sara, and many others,
Dearest Gracie - You never fail me in locating people, - thank you, thank you, thank you.
Dear Sara, don't dream. You can have your reunion.
Two of your 62ers are married to 59ers (Purnima Mazumdar to Viney Sethi and Sucheeta Assomull to Vijay Shivdasani). 62er Monty Wilson in Canada is a tireless worker and organiser. Seeing your zeal, you can have a great reunion, and that is what the Seventh Heaven Blog has been helping in doing for many others.
As a start I am copying this to your fellow 62ers who are already waiting for a move like what you suggested.
I have helped the 54ers (Gracie's Group), 56ers (Ubi's Group), 57ers (Pramila Shivdasani & Fleur Ezekiel's Group and the wonderful late Behram Badhniwalla). The 58ers are presently using it to reach their classmates as also the 64ers. Many later years as the 67ers, 69ers, etc. all use this forum to reach their friends.
But Seventh Heaven is not ME - Jacob Matthan in the frozen Arctic.
It is YOU.
Without people like
45er David Sopher,
47er Farookh Metha,
49ers as Yezad Kapadia and Naval Patel,
54ers Gracie Hayeem, Sadhana Shah and Suhas Phadke,
56er Ubi Uberoi and Meena Bhatt,
57ers as the late Budni Behram Badhniwalla and Pramila Shivdasani and Fleur Ezekiel,
58ers Homi Khushrookhan,
63ers as Mithoo Malani,
64ers as Deepak Deshpande and Rustom Dadabhoy,
67ers as Shoba Jhunjhunwalla,
69ers as Barbara Mont Ros,
and many many more strung out around the world - this Blog would be nowhere.
We 59ers held a great 30th year Reunion in 1989, a 40th Year Reunion in 1999 and our 50th year Reunion will be held as the Mother of all Reunions in November 2009.
In addition we have mini reunions all over the world as our network over the years has been linked through this Seventh Blog (which was a website before) and a Google Group which I started some time ago.
The Seventh Heaven Blog is, however, no longer the centrepiece of 59ers. Cathedralites all over the world read it faithfully to get info and share info. The Cat Alumni uses it to reach Cathedralites around the world.
So Sara, let us get your reunion plans started - What Ho Monty, Judy, Purnima, Sucheeta, Surtaj, Anita....?
And finally - let us all observe A MOMENT OF SILENCE in memory of a great Cathedralite who left us on this day last year - 57er Budni.
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Wednesday, April 09, 2008
At my instigation we had planned an Old Bombay Photo Project which involved the joint effort of Mumbai-ite 56er Ubi and Toronto-ian 59er Hasnain Chinwalla when the later was on a visit to India.
Unfortunately, just at the time, Ubi was unwell and we have that project on hold.
However, that did not stop Hasnain from doing some shooting on his own.
He just posted a couple of pictures on our 59er Google Group which I had to share with the wider Seventh Heaven world.
This is the context in Hasnain's words:
I am currently in New Jersey, and came across a book titled 'Bombay - The Cities Within' by Sharada Dwivedi and Rahul Mehrotra. It contains some fabulous pictures of old Bombay, that remind me of the fabulous pictures on the walls at Viney Sethi's house in Alibaug, as well as the same type of pictures in Ubi's flat on A Road.
I got a big surprise when I came across this picture that I have attached.
I wonder how many of you were aware of this 'fact'.
I am also attaching another picture of the same building that I took in Jan 2008.
(Please ignore the text about Wilson College, Chowpatty, as this was cut out from the shot.)
Oriental Buildings, Flora Fountain in 2008:
From my archives I am adding two pictures.
The first is the oldest picture I have of our present school from 1890. I wonder when it moved from the now Oriental Building? That part of the history that it was OUR School Building was definitely missing from my records.
The second is Flora Fountain in 1952, but sadly not the view I would have liked to have here!
My mouth waters at the quality of Hasnain's photography as his composition and photo quality are what I strive to attain, but I am nowhere near that level.
Now that I have my new digital I am certainly going to have better quality pictures on the Blog, but it will be a far cry from the work of my correspondent! :-)
I am waiting for Hasnain's inputs from his recent trip to India as I am sure he has some great shots to share with you.
Please send me your best photographs of the school and its history for my November 2009 multi media project. You too can be part of this effort.
Thanks, Hasnain, for this great input. Without you this BLOG would be drab!
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Posted on all my major blogs.
I received this in an email from Joan & Kevin Dean.
Thank you for sending this to me as I am blogging it exactly for the reasons outlined in this story.
I Wish You a Sandpiper
The . Sharp-tailed Sandpiper.
The Sandpiper by Robert Peterson
She was six years old when I first met her on the beach near where I live. I drive to this beach, a distance of three or four miles, whenever the world begins to close in on me. She was building a sand castle or something and looked up, her eyes as blue as the sea. "Hello," she said.
