Class of 1981 Silver Jubilee 2006
All those who made it to the silver jubilee reunion of the batch of 1981 must have felt that same twinge of anticipation as I did when I set out for BCS on the morning of the 9th of November, 2006. I had arranged to stay at Khalini and walking up to School brought an avalanche of memories back. Engrossed in my own reverie, digesting the veritable changes around me, I reached the School gate whereupon I found a handful of ‘men’ and ‘women’, with kids in tow, gathering around. Not one of them seemed familiar and yet these were the ‘boys’ with whom I *must* have studied! Of course, upon formal introductions my mind was rapidly flashing back to whatever my 25 year older grey cells could clutch at in terms of visage and other points of reference vis-à-vis the ‘boys’ now around me. Sanjeev Chauhan (C) was perhaps the one who had altogether changed except for some of his mannerisms which I could only conjoin with much later. The least toll of the passage of time was, I thought, on Rajan (I) with Anirudh Singh (I) coming in an admirable second. However, quite a few thought that JS Dhanoa (L) was one who seemed to be instantly recognizable despite the intervening years since we departed from School. The biology of ageing seemed to have affected everyone else, at least that’s what I thought, in one way or the other and with varying degrees: Yadvendra Singh (L) had a shiny pate to show for it.
A special Chapel Service had been arranged for us and just as I was immersed in thoughts from the past, I was asked to read the morning lesson. Boy, was I anxious? [In all this, I managed to occupy the Hedy’s seat, about which I was reminded by Roach Sr] I felt as nervous as I used to when I had to do it way back then. However, I did manage to render a commendable reading or so I was told! In between the singing of psalms and hymns in walked Rajbir Guron (C); yes, he was recognizable, but just so. Amidst, all the singing, the musical tones of the piano and the organ seemed all too familiar! It was Mr Dayal, after all those years he still played as remarkably as ever. We were lucky to hear Mr Dayal’s rendition again since he has already retired: he was there as a stop-gap arrangement pending the recruitment of a regular music teacher.
Following the chapel service was a tea session in the dining hall. Amongst other things, ‘Chaddha’ was pushing those ‘bakery biscuits’ onto our plates reminding us that they were quite the genuine article of the yesteryear’s (I for one never fancied them then and found them as dreary as ever!). Subsequently, we went around the campus: from Mrs Modi down in the Remove dorms (who somehow seemed to remember most of us) and back up to the 1st flat via the 3rd and 2nd flats. We then went to see our respective dorms in the main school. Mr Peter stringer (L: 1947 batch) was with us reliving his stay in the Lefroy house dorm for the short duration that we looked things over. The bathrooms were cleaner by a mile compared to our times, or as Parmeet Sawhney (I) insisted, they were ‘swanky’! The whole school seemed to have been refurbished and burnished as compared to the time-warped ‘school’ in my mind. In between all these activities were interspersed photo-sessions and asides with some of the current crop of Cottonians who accompanied us on the campus tour.
We congregated back in school around 4pm when Parmeet, Ashwini Chaitley (R) and Yadvendra played tennis with some of the current boys and got the better of them. However, an attempt at basketball with the young Cottonians had most of the OCs panting for breath since they were no match for the fit youngsters. Almost all the attending OCs including MS Thakur (L), Manoj Jreat, Pradip Verma (L), Trivikram singh (I), Rajdeep Jain (R) plus the others mentioned elsewhere herein, were motivated to their rusty best by the charged environs: the young boys were lustily cheering “OCs, you can do it”!
Another break, and we were all back in the evening at 8pm. In the absence of the Headmaster, the Senior Master played host at his lodge where dinner was served with drinks and Chaddha’s “especially” prepared baked beans whose recipe he promised to part with next morning to the “maym’s”. Though Harish Janartha (R) could not come for the morning’s proceedings, he joined the OCs for dinner. Two OCs who couldn’t make it (despite being residents of Shimla) were Pramod (C) and Jaswant (I) Chauhan.
Colonel Dewan, along with Peter Stringer, was very enthusiastic (amongst other things!) about an elegant poster he had commissioned, that every OC would definitely want to own. There was all-round concurrence with the endeavor. The Senior Master presented memento’s to the OCs and their better halves (those that were there). The day also happened to be special for another reason; it was the birthday of Yadvendra’s daughter: yes, we did have a plum cake for the occasion! Another impetus for a spin down memory lane came in the personae of Mr. & Mrs. Advani.
Having stuffed ourselves with whisky (with due apologies to the teetotalers; at least one of the OCs insisted he was one) and food (yummy!) we all parted, only to return the next day to for the Sport’s Day celebrations. Sport’s Day was declared open by Sanjeev Chauhan and closed by Guron coupled with prize distributions by all the OCs in between. Having culled so many memories in this short interval, all of us departed with promises of keeping in touch: the veracity of which only time will establish.
Vineet Ghildyal (Lefroy: 1973-1981)
Dear Mr Robinson,
I, on behalf of the 1981 batch, thank you for holding the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of the class of ’81. I would especially like to thank the Senior Master for welcoming and honouring the OCs. A special thanks to the School Staff and the School boys, for the hospitality shown to us. I immensely appreciate the efforts made by the OCA towards organising the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the class of ’56 and the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of the class of ’81.
The service at the Holy Trinity Chapel was purely nostalgic, awakening our childhood, that had been lost in the daily rigmarole of life. The Basket Ball match between the School boys and the class of ’81, made us travel back in time, which could not be suppressed by our protruding bellies and receding hair lines. Since most of us met each other after a span of 25 years, it was a very rejuvenating experience, and the Silver Jubilee Celebrations was the triggering catalyst to go back to school and experience our gone by days once again. No words can express how we felt meeting each other with our extended families. I am grateful and honoured to have met Mr Peter Stringer an OC of the class of ’47, it was a pleasure that he joined our celebrations and encouraged us to keep it going.
I, on behalf of the class of ’81, congratulate the School staff, and the boys, who have till date upheld the dignity and the prestige of our school. We were honoured and grateful to be a part of the Annual Sports Day, and extend our heartiest congratulations to Mangat, for his record breaking performance in athletics, and wish him success in future endeavors. I, wish all the school boys ‘Best of Luck’ for their Annual Examinations, and may they repeat the same record breaking feats in the field of academics as well. I would once again on behalf of the class of ’81 and our families, who had accompanied us, thank the Senior Master and his wife, for the warm hospitality shown to us by them. We look forward to be in School time and again!
Rajbir Singh Guron
1972-1981 (Curzon House)
The names of all those who attended the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of 1981 batch are as under:
Rajan Chaudhary, and Family
Sanjeev Chauhan, and Family
J.S. Dhanoa, and Family
Rajbir Singh Guron, and Family
Rajdeep Jain, and Family
Harish Janartha, and Family
Manoj Jareat, and Family
Anirudh Singh, and Family
Trivikram Singh, and Family
Yadvinder Singh, and Family