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XII-B, 1990 Batch

St. Josephs
Higher Secondary School
Thirithuvapuram

Reunion
26th
December
2016
35

Our
School days
XII-B, 1990 Batch

St. Josephs Higher Secondary School,


Thirithuvapuram, Kuzhithurai P.O, 629163
Kanyakumari District, Tamilnadu, India

To get in touch with classmates:


Rajesh N.
+91 999 516 9067
rajsath@yahoo.com
St.Joseph's XII 1990 Batch

Introduction

St.

Josephs Higher Secondary School is a


Government-aided school administered
by the catholic diocese of Kuzhithurai, formerly
Thirithuvapuram vicariate of the Kottar
diocese. The school is known for its academic
excellence and strict discipline, which still flies
high in the school ethos.
Being a reputed institution in the Kuzhithurai
educational district, St. Josephs attracts the
most talented students from the whole region
across Kanyakumari & Thiruvananthapuram
districts. Some students even travelled 25 km
to school every day. There were no hostel
facilities, but some lady students from the
neighbouring state managed to get boarding
accommodation in the nearby convent.
Our batch assembled together on a rainy
day in June 1988, fresh after finishing our
SSLC exams from various schools. Some of us
had studied together since our high school
days in the same school. But the 60 of us came
together as XI-B from many different schools,
yet we still maintained touch with our earlier
classmates that got spread across different
classes.
Our 2 years together in XI-B and XII-B
happened during our prime teenage years,
and the memories of that period are
entrenched in our minds forever. XII Standard
being the final year of pre-university studies,
this year proved crucial to lay the foundations
for our university life.
Upon completion of our Higher Secondary
Course in 1990, we chose different paths,
ventured out into different parts of the world
and settled down into our comfort zones. The

journey of life sometimes brings some of us


together, we cross paths, sit down and
reminisce about our school life and continue
our journeys.
Those wonderful memories take us back to
the 1988-1990 timeline. We become
teenagers again, indulge in the old-style
banter, recall our mischief, our challenges and
how those 2 crucial years shaped the path of
our destiny. Were ever grateful to our Alma
mater and our wonderful teachers for shaping
us into the responsible adults that we turned
out to be.
During our school days, we didnt
understand the real intent behind the strict
discipline enforced by our teachers. But as we
grew up, we have come to appreciate the
untiring efforts of our teachers in shaping and
moulding us into better people for the
betterment of the society as a whole.
After 23 long years, we held a Reunion
meet on 28 December 2013. Within a short
period of around 6 weeks, we managed to
gather 16 of our batch mates and their families
in IMA Hall, Marthandam. Even after such a
long gap, we could all feel the same affection
towards each other. We had a great time
together and finished our gathering with a
rendering of our school anthem
.
After the Dec 2013 gathering, we vowed to
have a proper Reunion in our school to meet
more of our friends and to felicitate our
teachers. Here we are, in Dec 2016 and our
journey continues
3

Our Teachers
Our teachers were very dedicated &
committed to their job. They encouraged,
cajoled, compelled and even used
occasional caning punishment to make sure
that we tried our best to excel in studies.
Some of them commuted from as far as
Nagercoil daily and yet they were never late
for class on any single day. Some weeks,
they come early to conduct revision classes
at 9AM. Sometimes they come on holidays
to teach extra classes. Our teachers almost
never used the chair in the class, such was
their commitment.
As we grew up and entered into university,
job, family life, we slowly realised that our
teachers never got a single extra rupee of
English

Tamil
Malayalam
Mathematics & Class Teacher
Physics
Chemistry
Bio-Zoology
Bio-Botany

Physical Education

XI-B
XII-B
XI-B, XII-B
XI-B, XII-B
XI-B, XII-B
XI-B, XII-B
XI-B, XII-B
XI-B, XII-B
XI-B
XII-B
XI-B, XII-B

salary for being strict to us. They couldve


drawn the same salary without having to go
through that extra effort & pain; yet they put
in so much effort for our good.
Although we left the gates of SJHSS in
1990, we always think back at our school
days and remember the commitment shown
by our teachers, the discipline that they
taught us and are ever thankful for their
influence in our lives. The images of our
teachers, the classrooms, the school
campus, the bus stop are etched in our
memories forever.
No amount of words could thank them
for their timely intervention in our lives and
the golden period of our lives, the end of
our teenage.
Mr. M. Daniel Thomas - Head Master
Mr. C.S. Xavier
Mrs. R.Lilly Bai
Mr. Krishna pillai
Mr. A. Maria Arputham
Mr. A. Mathias
Mr. P. Murugan
Mrs. J. Melba Adeline
Mr. A. Xavier Joseph
Mr. M. Augustine Varuvel
Mr. A. Lazar

Thank you very much. We bow our heads and express our
heartfelt gratitude to you all!!
4

Mr. S. Jerome

Head Master (2016)


Jerome sir is the incumbent Head Master
of the school. When we first mooted the
idea, Jerome sir was very happy and
enthusiastic to host us all in the campus. In
his earlier schools also, he has always
encouraged the alumni to conduct reunions.
He has hosted many alumni meets in SJHSS
also.
In his previous school, Jerome sir
arranged a retired teacher meeting to
honour the past teachers of the school.
Among the Student Reunions, he even
arranged a Class of 1960 reunion where

the students were already in their late 60s.


