Great reunion of friends

Nostalgic moments

It was a moment to cherish for life as the 1971 batch of St John’s Medical College held a grand reunion last week over a period of three days.

The 1971 batch was the ninth batch since the inception of the college. On the first day, a small dinner was organised for the former students followed by a visit to the college on the second day.

The students relived their good old days as they visited their classes, departments and even met the alumni association of the college to discuss on how they can add to the improvement of the college and expand the college hospital.

On the final day, a gala function was held at the Grand Magrath Hotel where in the alumni came with their families. Select students from other batches were also invited. As the dinner and drinks were served and the dance floor was thrown open to the guests, hundreds of people arrived thereby making it a gala show.

Dr Kamini Rao, an accomplished doctor from the 1971 batch, was one of the guests. “It’s a reunion after 40 years and we were planning this for a year’s time. Everyone from the batch is in different parts of the globe. But be it Canada or the UK, South Africa or the USA, everyone made it a point to attend the reunion,” she said. “Out of a batch of 60 students, 50 turned up; since two students have passed away, that means only eight people couldn’t make it. So it was a great turnout,” she added.

Her husband Dr Arvind, a gastroenterologist and one of the main people behind the setting up of Mallya Hospital, was as excited. “It was, in one word, very nostalgic. The way the whole programme was managed over three days, it was truly a walk down memory lane. Most of us stayed in one apartment and got back to knowing each other. We found out how we have changed over the last 40 years and took an ordinary bus ride to SJMC,” he said.

“Those days, we used to hang around on MG Road or Brigade Road. So people thought we could reach college in 15 minutes but it took us an hour and a half,” he laughed. “And at that time, SJMC was located on ‘outskirts’ of the City while now, it’s become the heart of the City,” he added.

Once in college, the students took pictures with the current batches, sat in their old classrooms and even ate in their hostel mess. “We also had a thanksgiving prayer for those batchmates who are no more with us. We even came out with an album consisting of the pictures of all the three days. These days, you do get a soft copy of all the photos but a hard copy is always nicer,” said Dr Arvind.  

According to Dr Kamini, she hadn’t laughed so much in life. “Some people had grown fat or thin or old. It was just so much fun. I wouldn’t have missed this for the world,” she summed up.

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