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).
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.
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.
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.”
(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)