Previous post - Reunion - Day 1 & 2
So after a very warm and nostalgic night of meeting long lost friends and classmates you hadn't seen in 17+ years, we all woke up in our respective cottages the next day.
As I mentioned in my previous post, our batch had booked the entire resort to ourselves, though some cottages wore a deserted look because some of our batchmates were only arriving later that day. The surroundings looked so clean and pristine in the misty morning, compared to all the drunken revelries that took place by the campfire the previous night [refer previous post].
Up above, Eshwar was busy distributing our batch T-shirt. I ran up quickly to get mine because I was afraid XL size would get over quickly, considering how most of us had become :D
Went to have a quick breakfast after that, before rushing back to my cottage to change into our batch t-shirt. The breakfast buffet was good, with a nice variety of food ranging from South Indian and North Indian to Continental, including, can you believe it, a chicken dish!??? :D Yup, there was a proper heavy chicken gravy dish in the breakfast menu as well :D A part of me thought, hey, they covered a Mizo breakfast as well! :)
After that, we all changed into our batch T-shirt, and then assembled by the gate. Varasidhi was one of the first to get ready. He's like the plotline of that movie "The curious case of Benjamin Button" :D Back in school, he was this old aging fart who would move slowly and stumble upon everything. His nickname was aptly "Kelavi", meaning "Old man" in Tamil. Now he's this really fit and extremely good physique dude, except of course he was still clumsy (he sat on Abdul's daughter's balloon and made her cry, but more on that later).
More red T-shirts reached the rendezvous point...
Outside the resort, all our vehicles were parked, ready for the trip to school.
Everybody got into this car and that car. This spot below was the entrance to our resort area, and this was the point where all mobile phone signal and data connectivity went kaput.
Beyond these gates, was the land of no mobile connection, a land where those with girlfriends panicked to find reception, while those with wives were happy with the once-in-a-blue-moon freedom and peace & quiet :D :P
Our journey to school continued...
As we reached the school compound and parked our cars, we collected our registration kits. The Old Boys Sports Day was just about to start below...
We walked down to the main field to take part in the old boys parade...
Sir Bellarmine remembered each and every one of us, after all he was our assistant dorm warden in XIth and XIIth. Apart from that, he was the class teacher of those of us who took bio in XIth std, and our Patrick House faculty head in XIIth std when I was the House Captain.
Our red T-shirt REALLY stood out, and that was a masterpiece stroke! Just only a few days before our T-shirt production, Eshwar messaged our WhatsApp group to tell us that our selected T-shirt design (white) wasn't of a good quality and most of the other batches were going to wear black, and so we decided to go for red in the last minute.
Soon it was time for the parade.
I met my friend Maria and her son Amos (whom she admitted to Montfort this year) at the parade ground too. We chatted for a short while but the parade was starting so I had to run.
Sadly, that was the only time I got to see Maria again, as I was uber busy meeting old friends and catching up with batchmates. Amos and the other students released pigeons and balloons to mark the commencement of the celebration.
Our batch walking together during the parade…
One parade group photo :)
Once the parade was over, it was time for the track and field event.
Although all sport competitions like football, basketball etc., were between different batches (class of '99 versus class of 2005 etc), the athletic events were divided up according to ages. There were three divisions, based on age, and participants took part based on their division.
I think this was a really smart plan because it would not be fair to see a class of '81 and a class of 2015 running in the same race.
From our batch we had people like Ashwini, Cherian, Varasidhi, Ujjal, Boopathi, Bala etc volunteering to run.
Hehe Varasidhi thought it was an evening stroll event, hence we lost the relay because of him :D
It was great to meet Sam again too, who came all the way from Thailand for the reunion and he was still as fit as ever! Sam was probably one of the most popular seniors during our time, everybody loved him and he was a true sportsman and an athlete too.
A few more events took place…
Once all the track and field events were over, we moved on to sports.
First up was the football match.
You know you're old when your batch-mates started wearing those muscle and hips protector thingies before playing :D
At first I thought Vivek was putting on an adult diaper, but then I realized we were old but not that old :P
There was a slight mismatch - we, the '99 batch were up against batch of 2013, while our two years' seniors, the '97 batch were up against batch of 2012. We both protested, as the younger batches were going to be so much more fit and faster than us, and soon the fixture was rearranged, and it was 2012 vs 2013 in one field while we played against the '97 batch in the other field :D
We still lost, but it was great fun! :)
In fact, it was quite a close match, with the score-line tied at 0-0 at half-time. And then Varasidhi entered as a substitute in the second half, and we lost 3-0 after that :D
My shoe tore after a few kicks, so that was it for me. No more playing. :D
Our batch football team photo-op :D
We headed to the swimming pool as the aquatic events was about to start.
