Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Early Years

My name is Vijay Nair. Please excuse my American spelling. I have studied in SGHS from 8th to 11th finishing in 1971. Jagat and I were classmates during those years.
Many of you might be wondering why I chose the title ‘The early Years’. It is because those were the most impressionable years of my childhood. You know, as teenagers we were naturally curious and landed in a lot of trouble! By the way, the photo showing Soumen, Jagat and Casmir was taken in November 2004 when we had a reunion of the class of ’71. Let me talk about the reunion first. How it all started with me was a desire to connect to my ‘old’ friends and to know how they were doing. In summer ’04 I think I first located Barkat Singh in Ranjhi who then led me on to others like, Jagat, Subir, etc. Imagine! Talking to someone after 33 years! I was very surprised I could connect with so many of them. There were others also that I connected like the Ferns family, Elsie’s (she is a teacher at the school now) family, college-mates and others. On Nov 12, ’04 I landed in Indore station and looking out of my window I recognized Jagat right away. We were just kids when we knew each other and now I would be a guest at his house!

Vijay with Jagat's family at their home

His situation was such that he was working in Jabalpur but his family was living in Indore. However, I received a warm welcome at his home. Being Diwali I was expecting some festivities with a visit to a nearby temple, but it was a great surprise to see the unending fireworks that lit up the sky late into the night! It was my first visit to the city and like a proper host, Jagat showed me the sights around town. Two places stand out. One is a palace with French and English influences and the other is ‘Chowki Dhani’. His hospitality was great. It was the first time in over 20 years I had celebrated Diwali like this. Usually here we used to visit a family from Allahabad/Indore, do the Shree Ram ‘aarti’ and have dinner. Here it is illegal to burst firecrackers. Oftentimes, being of a commercial inclination, they set up a huge ‘mela’ which is mostly sales/exhibition. But one can still buy a good painting, clothes jewelry and, of course, have Indian snacks.

Jagat and Vijay inside Indore-Bilaspur Express

On Nov 15 ’04 Jagat and I took a train from Indore and landed in Madan Mahal station the next day. We were met by Babulal, alias Prabhir Mitra, for whom I was carrying what I call expensive plyers! It was early morning. Little by little I met them all. First of all I was struck by the change in some of them. I remembered their faces from a long time ago. It is a trick the mind plays. They too would be wondering at my change, right? I met all kinds of people – my old classmates from school and college, others who were ex-college, and school and college teachers. I will stop the reunion stuff here and move to the years at school.

Vijay was the most sought after class mate during re-union

Class of 1971 re-union at the Kanha National Park

My dad was in the Ordnance factories service and in ’67 he got transferred to Khamaria, near Jabalpur. This is his second posting in the area, the first being GCF where he was till ’62. So after moving we had to find a school for me. I remember when I went to SGHS how they tested me. They gave a set of questions to answer and I remember ‘Godavari’ was the answer to one of them. There was also an ‘interview’. I was anxious how my test had gone, but I was admitted. In those days there were very few houses near the school. One could look out and see open land outside. Ditto for the area behind the school. Here is a list of teachers who taught me that I remember. Br. Joseph, Br. Bosco, Br. Gilbert, Br. Frederick, Br. Justin, Br. David, Mr Shrivastava, Br. Paul, Mr Sharma, Mr Dinkar, Mr Choudhary, Mr. Khare, Pandit sir, Mr Mehra, Ms Khera, Ms Usha, Ms D’Souza, Ms Pathak, and many more. There was a young Englishman visiting, was it ’68? I don’t remember. Later, I wondered what prompted him to come to SGHS.
Br. Joseph was our 8th grade class teacher. With him we went to the yearly picnic to Khatau(?) with a truck lent by Barkat’s dad. We had great fun with all rolling around! Gooseberries (amla) along the river bank were a hit. The next year it was Bargi Tank and then Burno Tank? I do remember seeing the movie ‘Aradhna’ starring Sharmila Tagore and Rajesh Khanna in ’70 after the picnic.

