Thursday, September 29, 2011

KTWV 12 Issue 9: Old values vs new ones

Many of you are expecting me to keep Kooler Talk (Web Version) as a daily news letter.

This is quite impossible. This is a nostalgia site and not an up-to-the-minute news site about our College.

Stephanians and Laal Sitara are doing an excellent job on this front. I think the competion is spurring them to do things bigger and better than the other!

 Laal Pitara is not a Stephanian site as its objectives are just to have a great time on-line. I notice it has been used as a StephLeaks site.

But I am  sure that will sort itself out.

There is a wonderful effort by all sides to bridge the gap. Athough I do not want to be a wet squib, I am not of the opinion  that there can be a Fidel Castro, or Mao Tse Tung, or Col. Gadafi at the head of our bunch. Any person cannot stand up and take genuine criticism cannot be the head of our alma mater..

What is more important is that I have been informed that some traditions seem to have been maintained but locations changed. One person lamented that the staff were not part of the fun and frolic.

The reason staff were with us in the sixties was because there were many who had been students just a few years earlier and still had a "student mentality". They had not become steeped in the staff / student divide.

57er Ranjit Bhatia returned to College after his stint at Oxford and participation in the Olympics. He was very much a glamour figure amongst the students and hence did not fit the staff profile. So also 58er Raj Sircar.

The Cafe used to have a liberal sprinkling of staff members enjoying the mince or scrambled eggs. Even older staff members used to make it a point to interact with us in the Cafe. Principal Sircar, Vice Principal Shanklind and Dean Rajpal also dropped in occasionally and had a cup of tea with us. So we were never remote from the senior staff members. Princi and Vice-Princi had no reservations, but Dean kept a stiff upper lip.

I do not remember many alumni members dropping in. When they did, they were usually quite well known and they would make it a point to interact with all of us. Cricketers Prem Bhatia, Inderjit Singhji  and many other prominent sports personalities were those who did come to College to mingle with us humble students - and we really enjoyed their company. It was so good to share the table with such greats and revel in their success. It spurred us lesser mortals to try for the moon.

When I visited College in 2009, I did drop in at the Cafe. Not a single person went out of their way to ask who I was or what I was doing there. Not that it matters, as  I am not a very noteworthy person!

The Cafe seemed a very strange and distant place after 46 years. The atmosphere appeared to be somehow "wrong". I(t was not the small friendly warm environment.

After I attended the Founders Day Chapel Service a lot of peopledid talk to me and express their joy at reading this blog. Also after the Founders Day ceremony in the Assembly, where Past Indian President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam addressed us, I did take part in the gathering outside and met a number of students and Alumni.

The difference between my day is vast. When there is a gathering now, students get-together in their own groups and talk to one another. We used to look around for people you did not know and go and talk to them. After all, you have already exchanged many views with those you know, but you open doors when you meet with the new people around you.

That was the biggest difference I noted in the throng.

I also did wander around the staircases and corridors and took pictures of pictures. These are part of my memories of the College.

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