He said that the Class of 1960 was the most
fun batch of them all.
In addition to allowing us to use the
school premises, he also gave us some
excellent ideas for the event. He suggested
the most optimal date/time for our event
and encouraged us to go and reconnect
with as many of our long-lost friends as
possible.
We salute you for the spirit of allowing
ours and many other alumni meets in
school, sir. Thank you very much.

Mr. M. Daniel Thomas


Daniel Thomas sir worked for many years in our
school, and was already a veteran Headmaster during
our time. A strict disciplinarian and a tough man who
never hesitated to mete out the stringent punishment
to students for indiscipline.
Mr.Thomas leads the whole school in singing the
national anthem & the school song during the Monday
-morning assembly. He does not need a choir for
support. He wears white pants and white shirt on all
Mondays.
He taught us English in XI-B. When its his period
to teach, the class leader has to go to the Headmasters
office and remind him each time and he is always
there without fail.
5

Mrs. R.Lilly Bai

Mr.C.S. Xavier

Xavier sir taught our same batch of


students in the 9th standard, IX-E. To fill in
for shortage of teachers, he handled Paper
-II (Grammar) in 1986/87 for the IX-E class.
He laid the foundations of grammar for our
entire lifetime.
In XII-B, he taught us English. In addition
to teaching us English prose and poetry, he
shared with us many pragmatic
interpretations of old sayings and Biblical
parables. He shared with us many fascinating
stories about his trip to Rome. He taught us
not just how to pass the exams, but to
understand English, pronounce properly
and speak with confidence.
He explained to us many worldwide facts
which were alien to us during those pre
-internet days. He shares a socialist
perspective in his messages. The Tiananmen
Square incidents happened during that time
and we got very insightful updates from him
about those matters, because hes so
passionate about worldwide news events.
6

Lily teacher had the tough challenge of


handling the noisiest class. During language
session, XII-B and XII-D classes are
combined. Tamil students of XII-D come and
join us. Malayalam students of XII-B go to
XII-D. Since there are more Tamil students
than Malayalam students, Lily teacher has
the task of handling the biggest class size.
With the general apathetic attitude
towards Tamil, (most university courses are
not taught in Tamil) especially for HSC
students of English medium, students often
dont take this language class seriously. They
end up finishing their record work, home
works from other subjects, general chit-chat
with XII-D classmates etc. during the Tamil
period.
Lily teacher is a literary genius and taught
us many stories from the old Tamil classics.
While our text book deals with a few
chapters, she took great pains to explain to
us the entire Epics for us to understand the
context of the chapters.

Mr. A. Maria Arputham


Maria Arputham sir taught us Maths and
was also our class teacher. He is a man of
few words, but his stare puts us all into hush
-mode within a few micro seconds. He is
very particular about us learning the
mathematical formula and expects us to
keep the answers in our finger tips. If we
dont, were in for some interesting finger-tip
caning. Hes related to one of our students J.
Alexander, but he reserves the strictest
punishment for Alex each time.
He has his own interesting style of
teaching, where he fills the entire black
board with the problem solutions and finally
turns back to the class only after he declares

Hence the result, or LHS(Left Hand side) =


RHS(Right hand side). Even in our sleep,
were taught to solve a quadratic equation;
Minus b plus or minus square root of b
squared minus 4 a c by 2 a still rings in our
ears.
He would teach us about roots of the
function in the morning, and Xavier Joseph
sir erased that from our memory by teaching
functions of the root in the afternoon class.
Some of our classmates that were so
scared of Mathematics are now teachers of
Mathematics in higher secondary schools.
Such is his influence!

Mr. A. Mathias
Mathias sir is a quiet gentleman with a smile on his
face all the time. He is not known to raise his voice at
anyone at any time. Even his disciplining is done in a nice
and gentle way. He tells students the overall impact of their
wrongdoing and tells them not to repeat those.
We like him the most in the lab sessions, because hes
always very patient in explaining the experiments to us. He
is very empathetic to students that
are slow learners and takes care
to repeatedly explain to them in
Krishna Pillai sir was a very experienced teacher our native language. Since the
and he was almost nearing his retirement age when physics lab was upstairs and
he taught us. He has taught Malayalam language to facing the national highway, we
the same batch of students in IX-E and X-E, as well always keep on looking outside &
commenting about the people/
and was well known to most of the students.
He was a very quiet person, and a humble person vehicles on the road. But he takes
those in his stride as long as we
who never raised his voice towards any student.
complete the experiments properly.