Ms Khera, who joined SGHS in ’69, always used to be dropped off at school by her husband, riding pillion on his scooter. It used to be a Vespa. Barkat used to come to my place to play badminton. I remember one prank played by him. One day in Ms Khera’s class he brought a rose. I am sure he was playing with it innocently when all of a sudden Ms Khera caught him! She gave him a good scolding. What was he doing? Only he knows! She was very strict. I was scared of her, for you know, she would require her home-work on her desk as she walked in. If not, get out! I remember another drama associated with her. Once she stood us all in a line and asked us a question. As to what I don’t remember. She told us to speak the truth. An act of hypnotism followed. We thought we were invincible and she was not able to find out. Here is another prank. In ‘71 her whole class bunked to watch the newly released movie ‘Purab aur Paschim’ starring Manoj Kumar and Saira Banu! But she is what made us all we are today. Hats off to her! The last I spoke to her was in ’05 when she was in Pune.

Simultaneous equations used to scare me in the 8th. So would titration because I thought the end point could vary. Hope they have some sort of ion sensor now-a-days to determine that. But Br. Frederick who taught us Chemistry was very kind. He even helped me do a science project involving photography which is when I was able to coax my dad to get me a camera. It was an Agfa Click III. He taught me the basics of photo development.

I did the NCC program at school. It was the naval corps, so were dressed in white for the evening exercises. Even though tough I remember eagerly waiting for the snack at the end of every session! There was a wiry instructor barking at us to straighten up. The camp at Gwallior stands out in my memory. It was a 10 day event ending just before Diwali in ’69. The camp site in Gwallior was beautiful with a lake nearby where we practiced rowing and took other routine classes. I remember weighing myself at the station before and after the camp and discovering I lost 5 kg in the camp!

Mr Shrivastava was our Hindi teacher. Why we called him by the nick name ‘chussad’ I can’t recall. He used to have dreamy liquid eyes. Mr Sharma also taught HIndi. I remember he made a joke with the song ‘Aaj maine ladki pasand kar li …’ He was tall and had sharp features. It is a pity that with such teachers I find I have not studied the language enough. I am OK with any conversation but it is the reading that I think I missed. Other than one Gulshan Nanda novel, I don’t remember reading any Hindi books. But more than this, I did much injustice to Sanskrit and Pandit-sir who taught us the language from 8th to 10th. I always had the question in my mind what is the need for ‘avam’ in ‘aham, avam, vayam’, that is, the use of a separate word representing two of anything. It is not so in English. Today I wish I had learned Sanskrit more diligently for so many of our ancient texts are in it. The ‘Manorajyam’ story stands out clearly over the years.

Mr Khare had been our Math and Physics teacher. He was strict. One day as a punishment he made us all go out to the ground, kneel on our knees and crawl! That was very hard! I must have been overweight. I saw some sprinting across.How many of you remember the movie we all went out together after 11th? If you said ‘Kati Patang’ you are right! That pretty much ended my association for the time being with SGHS when I went to do Engineering in the nearby Govt. College. But I remember my days with SGHS and the subsequent reunion fondly. I will always hold those memories dearly in my heart.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Four Musketeers

While attending a workshop on CitizenSBI programme at Hotel Taj President, Mumbai a couple of days back, I noticed that a seminar of Tata Power Company was going on in the adjacent banquet hall. I felt slightly curious and walked in during the break and, after enquiry, discovered Vijay Chourey, my college mate, there. That took us back to our college days...

We studied at the Govt. Science College, Jabalpur from the year 1971 to 1974 and completed our Bachelor's degree there. Those were days more of fun than serious studies. We - Vijay Bajaj, Arvind Harshey, Vijay Chourey and yours truly - were the four musketeers of our class. After the classes were over we used to stand at the tiraha near the CPWD office and talk and talk. Our discussions were not on any particular topic, nor meaningful by any means, but they kept us together. We used to laugh a lot is what I remember now. Arvind stayed in the colony nearby, Bajaj was from Narmada Road, Vijay stayed at the Satna Building and I came all the way from Ranjhi. Arvind looked like a child and the office clerk refused to hand over the scholarship money to him. Next day, he had to come with his father to collect the scholarship.

I am not able to recollect the names of many of my class mates. Some names which I remember are P P Dubey, G P Dubey, Manjeet Kaur Jabbal and Uma Devi. Just four of them. I also remember a fat boy much older than us (whom we referred as Dadaji) who came from the suburban Panagar. He was a warm guy and I wonder where he is now and what he is doing presently. As far as I remember, we had one dark Vishwakarma in the class whom we referred to as the policewallah.

