Friends don’t say goodbye. They say HELLO!

April 25, 2007

class-12-mod.gif

As i walked towards Loyola’s gates on one very ordinary evening of March, i turned back and realised that this was no such ordinary day, i realised that this is the last time i will walk through these gates wearing my school uniform. The day we had all been dreading for a year had come to pass. The boards were over and we were bidding adios to our second home. I guess none of us realised it at that moment, that life would not be the same anymore. No more waiting for the Loyola school bus. No more loving uncles to welcome you into the bus with a smile, and no more little children to wave at you and offer you seats. No more friends waiting to talk about every subject under the sun. (…And above it… damn Jayagopal and his astro physics).

Thomas “MACHAN”
After today there will be no more moments of joy, in that class above princi’s office. No more will our dear Madhu uncle be sent by princi to ask us to keep quiet. No more will we disobey and be sent out. DP giving us a lecture about our behavior in the very next class will now just remain in our memories(and in my camera). When the fourty nine of us meet again far into the future to rekindle the memories of our school lives, shall we still remember joking around here these thirteen years, playing bingo in maths class, getting sent out of computer class, poke fun at DP and”wondering” about the pretty girl in tuition class(Nitheeshe.. itu ninne udheeshichanu, ninne thanne udheeshichaanu…ninne mathraam uddeshichaanu…) or rushing off to mob Jose uncle for the football at noon. I guess most of you seniors ,if any, reading this post can identify yourself in these words and are already having memories of the journey in the school bus running through your minds.
Let me make a humble effort to jot down what Loyola has been to us. Let me try to pen down the events which stick out in my memory to stand as a memorial to the wonderful times i had with my brothers. At the beginning of the year itself there was this omnious realisation that by the end of the next ten months, all of us would part, each moving their seperate ways to seek their fortunes. I guess then itself the truth of seperation had sunk in, as DP had said, for at the end of the year we must have been the only batch in which no one burst out crying during the farewell day. School leader Aravind had to keep reminding people that we need to stop playing around during the candle lighting ceremony at least. (”Boys .. this is supposed to be a solemn occassion. Will you please remain silent at least now”; he said).

Twelth standard was a special year for me. But then i guess it was special for almost every student in every school around here. For me and my fellow Loyolites, i can say that it was the year we have enjoyed the most. We had the most of fun. It also has a halo of sadness surrounding it because its the last year you are going to be studying with the guys you had around for most of your life. Thirteen years in the case of a Loyolite. I do honestly feel that the joy i had in spending these thirteen long years here cannot be found else where , in any other school in any other place. Yes, i know that if you; from another school, are reading this; then you will tend to disagree. And im not argueing with you. But i can tell you that i feel for sure that almost everyone who has experienced this will feel its different.

The year started with the talk of LA Fest. After all that is the biggest event of the year for a Loyolite in his 11th and 12th.And if you have read the one i posted earlier you will see that it was one hell of an event. We rocked the world that day. It was our day. It would not be taken away from us by anything or anyone. I shall remember every moment of that day till i die. (Oh why bother.. i have the whole thing in DVD hehe).
I shall refrain from going into that further because im sure that i have bored you enough with that on the other two posts. A last word on LA Fest. DP said that the day after every LA Fest we have a LA Fest evaluation day. And this time she wanted that only after I settle all the financial affairs in order. Ok, you got it- we didn’t have an evaluation day this time around. ;)Thanks to me- as my friend Ashik commented- the Greatest management guru the 21st century has seen.(Thank you da. I’m honoured). And also , did i mention? I’ve been hiding from Fr. Edassery for the past one year almost. Like i see him comming and its “ABOUT TURN. RUN”.
(Can you believe that inspite of this, when i went to a LOBA meeting last October 2nd, i was asked if id wanna be treasurer next time around !!).

Sigh, a funny thought. But a sad one too. Thinking about joining the LOBA reminds me that i have no more of my school days left to enjoy.

So anyway, where was i? Oh ye. As twelfth standard students, we were expected to be studying 24×7. But WE had other plans:D(Ah maybe i shudn’t be so happy about that now, seeing that i just saw what i scored for my Kerala Entrance exams and one word. “DAMN”).
Thinking about the start of the year; one of the first things that comes to my mind was the frenzy to drop as many subjects as you could. As soon as he heard that we can drop an extra subject now that we have a compulsary option called EVS or environmental science, our one man army- (i mean … comming in at 240 pounds… its.. GANESH)- marched right into the principals room and asked meekly: “Fr, can i drop computer?”. And ugh, in no other school would a principal reply to it with “No, Don’t. You will break it”.

