59er Golden Reunion Directory

59er Golden Reunion Directory
59er Golden Reunion Directory

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Delhi Chapter says "Thank you" to Vijay and Meera

59er Vijay Nayar and his wife, Meera (née Chunnilal) (Bombay, Fort Convent), hosted a Cocktail party of the Delhi Chapter of the Cat Alumni. It was attended by 20 members. This was the request I received from their local Convenor:


On behalf of the DELHI CHAPTER of CATALUMNI, I have the pleasure of conveying that Mr Vijay Nayar (1959er) & his wife, Meera, hosted Cocktails for 20 of us at their Home yesterday (28/06) evening. We are all indeed grateful and would like to express our BIG THANK YOU to them - through your medium !!!!!!!

Kind regards

Deepak A Deshpande
Managing Director
METLLOY Overseas Private Limited
A-7 Nizamuddin East
New Delhi 110 013, India

Here are some of the photographs from the event. (This is an autoplay slide show of the pictures from the Cocktail party.)

In one I noted that Vijay is showing signs of starting a pot belly, which at 65 is fairly good going. Meera still looks the glorious radiant self that I have known for the last 39 years. It is also great to see 57er Tony (Ashok) Jaitly and 49er Yezad Kapadia, one on my favourite correspondents, looking so full of life and vigour.

Ravi Jaitly is also there, but there is no shot of the two brothers together. I remember both of them vividly as they were both outstanding sportsmen, as well as great leaders, and they oozed friendliness.

As I may fall into the doghouse if I comment on some other people there :-) - I will say no more but thank 64er Deepak for sending me this great set of photos to share with you.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Does every year have one?

This is not a criticism, but only an observation with a suggestion! (I made a similar observation on the blog a long time ago, but I thought it was worth repeating!)

45er Desmond Kinnersley in Australia.

I have my emails coming in from former staff members, 45ers to students who are still in the school. My present cross-section of correspondents spans the huge period of 64 years of Cathedralite nostalgic history, and much more when you think of some who write to me about their parents (still alive) who were Cathedralites!

This potpourri is what has kept this blog alive for now over 12 years.

Over time I have noted that in the active year groups there stands out one or two individuals who email news items and jokes to his / her mailing list (and I am usually fortunate to be on that mailing list).

I get wonderful emails from 49er Naval Patel, now living in Mysore, about all sorts of trivia which are in some way school, Mumbai or cricket related. Naval is a real cricket junkie!!

It is always a pleasure to get these from Naval. I do use some of them in creating my blog entries. But usually, I am just being educated, which I love.

Here is what Naval wrote on one occasion when he sent me two attachments:

I have attached scans of the research papers which describe the original Duckworth - Lewis Method, and its later modification. Erudite discussions may follow not earlier than two weeks hence; I will have digested them only thereafter.
Regards Naval

Sadly, both our schedules being what they are, we still have not got down to those "erudite discussions"!

54er Sadhana (from Pune) works in fits and starts - as she forwards me jokes, jokes and more jokes, but they do not have an underlying theme, which makes it difficult as you will understand why a little later.

55er Bunny (from Delhi) also send out emails of jokes to his email list. In the month of June 2008 I have had over 35 jokes from Bunny!

Sadly there is a huge overlap of the jokes that most of those forwarding these emails send out. Maybe because we are Cathedralites we appreciate the same humour - but it is a bit difficult when I get 15 to 20 submissions of the same joke!

56er Ubi from Mumbai sends me wonderful notes on many things I write about (or should write about) and I get a great deal of satisfaction just reading his emails. One feels so connected with someone 7000 kms away to the east who is enjoying what I would like to be enjoying (a tinge of jealousy), but is not destructive like second hand smoke! It is exhilarating.

The late 57er Budni (from Pune) used to also send out jokes, but he was a lot like Naval in that there was a underlying message or moral in each one he sent out. I have actually kept all of his jokes as they form a treasure house for me. Rarely did I get a joke from Budni which was sent by someone else in our group, except that many used to forward me the jokes that Budni had sent out!

Oh, do I miss this friend.

59er Shabir (from Karachi) used to send out a huge number of jokes. When I pointed out that I was getting the same ones from over 2 dozen people, he took me off his mailing list, for which, to a point, I was quite grateful, as it did unclutter my Inbox quite a bit.