John K had immense fun with the cultural troupe hired for the old boys sports event.
Since there was some delay and the aquatics events weren't going to start soon, those of us who were not participating went to our cafeteria for lunch. As a part of our registration, we all received three food coupons.
Boy it felt GREAT sitting inside our refectory once again! So many memories, of how we would all sit together batch-wise or order table parties and stuff, to bribing the metis so we could get "second helpings" more frequently :D
The best part was, the chicken tasted exactly like how we all remembered. It had this unique smell and flavour that immediately alerted our brain cells and took us down a nostalgic trip.
Dayyym, 17 years later and we recognized the taste and smell immediately, that was some deep stuff.
Our chief guest for the next day's Sports Day, popular cine actor Vikram was delivering a very motivational speech to the current students.
In order to digest the heavy lunch we just ate, we took a short walk around the school, re-visiting all our favorite places of days gone by. Our chapel was one of our first stops.
There had been so many renovations and changes that some of the places didn't feel like home to us…
The infirmary still looked the same though. Our residential nurse was one tough nut to crack, because she was very well aware of how students would act or do anything just to bunk classes. And so only the most genuine and serious of all cases were admitted in the infirmary.
Bio lab looked the same too. Trust me, dissecting a frog was not a pretty sight indeed, those practical classes gave many of us nightmares for quite some time, especially since there were a few freak "accidents" of some frogs recovering from the chloroform that was supposed to kill them, while in the middle of a dissection!
We headed to the volley courts after that, where our batch was up against a junior batch.
The score was extremely close! It was going neck to neck, but finally, we realized if we were going to win, we would have to play the next round too, and so we decided to lose :P
The volleyball cheerleaders :D
While the match was going on, there was this drone flying right above us, video recording everything.
Man I had seen many drone video footages on YouTube, but this was the first time I was standing so close to one in real life, and it was noisy AF. It went trrrrrrrrrrrrrr the entire time, such an irritating buzzing sound.
We rushed to the basketball court immediately after the volleyball match because our batch was having a match at the same time. Unfortunately, by the time we reached, we had already lost! We were like, "wha wha wha? How could you guys lose so fast?" And then I saw Varasidhi was one of the players and suddenly we were no longer shocked :D :P
Here are a few photos of their match -
Apparently, Stephen shot one 3-pointer, and that was the only basket we scored the entire match :D
Soon, the cultural troupe made their way into the basketball court once the matches were over, and they entertained us once more with their rhythmic and well-choreographed moves.
Prize distribution time! :)
After that, we all headed back to our resort in our vehicle convoy. We all looked forward to a nice long hot shower after such a tiring day, especially since many of us had muscle aches too. Shameless me hardly did anything but my feet were aching from all the walking as well :D :P
Finally, after the much needed shower, it was time to relax with the gang. We all decided to do it on the rooftop of our cottage.
Below is C.Sara, grandson of the famous Ramaswamy Udayar, whose family owns Mohan Meakin Distilleries. To the uninitiated, that is Old Monk yo! Yeah, I'm proud to say my batch-mate and friend is the producer of Old Monk Rum :D
Mo (can't mention his full name because apparently he wasn't supposed to be at our reunion :D ) bought FRESH dates, figs and other dry fruits straight from Dubai. They were only 2 days old, and mannnnn they tasted so different from the preserved dates that we get in shops here. It was sooooo tasty!
Soon, it was time to bring out the good stuff - the elixir of life! :)
Ashwini, such a sweet guy, he gifted me this rum bottle he bought all the way from Australia. It was called Kraken rum, and dayymmm it was so freaking good!!!! I took a swig or two and I could immediately hear the sound of the sea monster splashing in my belly.
I found out later that Kraken is a Caribbean black spiced rum manufactured in the US, and the fact that Ashwini bought it from Australia made it even more special for me.
As we continued catching up with everybody and laughing our asses out, soon it was time for dinner. I guess most of us were quite tired, considering the amount of sports and games we participated in. We made our way to the cafeteria…
My plate :)
And oh, before ending this post, here is one funny incident. So Antony and Becky reached quite late, and by the time they arrived at the resort, the only remaining cottage was this…
Bwahahaha. They tried to get another cottage with a double bed, but this was the only one left. They had no other option but to sleep separately. It was as if the ghosts of all the brothers of Montfort and sisters of SHY came back to haunt them - "Montfort boys and SHY girls, no sleeping together, no no no!" :D
So until my next Reunion post, cheers everyone.