At the end of that month we had half the class dropping computer just to escape the .. er.. really nice computer classes that only THE GREAT Shijo sir could make so witty with his “jokes”. Though we all say that Shijo sir was unbearable;i will still miss his classes. He just was classic. Around 20 of us dropped both Computer and Biology. That meant we had eight classes free per week. The 1st week itself we were found playing in the grounds and Princi ordered that all our free periods were to be spend in the library. Ah, though we resented it, i think that has also given us some of the best memories. Chatting away in the only library in the world where the board reading “SILENCE” is the only thing obeying what it stands for. Some of the best chats that us droppers had were in that library.

The next thing that is marked in bold in the school calender is the Youth festival. Though all our seniors made the most of their last youth festival by participating in everything they could, Fr Varghese saw it unfit that the 12th take part in too many activities. We ended up seeing just the inaugration of the event. Maybe the future generations will have better luck. I know Fr Varghese won’t read this. But if he does i want him to know that the last youth festival is something to be cherished and he made us miss that experience. Another thing i felt we missed out was on us being denied the chance to make a farewell song at the school day. We had yet again lost out on an experience that our seniors had enjoyed over and over. Whether the audiences did, however, is another question altogether. I guess most of the class was pretty sour about it. So sour that during the last speech that Vineeth gave- at the farewell- he started talking about how we felt like we were kicked out of youth festival and how it felt bad that we had been denied the opurtunity to sing at the school day. He went on talking about how we want to be a part of such great events like the school day, the youth festical etc. He continued for so long that he had to be told off the podium(Why am i not surprised. BB is NOT known for his SHORT speeches)…….But i ain’t complaining. What this place has given us in 13 years- two small incidents won’t be the undoing of it all. The love that we absorbed from this place shall radiate out of us wherever we go. Friendships in Loyola are formed for life.

Thinking of sports,for once this year i wondered what happened to the LOBA(I am already forseeing all the comments my friend Vineeth or BB as we”lovingly” call him will have to say about SPORTS. Therefore i thank him in advance for NOT saying that). For the 2nd time i saw that the sports day lacked the presence of many old boys. The tug of war had to be conducted between the divisions of the 12th and 11th. How very unfortunate. Where are you guys? I know for sure that the same time next year i shall be there to answer that call. And perhaps as early as seven in the morning. I guess old habits die hard. I’ve been to every sports day since 7th standard as early as i could to help Jose uncle mark the spots and carry out the flags.I don’t have much to say about the basketball tournament this year. Let’s face it. Our team was CRAP. It was not even close to the teams that i had watched as a kid. The teams of Jian, Karthik and the rest of the legends. The teams who fought till the last second of the match. In this 13 years i think i remember us winning only once though.

Nikhil!! you lost something. In 11th standard Nikhil and i had this stupid bet going that i would take off half his moustache. And so at night, during the trip to Goa, he asked Amit to wake him up when he slept if Syam comes near him. As soon as he slept Amit says:”oi syaaam.. hes asleep.. come quick”. And i start working away with my razor, slooowly when suddenly our class teacher Prabhu sir appears and just takes off half of it. The picture Zubin took 10 seconds after that is posted on the link above :D.(The picture had to be put in the link because it was too large for a thumbnail) I have been part of thirteen picnics that our class went to. And this year was probably the last with all of us in the group. And we sure made it a memorable one. A five day trip to Banglore, Honganankal and Cochin, accompanied by our dear Vice Principal Fr. Edassery is sure to last in our memories for a LONG time. (At least, the Chicks there are HAWT man 😉 )

I guess Loyola has changed pretty much in the eyes of some of the really old boys. We don’t have the old forests anymore.But in its place stands what is supposed to be the skeleton of the biggest auditorium in Kerala. We don’t have the old junior school building that you loved. But i think even though it has changed physically, the atmosphere that you get ONLY in Loyola has remained the same. For one, i know that every Loyolite has at some moment or the other felt that this place was different. It had an aura that differentiated it from other places. And that aura is what will help pick a Loyolite out from any crowd. I’m sure that everyone one of the Loyolites reading this has at some time or the other been asked by a total stranger: “Are you from Loyola”. Yea, As Krishnadev Chettan tells me; you sure find more respect among people when you say that you were.. no ARE a Loyolite.

Reminds you of the ICE-CREAM SODA KYA ?This person Reminds every Loyolite of the hours he spend in the PT ground playing football. After all, you have to literally beg at his feet to get a the sports items ehWill you come into my parlour said the spider to the fly…:P

When i pen down these thoughts i know im saying what every Loyolite who passes through those gates had to say tell the world. I am sure that they all had the same thoughts and i am sure they can relate to me when i say i shall miss the old forests waving the branches of the casurina trees around,our football field where we made our own games and our own rules (the only league in the world with an option called GOALIE CHANGE), where even murder would not amount to a free kick, the old slides, the ice cream soda (slurrrp), Joseph uncles Parattas, our loving uncles and the rest of it all that makesLoyola, Loyola.

