A Aloysian, Will Always Remain a Aloysian! ‘Classmates’ of 1975 Batch of St Aloysius High School Turned ‘Glassmates’ at the Reunion Bash held at Mangalore Club, and shared the good old fun that we all had during our School days.
Mangaluru: As the quote goes “Once an Aloysian, Always an Aloysian!”- that’s right. And especially during a Reunion of classmates, it’s always a history, where past memories are shared and cherished. Yes, reunions-they can be excitedly anticipated or painfully dreaded. Either way, the first hour or so can be awkward as classmates shuffle in from all over. Reunions should include time for catching up and renewing old relationships. Getting past that awkward hour will get a little easier, if there are lots of fun and easy reunion ice breaker games. And for that matter, the reunion or call it a get-together of a bunch of classmates who shared the same classroom or maybe shared the same benches came together to have a social night out.
Yes, Class Reunions or Alumnae Reunions are a chance to brag about what they may or may not have accomplished. In some there is the fear of what has not been accomplished. And there are some that are just interested in how far people have come. There is also a chance to look at the humorous side of things. Spending time looking at the fashion and the hair in old photos, and is also a chance to look back at some of the stupid things that were done while being classmates. But during the weekend a bevy of Classmates of St Aloysius High School -Mangaluru during the year of 1975 got together at Mangalore Club to cherish the moments and fun that they had when they were students of this prestigious institution.
It was a nostalgic journey down the memory lane for us classmates who came together for the Reunion Bash. The memoirs of yester years were once again rejuvenated as we all shared our memories of those olden, youthful, cheerful days full of happiness and joy. To enliven the atmosphere there was not only food and drinks, but a few of us shared a few jokes and naughty things we did while at school. And apart from fun and frolic, and lots of friendship cum fellowship, there was a sumptuous spread of food that added spice to the occasion.
Being an old student of St Aloysius High School 1975 batch, I had the immense pleasure of meeting many of my buddies whom we had lots of fun with during our HS days. Sadly few of my classmates have already turned grey, some have gone bald, some have lost teeth, some have become rich and some are trying to become rich, some are still hanging around in Mangaluru involved in various profession, some entrepreneurs, while some are abroad, and some minting money in the trade that that they are attached. But compared to all these “Old Guys’ ‘, I looked quite young YOUNG- I guess it’s all in my hormones? (Shhh.. I didn’t tell them that I dyed my hair to look still young!). Oh well! It was indeed fun to interact and join in the fun after so many years, and also share our news and views over a glass of our favorite drink !
The batch of 1975 has produced many doctors, engineers, scientists, bankers,among many other posts-to name a few- Dr Ananth Agarwal- the Founder and CEO of edX, an online learning destination founded by Harvard and MIT, USA; Dr Shivasharan – a renowned Environmental Scientist based in UK; Nazir Ahmed- CEO of a Bank in USA; among many others. Since this get-together was planned at the last minute, not many could make it due to their prior engagements, and many were out of town.
L-R : Mahesh Raj; Roy Castelino; Melville Patrao; Alfred (Alfie) D’souza; Terrence D’Souza; Ravishankar Rao; & Purushotham Salian
Mahesh Raj is a Fisheries Consultant, based in Mangaluru and Ex-FAO (UN National Consultant) ; Roy Castelino- a Builder and also a PRO at Mangalore Catholic Diocese; Meville Patrao- Marketing Consultant for Renowned Companies; Alfie D’souza- was employed as Lab-Tech/Quality Control in a Chemical Plant in Chicago, USA for 24 years, and now a journo with Mangalorean.com; Terence D’souza- a businessman, managing A R D’souza and Sons-the leading cloth/readymade manufacturers in Mangaluru; Ravishankar Rao- Professor and Head of English Department at Mangalore University-Konaje; and Purushotahm Salian- Medical Pharma Consultant
During the get-together we shared our naughty things we did during class hours-throwing paper planes at the teacher, bunking classes and spending time at Mangli’s (Ananth Shenoy) Sugar cane juice shack; whistling and making noises etc etc- but we were still good grown up kids. We never had iPhones/iPads/or laptops during our time-like the spoiled present generation- we were in our own world- no selfies, no sending SMS’s or chatting/Whatsapp-ing etc. We all loved our school days at St Aloysius and we still cherish and have fond memories of those yester years. We still remember our strict and disciplined Headmaster in Higher Primary school-Fr Denis Coelho, fondly known as “Shivaji” (because of his appearance) and in High school, Fr Lawrence Pinto, whom we all loved very dearly. We still remember our favourite teacher Mrs Evelyn D’souza, who is now 96 years old, and we met her on Sunday. ( Article on that to follow soon)
L-R : Ryan Aranha; Naresh S Kuamr; Jude Rego; Allan Fernandes; Melville Patrao; and Gopinath Pai
Ryan Aranha-a Coffee Planter and Agriculturist; Naresh S Kumar- Businessman/Auto Industry Consultant; Jude Rego- Entrepreneur and Insurance Consultant; Allan Fernandes- retired from Hindustan Lever Co; and Gopinath Pai- dealing in Complete IT Hardware, IT equipments and other related products.