59er Chini (from Toronto) sends me great submissions of history of Mumbai and the school, usually pictorial. Although Chini is westward to me, we know we are on the same frequency as the relevance of his submissions is just like Naval and Ubi.

60er Sheikh (from Saudi) does send me photos and other submissions, which I greatly enjoy.

There are some many of you, 54er Gracie (California), 56er Doreen (N. Carolina?), 60er Joan (England - such a wonderful submission about Jazz in Bombay in the 60s), Cynthia & hubby 62er Monty (Toronto), 63er Mithoo (Florida) and Ranko (Cerbia), 64ers Deepak (Delhi) and Rustom (Mumbai), 67er Shobha (Mumbai) , 68er Ravi (Phillipines), 69ers Barbara (Italy) and Prakash (Mumbai), and on and on...

Take this great one I got from 67er Shobha just this morning, and it is not just because I am a banana lover!

Vazhakula with 2846 pazhams- U can count if you want

Or take this email I received way back in November 2005 from Ravi Nangia from the Phillipines (Hey Ravi - Did you know I keep such great submissions as yours for a hailstorming Midsummer's Day!):

Hi Jacob,

Thought I would take your lead and reply promptly.

I can't off-hand recall Ajeet Mathur. Your site had indicated that he graduated in 1974 - so there was just a year when we were both in Stephen's - not enough when set against the 33 years that it has been since College.

Tell Ajeet his photograph on your site doesn't help either -- perhaps a photo of a younger Ajeet, when he was in College, would help!! (Obviously I never read "How not to alienate/lose friends"). There was a Shiv Mathur (not the one mentioned later in this message, this one was History 1973) whom I do remember. He spent the years between graduation and getting into the IAS in brushing up on his general knowledge and would frequently appear on quiz shows on TV and all over the place.

Don't worry about Kapil Mathur and Ranade. Kapil, I know is in Bombay. He has a brother, coincidentally also named Shiv Mathur, who is a friend of friend. Shiv Mathur studied music in Vienna (or somewhere similar in Europe) and between infrequent conducting opportunities writes jingles for Coke and others. As far as Sudhanshu Ranade is concerned, I thought I once saw an article with his by line in the Hindu (the newspaper).

Sadly, no photographs from College, but the one of the Prefects from 1968 is attached (Sorry, had to manipulate image size and number of pixels to accommodate uploading with a dial-up connection, but the image quality isn't bad.) List of those appearing in the photograph is given below.

Yes, we are in the Philippines and yes, there is an ADB connection (good GK, good deduction), but it's the wife who works for ADB. I am compelled to scrounge around as an independent consultant for a living.



Standing Top Row L-R : Heenali Morarjee, Mohan Shivdasani, Malika (Dolly) Grewal, Dharanvir (Tingoo) Khatau, Monica Chudasama, Jyoti Choudhary, Kapil Mathur, Debby Richardson, Shireen Jeejeebhoy, Phiroze Madon, Bina Sanghvi, Harish Uttamsing.

Standing Middle Row L-R : Nawal Seth, Perveez Merchant, Mrinal Melwani, Ravi Nangia, Guloo Chotia, Ruma Roy, Gautam Desiraju, Naila Kanthawala, Jean Bhavnagiri, Cyrus Kharas, Meher Katgara, Guneeta Khera, Suresh Goel.

Sitting L-R : Yohan Jeffereis, Shobhna Patel, Bahadur Shroff, Urmila Bannerji, Sammy Medhora, Mrs Fernandes, Jean Cabral, TAC Barrow, Antica Milos, Dinsa Mehta, Asha Nerurkar, Jeevak Parpia.

As I go through later years of Cathedralites (80 to 2000s), there are so many of you who are making my life so interesting. You all relate to me as a friend, which I greatly appreciate.

We now have a new entrant into the joke field, 64er Sol S, probably from somewhere in England. Thank you Sol for putting me on your mailing list. It is an honour.

Of course, if you are only receiving these forwards from one source, then they are great, but as I am getting the same jokes from so many of you, it is sad to filter them out. The joke about "Ian and his wife" came in from 5 different sources last week - 2 Cathedralites and 3 from other origins. (Too smutty for this blog, though! We have a few kids reading this blog, including me!)

Indiscriminately sending out what you may think funny to your mailing list may be bothersome for some, and you may get a reaction which is not exactly what you may expect.

I do hope each class co-ordinator will take this up in his / her group and explain the circumstances, or ask the person to read THIS blog entry.