Farewell

So many things to say. Our farewell, the last Sports day, the last march past, the last football match,the last Assembly, the last time all of us stayed 2nd trip and all sat together in the bus singing out as loud as we can. Hell, why am i saying “last”?? We shall after all meet again and come together many a time to relive the times we had together in this sylvian campus. The LOBA(Loyola Old Boys Association) shall still remain an integral part of whatever happens in this school.As they say, there is nothing called an “Ex” Loyolite. You just become an old boy. You are still a Loyolite.I say to the place which has been home to me for all these years and to all my brothers and teachers: “Goodbye. For now.. but not forever. We shall meet again.”

in-quest-of-excellence.jpg
For, we set out now, in quest of excellence….

(I would like to convery my sincere thanks to Akhil Andrews, Ashik S. Kalam And Vineeth Krishnan for reading through and helping me edit the contents. I appretiate all your comments)


LA Fest 2k6(The Informal)

April 25, 2007

D

And now that the formal reports done, i guess il go on with my personal views on the fete. This being just the 2nd la fest that i have seen, i cannot really compare it with the former ones and tell if it was the best or not.. although Mrs Deepa Pillai assured us that she had seen better shows. But i think i should go on and write about how it was to me
Before this year, i had seen only one years show and that was la fest 2005. Comparing to that i think this years show was a bit more organised and done better. The success of this years show was probably because of the quantity and furthermore the QUALITY of the participants. Unlike last year , we had a lot of the major schools , including STRS, STCS , HAC (both divisions) etc comming to the school. And most of the schools took part in all the major events. The preparations for LA Fest began near the end of June. June 29th to be exact. On that day the students of standard 12th, that is me and my classmates , sat down along with DP , to start planning for the big showdown. The 1st thing on the agenda was to elect the leaders, or in the LA Fest language- the CORDINATORS. They were to be six in number- two events cordinators who did the bulk of the organising(Ganesh and Akhil), two physical cordinators who were in charge of the physical work like photocopies, stationary, decoratons etc (Joshua And Dennis) and the logistics cordinator(Jijo) in charge of the computers, multimedia, printing, letters, sound, projectors etc. The last one was Aravind A Menon , the school leader himself who was the General cordinator, or in DP’s words- the cordinator of cordinators. We thought it funny that we had so many cordinators- so much that someone wanted to be named the GRASS-cutting-cordinator and then someone wanted to be the FOOD-tasting-cordinator etc. Anyway, The cordinators were elected by the students by a simple open ballot. They were to begin work immediatly. The next job on the agenda was to elect different people to manage different events and so it was. The last job on the desk was that of a treasurer, and when DP looked for someone who had nothing next to his name yet, the one left was me- who had not raised his hands for anything. And so , by sheer coincidence i got the job i wanted. Well i wanted it because it meant “not a lot of work, not having to get on the stage which i was so afraid of and having all the fun you want watching people work while you rest and keep your money bag close to your chest”. The next day itself everyone was given a briefing on how to go about their bussiness. The school leader was to ask the teachers and the principal to allow the students to skip a few( hem hem not a FEW) classes for the preparations. The coordinators were to divide the teams and send them to different places to practise. I was asked to go talk to the bank manager and the school treasurer and office manager on how to keep a simple account which i did. The next day i had to make a book , ruled with the apt titles for the accounts , credits and debts. The next thing i did was go to Vice Principal – Fr. Edassery , with the requisition form signed by Mrs DP and ask him for the cash. I was to keep it with me and give it to whoever brings a signed form to me.
My freedom of not having to practise stuff did not last long. As it is often with DP, she gives random responsibilities to random people. Like, when she wants a person to do somethign , she calls the nearest kid and asks him to do that without checking who he is(I guess most of my seniors know that eh?). And one day she was looking for a guy to be in the panel for the mock press and noticed me–“Syam . Come here and be in the mock press team”. Well, that wasn’t the toughest jobs to do in LA Fest either. But anyway, since the other panelists also had double jobs and i was seeing dollar signs in my eyes for a few weeks we did not get to do a lot of work for the Mockie Talkie. So it was decided that Aravind , Pranav and Erik- 3 seniors- would sit along with the panel to help with us in case we got “STUCK ” . But we were repeatedly reminded not to ask any COLLEGE LEVEL , nasty questions to the contestants, especially the girls. While all this was going on, the students off the higher secondary silently went on with their jobs. which included mailing and calling all the schools etc. Rohit Wester of 12 B is to be credited for designing one of the best brochures ever. Then the team went around to nearly 21 schools to deliver the brochures. (i know i paid the taxiwala a sum of 800 rupess).
As the treasurer i had to collect a sum of 250 each from every student in 11th and 12th for the T shirts and their lunch. This summed upto 48,750 rupees. As the treasurer i have estimated that this money , along with the money for the food (around 35000), the la fest budget of 40,000 and further unaccounted expenses have pushed the total turn over of the event to over 1.5 lakhs!. It is not everyday that a 16 year old gets to count 20,000 rupees in 10 rupee notes. At 1st i had immense difficulty handling the money and had to carry it to the bank etc, to get it counted. But the experiences of the past month have definitly made me better in the bussiness.
The organisers of LA Fest were free for the whole day to organise the show during the last few days of preparation. The teams spend hours practising their events and the 11th got briefed on how to be good ushers etc. All the while more and more money was being drained from my pockets(or should i say OUR pockets) and i made more and more visits to Fr. Edassery to get refunds. One of the most difficult tasks was to get all the students to being the money in time. In the end (which was like on D-day) every single paise was collected and registered. When the money given by Fr edassery (11000 till then) began to run out.. i was asked to divert the money from the T shirt money (i have yet to pay the T shirt man) , and in the process , for a brief period of time, the balance i had with me came upto 8000 rupess NEGATIVE.