Our Professors were Handa (the Giant), Mahalaha, D K Mishra, S K Mishra, Nilose, Sahastrabuddhey ( also known as the policewallah), Madam Chauhan and Paliwal Sir. I am forgetting the name of a moustachiod Mathematics professor who pronounced "equation" as "yoocation" with a twist of his moustache - probably he was Mr Premchand. All of them were really good. Once a strike was called by the Student Leaders (which included Sharad Yadav) and the four musketeers opted to attend a Physics lecture of Professor Nilose. The leaders came to the class and warned us of dire consequences after we came out but the professor continued with the class.

One of us four musketeers was having a one-sided love affair with one of the college girls. He sent her a love letter full of poetry. Soon he got the reply from her. The reply was Spirituality of a high order with the concluding words -Eeshwar aapko sadbuddhi de!

The flash back has just started. Let us go back in time and re-create those dreamy days. May I request the two Vijays and any one of our class mates who are reading this to continue the string. I shall also contribute when I recollect more incidents. Bye till then.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

एक व्यंग्यकार की आत्मकथा

यह एक व्यंग्यकार की आत्मकथा है. इसमें आपको ’एक गधे की आत्मकथा’ से ज़्यादा आनन्द आएगा. गधा ज़माने का बोझ ढोता है, व्यंग्यकार समाज की विडम्बनाओं को पूरी शिददत से मह्सूस करता है. इसके बाद भी दोनों बेचारे इतने भले होते हैं कि वक्त-बेवक्त ढेंचू-ढेंचू करके आप सबका मनोरंजन करते हैं. यदि आप हमारी पीड़ा को ना समझकर केवल मुस्कुराते हैं तो आप से बढ़कर गधा कोई नहीं. क्षमा करें, हमारी भाषा ही कुछ ऐसी होती है.

इस आत्मकथा में जितने प्रयोग सत्य के साथ किये गये हैं, उससे कहीं अधिक असत्य के साथ. यह निर्णय आपको करना होगा कि क्या सत्य है और क्या असत्य. मोटे तौर पर, उपलब्धियों के ब्यौरे को झूठा मानें और चारित्रिक कमज़ोरियों के चित्रण को सच्चा जानें. आत्मकथा का जो अंश अच्छा लगे, उसे चुराया हुआ समझें और जो घटिया लगे, उसे मौलिक मान लें. जहां कोई बात समझ में न आये तो उसका ठीक विपरीत अर्थ लगायें क्योंकि व्यंग्यकार शीर्षासन के शौकीन माने जाते हैं.

व्यंग्यकार ज़माने के साथ चलता है और उनको पहचानता है जो गिरगिट की तरह रंग बदलते हैं. आपकी रुचि और रुझान की भी उसे पहचान है. इसलिये उसकी आत्मकथा में आपको भरपूर मसाला मिलेगा. इस व्यंग्यकार की हार्दिक और शारीरिक ख्वाहिश है कि वह भी कमला दास और खुशवंत सिंह की तरह चर्चित हो. इसलिये वह आवश्यक हथकंडे अपनाने को भी तैयार है.

अब आत्मकथा आरंभ होती है.....

संयोग से मेरा कलयुगी अवतार संस्कारधानी जबलपुर में हुआ जहां से ओशो रजनीश, महर्षी महेश योगी और हरिशंकर परसाई ताल्लुक रखते हैं. आज तक मैं यह नहीं समझ पाया कि लुच्चों-लफ़ंगों के लिये मशहूर इस शहर को संस्कारधानी क्यों कहा जाता है. भगवान रजनीश की प्रवचन-पुस्तक ’संभोग से समाधि की ओर’ का गहन अध्ययन मैंने जवानी के दिनों में गैर धार्मिक कारणों से किया था. महर्षि महेश योगी के प्रति मेरी गहरी श्रद्धा तब से है जब उन्होंने भावातीत ध्यान के माध्यम से विश्व शांति का अनुष्टान किया था और अमरीका ने इराक पर ’कारपेट" बमबारी कर दी थी. हरिशंकर परसाई का प्रभाव अलबत्ता मेरी सोच पर पर्याप्त रूप से पड़ा है. शायद वे ही इस व्यंग्यकार के प्रेरणा पुरुष हैं. उनकी तरह लिखना-पढ़ना चाहता हूं लेकिन टांगें तुड़वाने में मुझे डर लगता है. मैं प्रतिबद्धता का जोखिम मौका देखकर उठाता हूं.

