59er Golden Reunion Directory

59er Golden Reunion Directory
59er Golden Reunion Directory

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Welcome this new day, Holi 2010

When Annikki and I left for India in mid-October, we drove the 600 kms from Oulu to Helsinki. We had snow storms for much of the day, heralding the early, very early, advent of winter.

We do not know much about the time we were away in India, but when we got back we were right in what seemed to be mid-winter. (I lost my old SIM card in the snow in Helsinki airport! But I have got the uld mobile phone number back last week, so you can call me on that number again!)

But winter in Oulu has just continued and continued. We have had the longest spell ever where the temperature has remained well below zero. Some days have been exceptionally cold because of the strong winds. The snowfall right through winter has been heavy.

The Vesaisentie and Kampitie gardens are totally and completely snow covered, with only one small foot track, each, to the garages.

From 2010 Photos February

From 2010 Photos February

Our reindeer stands deeply immersed in thought and snow. Just like Annikki, who has been wondering when it will be "snowman snow" as I think she is contemplating another unusual creation, like her mobile snowman, before the grandkids arrrive by March end!

From 2010 Photos February

From 2010 Photos February

From 2010 Photos February

The snow formations on the ladders and fretwork are reallly beautiful. The aluminium door and frame are a grewat view from the kitchen window.

Today and tomorrow are celebrated as the festival of Holi. Holi is celebrated, in many countries around the world where we have a Hindu population, and also in Bangladesh, at the end of the winter season on the last full moon day of the lunar month Phalguna (February/March), (Phalgun Purnima), which usually falls in the later part of February or March.

We certainly hope that this long hard winter in Finland, and which seems to be an unusual phenomena around the northern hemisphere this year, will draw to a close and the milder, warmer spring weather will be on us. (Friends in Dallas, Texas, reported snowstorms even at that latitude!)

Annikki and I would like to wish you a colourful and happy year ahead on this auspicious day.

(All these above photographs are by Annikki.)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

10% response!

When I put up a request on my blog or ask for info my very very occasional "Newsy Notes", the response that I usually get is about 2 to 3 % of the circulation.

I was amazed when I got a huge response to the last blog posting - nearly 10 %, as about 300+ of you fed me with your latest data.

If you spread the word, maybe we can get another 10% to feed me with their data.

The reason why this is important is that several of you are searching for information about your friends and loved ones.

I recently had a request from the amazing 56er Joan Austin, who is one of my dearest sweetest correspondents, cheery despite all the major health blips in her life. She had asked me for information about some of our alumni for a friend! (Please say a prayer for her as she goes in for yet "one" more major surgery very shortly!

When I put out the request, privately, through email, I was able to dig up information about a couple of the 50 - 52 ers, but still there was much missing info.

The network is so good that we can find usually data about friends from 1945 right up to the present day.

One important feedback that is now requested is the list of Cock Houses.

My outstanding photographer classmate, 59er Hasnain Chinwala (Chinnie), a few years ago, had fed me the photograph of the of Head Boys from 1955 to 1972, and McDonald Medal winners from 1943 to 1960. There was an error on the board for the year 1960, as 59er Vijay Nayar's name was missing!

From Seventh Heaven

Because of our intervention, prodding and teasing of Vijay (!), this has been corrected! (See photo of new Board, below.)

On Hasnain's recent visit to India, he sent me photographs of the latest Boards of Best Student (Academic) Medal Winners from 1918, Head Boys from 1937 and Head Girls from 1943.

From Cathedral School, Mumbai

From Cathedral School, Mumbai

From Cathedral School, Mumbai

I was under the impression that I had a picture of Boards which listed the Cock Houses. But I am not able to locate it in my files.

If someone can send me the picture of this Board(s), or even if you can send me the names of Cock House of YOUR YEARS in School, which you are sure is accurate, I would be grateful.

I know for sure that Wilson was the Cock House in 1956 and Palmer in 1959. as I have photographs of these years. I do have other Cock House Photographs but am not able to pinpoint the exact years. Maybe with the info that you now provide I can now code these old photographs.

Do not hesitate to send me scans of the photographs in your possession. They are always welcome.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

We now reach 3500

Cathedralites, CATS; I am pleased to anounce that our list of regular readers has just touched 3500.

Sadly, I do not have the email addresses (updated) of all of you, and I certainly do not have any data about most of you. But from the spread I see that you come from all continents (yes, including a few from South America!)

Please send me an email of whatever data you want included in my database, which is completely private and not shared with ANYONE.

However, the information contained in my database is used to be able to provide YOU news about your classmates, etc.

I know that there are several people operate their own class groups and email circuits, but they are not doing it on a day to day basis but rather on an event by event basis.

The database also allows me to check facts as several of you are my information base.

Without this base, the Seventh Heaven Blog is quite meaningless and would be the equivalent of a tabloid rag.

Now that we have moved into our 14th year online, longer than any other online school publication, if you want me to continue this effort, please do participate more in its creation by providing me with the content.

At the moment I have about 50 regular contributors, while the rest of you are silent observers.