Mr. Krishna Pillai

Mr. P. Murugan
Murugan sir is full of energy all the time. He
handles his classes with lots of enthusiasm. His
magical voice still resonates in our ears. His favourite
transition phrase was so here..
He can face the students and still write the chemical
reactions on the white board without looking. He is
masterful to identify any printing mistakes in the
Chemistry textbooks and quickly correct them for us.
When he teaches our nearby class, we can still
hear him, only that hes explaining the chemical
names in Tamil rather than English. You ask him any
doubts in any part of the text book and he can
remember every line. When correcting lab record
books, he could spot the smallest of errors in chemical
reaction formula just by glancing at the entire page
for less than 10 seconds. Unlike many others, he can
pour concentrated Sulphuric acid from one jar to
another as if it was water. We still remember Hydro
Fluro Silicic acid, Acetyl Salicylic acid even 26 years
later.

Mr. A. Lazar

Due to the over-emphasis on


education in our school, sports
and physical education took a
backseat in our school. There
were some students that excelled
in basketball, cricket and
badminton out of their own
interests. We were allowed to
play games only after 4:30PM.
Most of the PE lessons are
borrowed for other extra classes
by other teachers.
Therefore, Lazar sir had very
short interaction time with us. He
was an athlete during his times
and was always brisk and fast in
doing his discipline-master
activities during school assembly,
meetings, school day, sports day
etc.

Mrs. J. Melba Adeline

Melba teacher was very close to her retirement age when she taught us.
She maintained a strict attitude in class as well as in practical and record book
correction.
Most students are very afraid to submit the record books on the very first
day morning. She marks the mistakes with red ink which is hard to erase. We
end up having to redo the entire diagram or observation tables. So, we wait
for the over-enthusiastic students to submit first, learn from their mistakes and
then submit in the late afternoon.
Melba teacher sometimes calls the mischievous students with some
nicknames. Im sure many of them still remember their nicknames.
8

Mr. A. Xavier Joseph

Xavier Joseph sir taught us Botany in XI-B. He could


win the best-dressed competition on any given day and
was a fashion icon for the other teachers/students. He
comes in proper full sleeved shirt and comes in his Royal
Enfield bike in style.
He taught us our first botany experiment to take a tiny
cross section of the stem and view it under the microscope.
Those were the first times we used a microscope. He
performed many experiments in the class for us, because
the botany lab was reserved for XI standard Science
group and the XII standard classes only. His stern way of
saying Hibiscus-Rosa-Sinensis was a joy to hear.
He took the pain to bring the equipment to our class
each time, and set it up on our desks, even though the
facilities were only minimal at that time. He never gave
up on the efforts to give us the best possible practical
exposure to the various types of plants by bringing many
plant samples.

Mr. M. Augustine Varuvel

We got to experience Augustine Varuvel sir only in XII-B,


being the specialist teacher for Botany he was in heavy
demand for the Science group classes. He was also the class
teacher for our XII-D science group, so we already had
updates about his strictness.
He can make very elaborate expressions with his eyes and
hands. He could explain the shapes of leaves, flowers and
fruits with his very own interesting facial expressions without
even having to draw them on the black board.
Augustine sir is very passionate about his lessons. Even
today, we still remember Malvaceae, Fabaceae & Musaceae
thanks to his strong voice and rolling big eyes. He pronounces
Ravenala madagascariensis as Madagascaracaracariensis
with his voice echoing in the whole classroom. Theres no
chance to catch a nap during his period. All 5 senses of our
body will be alert throughout the 45 minutes.
9

Students
1

K. Ajikumar

ajikumar.krishnan.5

J. Alexander

alexander.jesumarian

M.K. Arunkumar

J.S. Binukumar

V.M. Binulal Singh

D. Dilip

T.P. Edward Sam

P. Geoffrey Meredith

J. James

(not able to get user name)


binu.kumar.330
binulal.singh
dilip.damodharanpillai

geoffrey.merdith

10 K.Joshi
11 R.D. Kalaigiri
12 T. Leo Priestly

leopriestly

13 Ostine M.A Paul

ostine.paul

14 L. Pepy Manoj

pepymanoj

15 N.J. PonjoseNesaKumar

ponjose.nesakumar

16 R. Premsingh

premsingh.rajaiyan

17 M. Prince
18 T.L. Prince
19 N. Rajesh

rajesh.nagappan.1

20 T.K Redlee
10

tkredlee

21 R. Reji
22 B. Selvin Santhosh
23 P.Sreenivasan
24 C. Sunil Kumar
25 T.S. Sunil
26 K.Thileep Kumar
27 A.Thomas Edwin Raj
28 T. Valan Arasu
29 T. Vijukumar
30 Vino D.S. Kingston
31 M.K. Sankara Narayanan

selvin.santhosh
(not able to get user name)
sunil.kumarc.94
sunil.nair.54738943
thileep.kumar.96
(not able to get user name)
valan.arasu.733
(not able to get user name)
vinokingston
shankarnarayan.mk