I answered with a nod, not really in the mood to bother with a small child. "I'm building," she said. "I see that. What is it?" I asked, not really caring. "Oh, I don't know, I just like the feel of sand." That sounds good, I thought, and slipped off my shoes. A sandpiper glided by. "That's a joy," the child said. "It's a what?" "It's a joy. My mama says sandpipers come to bring us joy." The bird went gliding down the beach. Good-bye joy, I muttered to myself, hello pain, and turned to walk on. I was depressed, my life seemed completely out of balance. "What's your name?" She wouldn't give up.
"Robert," I answered. "I'm Robert Peterson." "Mine's Wendy... I'm six." "Hi, Wendy." She giggled. "You're funny," she said. In spite of my gloom, I laughed too and walked on. Her musical giggle followed me. "Come again, Mr. P," she called. "We'll have another happy day." The next few days consisted of a group of unruly Boy Scouts, PTA meetings, and an ailing mother. The sun was shining one morning as I took my hands out of the dishwater. I need a sandpiper, I said to myself, gathering up my coat.
The ever-changing balm of the seashore awaited me. The breeze was chilly but I strode along, trying to recapture the serenity I needed. "Hello, Mr. P," she said. "Do you want to play?" "What did you have in mind?" I asked, with a twinge of annoyance. "I don't know. You say." "How about charades?" I asked sarcastically. The tinkling laughter burst forth again. "I don't know what that is." "Then let's just walk." Looking at her, I noticed the delicate fairness of her face. "Where do you live?" I asked. "Over there." She pointed toward a row of summer cottages. Strange, I thought, in winter. "Where do you go to school?" "I don't go to school. Mommy says we're on vacation."
She chattered little girl talk as we strolled up the beach, but my mind was on other things. When I left for home, Wendy said it had been a happy day. Feeling surprisingly better, I smiled at her and agreed. Three weeks later, I rushed to my beach in a state of near panic. I was in no mood to even greet Wendy. I thought I saw her mother on the porch and felt like demanding she keep her child at home. "Look, if you don't mind," I said crossly when Wendy caught up with me, "I'd rather be alone today." She seemed unusually pale and out of breath. "Why?" she asked. I turned to her and shouted, "Because my mother died!" and thought, My God, why was I saying this to a little child? "Oh," she said quietly, "then this is a bad day." "Yes," I said, "and yesterday and the day before and -- oh, go away!" "Did it hurt?" she inquired. "Did what hurt?" I was exasperated with her, with myself. "When she died?" "Of course it hurt!" I snapped, misunderstanding, wrapped up in myself. I strode off.
A month or so after that, when I next went to the beach, she wasn't there. Feeling guilty, ashamed, and admitting to myself I missed her, I went up to the cottage after my walk and knocked at the door. A drawn looking young woman with honey-colored hair opened the door. "Hello," I said, "I'm Robert Peterson. I missed your little girl today and wondered where she was." "Oh yes, Mr. Peterson, please come in. Wendy spoke of you so much. I'm afraid I allowed her to bother you. If she was a nuisance, please, accept my apologies." "Not at all -- she's a delightful child." I said, suddenly realizing that I meant what I had just said. "Wendy died last week, Mr. Peterson. She had leukemia. Maybe she didn't tell you." Struck dumb, I groped for a chair. I had to catch my breath.
"She loved this beach, so when she asked to come, we couldn't say no. She seemed so much better here and had a lot of what she called happy days. But! the last few weeks, she declined rapidly..." Her voice faltered, "She left something for you, if only I can find it. Could you wait a moment while I look?" I nodded stupidly, my mind racing for some thing to say to this lovely young woman. She handed me a smeared envelope with "MR. P" printed in bold childish letters. Inside was a drawing in bright crayon hues -- a yellow beach, a blue sea, and a brown bird. Underneath was carefully printed: !A SANDPIPER TO BRING YOU JOY.
Tears welled up in my eyes, and a heart that had almost forgotten to love opened wide. I took Wendy's mother in my arms. "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry," I uttered over and over, and we wept together. The precious little picture is framed now and hangs in my study. Six words -- one for each year of her life -- that speak to me of harmony, courage, and undemanding love. A gift from a child with sea blue eyes and hair the color of sand -- who taught me the gift of love.
NOTE: This is a true story sent out by Robert Peterson. It happened over 20 years ago and the incident changed his life forever. It serves as a reminder to all of us that we need to take time to enjoy living and life and each other. The price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less. Life is so complicated, the hustle and bustle of everyday traumas can make us lose focus about what is truly important or what is only a momentary setback or crisis. This week, be sure to give your loved ones an extra hug, and by all means, take a moment... even if it is only ten seconds, to stop and smell the roses. This comes from someone's heart, an d is read with many and now I share it with you... May God Bless everyone who receives this! There are NO coincidences! Everything that happens to us happens for a reason. Never brush aside anyone as insignificant. Who knows what they can teach us?
