FOUNDER’S DAY 2010 FLASHBACK AND FAST FORWARD

Founder’s 2010 turned out to be a nostalgic visit for me. It was a flashback to the wonderful three years I spent at Lawrence School, Lovedale with a truly memorable bunch of boys and girls. It was the place which turned me from a shy, introvert girl into a confident person who can handle the ups and downs of life. The fast forward lives of the group that gathered to celebrate 50 years after leaving school – the class of 1960 – was a great revelation for me as I learnt how my classmates had handled the highs and lows of life but had kept the school motto “Never Give In” close to their hearts.

Thank you all so much for writing in my autograph book. Your messages will be read often over the years. I am still trying to track down my old autograph book but haven’t been successful.

In alphabetic order I pay tribute to this wonderful class of 1960 – and some not from the class – in bringing back beautiful memories, which I had nearly forgotten and I also add their amazing spouses to my list of favourite people.

CLASS OF 1960

ANAND MUNDKUR AND JAYA

I was always scared to approach this silent intense and handsome boy lest he bite my head off. Behind those intelligent eyes, framed with studious glasses was a brain that got him all the professional accolades he rightly deserved. But what a delightful change from the sombre little fellow to a jolly, talkative, still distinguishingly handsome, tall man who now talked freely on all subjects (and didn’t growl when girls spoke to him). This change I think I must attribute to his pretty, pert, petite wife, Jaya – a bundle of humour, charm and grace and someone I enjoyed chatting with. They make a great pair and what a pleasure it was to meet both of you and I hope this is not the last meeting we had.

GEORGE K KURUVILLA (PIXIE)

He was the cutest boy in class with the juiciest cheeks that I couldn’t resist pinching. I can’t imagine how he endured me, the pest, who harassed him! But Pixie, (I can’t call him George it is so stern!) the man is what I am truly proud of. He was always top of the class in studies (how we envied him) and he proved he was still the best by achieving the highest honours in his career and life. Still as naughty and pixyish as ever, I love the humour and play with words that you have, that make you the wonderful classmate I am fortunate to have had.

KURUVILLA THOMAS AND HIMA

Kuru or Kra – he was the handsome, tall, Casanova of our class. Girls – old and young – flipped for him as he walked past but he didn’t care as hearts were strewn along the way. Sitting on the last bench in classes, Kra didn’t bother when marks for tests were given out. He was the sporty guy with the infectious smile as he won medals on the track field. From fun loving, carefree Kra, to responsible caring Dr Kuruvilla Thomas – stately, gentle and so honoured in the medical profession – is the most wonderful beautiful change. I am truly blessed to have known you. Hima the lovely, modest better half of Kra is the perfect partner for you. An orthodontist and lecturer in reputed colleges in the USA, it was my privilege to meet her and you and I truly wish we meet more often in India or USA.

S LAKSHMAN

The all round boy at school and the other half of twin Ram (we miss him so much), Lakshman was the perfect blend of academics, sports and gentleness in school. 50 years later he hasn’t changed a bit physically or mentally. He is still sporty – but now an ace golfer – a perfect gentleman, a great kind human being and always ready to help his school and class mates come what may. Our reunion’s success is his hard work. Lakshman I am really one of the luckiest people to have had you as a friend and thank you so much for your affection and kindness at all times.

SRILATA SWAMINATHAN AND MAHINDER CHOUDHARY

She was the star of our class – the beautiful, vivacious, sociable, extrovert. She welcomed me, a shy introvert, scared girl and taught me the ‘ropes’ of life in a boarding school. I have not forgotten that Srilata. She was the girl with a heart of gold who spoke her mind (at times too often) was the heart throb of boys – both big and small; as Kra so rightly described her as “Hubba hubba hubba hubba” (must get the translation from him at our 75th reunion). She was a leader in school, so I’m not surprised she is one of the stars of the CPI M (L). I always visualized her as the PM of India but am glad that she has found her calling with a wonderful soul mate, Mahinder the soft spoken gentleman who blended so beautifully in our wild group of 60. He is a perfect stable foil for our firebrand Srilata. It was great to meet you both after so many years and may your labours of love bear fruit.