Anyways, it was great to see old classmates after nearly four decades, and really happy to see a bunch of those grainy little images that looked hauntingly familiar.Oh the memories! How they all came rushing back! That was the expectation. The reality was different. It was time to get reunited with the school chums. When I saw Guys at the reunion, I decided to let bygones be bygones. I ended up feeling pretty good about my classmates. The biggest surprise was how little most of us had changed. The people who were interesting characters back in 1975 were still interesting characters, and the dorks — well, they were still dorks.Oops sorry, if I did hurt anyone-but take it as a joke, buddy! Our get-together was like going back to school and forming a friendship and it was lovely to see all of us having our own journeys and doing well in our own careers. We had so much to talk about and we were privileged enough to be a part of the transition.
L-R : Arun Bhat; Michael Colaco; Shivanand Rao; Madhukar B Rao; Dr Anand Pereira; and Sunil Rego
Arun Bhat- retired from Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Ltd (KIOCL) and presently manages a pure-veg restaurant “Mango Grove,Balmatta,Mangaluru;Michael Colaco-Retired from working in Gulf for many years; Shivanand Rao- managing automobile dealership ‘Rao & Rao’ Mangaluru, and a Share Broker; Madhukar B Rao- businessman/dealing in Telecom products ; Dr Anand Pereira- Microbiologist in Mangaluru; and Sunil Rego- Tile Factory owner and Real Estate.
Arun Naik,(left) a entrepreneur and manages ‘Juice Junction’ and also a Punjabi Restaurant in Mangaluru chating with his classmates
One more good thing is that reconnecting with schoolmates through Apps/whatsapp driven life has turned much easier in the age of smartphones where popular tools like WhatsApp messenger have become the fastest as well as cheapest platform to communicate and relive your school days memories. We do have a WhatsApp group, which is a hit , with all of us of the 1975 batch still keeping in touch. I think it’s a very convenient and easy means to stay in touch as well as get real time updates on what your very first school friends in life are doing. Though initially I found it a bit too much to get uninterrupted messages on the group all through the day, but now I enjoy the sweet little jokes and positive vibes we share.
Infact, it is now taking our new found friendship to a matured level. In school, we may have fought with each other and had other rivalries, but in this group we all appreciate and get to know each other’s lives in a very mature way. We share our family pics which receive instant likes from friends. Isn’t this a great idea to renew our long lost bonding. Heart-to-heart connection is more important in friendship. It’s more of enforcing friendships. The level of closeness will vary between individuals due to differing opinions and subjects they would like to connect on. On Whatsapp, we are in touch on personal chat. It’s not necessary that the bond I share with each of my friends is the same between the rest in the group. School days memories are the best part of your life and only school friends can understand what you were at that time.
We the bunch of this Class 1975 express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to our Alma mater-because what we are now is only because of the education, training and discipline given to us by the Jesuit priests, our teachers and not forgetting the non-teaching staff. Thank You! St Aloysius Institution for making a difference in our lives- and once again we the batch of 1975 express a big Thank You- long live St Aloysius Institution- and Long Live the 1975 Batch! Cheers until we meet again for yet another get-together of the “Brady Bunch?” of the 70’s?