हरिशंकर परसाई के सान्निध्य में कुछ बातें सीखीं. व्यंग्यकार कोई विदूषक या मसखरा नहीं होता. वह पूरी गंभीरता और सूक्ष्मता के साथ घटनाओं को देखता है और विसंगतियों पर निर्ममता से प्रहार करता है. एक बात में अवश्य वे मुझे ’मिसगाइड’ कर गये - उन्होंने मुझे ध्यानपूर्वक रवीन्द्रनाथ त्यागी की रचनाएं पढ़ने की सलाह दी. मैंने उनकी आग्या का पालन किया. प्रारंभ में तो बहुत आनन्द आया लेकिन जब प्रत्येक व्यंग्य में महिलाओं का नख-शिख वर्णन आने लगा तो मैं दिग्भ्रमित-सा हो गया. लिखते-पढ़ते वक्त मुझे जगह-जगह गद्य में उरोज और नितंब छिपे दिखाई देने लगे और मेरी बुद्धि और गद्य भ्रष्ट होते गये. मुझे लगता है कि सम्मानित व्यंग्यकार की खोपड़ी में कोई रीतिकालीन पुर्जा आज भी फ़िट है. मेरे लेखन में जहां कहीं घटियापन नज़र आये तो उसके लिये आदरणीय रवीन्द्रनाथ त्यागी को ज़िम्मेदार माना जाये.

शरद जोशी के व्यंग्य मैं मंत्रमुग्ध हो कर पढ़ता और सुनता था. उनकी शब्द छटा अलौकिक होती थी और मैं मुक्त मन और कंठ से उसकी प्रशंसा करता था लेकिन उनके चेलों में एक अजब-सी संकीर्णता व विचारहीनता दृष्टिगोचर होती है. वे हरिशंकर परसाई और उनके स्कूल के सभी व्यंग्यकारों को खारिज करते हैं जबकि उनके स्वयं के लेखन में दृष्टिशून्यता है. मैंने व्यंग्य लेखन की शुरुआत भोपाल में की थी लेकिन ऐसे व्यंग्यकारों से दूर ही दूर रहा. छ्त्तीसगढ़ अंचल के कुछ नामी व्यंग्यकारों के प्रति मेरी श्रद्धा, काफ़ी कोशिशों के बाद भी, उमड़ नहीं पाती.

आज तक मैं यह नहीं समझ सका कि इतने बड़े सरकारी अधिकारी होते हुए भी श्रीलाल शुक्ल और रवीन्द्रनाथ त्यागी इतने अच्छे व्यंग्य कैसे लिखते रहे. मैं एक अदना-सा बैंक अधिकारी हूं लेकिन लाख चाहते हुए भी लिखने-पढ़्ने के लिये उतना समय नहीं दे पाता जितना उच्चकोटि के लेखन के लिये आवश्यक है. नतीज़ा यह है कि मेरी गिनती न तो अच्छे अधिकारियों में होती है और न ही अच्छे व्यंग्यकारों में. मैं विग्यान का विद्यार्थी था. यह मेरी ताकत भी है और कमज़ोरी भी. जीवन और लेखन के प्रति वैग्यानिक दृष्टि मेरा ’असेट’ है और साहित्य का घोर अग्यान मेरी कमी.

व्यंग्य की दुनिया में महिला व्यंग्य लेखिकाओं और प्रशंसिकाओं की कमी बेहद खलती है. शायद ’व्यंग्य’ शब्द में ही विकर्षण प्रतिध्वनित होता है. फ़िर भी, भविष्य के प्रति यह व्यंग्यकार आशावान है और इंतज़ार के मीठे फ़लों के लिये पलक पाँवड़े बिछाये बैठा है. एक गृहस्थ व्यंग्यकार इससे अधिक खुले आमंत्रण का खतरा मोल नहीं ले सकता. मेरी इकलौती बीवी और मेरा इकलौता बेटा सब कुछ जानते समझते हुए भी मुस्कुराकर सब कुछ झेलते रहते हैं. उन पर दो अलग अलग व्यंग्य महाकाव्य बुढ़ापे में रचूंगा. अभी ’रिस्क’ लेना ठीक नहीं. अपने प्रेम-प्रसंगों पर भि फ़ुरसत में कभी लिखूंगा. इनमेम धर्म, संप्रदाय और प्रदेशों की संकीर्ण मानसिकता से ऊपर उठकर अनेकता में एकता की राष्ट्रीय भावना आपको दिखाई देगी. प्रारंभिक प्रेम कथाएं ’प्लेटोनिक’ हैं और बाद वाली ’फ़्रॉयडियन’ - यानि मैं निरंतर विकास क्रम में आगे बढ़ता रहता हूं.