32 R. Ajitha
33 K.P.Albah Gladis
34 A.Andrew Fancy
35 K. Angeline Sheeba
36 R. Arokya Sheela
37 Y. Benitta Jose

benitta.jose.3

38 T. Deepa
39 R. Deepthi
40 S. Janey Christabel

(account not active)

41 M.B. Jeyasree
11

42 J.S.Jayasudha

jaya.sudha.1441

43 S. Lalitha
44 M. Leema Rose
45 S. Padmaja
46 T.K. Prameela
47 T.L. Preetha
48 R. Pushpaleela
49 R.S. Sandhya
50 T. Saradha
51 M.S. Selin
52 S. Sharmila Queenthy

sharmila.queenthy

53 Sheeba C. Das
54 M. Sheeba

(not able to get user name)

55 P. R. Sheeja Shyamazha
56 P. R. Sheena Parimazha
57 S. A. Shereeffa

shereeffajayakumar.jayakumar

58 S. Sreelatha
59 M. Sherly Mol (only XI-B)
60 T. Theressa Susan

12

terisa.alex

Mr. Rajendra Babu

Asst Head Master & NSS Coordinator


Babu sir was the assistant headmaster
during the time and he was also the NSS
coordinator for us. NSS undertook many
activities, including the cleanup of school
campus, being the ushers and organisers
of the school day, sports day, literature day
and other major events.
Some of us that went to the NSS camp in
Madichel had lots of fun for 10 days. We
helped to build a small village road in
Kokkudivilai village near Madichel, cutting
through 1 km of thick wooded area and
uneven terrain. It was a fun and learning
experience for the 30 of us to stay at
Madichel government school.
This was an interesting experience for us
and the first time that we stayed away from
the cozy comforts of our home. We worked

from 8am to 12:30pm to chop down plants


trees, bushes, shrubs etc.. level the uneven
ground and then mark the borders with
stone reinforcement. Then we go to the river
for a swim until 1:30 pm, followed by lunch
in the school.
Around 4:30pm onwards, we distribute
pamphlets to the nearby households to
convey social development messages and
educate the households about the latest
government schemes that they could avail.
We happened to visit some of our classmates
houses during those rounds as well. After
dinner, we sit together and plan for the next
days activities and assign specific duties to
the various students. Then we chit chat until
around 9pm
13

Marcos Annan

Security
Marcos was our security and watchman. He sports a thick moustache and a
strong physique and gives the impression of a policeman in mufti (civies). When
some of the buses dont stop at the bus stop (owing to overcrowding of students),
Marcos Annan will come and stretch his hands. Even the boldest of drivers will stop
for him, because they mistake him for a policeman in mufti.
He undertakes the tough job of being the one-man security force for the school,
especially when other school students come to initiate strike and harthals in our
school. He has had many a heroic encounter with the students of nearby schools

Russell Annan

Canteen
Russell was in-charge of the internal staff canteen that was located adjacent to the
Chemistry lab building. Russel is like a younger assistant for Marcos Annan. Hes
equally strongly built, but is a bit rustic and didnt have the poise and calmness of
Marcos Annan at that age.
He was the main operator for the well and the motor pump to bring drinking water
to the school premises. When the motor pump doesnt operate due to power failure,
Russell Annan takes the chance to bare his body, flex his muscles to carry water on his
shoulders to the far corners of the campus.
14

Shops in the vicinity


A favourite hangout for our guys was
Mahalingams shop. Some guys manage to
sneak out during the recess to grab
, , . The business of
these shops suffered after they introduced a
full gate closure during recess. The lunch
break and the after-school time where the
peak periods for the little shops do attract
business from students.
ROSE Stationery shop sells all kinds of
stationery required for school. Other than
that there were mostly some small shops
and eateries that call themselves as hotels.

Marriage function

One of our classmates in our XI-B(Sherly


Mol) got married during May 1989. She
invited us all and we decided to attend her
wedding reception. We pooled some money
for the gift and we bought some nice gift
from Kuzhithurai. Since there wasnt frequent
bus service to Eethavilai, we hired a car to
go there. 7 or 8 of us squeezed into an
Ambassador car from Kuzhithurai taxi stand.
The girls from our class had reached there
earlier.
We went to the wedding and had some
evening snacks during the reception. After
the reception, we asked the taxi driver to
drop the girls in Kuzhithurai first. We walked
back to Kuzhithurai. Then the driver came
back for a 2nd trip and fetched us back to
Kuzhithurai as well.