SUDHANSHU OGALE AND RAJU

He was a quiet, shy boy I hardly spoke to, but a gentleman even then. Sudhanshu I never knew that was your name till our reunion. Imagine how life in school at times revolves around surnames when the first names speak volumes about a person’s personality. From quiet classmate to a prosperous career in the USA I am really thrilled to learn about your progress. Raju your lovely wife who recognized me before you did – I feel I have known you longer than Sudhanshu. It was such a pleasure travelling and interacting with you both and I hope our friendship continues through the years.

THOMAS T JOB

Air Com T T Job you are truly a born leader. If you had not whipped us into a group for the 50th reunion we would have lost out on the most wonderful memories of our lives. Thank you so very much. I may have spoken a few sentences with you in school but I remember you as a smart, conscientious, gentle boy who had impeccable manners. The mature Job is the same and it is my great fortune that I know you. Your rise to fame with all the honours you have got in the Air Force (including the one for playing cards!) were rightly deserved. Looking forward to you getting us together in 2035!

VIDHYA SAGER RAO AND DEEPIKA

From an aloof almost haughty boy in school to a gracious delightful man what a pleasant surprise and joy to have met you. I remember our rehearsals for the play “Kutte Ki Maut” in Hindi and I didn’t know you were as scared of dogs as I was. I was really thrilled to hear about your achievements but more amazed at the wonderful social work you are doing running the school. Deepika your lovely partner is an ideal companion who is helping you with your work. What a great couple you both are and I enjoyed every minute with you.

VIJAY P SRINIVASAN AND PREMA

Imagine I never knew what “V” in your name stood for in school! We girls can be so disinterested in names at that age. But I still love calling you “VP”. You were one of the gentlest, sweetest, kindest, innocent boys in school and you haven’t changed a bit. You are still the “VP Srini” we loved in school and love even more now. Your lovely wife Prema was a pleasure to meet and I wish I had got more time to interact with her and you. I wish you and Prema good health, happiness and peace all through your lives and see you soon hopefully on my travels to the South.

OUR EX CLASS MATES

RANJIT BATRA

What can I say about the handsomest boy in my class who broke hearts every hour? Ranjit Batra was the dashing sportsman, Head Boy and everything that boys wanted to be and girls dreamt of in their boyfriends. Ranjit seeing you 50 years later may have been a visual surprise, but that charm and style is still very much in place. You know how to make a woman feel like a million dollars; so I won’t be surprised if the fairer sex is still chasing you.  It was great meeting you and when I pass through Coimbatore (which I do every year) I would love to hear your cheerful voice.

RUKMANI REDDY

Beautiful Rukmani in school hasn’t changed at all. She is still the gorgeous gal who drove the boys crazy. Warm, loving, caring, Rukmani, even though we separated in the final year; I have always loved meeting and talking with you. From popular Head Girl to designer of film costumes, interior decorator and the pride of Chennai; it was once again wonderful to meet you after so many years and hope we do so in future more often.

YOHAN K JOHN

I remember the tiny boy in class but don’t remember chatting with him. I was very happy to meet you and even more thrilled to know that you knew my aunt and cousin in Secunderabad and stayed with them. I hope to see you soon in the Future.

JAI CHAKO

It was always Jai Chako and Jani Uthup for me so seeing you Jai again was great. From a naughty little junior who often teased me in school, I am happy to know you are a prosperous business man but with the same entertaining sense of humour and a great memory for past details!! Hope to see you in Lovedale or Mumbai if you ever come.

JOSEPH THOMAS

I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting you in school but it was wonderful to meet you in Lovedale and listening to all the lovely stories of your times. The pictures you have uploaded are great and the musical party was a rocking time for me in Ooty.

Since then Anand Mundkur and Srilata Swaminadhan have left us.

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