लेखन और प्रकाशन के क्षेत्र में मैं बहुत ’लकी’ रहा. थोड़ा लिखकर खूब छ्पा और प्रसिद्धी पाई. कुछ साहित्य-संपादक मेरे खास मित्र हैं और कुछ पंकज बिष्ट के धोखे में मुझे बेधड़क छाप देते हैं. कई बार आकाशवाणी और दूरदर्शन पर भी मैं पंकज बिष्ट के नाम से वार्ताएं प्रसारित कर चुका हूं. स्थानान्तरण के बाद जब किसी नये नगर में पहुंचता हूं तो शायद इसीलिये मेरा परिचय ’सुविख्यात’ लेखक के रूप में कराया जाता है. मैं खामोश रहता हूं. मेरा पहला व्यंग्य-संग्रह ’तिरछी नज़र’ भी उसी धोखे में छ्प गया. प्रकाशक बेचारा आज तक पछता रहा है. पुस्तक का शीर्षक देखकर गलतफ़हमी में नौजवान और बूढ़े सभी इसे रस लेकर एकांत में पढ़ते हैं. बच्चे उसको पढ़कर बाल-साहित्य का आनंद पाते हैं. कुछ विद्वान आलोचकों ने इस भ्रम में पहले संकलन की तारीफ़ कर दी कि शायद आगे चलकर मैं बेहतर लिखने लगूं. पाठकों को मैं, खुशवंत सिंह की तरह, मसाले का प्रलोभन देता रहता हूं और वो मेरी रचनाएं किसी झूठी उम्मीद में पढ़ते चले जाते हैं. साहित्यिक मित्रों को बेवकूफ़ बनाना ज़्यादा मुश्किल नहीं होता. उन्होंने लिखना-पढ़ना, सोचना- समझना, काफ़ी समय पहले से बंद किया होता है. उनसे मिलते ही मैं उनकी कीर्ति की चर्चा करने लगता हूं और वे जाते ही मेरी प्रतिष्ठा बढ़ाने में लग जाते हैं. साहित्य का संसार अंदर और बाहर बड़ा मज़ेदार है.

समाज में व्यंग्यकार कोई सम्माननीय जीव नहीं माना जाता. इस जंतु को थोड़ी-बहुत स्वीकृति ’भय बिनु होय न प्रीति’ के सूत्र के अंतर्गत ही मिलती है. नासमझ लोग उससे उसी तरह खौफ़ खाते हैं जैसे क्रिकेट में बल्लेबाज तूफ़ानी गेंदबाजों से आतंकित होते हैं. मुझे तो ’लेग स्पिन’ गेंदबाजी में ज़्यादा आनंद आता है. लाइन, लैंग्थ और फ़्लाइट में परिवर्तन करते हुए, लैग स्पिन के बीच अचानक गुगली या फ़्लिपर फ़ैंकने का जो आनंद है, वो बाऊन्सर पत्टकने में कहां ! सार्थक और मारक व्यंग्य वही है जिसमें खिलाड़ी क्लीन-बोल्ड भी हो जाए और अपनी मूर्खता पर तिलमिलाने भी लगे. व्यंग्य में लक्ष्य-भेदन की कुशलता के साथ-साथ खेल भावना, क्रीड़ा-कौतुक और खिलंदड़पन भी हो तो आनंद कई गुना बढ़ जाता है. गंभीरता अपनी जगह है और छेड़छाड़ का मज़ा अपनी जगह.

यह आत्मकथा मैंने बड़ी संजीदगी के साथ शुरु की थी लेकिन लंबा लिखने का धैर्य मुझमें नहीं है और जो कुछ भी आड़ा-तिरछा लिखता हूं, उसे छपवाने की मुझे जल्दी रहती है. अतः आत्मकथा न सही, फ़िलहाल आत्मकथा की भूमिका पढ़कर ही कृतार्थ हों. शुभचिंतकों की सलाह पर धीरे-धीरे मैं अपने व्यंगों को ’चुइंगम’ की तरह खींचने का अभ्यास कर रहा हूं. अगर सफ़ल हुआ तो कभी न कभी आत्मकथा अवश्य लिखूंगा........