Mathias sir
Y. Benitta Jose

The model practical exams in our school


are conducted a few weeks before the public
exams. They are conducted as stringent as
the public exam itself. In the physics model
lab exam, I got the physical balance
experiment. Due to my nervousness, I forgot
the required tables and the formulae for this
experiment.
When Mathias sir approached me, I told
him that I had indeed studied but somehow
forgotten. He questioned me why I wasnt
able to write down anything at all. I was
ready to receive caning or other punishments
and began to cry. To my surprise, he said,
Dont be too nervous. Go outside, read the
experiment from your record book well, and
then come back after 10 minutes and do the
experiment. I felt so relieved and thankful
for his compassionate approach. He was
like God to me in that situation.
Now Im a physics teacher in a prestigious
school in Maldives and proud to be following
on his footsteps. Whenever any of my
students are faced with a tough situation, I
recall the compassion and concern shown
by him and I never make my students feel
threatened under any situation. He has been
such an inspiration to many of us with his
kindness.
15

Daily Commute
Vino D.S. Kingston

Many of our classmates traveled from


nearby towns and villages. While some were
lucky to go home for lunch, others had to
ride town buses, mofussil buses, interstate
buses etc. Sharing stories of daily bus travel
experience was always part of our daily
routine.
The most interesting stories about the bus
rides always came from the V Fast 88F of
Nesamony Transport Corporation (NTC)
plying between Colachel and Kaliyakkavilai.
While most buses operated on a hub and
spoke model out of Marthandam, Karungal,
Kaliayakkavilai etc, 88V truly was a
remarkable route as it connected people
from Colachel to Kaliyakkavilai, bypassing
Karungal and Marthandam. To their credit,
these buses were newer models and had
some enthusiastic drivers and conductors.
There were crude jokes about at least two
students traveling on the foot-board despite
the conductor urging them to get in.
NTC also introduced Passenger cum

16

Goods (PCG) buses that had less seats and


more cargo space. These buses were an
innovative concept to allow local vendors to
move their local produce to markets. Almost
half of the space were fitted with luggage
racks. Due to the limited seats and the close
proximity to farm produce or fresh fish, the
students skip these buses purposely and
choose to go in the next bus.
The luckiest bunch were perhaps the
students who attended the school from
Maruthancode area. Many of them took the
Kurumathoor road which is really an
unpaved road through villages with ponds&
paddy fields. No pollution, no sense of
urgency. Relaxed walk for 30 minutes will
get you to school and back home. Around
late-1989, NTC introduced a Peak Hour
Service (PHS) to Maruthancode via this road.
But the timings were not suitable for the
students, so most continued to rely on their
own foot/bicycle to reach school on time.
Some folks rode their bicycles. The
bicycles were typically outfitted with carriers
to hold books/bags, metal boxes to
safe-keep the lunch boxes, and
some fashion accessories, mirrors,
wheel fittings etc.. Some went on to
the extent to decorate the handle
bars with tape refuse from audio
cassettes. For the students who rode
the bicycle from the East, it was
uphill journey in the morning. The
three KM ride from Kuzhithurai to
school would take about thirty

minutes; but in the return travel one could


reach Kuzhithurai in about five to seven
minutes. Riding the bicycle in a national
highway is always dangerous. Students
doing triples three riding in a single
bicycle was all a common sight. Thankfully,
the drivers those days were more
accommodating to pedestrians, bullock
carts and bicyclists. Our school bicycle
parking lot always will give an idea of who

are all in school on that day.


Another interesting thing to recall is, it
was in 1989 that NTC decided to rename
the name of the town from Thoduvetty to
Marthandam overnight in all the local buses.
Until then only the long-distance
Thiruvalluvar buses used the name
Marthandam. It indeed ushered in a new
era into Marthandam towns history.

Stop the bus

Y. Benitta Jose & M. Leema Rose


The 3 sisters from
Mullanganavilai - Andrew
Fancy, Benitta Jose and
Leema Rose took the moffusil
buses
like
310A
Moovattukonam or 88V
Kaliyakkavilai to reach school
directly. If they miss those,
theyve to take a bus to
Marthandam, then transfer
to another bus. Our Class
teacher Maria Arputham sir
also takes these buses during
his daily trip from Alanchi,
via
Karungal
and
Marthandam.
Some days, due to overcrowding, the
buses dont stop for the 3 sisters. Whenever
Maria Arputham sir is in that bus, he will
urge the bus conductor to stop the bus for
the sisters, even if it crosses the bus stop and

stops farther. Such is his concern to make


sure the students reach on time. But
whenever he gets frustrated with any of
these 3 in class, he will take them to task for
coming from a far off place but not studying
well.
17

Socially Spiritual
L. Pepy Manoj

C.S. Xavier sir always discussed world


matters and tells stories after the lessons are
over. He taught us to interpret everything
from a social or societal perspective. He told
us the real social meanings of many old
biblical parables. He taught us to think of
Jesus as the greatest ever social reformer
that had the blessings of God. Social
reformers like Jesus and Buddha have
touched the lives of many people just by the
message of Love and compassion that they
conveyed in a different way than others.
These messages triggered me into lots of
hours of reading and thinking.

