Chitra didn’t stay the night. After bidding her farewell, we met up in Rafia’s room for a midnight chat and chocolates. Before long Sree was fast asleep and Beena was nodding off. I shared my room with Beena and she too was totally gone by the time she hit the bed. The Mohiniyattam rehearsals and performance had finally taken it’s toll.
My plan was to join in for the morning yoga sessions if I woke up in time. I thought it was starting at six. As I didn’t wake up in time I went to the gym instead at seven. Premlal was already there. He doesn’t believe in gentle exercises. Apparently gentle exercises prolong life and he prefers violent ones that shorten your lifespan. You need to know the guy to get his sense of humour. So he was busy lifting weights and whatnot. Maxwell joined us. I did four miles in the hour. Maxwell and I stopped at eight and we went to get some fresh air by the steps to the lake. Some of our classmates went swimming during this time and others went for an early morning run/walk outside. The air was still with no breeze. It had been raining most of the night. Moly joined us. The yoga session started at seven and not six and she had just been. The last time I saw Moly was when she and Jude came to London a few years ago. The same goes with Annamma and Joseph as well, the last time I had seen them was when they visited UK a few years back. We chatted for a while. Jose Chacko joined us after his early morning run.
It was almost time for breakfast. Beena was still fast asleep but woke up to let me in. She never was an early morning person and after all these years the trend continues. A quick shower and change later we were ready for breakfast. There was a selection of dishes ranging from a full English to continental to Kerala dishes to choose from.
There was time for more photo sessions and this time with unit mates, dissection mates, hostel mates, room mates. To be honest it didn’t matter everyone was a friend and the more photos the merrier it became. Our chief guest for the day, Prof KV Krishnadas Sir, was here and the meeting was about to begin.
Rajalekshmi’s daughter sang the prayer song and Asokan Pillai, the main organiser of the event and the administrator of our whatsapp group started the ball rolling. Jayasree RP did a beautiful welcoming address in Malayalam. Over the past year one of our classmates and my dissection mate, Cheriyan C Itticheriyan died. Catherine made the condolence speech and she also mentioned three of our professors who died in the past year, two of whom were our classmates fathers, Dilip’s and Baiju’s. Following this, Suma introduced KVK sir and Hari honoured him with a ponnada.
I looked up Sir’s profile on the web and found out that he belonged to the very first batch of medical students when TMC (Trivandrum medical college) came into existence. TMC was the first medical college in Kerala and was inaugurated by Nehru in November 1951. PP Joseph sir was also a classmate and they had their 60th year reunion in 2011. We have a lot of catching up to do but we are in no hurry. This gives you an idea as to how old he is. He came in his trainers which gave me an idea as to how active he must be. From Suma’s introduction I gather that he still reads and contributes to medical journals. Sir spoke about the medical profession with such enthusiasm and passion. He gave us some sound advice about not only our professional lives but as a whole and explored some of the options as to how we can each attain it.
Following the coffee break everyone met up to discuss the charitable activities of our class group. It was time to checkout as well and so we vacated our rooms and gave in our keys.
We were not quite ready to say our goodbyes yet and so after bidding farewell to those of our friends who couldn’t stay, a few of us went out for a meal. It was Rafia’s treat. We had a lovely time and cannot thank her enough. The perfect end to a joyous occasion.
It has been a while since Asha has been able to spend any length of time with us and getting her for the day and a half has been an achievement in itself. The same goes with the rest of my friends as well. Seeing Claramma, Catherine, Binoy, Devarajan, Balachandran (my dissection mates), Lekshmi (my roommate), Baiju, Usha, Moncey, their daughter Sharon, granddaughter and all my classmates after all these years and catching up where we left off, it has been a delightful two days. The organisers did a wonderful job and deserve our utmost praise and appreciation.
We take with us some great memories as we go our separate ways. Although far apart in distance, I know that you are all just a message away. So till the next time au revoir my friends.