Please do not stop sending your emails to me, as you are the lifeblood of this blog.

Like 49er Naval, 56er Ubi, 59er Chini, former Staff Member Willie, and many others, do try to be a bit more selective in that you see something of value in your submission to the huge audience of Cathedralites that I am catering to.

It makes coming to my email Inbox a pleasure to get such inputs. I am not here just to be titillated, but am really looking for valuable contributions.

Happy Midsummer to everyone from the land of the Midnight Sun where a ferocious hailstorm (for more pictures of the hailstorm visit my Jacob's Blog) with thunder and lightening, each hail the size of a walnut, is pelting down on us.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The fine “Gentlemanly World”

Last week I had a copy of an email from a Mr. Kapadia to a Mr. Chopra.

It appears that in Delhi they have a Club where people get together to see movies. These two gentleman attend this club and share their company with a few others.

Mr. Yezad Kapadia (Yesh to me) is a Cathedralite of the 49 era, 10 years my senior. He discovered that Mr. Dev Chopra was a Stephanian, also of the 49 era.

Mr. Kapadia got talking to Mr. Chopra, and of course the topic came up about me, a Cathedralite and Stephanian. Mr. Chopra expressed a desire to know more about my blog.

A few minutes after an email from Mr. Kapadia to Mr. Chopra (introducing me), I had a nice email to “Dear friend Jacob” from Mr. Chopra.

I replied “Dev” with a copy to “Yesh” thus:

Jacob Matthan
15 June 2008 11:10
To: “Dev Chopra”
Cc: “Yezad Kapadia”, “Jamila & BGV Verghese”, Ajay Verma, “Sarwar Lateef”, “Montek Singh Ahluwalia”, “Suresh & Meera Philip”, “Aftab Seth”, “Raj & Roshni Sircar”, "Rahul and Rupa (née Gholap) Bajaj", "57er Ashok (Tony) Jaitly", “Niranjan Desai”, “Deepak Mukarji”, “59er SUJIT BJHATTACHARAYA”, Ajeet Mathur Prof, Swaminathan Aiyar, Sreenath Sreenivasan, John Dayal

Bcc: 64er Deepak Deshpande

Dear Dev,

It is a great honour that you have chosen to be in touch.

I have chosen to share this email with many of whom I know will be pleased to hear about you. These include Raj Sircar (Canada) and Deepak Mukarji (Mumbai), whose association with our alma mater is not just as students! I am also copying Sreenath Sreenivasan, Professor of Journalism in Columbia University who runs the New York Forum of Stephanians and is also the Moderator of the South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA) in the US.

B. G. Verghese and his wife, Jamila, are the oldest Stephanians that I am in touch with presently. Both are just a tad younger than you. I was in touch with Col. Shafat Hussain in Canada, but I seem to have lost contact with him over the past 5 years. He was in college around 1945.

My time in Stephania was 1960 to 1963. It was an exciting three years. I was probably the first and last 2nd year student to be elected as President of the JCR. The first JCR evening of music was the highlight of my Presidency as also the introduction of various JCR tournaments - Bridge, Chess, Caroms, Draughts, Table Tennis. The Rai twins, Chandra and Suraj, beat Ajay Verma and me in the very last hand of the Bridge Finals with an unbelievable call of 7 Spades on the very last hand where Ajay and I had bid 7 Hearts! It was only the intuitive communication that twins have that prompted that call! Both were makeable contracts!

It was also during my years that Sarwar Lateef (World Bank), Montek Singh Alhuwalia (Planning Commission), Swaminathan Aiyar (Economic Times), Dr. Peter Philip (MRF), Zaffar Hai (creative films director and producer), Prakash Joseph (the artist), Aftab and Roshan Seth, and a few others started the college rag - which was called Kooler Talk as the name Blacksmith was rejected by Principal Sircar and Dean Rajpal. Niranjan Desai (ex-Ambassador), Ajay Verma (who lives in Lund) and myself were known as The Heaps and we did write exposés for the rag during our time.

Kooler Talk as a hard copy has had a chequered life. I started the online web version from here in Finland in 1996. It has a worldwide readership of Stephanian's interested in a bit of nostalgia. Over a thousand Stephanians correspond with me regularly and help me keep my spirits up in that I know I am not writing to thin air.