Great wall of
Plywood
L. Pepy Manoj

18

For e.g., The biblical story of how Jesus


fed thousands of people with 5 loaves of
bread and 2 fish. This is not to be taken as
an act of magic, as if someone could just
multiply food. The reality is that one person
needs only 1 loaf of bread and 1 fish for a
meal, but that particular man had aplenty,
just like we have in this world today. Many
others were empty handed, also like many
people today. So Jesus asked everyone to
pool whatever they had and then equally
shared it with all. This is the same in todays
world also. If everyone could pool the
resources that theyre hoarding, and shared
equally amongst all, there will be no hunger.
I then started to read and think of such
parables with such a societal perspective
and went on to share this message with
many others even many years later. Thank
you very much sir, for providing us such
valuable lessons at that time and developing
us into thinkers, in addition to covering the
syllabus.

The last row benches of XI-A and XI-B


were separated only by a plywood
partition. We had a gap of around 1 foot
through which we communicated with the
XI-A boys. We often share things with each
other. When we forgot to bring the Log
tables or stationery, we borrow from them
quickly and vice versa. We maintained
that link as a mechanism to forge strong
friendship with our other class friends.

News updates

L. Pepy Manoj & R. Regi

We had a practice of writing the latest


news in the large blackboard in the corridor.
We began this practice towards the end of
1988 and continued it till the end. We collect
news from various channels. I collect the
headlines from the previous nights TV news
& morning radio news. Regi listens to the
latest news at 9:00AM in the morning and

rushes to class to share the latest. We share


our notes and quickly decide which ones to
write.
We were proud to always list down at
least a few headline news that was later
than the morning newspaper headlines.
Needless to say, we will always have the
latest sports news, especially cricket scores.

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KK Local tour
M. Sheeba Shajin

After many years of not conducting an


official picnic, the school organised a one
-day picnic of Kanyakumari district for
students from 11th& 12th standards. There
were 3 buses in total, 2 for boys and 1 for
girls. All students somehow managed to
reach the school before the buses left
together at around 5:30AM. We were very
excited and hardly had any sleep the
previous night.
The first stop was Mathoor Thottipaalam,
an aqueduct which was one of asias largest
aqueducts when built. Then we visited
Thirparappu water falls, Padmanabhapuram

palace, Suchindram Temple, Aralvaimozhi


mount and then Kanyakumari. We brought
along our lunch packs, but some still
managed to buy some roadside snacks in
Thirparappu & Padmanabhapuram. We
visited the Vivekananda Rock & later
shopped for small gift items in Kanyakumari.
We stayed in Kanyakumari until sunset and
later all 3 buses travelled towards school.
Some students alighted along the way in
Marthandam & Kuzhithurai, while the others
reached the school around 9PM and went
home with happy memories.

Murugan sir
L. Pepy Manoj

The office assistant came a few times to


ask Murugan sir about some confusion in
the timetables of certain other classes.
Some of us indirectly guessed that Murugan
sir was helping the Head Master in planning
the time table for the entire school. Hes
very sharp in acronyms and name-reactions.
Once while teaching Law of Mass Action, he

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quipped What is LMA? Its not L. Maria


Alankaram (Another teacher), but LAW of
MASS ACTION. Likewise, he remembers
many staff by their initials(short-form of the
names). So we concluded that he must be
helping with the time table, for sure.
After completing +2, my Dad requested
Murugan sir to teach me some extra lessons
in Chemistry to prepare for an All-India
entrance exam. Murugan sir happily offered
to help me. I went to his house in Krishnancoil
and he guided me and taught me some
tough topics for 1 hours per day and for
around 3 weeks during the vacation period.
Im ever so thankful for his help. Although I
didnt get through the entrance exam, my
1st year degree was a breeze in Chemistry.

Mathias sir
Y. Benitta Jose

The model practical exams in our school


are conducted a few weeks before the public
exams. They are conducted as stringent as
the public exam itself. In the physics model
lab exam, I got the physical balance
experiment. Due to my nervousness, I forgot
the required tables and the formulae for this
experiment.
When Mathias sir approached me, I told
him that I had indeed studied but somehow
forgotten. He questioned me why I wasnt
able to write down anything at all. I was
ready to receive caning or other punishments
and began to cry. To my surprise, he said,
Dont be too nervous. Go outside, read the
experiment from your record book well, and
then come back after 10 minutes and do the
experiment. I felt so relieved and thankful
for his compassionate approach. He was
like God to me in that situation.