THE DAY BEFORE
On the 24th of July,despite it being a holiday, everyone who was involved with the work showed up early morning to work towards perfection. The students stayed back till after 9 pm. The principal, very kindly arranged for a bus to take us back home at that time (Thank u father!!).

D-DAY
So, on the 25th , the Loyola team came to school at 6 30 am, as we knew that there are some schools who turn up at 7. We found that some of seniors , namely Paul Joseph, Krishnadev or kichu as he is known, Prasanth, Hari Shankar etc were there to help us out. We are extremly grateful to them for all the help they gave us. The 1st thing done on that day was to register at the counter and get the badges. Then DP made us line up in front of the school for the OFFICIAL PRAYER. No sooner had we finished it, we heard the sound of the STRS bus comming through our gates. Off went the shouts to the ushers to escort the guests to their rooms. The next job i had at hand was to approach Fr Edassry with my form and request for a whole amount of Rs 26,000. Im sure i would have been mobbed if the people there had known that the bag i was carrying around had 35,650 rupees in it!!. As soon as i got the money i had to run around searching for the prelims judges for the Mock Press. Then we had to open the prelims venue and make sure that the participants were ready. In this chaos, most of the organisors missed many key parts of the program. (btw Thanks to Vineeth for arranging a cameraman this time so we can get to watch it afterwards- oh well im yet to pay him for the CD). As the events went on , i was approached by many a people for money for this and that. The day before i had spend a total of around 11,000. But this day i gave 10000 to the mess committe alone at one stretch!. (Man, counting money has gone to my head!.im seeing dollar signs ) . As soon as the lunch break began, i had to be there at the mess too, to give out the food packets while the rest of my team was preparing the mockike talkie questions. So at 3: 30 , when i sat down at the panel desk to question the participants, i had absolutly no idea who the participants were apart from seeing them dresssing up backstage. So those who watched it should understand that it was one of the best , taking into consideration that most of the questions were spontaneous!. The response from the crowd has made me feel that everyone loved this new event. i hope im not wrong 🙂 . The part of this years show which made it phenomenal, i believe, was the atmosphere of the sutter hall. The noise was unbelevable!. You know the only thing thats more annoying that girls screaming in ur ears……….. is a SCHOOL FULL OF GIRLS screamin in ur ears!!!. Anyways, when the events came to a close, it was indeed mighty difficult to control the crowd in the loft. They just wanted to dance and bring the loft down.

The most satisfying part of the LA Fest , comes in the end. That is when over a hundred people approach you and thank you for inviting them and letting them have one hell of a time! The feeling as they come in a line to thank you, is unexplainable to someone who hasnt been in the same shoes. After hearing their responses, i am so confident that most of them will be comming back next year to see it. We have indeed put up a mighty challenge to our juniors. They will have a tough time living upto the expectations. What they say is right:- during the conduction of the show, the Loyolites do gain something. Somethign that they will find hard to gain elsewhere.. The experience of teamwork and the spirit that LA Fest brings. And now i must conculde this report, because i have to go settle my accounts, write the financial report.. and collect the remaining money to pay the debits… cheers. Au revoir! .. loyolites ROCK ON!