Friday, December 18, 2009

Old Group Photographs

Two old group photographs of Class of 1971, St Gabriel's School, Ranjhi, Jabalpur.
The first one was taken in Class VII in the year 1966-67 and the second one in Class VII in the year 1967-68.

Guess who's who?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Class of 1971 Reunion

A photograph of school taken during friendly cricket match and Soumen-Jagat-Samuel at the re-union.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

My School

My fondest memories are from my school days. I had my primary schooling at St. Joseph's Convent, Ranjhi, Jabalpur. We were innocent kids then. I cried while being taken to school initially. I don' have many memories of my primary school but I vividly remember that one morning during assembly, my classmate Subir was called to the front after prayer. His hair had grown long. Sr Jude made him sit on a chair in front of all, called for scissors and cut his hair. It looked as if a mouse had run over his head!

After our primary schooling, we moved on to St. Gabriel's School, Ranjhi, Jabalpur which was almost adjacent, with only a small church standing between these two schools. The year was 1965. Even before we had gone there, we had all heard about Dinkar Sir. You could have loved him or hated him but no one could ignore him. And, he wouldn't leave you alone either. He was just like an omnipresent policeman. You took one small wrong step and you would find him staring down upon you!

If I were to name one person from the school who has impacted my life, it would be Bro. Frederick, my Chemistry teacher. He had a unique way of teaching Chemistry and spreading the message of Chemistry to one and all. We organized a Science Club, a Magic Club and a Photography Club. We learned science by doing real experiments. I remember assembling a telescope, a small radio transmitter and a substitute for the Kipp's Apparatus. We became soulmates while at school and I kept in touch with him till he passed away recently. I reverred him and he was always proud of me. When he was transferred from Jabalpur to Patna, we had gone to see him off at the railway station and I still remember that when the train started moving I bid him good bye and then started running on the platform after the train and waving madly with tears in my eyes. By his blessings, I was selected as a National Science Talent Scholar and got meritorious position in the Board examination.

The other teachers whom I remember with a lot of respect are Mrs Prem Kheda, Bro John Bosco, Bro Joseph, Bro David, Mrs O D'Souza, Mrs Kulkarni, Mr Khare, Sharma Sir, Shukla Sir, Chaudhary Sir, Mehra Sir, Lazarus Sir and Shrivastav Sir. We had, on one hand, a teacher with a dhoti who taught us Sanskrit whom we called Pandit Sir and, on the other hand, a suited Englishman John Peak who came to our school every year for a few months all the way from England to teach us English Grammar. The standard and commitment to academics was of the highest level.

We also played a lot of games in the evenings - football, cricket, volleyball, badminton, table tennis and what not. I was good at atheletics - enjoyed the 100 metres dash, football and cricket - a medium pacer. May be because of my overall performance in academics and sports, I was elected as the School Leader in the year 1970.

Recently, many of us from the Class of 1971 visited our Alma Mater and had a re-union at the Kanha National Park. The school was gracious to arrange a beautiful cultural programme and friendly cricket match for us. Some of my classmates are Ainsley Niblett, Avinash Gaikwad, , Barkat Singh, Bijoy Mukherji, Cashmere Fernandez, Chandra Babu, Hardit Singh, Kumud Chakrapani, Rebecca Mullick, Richard Hendricks, Rita Basak, Rita Bhambani, Shanta Murthy, Samuel Walker, Shobha Pawar, K S Rajan, Mahendra Parmar, Mukundan Menon, Prabir Mitra, Soumen DasGupta, Subir Bhattacharya, Tapas Mukherji and Vijay Nair.

I re-visited the school in the year 1976 in my new avatar as a Chemistry teacher which I remained till I joined the State Bank of India in October 1979. My colleagues were Mr O P Mehra, Chaudhary Sir, Dinkar Sir, Madam Tobin, Madam Pushpa, Bro Barnabas, Bro Philips and Bro William. I am touch with many of my students of those golden days through social networking sites.

This is just a beginning. I will write more about my days at the school soon. Meanwhile, I introduce you to one my talented students, Shashwati SenGupta, whom I adore and who is in regular touch with many of her schoolmates. She has been after me to start writing this fast and has been pressing me hard. She has also promised to write me a testimonial and be my official biographer! I am requesting her to add some more pages to the sweet memories of our school. I also invite other Gabrielites to freely contribute to this blog. I may be reached at Bye for the moment!