Now Im a physics teacher in a prestigious


school in Maldives and proud to be following
on his footsteps. Whenever any of my
students are faced with a tough situation, I
recall the compassion and concern shown
by him and I never make my students feel
threatened under any situation. He has been
such an inspiration to many of us with his
kindness.

Kuzhiturai Bus stand


Friends of Kuzhithurai

An agitation was held to urge the govt to


build a bus stand in Kuzhithurai. That
agitation went on for a few days, then weeks,
then months. Some of the local political
leaders set up a thatched shed that became
an almost permanent fixture in the kuzhiturai
bus stop.
Some of our classmates from Kuzhithurai

and the vicinity really got excited about the


prospect of a bus stand in their place and
really went and listened to these leaders
every evening. The next morning, they will
some and share with us the salient points
from the previous nights speech by their
favourite leaders. Finally the agitation fizzled
out after a few months.
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School day Orchestra


Vino D.S. Kingston

As mentioned in the intro, our school had


been focused too much on textbook learning
than any other school in the vicinity. The
staff and management team believed that
only education brings excellence. A collateral
damage to this stance is the lack of co
-curricular/extracurricular activities such as
sports, music& arts.
However, our students had opportunities
to learn and practice music and singing
outside the school environment. When the
opportunities to display such acquired
talents arose in school premises our
classmates did not miss a chance to take
advantage of it. The biggest arts/music
shows the school annual day celebration.
Many from our class actively enrolled to
perform in the orchestra event which typically
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is the highlight of School Day function. The


music orchestra, dance & skits will be given
the longest time slot of around 45 minutes.
When we were in 12th grade, our
classmates together with the XII-A and XII-D
students led from the forefront. Music
instruments were carried from home. We
chose our friends houses near the school as
venue to gather and practice singing. The
person who had fluency in playing Casio or
Yamaha electronic keyboard was typically
the composer and director; then the
instrument Tabla provided sound to other
notes in the construct. Looking back, without
the contribution of the orchestra, our school
day functions would not have been very
exciting. Besides, it helped us to develop self
-organizing and leadership skills.

Movie day
L. Pepy Manoj

Towards the early months of 1990, the


public exam fever had begun to grip
everyone. Every holiday or Saturday had a
special class to revise the topics and to
conduct revision tests.
On one such day, the classes were
cancelled due to some miscommunication
between the school office and the teachers.
Since it was not a regular day, there were no
other teachers that could be called upon.
Therefore, reluctantly our HM announced

around 9:30AM that the class was cancelled.


Some of my classmates were movie buffs.
They will never miss any movie, even re
-runs. So they persuaded all of us to watch a
re-run movie. So we watched the Malayalam
movie Chithram in Marthandam Anand
theatre, around 10 of us in the same row
from our class. That was the first time I had
watched a movie with so many of my
classmates.

Friendly cricket match


L. Pepy Manoj

Although our school teams were good


only in basketball and badminton, cricket
was introduced in 1988 due to its increasing
popularity. Cricket was played in between
the badminton and kho-kho courts or just
beside the basketball court. We rarely played
cricket in school, mainly because our PE
classes were taken up by other teachers for
their subjects.
In early 1990, some of our XI standard
juniors challenged us to a cricket match
thinking that their team had better players.
From my memory, our team players were
Rajesh, Prem, Dilip& myself from XII-B and
Sivakumar, Sibi from XII-D. It was a 10-overs
-a-side match played on a Saturday
afternoon (after class).
We batted first and only Rajesh, Sibi
played decently well. Rajesh always used to
tell us many stories that he was a club

cricketer and how Prem led a team against


his and how Vino always hated the game of
cricket(which is true even till today) etc. On
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that day, Rajesh lived up to his claims when


it really mattered, batted confidently and
scored runs up the order. Some others took
body blows from the main bowlers, because
we were playing without pads or any other
protective gear against a proper cricket ball.
I scored 3-4 runs coming down the order
and escaped without being hit on the body.
We scored 40-plus runs.
Some of the juniors were over-confident
and were constantly taunting us. They
thought 40-plus was an easy score for them
to chase and win. When they batted, we
took a few wickets in the first few overs. I
bowled a few overs of straight, full length

fast balls, and luckily got 3 wickets. The


opposite captain was a good batsman. I
bowled a normal straight ball on middle-leg
stump line, but after pitching it moved and
hit off stump due to some issue on the pitch.
I can still remember the baffled look of that
batsman, and I admit that I was equally
baffled as well. As each wicket fell, we the
underdogs became a bit more vocal and
gave back some of the sledging. The juniors
only managed to score 20-odd runs. We
were so ecstatic and finally celebrated with
our usual fruit sarbath in Mahalingams
shop, mainly sponsored by Prem Singh (as
usual).