Originally it started as a web page monthly. But times have been changing. About 5 years ago I changed it to a blog. Others have copied my style and presentation, but my Kooler Talk Web Version Blog keeps going. Now I am experimenting with the new fashion - FACEBOOK!

Ashok (Tony) Jaitly, in his book about our college, kindly gave my online efforts a nice reference. I do try to stay above politics and stay with nostalgia, although I have been drawn into the recent controversy which surrounds the College Principal fiasco. Friends, such as John Dayal, keep me abreast of happenings behind the scenes.

I also started a similar online web site / blog about my school, where Yezad and I went, Yesh being 10 years my senior. Seventh Heaven is extremely popular and also more active than Kooler Talk Web Version.

There are a few of us who share both the alma maters - including Industrialist and Rajya Sabha MP Rahul Bajaj, Ashok (Tony) Jaitly, Dr. Peter Philip (MRF), Sujit Bhattacharaya (son of the former Governor of Reserve Bank), Prof. Ajeet Mathur (now Director of Manpower Planning in the Planning Commission and also at IIM, Ahmedabad).

Rahul celebrated his 70th birthday last week and I did a small tribute to him on both my blogs. He was kind enough to spare a few moments to write a word of thanks to me.

I would love to broaden the horizons of my efforts which is purely a labour of love of both my alma maters. I am happy that many former staff and ex- and present students stay in touch with me and give me a pulse of the institutions today.

My wife and I will visit India in November 2009 to take part in the 50th Year Reunion of my school class. We will also visit Delhi to meet with several tens and tens of my friends who are there. I hope too organise a joint Stephania / Cathedralite reunion session while I am visiting the capital, our last visit being as long ago as 15 years ago!

Do let me know what ideas you have in mind. You can read the blog and delve into its archives at the Kooler talk Blog. Thank you for being in touch and a special thanks to Yesh for having put you in touch with me.

Yours most sincerely

Jacob Matthan
Stephanian - 1960 - 1963
JCR President 1961 - 1962

It was great to see that because I copied many who were mentioned in my email, that a large number of sub-converaations resulted, people remembering each other and their previous associations.

And the two gentleman, Mr. Kapadia and Mr. Chopra, exchanged an email marvelling at the rapidity of communications of today across continents.

No doubt, at the next film viewing session in Delhi, Mr. Kapadia and Mr. Chopra will exchange a few words about the Kooler Talk Blog and the Seventh Heaven Blog.

Thank you, Yesh and Dev, for being part of our alma maters communities and may your wonderful gentlemanly formality live for ever!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The ever youthful Rahul is 70

Young and dynamic Rahul Bajaj in 1986
Copyright The Hindu

At the top in 2006, Rahul Bajaj
Copyright The Frontline

Do whatever you think best, but be best at whatever you do.
– Member of Rajya Sabha Padma Bhushan Rahul Bajaj

Like a handful of people of the 1950’s as 57er Ashok (Tony) Jaitley, 58er Dr. Peter Philip, 59ers Sujit Bhattacharaya, and myself, 54er Rahul Bajaj was a Mumbai Cathedralite and a Delhi Stephanian. (There is an earlier blog entry on both blogs listing several more who share this common heritage.)

Ashok Jaitley, Tony to most of us, wrote a book about St. Stephen’s College. Rahul released the book where Mani Shankar Aiyar, another Stephanian of our era spoke. Here is a quote from Tony’s book:

"The same spirit of striving for the best was infused in all other activities despite the cultivated air of nonchalance that Stephanians have always sought to project about themselves. But this has not deterred the real achievers from being clear about their own perspective. Rahul Bajaj, one of the most innovative and successful captains of Indian industry, recalls his days in College as the second most powerful influence after his school in Bombay: 'It was the first whiff of freedom...and as the Cat Stevens number goes, "the first cut is the deepest." The notion of a performing elite was imprinted in my mind at College. We are all here to make a difference and we should be very good at something, is the essence of Stephania."

Also like Peter and me, Rahul was a Savageite and also House Captain. There, however, the similarity ends, as Rahul is one of the topmost industrialists in India and also ranks extremely high in the world.

It is reputed that Rahul was a sportsman. He was an outstanding boxer and won his weight most years. He is remembered as being part of the School Table Tennis Team. I also remember him as an long distance athlete. As I was just a newcomer to school in 1954, the year Rahul graduated, I am not fully and personally conversant with all his accomplishments at school.