Sandpipers are a highly diverse family which include the ground-dwelling snipes and woodcocks to the highly pelagic Red Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius. Biochemically they seem to have arisen from a single ancestor but underwent an explosive evolution in the early Tertiary after a great wave of extinctions in the late Cretaceous period (Piersma 1996). Today, the wide variety of sandpipers, and the close relationships of many, present numerous identification challenges. The identification literature alone is impressive. Further, the beautiful patterns and colors on juvenal-plumaged birds are among the most striking in the world, while the striking breeding plumage feathers serve to camouflage adults on their breeding grounds on the arctic tundra. Many of these arctic breeders spend the non-breeding period well south of the Equator, brightening the lives of birders in the austral summer (our winter).
Friday, April 04, 2008
Yesterday was a strange day. Joanna rang me early morning to tell me that I should take Samu to school as he was going downhill skiing and would I look after Daniel at our home as she had to go to town?
She was over before noon to leave Daniel.
Daniel, Annikki an I did several things including taking Daniel to the City dump to get rid an old TV and to the Tropical Spa to make sure the arrangements for one of our Indian Groups in Oulu were OK for the company party. When I came out of the Spa I found I had a flat tyre. As usual, my good friend, Kamu, in the spirit of CHAFF rushed to help me as I was not carrying my silicone foam repair kit.
Joanna rang me to tell me that she was very tired and would I keep Daniel till we picked up Samuel from the school and then came over so that we could go out for dinner to celebrate my birthday.
I passed by her house at about half past five and I was surprised to see Ildikó and Ilari's car parked in the driveway, but thinking that they were off for a holiday, they may have dropped in to say goodbye, it did not register. When I dropped in at the International Centre (Ville Victor) I was puzzled when Shahnaz said she would see me in the evening! Again, that did not register!
Well, the email I sent out today below explains it all and the composite picture made out of photographs taken by grandson Samu show some of the the people who made it such a great day for me.
Dear Findians, O-Indians, Chaff Participants, 59er Cathedralites, Other Cathedralites, Stephanians and many other friends all around the world,
Yesterday, I was given a great lesson - knowing how it feels to be LOVED.
As I reached the turning point to my senior years, the outpouring of love from all corners of this globe gave me a lesson which made me feel that a new era of my life is opening.
Thank you to all of you, some on the groups, others directly, others by text message, who took the trouble to communicate with me on my 65th birthday.
Ashok, as I took early retirement to help her look after Annikki's mother, I have been enjoying all the benefits and now move from half to full pension. So, I was already enjoying all the free benefits of a social security system I was taxed into the earth for when I was working!
From our daughter's family in England, Susanna, Chris and Asha, Hasnain and Willie in Toronto, Bill Patel in ???, Barbara from Italy, Ellis in New York, Ashok, Percy, Ooky and Rivca, etc., etc, etc., in Mumbai, friends from Helsinki, Tampere, Turku, Chennai, Bangalore, Tokyo, London, New York, and of course Oulu, I received personal greetings. (Sorry I am not mentioning all of you as I still have not had the time to go through all the messages.)
It will take me some time to respond personally to all of you, but respond I will.
But the height of my birthday was a surprise party organised by my daughter and her husband in her home in Oulu. Neither Annikki nor I had a clue till we arrived at her home and found a string of cars parked outside. As I walked in, there was a steady stream of friends, a veritable United Nations, Australia, China, Finland, Hungary, India, Iran, Italy, Peru (in spirit), Turkey, Venezuela, trooping out to greet me.
Ilari gave a profoundly moving speech which had me in tears and Ildikó gave me the gift on behalf all the persons from so many organisations that I felt overwhelmed. I was in shock and was hit even harder by giving me a birthday present that I really love and need - a Canon Digital camera - so that the photographs on my blog and groups will improve! Burcu, Bala and Sameer gave me their own presents. Thank you all.
It was a bring your stuff party so we had some really great grub and the spread was enormous, so much so that Joanna forgot to take out the delicious chicken salad from the fridge!
Top Row: Joanna, Samu, Daniel;
Second Row: Ilari & Tony, Kiran & me, Andy;
Third Row: Shahnaz & Yrjö, Benjamin, Sreekanth, Ani with Maria;
Bottom Row: Elina & Ildiko; Burcu, Bill.
Missing: Annikki, Bala, Pooja, Mani and Anusha, Mathias, Sameer,
Vishu, Esa, Manuel, Osku
My sincere thanks to Joanna and Tony, Ildikó and Ilari, Pooja, Mani and Anusha (who drove down all the way from Raahe (80 km away), Shahnaz and Yrjo, Andy, Ani, Bala, Benjamin, Bill, Burcu, Elina, Esa, Kiran, Manuel, Osku, Sameer, Sreekanth, Vishu, nephew Mathias who just happened to be in Oulu, grandchildren Samuel, Daniel, Maria and above all my dearest of dearest, Annikki for making it such a wonderful birthday.