Over the years


After leaving school, we went in different
directions. Some of us continued as
classmates, college mates and hostel mates
while some others havent even met after
that. Some of us met in the buses and bus
stops during our college days. We just say a
quick greeting and go on our ways. Many

years later, whenever we meet, we sit and


talk about our school stories.
Some of us kept the bonds throughout
the years, and made the effort to meet as
much as possible. As we all finished tertiary
education and settled down into a job, the
meeting frequencies decreased. Some of us
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were still together during the job hunt phase,


be it in Chennai, Kochi, Mumbai, Maldives
or Marthandam.
As the years went by, we moved into
different professions, different places,
different family structures and different
lifestyles. But the school bonds kept us united
in a special way. Some of us unexpectedly
met in wedding functions, church festivals or
family gatherings and just realised that we
were indeed relatives. Even with the sparse
telecommunication facilities, we managed
to keep in touch within the smaller groups of
friends.
The revolutionary change happened

when Vino Kingston created the Facebook


page in May 2012 to connect our classmates
together. The FB page indeed helped to
create more interest of a get-together.
Around Oct 2013, Prem Singh mooted
the idea of a gathering in Dec 2013 and
within a few months we managed to
coordinate a gathering of 16 of our
classmates. Sunil & Binulal helped to secure
the IMA Hall @ Marthandam and made the
food arrangements. Some of us met for the
first time since 1990. It was a joyful occasion
and we pledged to meet in school within the
next few years.

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My journey
Prem Singh

Rajesh & Vino were my


classmates since high school days,
at Govt Boys HSS Marthandam.
After our SSLC exams, Rajesh
informed me that he decided to
join St. Josephs. Separately I also
heard that Vino got admission at
St.Josephs. The main reason for
their choice was the focus of SJHSS
on academic excellence. Since I
had aspired to go for a professional
degree, I too made the decision to join Vino
& Rajesh at SJHSS. Thanks to Rajesh & Vino
for their influence in my decision to join the
wonderful group of friends at SJHSS.
Once we assembled in Xi-B, I realised
that 50 % of the students were new to this
School while others did their SSLC here . The
other fact is that around 40-50 % of the
students made the switch from Tamil/
Malayalam to English medium in HSC and I
was one among them. The transition wasnt

so pleasant because we had to understand


all major subjects(Physics, Chemistry and
Biology) and the associated technical terms
in English. Halfway through XI-B,my self
-confidence was too low and I was pondering
whether to switch back to Tamil Medium to
be able to do better in the HSC exams.
During the vacation after XI standard, I
told my parents that I would like to take
some supplementary lessons to prepare
better for XII standard. I joined for tuition in
Maths, Physics and Chemistry during
vacation. Thanks to Professor Jose
Robin who taught me to improve my
physics knowledge and it was
awesome experience to attend the
tuition along with other classmates
like Shereeffa, Hudson, Arthur,
Geoffrey etc. After vacation, I felt
more confident, and started to
believe in myself that I would get
through in the exams and would get
a decent score to enter a professional
course.The transition from Tamil to
English medium was not so easy,
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but It was good to find out that


Practice and Perseverance always
pays off.
During XI-B, I mainly mingled
around with Vino, Rajesh,
Alexander, Arun, Thileep, Redlee
in the nearby benches and we
speak English phrases aloud
repeatedly just for fun. During XII
-B, I expanded the network to
some other friends from the first 3
benches.
I enjoyed my commute from Marthandam
where I used to take the Bus near Mission
hospital at Marthandam. But the drivers
always skip this stop and instead park their
bus near to Govt Boys HSS for stage-closing
of tickets. I had to often run 100 M sprint to
catch the Bus and sometimes a bit
embarrassing in front of my friends and staff
who were already in the Bus. I still remember
my commute back home in the evening
where the Buses were always crowed and I
had to stand in the foot-board. I usually
have sherbeth in Mahalingams shop and
then hop onto the bus and say Bye Bye to
some of the close friends (if you know who I
meant) although they did not have the

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courtesy to return the favor. The lesson I


learned was not to feel too embarrassed as
it is always part of the Life Journey . Keep
loving the friends even if they did not have
the courtesy to respond.
One of the other interesting topic was
that the school helped to kick start my Table
Tennis Passion. The Table tennis table was in
a room next to the Physics lab at the Science
Block. The staff usually play till 6 P.M and its
available for students after that. I can still
recollect that Myself and Alex waited until
very late to get a chance to play at least a
single game before we go home. Im
thankful to Alex for showing the determination
& support to stay back with me. We still
managed to have fun even within the tough
regimen of studies, revision classes, model
exams etc. and finally managed to get good
marks and get a professional degree.
Thanks to St Josephs for bringing such
wonderful friends in my life. Some of the
friends have made lots of difference and
created value in my life and many other
friends have indirectly helped me to earn
and change some of my traits to succeed in
the next phase of life.

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