Although I like silent observers, I much prefer active participants.

I can be nostalgic about the years that I have been personally at school, but only you can be nostalgic about your years at school.

The 56ers (led by Meena and Ubi) are doing a great job as are the 64ers (led by Deepak, Rajiv and Rustom). We 59ers are more atuned to our own Parallel Seventh Heaven Google Group.

Although our alumni association tend to use their own channel of communication, previous Presidents always kept me in the loop as they found they could reach a wider readership through my network. Also they could get valuable feedback as I tend to push and prod!

Present co-Presidents certainly value this Seventh Heaven Blog but they are not sending me the news on a regular basis.

Also, the School could be more forthcoming in its communication with this vast readership of many senior alumni members, who always have the best interest of our alma mater in their hearts.

Hopefully this co-operation picture will change as this year progresses.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I used to wonder

When I was in college, we had a small cinema theatre at Delhi Gate, just about 20 minutes walk from college across the Ridge.

When the movie "Love in Simla" (I think) hit the theatre, with Joy Mukerji and Saira Banu in the key roles, it was as a huge wave had hit Stephaniand and the college.

I went to see the movie, which was in super duper colour and with a lot of song and dance. I cannot for the life of me remember anything about the movie itself, except the two young stars sang everywhere.

However, I noted several of my friends went to that movie, some every day, some five times a week, and some two times a week.

I did not understand how anybody could go and see the same stuff so many times.

I have been watching the DVD of our Class Golden Reiunion for breakfast and dinner, every day since I received it.

It is so emotional to see it that as soon as it is over, I want to press replay, but Annikki's watchful eye sort of says, "Next meal, please!"

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Why I cried yesterday

Yesterday, I sent a text message, mid-morning, to Gopa (daughter of Cathedralite 54er Sadhana (née Shah) in Keravaa, that Annikki and I were looking forward to receiving the CD / DVD sent from India.

She replied me in a flash that she had sent it the previous day.

When I was leaving home for the office, after lunch, I looked in the post box. There was an envelope, prominently marked that the CD and DVD were inside.

As I tore the cover open, two wonderful group photos, of our class and another with our spouses, at the Cathedral Church before the Founders' Day Service, fell out. I could hardly contain myself.

I had my portable LG DVD player at the office. I set it up and ran the DVD.

From the very first shot to the end, I was an emotional wreck. The DVD had recaptured almost all of the wonderful moments that we had experienced at the 50th Reunion of our Class of 59 in November 2009.

Viki giving me the T-Shirt and Cap as a token of appreciation.

I was deeply touched by the few words spoken by Viki Savara just before he handed me a cap and T-Shirt with our class logo printed on it. I wear it proudly and take it off when Annikki tears it off my back!

And even more moving was when Jangoo proposed the period of silence to honour those who were no longer with us.

Yes, I have been nagging, I was persistent, I was shockingly forthright, in getting as many of our class to be at this historic reunion.

My failure was that I could not get so many of them to attend, as personal issues had denied us the chance to meet many of our classmates. The loss is ours!

Besides those who have moved on to a better life above, we especially missed these 59ers, amongst others, Bobby, Biju, Deepak, Delbar, Geeta, Jeanette, John, Mario, Mark, Matilda, Narayanan, Narsys, Nergish, Pravin, Sigrun, Sujit, Trevor, Vikram, Wabhi, and and the many spouses who could not make it.

Some of my tenants joined me to watch this as I played it through a couple of times, before I loaded the CD into my computer and watched the 350+ pictures so painstakingly put together by Hasnain (Chinnie).

A classic shot by Hasnain of Annikki and me.

After finishing a few chores I rushed home. Annikki was pleasantly surprised when she sat down and watched the DVD. As I watched it for the umpteenth time, I openly wept. (I got up twice at night and watched it again!)

I knew then what tears of joy really mean. The heart was filled with a great outpouring of love for all my wonderful friends who had made it to our reunion, as well as those who could not.

There has never been a Golden Reunion like this in the history of our school. It will be a long time before there will be another Golden Reunion to match that of the Class of 59!

Thank you Shivi, Piloo, Viney, Ooky, Vijay, Geeta, Madhu (w/o our late Ashok), Ashok, Anil, Armeane, Adi, Ratan, Anjali, Arun, Arvind, Asha, Atul, Bulsara, David, Farhana, Harmo, Inderjit, Jangoo, Ketty, Naubir, Noel, Parvin, Percy, Peter, Ramesh, Renuka, Robert, Saroj, Seeta, Sheryn, Venkat, Viki, Vikram, Vinay, Ellis, Zarin, Zenobia, and all the wonderful spouses, those staff members who made it a point to attend - John Billington, Bill and Pushpa Shiri, Jo D'Souza, Mehta, plus, above all, Chinnie, who, together, made this such a memorable event happen and helped preserve it in our hearts and minds for posterity.

I am looking forward to sharing the DVD and the photographs with our children and grandchildren as they too will treasure the moments captured here.

And now only one more step needs to be completed - the mailing of the 59ers Golden Directory!