Reliving the good old times

Reliving the good old times

School is one thing that brings with its very mention loads of memories. Given that one’s formative years are spent in school,  these memories last a lifetime.

As St Joseph’s Indian Institutions prepare to celebrate its 110 years of existence in a grand way, some of the prominent alumni recall with a sense of nostalgia how the years on the campus have made them what they are.

‘Metrolife’ interacted with a few alumni of St Joseph’s Indian High School who have not only made their school proud but also brought laurels to Bengaluru.

Popular actor and politician Kumar Bangarappa says he owes his success to the school. “I lived and grew up in Shivamogga. So when we relocated to Bengaluru, it was a bit of a culture shock for me. But it was the atmosphere in school and the constant support and encouragement from the teachers that helped me and my brother Madhu settle down rather quickly,” recalls Kumar.

Kumar vividly recollects that he was involved in every activity in school, be it sports, theatre or debate. “Those were my best years. I am still in touch with a lot of my friends from school and there are very fond memories that each of us hold of our time together there,” says Kumar.

He also states that although his father S Bangarappa was a minister then, he never travelled by car to school. “We always travelled by bus to school. There was no difference in attitude towards a poor child and a rich man’s child. We were treated equally and that’s one of the biggest things that I carry with me even to this day,” he says.

Former captain of the Indian hockey team, Asian Games gold medallist, Olympian and Arjuna Awardee Ashish Ballal grew up in Bengaluru and he recalls that he was studying in class eight in Frank Anthony Public School when his father got a call from Fr Sunith Prabhu, the then principal of the  school, asking him to shift Ashish to the school almost immediately. “Fr Sunith wanted me to change schools because he had heard that I was good at sports and wanted me to join as soon as possible. At first, it was a huge culture shock for me but now looking back, changing schools was one of the best things to have happened to me,” says Ashish. He says that the school turned out to be a great inducer and leveller when it came to sports. “We had a professional coach who trained us everyday after school. It was tiring to train after school but it made me tougher and stronger not only physically but mentally as well,” Ashish says.

Ashish remembers his teachers were extremely strict but supportive as well. “The teachers would do everything they could to emotionally support students and encourage them. They did well to push the students beyond their capabilities.  Another interesting thing is that the children of the rich and the poor studied together. This was indeed a very humbling experience for me because I got to mix with all classes of people in school.”
There’s a sense of pride in his voice when popular playback singer and actor Rajesh Krishnan gets talking about his school.

 “The school was the first to get a computer lab in 1983 and the only one in Bengaluru to incorporate carpentry as a part of the extra-curricular activities. They believed in the comprehensive development of every student and worked towards achieving the same,” feels Rajesh, who studied

from class five to 10 at St Joseph’s Indian High School. “I was also a part of the brass band of the school and I’ve played every conceivable instrument. My interest in
music began in school,” shares Rajesh.

On the occasion of its 110th anniversary, St Joseph’s Indian  Institutions is organising an alumni meet on January 10 at 12 noon at St Joseph’s Indian High School -Quadrangle.  

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