LA Fest 2k6(The Formal)

April 25, 2007

la-fest-spiralling-away.jpgThe Brochure

The 25th of july 2006 will stick out in history as the day when the city stood still.The day when LA Fest went off with a blast. At 6 in the morning, the loyolites of 11th and 12th gathered in the school , eager to welcome the awaited guests to the school(under the expert supervision and watchful eyes of Mrs Deepa pillai as usual). The signal to begin the day came when St. Thomas Residential school’s bus rumbled into the Loyola grounds, with over 60 participants raging to take home the prestigious Nataraja. They were followed by St Thomas Central, Nirmala Bhavan, Mt Carmel , Christ Nagar ISC, Hss and CBSE, Holy angels ISC and CBSE ,Trinity Lyceum, Trivandrum International, BharatiyaVidhya Bhavan,Kendriya Vidhyalaya Patton and Pangode, Sainik School, Infant Jesus etc (and all the schools i forgot to mention), which made the total number come upto a record number of 16.The schools were warmly welcomed by the ushers from the 11th, who led them to their rooms and helped then around the campus the whole day. When all the participants had arrived and were seated in the Sutter Hall (which is around a quartr of a century old and has witnessed 10 years of evolution), the events of the day began after the inaugration by the chief guest, IG Arun Kumar Sinha. The 1st event on the stage was Harmony, which was started off by a song from the Loyolites and which saw the singers from the different schools making the hall resonate with their talents. After that the audience were entertained by the different schools participating in the Filme Duplicano. Then the crowd witnessed a battle between the four selected teams for the quizzers throne. After this all the schools proceded to the Loyola school Quadrangle to fill their bellies while being entertained by the loyola band playing music for them throughout. As soon as the lunch was over, the sleepy audience was whisked back into the auditorium by the ushers for the Block ‘N ‘Tangles event. After the battle between the BLock’N’Tangles teams, the crowd were suddenly pulled to their feet by the reincarnated event , the Mockie Talkie. The Sutter hall shook with the tremors of the applause as the panel and the contestants fought a war of wits, each trying their best to outwit the other. Each retort by either was cheered by the wonderful audience who had come all the way here to help make the party get off with a bang. The crowd who were warmed up by the Mockie Talkie were then sent into overdrive by the next event, unargueably one of the best ever- THE LA PERSONA!. The six finalists, filtered out from the 32 that appeared were caught up in the battle for the sash, during which was one of the best shows the Sutter hall had ever seen. The participants were judged on what they could do, and what they could not. The event which combined parts from Harmony, Dance’o’mania, and the likes of Block’N’Tangles drew huge cheers from the audience who had packed the hall to its fullest. After this came that which was probably the most awaited event of all- Dance’O’Mania. All 16 schools had registered for the dance . And as planned, all 16 pulled it off, rocking the stage and the hall with their brilliant dance steps and acrobatics. The committe had promised that LA Fest twenty oh six , would end with a bang and so it was to be. The last item was the dance by the Loyolites who had been preparing for the event for quite some time. The impact of the event was obvious from the reactions of the wonderful crowd. At the end of the fete the Sutter Hall was reverberating with cheers to the hosts. And then , as the school leader Aravind Menon said, all good things must come to an end. So was it to be with this years LA Fest. The chief guest for the closing ceremony Ms. Sayanoura , followd by the Principal , Fr Varghese Anikuzhy and the team of cordinators got onto the stage to give away the trophies to the winners and to convey the spirit of LA Fest to the other participants. And finally the moment to acknowledge the participation had arrived. St Thomas won the runners up trophy and the winners were Christ Nagar ISC school who took home the not famous NATARAJA. Vishnu R.C of Sainik School took home to sash for Mr. LA Fest while the Ms LA Fest sash went to Ms Medha of ST Thomas Central. The joy of the winners, the dissappointment of the other and the nostalgia of the former winners were apparant. Though the events and overall time got a bit stretched due to the quantity of participation, the quality was as high as always. The guests piled into their buses , taking home the trophies and cherishing the memories of the day- to keep forever. Their gratitude towards the hosts , for providing such hospitality was expressed with utmost sincerity. And so it was that the greatest day of the year had come to an end. The memories will linger on forever, in the minds of those all who were present for the fete. And those who were not , they shall think of it with regret. 11 years gone…more to come.. Loyola waits for everyone to come back next year. Viva la LA FEST.. VIVA LE DP!!!! adios!

Oh btw, in case anyone wants the la fest song…..

http://rapidshare.com/files/36375682/LA_Fest_Song.mp3.html

here it is.