During the last year I have made many new friends from our alumni. One such has been 64er Deepak Deshpande who I realised is a great organiser. He was introduced to me by 49er Yezad Kapadia, who has been in communication with Deepak for organising Delhi Reunions.
Deepak is a wonderful person as he just picks up the phone and calls you, just to say "Hello". He is my kind of man!
Last Friday, he called me and we spoke for a few minutes. But an another incoming call on my mobile made me cut short our conversation. However, I called back a few minutes later and had a great conversation with him including news of the latest reunion of Delhi Cathedralites which was well attended including one of our 59ers, Vijay Nayar.
During our conversation, Deepak mentioned that he had spoken with Mr. Jagdish Pande, and that he was at a Cathedralites office in Mumbai till 1 pm almost every working day. Deepak passed on the phone number.
I have been in close touch with Willie Shiri and his wife, Pushpa, and also Chris Hammill. Mr. O. A. Gregory is on my mailing list, but unfortunately he is not much of an email communicator. I am also in touch with Mr. John Billington. Thanks to the 54ers, William Patel has also been added to my list of staff members.
As we discussed our former teachers, Deepak was all praise for them. But I had a little more to add. It was thanks to the preparedness of our teachers, Mr. W. H. Thompson and Mr. Arthur Morecroft that I am this computer writing this blog entry! I have much more than most to owe to our Cathedralite Staff, as what more can one say when one owes one's life to them.
I was overjoyed at getting Mr. Pande's phone contact that soon after my talk with Deepak, I rang the phone number given. Within a few seconds I was on the line with Mr. Pande himself.
I do not think he recalled who this insignificant person from the 50's was. However, he was happy to receive my call.
I told him the story of how I was his very worst pupil as far as Marathi was concerned. My good friend, 59er Viney Dabholkar offered to help. On Saturday mornings I would go to his palatial apartment at Horniman Circle to study Marathi. But our Marathi lessons soon turned into Billiard sessions. So I still got ZERO in Marathi!
When I recounted this to Mr. Pande this, he was greatly amused. Billiards in Marathi!
Mr. Pande did recall many other 59ers as Ashok Kapur, Vijay Nayar, Viney Sethi, as we had all been under Mr. Pande in our 1959 Hockey XI (picture above).
Mr. Jagdish Pande will be 79 years this October. I hope that I can reach India early enough in 2009, when we have our 59ers 50th year Reunion, to celebrate the 80th birthday of a great Cathedralite teacher.