Sunday, June 16, 2013

goldenjubilee year function of New English School

It’s amazing how easily we connect with the guys spanning few years ahead and behind our batches. Often the frame of reference is 'chowk' that they belonged in Govt. Colony and this spurs many memories. We met neighbor of Sunil Bartakke and talked about those tiny kids from his home that would peep outside the balcony waiting for their parents to be picked up.  Assigning a ' stone' as your representative for ration shop queue was perhaps a unique culture of our growing up.

I met 'Patade'. He was a classmate of  Ravi Deshpande' brother Rajan and that 'chowk' was known by his name. He is now a Pathologist and has his own lab. In one stroke, we wrapped up names of Uday Kodkani, Nitin Mohad, Girish Redkar, and Bindu.  I learnt Rajiv Madekar's  brother was there but we couldn't catch him. Met Raju Dhongade's sister Vasanti . I met Raju few months ago in Jakarta. Nitin Kulkarni - short guy - looked just the same -but now with salt/pepper top and spects. He brought in memories cricket buddies Milind Gunaji, Sanjay Gajare, Mukunda, Yashwant, and Kumar Halbe. Pankaj Pandit brought in realm of RSS shakha guys - Bal Dharmadhikari, Avinash Dharap, Madhav Apte, Sahstrbuddhe, Bengurwar, Kundan, Bolinjkar brothers , Tatya Gokhale . Terrific camaraderie spirit woven by sheer friendship. I would love to meet these guys.

'Kulkarni Sir'  continues to be the celebrity and cynosure  of   entire canvass of NES. He was flooded by everyone like a celebrity - a great tribute to his charisma, his approach towards teaching. His memory is still as incisive and agile as before. When 'Varsha Raje' mentions her name, he asked her whereabouts of 'Seema Raje'. He even remembers maiden and post marriage surname of almost every girl. Rao sir is still very active, flamboyant and young. He is now a sales manager of book publishing company and often travels to Nasik, Pune. We could talk about his play ' Har Mitti Mein Lal Paida hoga' and his fascination for ' Ohre tal mile nadi ke jal mein'. Deshpande Madam could recognize me staying few buildings away from her A4.  As much I was happy to meet Kulkarni Sir, it was difficult to accept the loss of Lingayat Sir. For me, he always remained buddy of Kulkarni Sir. He even came at Parle get together with him. I was delighted to meet Govinda - peon: identical in looks except his khaki attire and without some of his front teeth.  Also learnt about passing away of Manohar, Pandu. Some of us who spent good time in the corridor - as a part of punishment -stuck great rapport with Peons. I remember sharing tiffin of Manohar and being ridiculed! Pramod Gawade perhaps would remember.

Power of Facebook became evident in this meeting. Manoj Kharkhanis - became FB friend and he made sure that I circled the date in my BB. I was lucky to be in Mumbai and could snatch few hours. Thanks Sunil - just being with you makes us acquainted with so many school alumni. I was happy to meet your brother 'susheel'.  Some people just refuse to age. Varsha - you look terrific and youthful - can easily slip in   college as a student. I was happy to catch up with you. It now look so stupid that being in co-ed , boys and gals hardly had any interaction  and yet we seem to know a lot of everyone.

Traversing past 'Four Class Fortress' remembered eating those ' Green Chincha+Karvande' with mix of Chili powder and salt'. Those of us who spent hours in the play field often run towards home of Vidyadhar Joshi to quench the parched throats.  We talked NES Icons - Both students and teachers - Mhaskar -who single handedly won many Kho Kho matches, Dabholkar& Kokate - power gangs without any violence but lot of aura, Ambardekar Brothers, Alhad Kothare, and Geeta Thakur - brilliant students who continued their success. Persona  of  Khedekar, Dhamankar, Harshe, Keer, Bokil Sir and also that of  Kharvandikar and Harne sir - perhaps last teacher species with 'Dhotar and Black Topi'.

I missed out on many occasions of our batch union but am glad I could make this time. Salish has promised to share contact details of our batch mates. Hopefully, in coming months, I would catch up with some of buddies with whom I shared some crazy, wild adventures.