This is the class ten photograph of the batch of 1983 when I was studying in Mary Immaculate High School, Wilson Garden.
All my classmates were predominantly from middle class families. We had studied together since upper kindergarten and went on to study in good colleges in Bengaluru.
I recall how as students we helped to keep the school premises clean and participate in the different community services like Bharat Guides. We also went around collecting good clothes and other items to be distributed to orphanages.
We all got very mediocre grades in school but were never upset about that. We would never worry if somebody else scored higher marks. What mattered to us was our friendship and the wonderful bond that we shared.
The pranks we played on each other, memorable sleepovers, birthday parties, horror movies, picnics and school trips are all fresh in my mind. We always shared our lunches and I can never forget some of my classmate’s mouthwatering food. The sports meet and impromptu singing sessions and memories of us at secret haunts at school always come gushing back whenever I look at this picture.
We had a healthy competition among us and this positive spirit made us excel in the events held by the four houses in school — Shanthi, Neethi, Preeti and Jyoti. Our school picnics to HAL Aerodrome, Lalbagh, Britannia biscuit factory, Wood factory, Coca Cola factory, Shivasamudram, Hogenekal Falls, Nagarahole, Shimsha, Mysore and Big Banyan Tree, brought us closer. Life after school and college has enormous opportunities for everyone and no one can be left behind if there is a strong determination to succeed in one’s chosen career.
Many of us in the group have become school teachers, lecturers, professors, IT professionals, high level management executives, corporate honchos, doctors, engineers, home makers etc.
Most of my classmates have juggled their roles admirably while also being devoted mothers and loving wives. They have settled across the world in different places.
Some of our distinguished alumni are Suniti Selvaraj who studied at the Harvard University and Bhuvaneshwari who earned the ‘Kittur Rani Chennamma’ Award
in 2014 for her services towards women welfare in Karnataka.
This year just to make ‘Friendship Day’ special, Olive, one of my classmates, floated the idea of hosting a reunion. The idea was posted on social media and soon it caught on and we had so many of the classmates responding positively.
About 30 classmates of a batch of 100 recently met in Bengaluru. It was nice to hear from everyone about their lives over the last 30 years. There was so much to share, it was not easy to say goodbye, but we knew that we would be connected henceforth, thanks to social media so the farewell was happy with a promise of tomorrow.
I want to congratulate Mary Immaculate High School which celebrated its golden jubilee in 2008 and exemplifies the same principles, values and academic rigour, even to this day.
Dr Jacqueline Kareem
(Jacqueline can be reached on email@example.com)
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