By Mahesh Nayak
Mangalore, July 10, 2011: Frankly, it was a get together that wasn’t meant to be. Rajashekar Kailar, an Atlanta (US) based cyber businessman and a member of the St. Aloysius batch who completed SSLC in 1983, was on a casual home visit. Wanting to check out on his classmates, he called two of his buddies for lunch at Gajalee restaurant, near Circuit House. However when lunch time came the number of invitees had zoomed from two to twelve! The buzz had spread like wild fire and even as the lunch progressed many new faces kept dropping in! A few even later called up on the cell phone to hurl the choicest abuses on their class mates for not informing them in advance. This was the first time the classmates were getting together after more than 25 years. After pre-university, they had all gone their own separate ways pursuing higher studies and later on to their careers.
Each man was keen to give the others the latest update on their lives. Shailesh Semitha said that he and Raja Kailar were now business partners on two sides of the planet; he in Bangalore, Raja in Atlanta. Yet another expatriate who was lucky enough to be in town was Roland D’souza, who now works in Muscat as Operations Head of Atlas Copco. He had brought along his little daughter Aldrea and she sure got a taste of how ‘nice’ her daddy’s classmates were!
Subodh Rai is now a top executive with Nitte University. His brother Ram Chethan who is also a classmate (no they are not twins!) unfortunately could not make it. He is now a dentist. Jerald D’souza keeps busy minding his family’s business (he hails from the famous A.R.D. Souza lineage). Arun D’souza continues to keep the people of the city clean with Coronet, his dry-cleaning business. If Sharan Shetty got a bit of extra love from his classmates, it was but natural, as he runs a wine store! Rajesh Salian is into real estate business and looked remarkably youthful. Subhash Babu gets people to smile as he is now a dental professor at A.B. Shetty Institute of Dental Science, Derlakatte. Deepak Talwar who did a lot of the ground work to get all the friends together, too is in business.
The classmates were envious of the three wise men among them who were still happily single. Russel Rasquinha’s full time job is to run his business and make enough money to blow on his next world tour; he regularly flies around the globe visiting friends and relatives. Michael Menezes, after trying his hand in various occupations, has now landed a plum job with Mphasis. Mahesh Nayak is the Executive Editor of Mangalore Today English Monthly and quickly volunteered to write this article for the sake of his long lost classmates. Over the table they identified yet another singleton Noel Roche, who missed attending the lunch.
They mourned the sad demise of John Sampath earlier this year. He was working for Yenepoya University.
Prithvi Ganapathy Devaiah who was their classmate in the first standard and vanished after that for 9 long years, to resurface in degree college (where he was Mahesh Nayak’s classmate), called up from his estate in Coorg and rued the occasion as he missed everyone. Glen Patrao, whose name got immortalized when one of the teachers famously mispronounced it as ‘Ganapathy Rao’ (or was it a crackpot student who misinterpreted it for the others?) too called over phone to express his displeasure over being left out. He seems to have suddenly transformed from being a construction contractor to a kiddie school founder and principal.
The friends also found out that Rajiv Pandit, now based at Bangalore, was coming up with a website for their class. The mates were curious to know the whereabouts of their old teachers too.
A curious fact, it was noted, was that theirs was the last all male batch of St. Aloysius College – a unique distinction, if it can really be called one – in the 131 year history of the institution. The management had decided to admit girls in small numbers from then on, in order to sanitize the he-men. The wisdom of this key policy turncoat, it was felt, would have been adequately appreciated if only St. Agnes had not failed to return the favour.
The classmates’ excitement at seeing each other knew no bounds and the riot they created at the restaurant could be forgiven only because it was a laid back Sunday afternoon. Even after the beleaguered restaurant staff ran out of both hospitality and kindness and virtually ushered them out because it was well past closing time, the friends lost none of their enthusiasm. Jerry promptly called up a cousin and herded the crowd to their exclusive beach house in picturesque Sashihitlu, where they happily spent the evening away.
As the evening came to an end, they all concluded that this is only the first step and more classmates should be tracked down and brought to book.
So the game is afoot …. The big hunt is on …
Those who belong to the SAC Class of 83 may email their contact details to: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org