Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Homecoming 25 Years, St. Joseph's, North Point, Darjeeling 6
By Manuwant Choudhary
Darjeeling: Facebook is real dumb...it thinks I am an alumni of J.B. Petit (Bombay) and Convent of Jesus & Mary (Delhi).
But for us boys...those who had sisters we could say he were part alumni of Loreto Convent (Darjeeling)
Actually we were the lucky ones who could visit Loreto to see their sisters every month and on Rakhi..so we were really `privileged'.
And every batch had a pretty LC girl whom all the boys were after...
In our 86' batch we had a Marwari-Bihari girl if I remember clearly???
So this time we oldies took a walk to LC.
And it was so different.
Loreto is the place where Mother Teresa had taught before she took up her calling....
But Loreto doesn't have boarding any more...I think its one of the casualties of the long-drawn fruitless struggle for Gorkhaland.
The nuns found it impossible to continue.
25 years ago when you entered its gates even the most rowdy element would be silenced...such was its discipline.
And if you wanted to meet your sister you would first ring a bell then a lady would appear and you had to write your sisters name and your relationship with her onto a small slip which would then be taken on a wooden platter to the Mother...and a large register would be checked for details and only if your name figured there would the nun grant the 10 minute permission.
We would usually take Glenaries pastries for our sisters.
And the garden was breathtakenly spiritual.
Now its overgrown....
For the rest who did not have sisters they would simply wait for the annual social with LC girls and the party would be held under bright tube-lights alongwith some Shakespeare quiz contest and with the Nuns watching over..so that guys don't cross the unseen line.
And at elocutions the girls would always win (gender bias!)
Darjeeling girls are very pretty..and now you can see them wearing North Point badges on their blazers but they study in the college.
The school is still only boys.
But North Point plays have become more famous because of their girls...and at the school fet the NP girls were all over...
Its only in the evening when we watched the school play...`A Matter Of Pride' - NPs first Home Production - that we realised why....
Even the script is written by the students themselves....
At first it appears erratic and disjointed and it has all the masala of a Hollywood gangster film - drugs, women, songs, and crime.....but later it all fits in.
The star is JJ....a talented young singer...who makes it big.
But when he has it all he suddenly throws it all up.
`A Matter Of Pride' makes you think.
Why all education is not just about facts but it should makes us think...
Mr. Santiago's (our primary school teacher) daughter Ana Marie Santiago ....played the piano and directed the play.