The Bajaj Enterprise started as a sugar manufacturing factory in 1931. It has now grown to become one of the country’s largest business houses.

Rahul took over the running of the Bajaj Auto company in 1965. Activities encompass the manufacture of a whole range of products.

In 2001 the Bajaj Group had a sales turnover in excess of US$ 1,300 million. The Net Assets were worth US$ 1,333 million and the Net Profit was US$ 58 million. It was ranked as the 5th largest business family in India by the Centre for Monitoring Indian economy (CMIE).

It has under its umbrella over 25 companies and a strength of over 25000 employees.

It’s core strength, however, is the unshakeable foundation based on its tradition of trust.

Rahul's most recent interview with Chris Morris from the BBC was about the small car of Bajaj Auto, in relation to the Tata Nano. It can be found at this link.

The interesting similarity between Ratan Tata and Rahul Bajaj is that when Ratan was Chairman of Air India, Rahul was Chairman of Indian Airlines. (I do not remember Ratan as a Cathedralite but younger brother, Jimmy, was a 57er and played hockey and cricket with us.)

Rahul received the Padma Bhushan in 2001.

Cathedralite 54er and Stephanian 57er, Independent Rajya Sabha member, Chairman of Bajaj Group, Rahul Bajaj will turn 70 this Tuesday.

I hope as many of you that can will wish this outstanding Cathedralite / Stephanian and wish him many many more years of service to our nation.

(Many thanks to Cathedralite 56er HS Uberoi and Cathedralite / Stephanian 57er Ashok Jaitley (and his brother Ravi, Rahul’s classmate) for their valuable contributions when writing this tribute.)

Friday, June 06, 2008

Facebook experiment continues

Although I am not blogging as regularly as before, I am around on the internet. I am still experimenting with Facebook.

I have two pages of photographs associated with my Facebook page at the moment. The first is called "History of JM" where I am putting up photographs of me from my childhood days till today. As I discover new photos from my past in my collection, I scan them and put them up in the annual order I think they were taken. Not much interest to others, but a sort of interesting work for me.

The second page is my experiment with photojournalism of today, where I am recording the days activities in the form of photographs and uploading them on my page called "Jacob's week in pictures". I am trying to make it more interesting as the days go on, but I am not quite a photojournalist as yet.

I am planning to start a new photo page on Facebook. If one wanders around our home, each and every nook and cranny which has the touch of Annikki (not my den which is a mess) is the creative paradise of a great artist. I am trying to photograph all her artistic creations that lie around the house, not as individual items but how she transforms even the simple wasp's nest into a creative artistic form. I am still searching for a name for this page, so if you have a suggestion, please do let me know.

I was planning a page of pictures from my alma mater, Cathedral and John Connon School in Mumbai, but I discovered that one already existed on the alma mater Facebook Group page. I plan to put up the older pictures from my collection on this page rather than start a new page. I do not know whether the younger crowd that populates Facebook will appreciate this history, but it is worth the effort.

There is much to Facebook that I have not yet discovered. Hopefully I will be able to separate the wheat from the CHAFF and create an experience which is rewarding to all age groups that populate Facebook, not just the younger crowd.

Facebook, History of JM, Jacob's week in pictures, photojournalism

Monday, June 02, 2008

A terror call from a Cathedralite....

This morning I had a call which caused my blood pressure to go over the top! This Cathedralite gentleman, who shall remain nameless, told me that if I continued to write nice things about him, he would stop being one of my correspondents!

Quite a dilemma for me. I am not going to write nice things about this gentleman!

The 64ers are going great guns. They held a mini reunion in Mumbai in BUSABA, Colaba, with people flying in from Delhi and commuting from Pune. They have got together at such a rate in the last couple of months, that I am astounded.

Unfortunately, they have not had success with their girl counterparts. I am sure that is a blip which will be soon corrected.

Two of our elder staff in Mumbai joined the 64ers in their mini reunion. Mr. Jagdish Pande looks a picture of health at 79. I do not remember Mr. J. C. Mehta, who, I believe, taught Gujarati. He too is a sprightly 70+!

Here are some pictures from their reunion, courtesy Delhite, Deepak Deshpande.

If you are a 64er, you will find much more on the Cat64ers Google Group site being run by Deepak and Rustom. These guys have made me an additional site owner, a great honour bestowed on me, a 59er. Thanks guys.