Xavier Nook: Class of 1964

Author: 
Subhash Mathur

Editor's Note: These are the memories of the alumni of St. Xavier's School, Jaipur, batch of 1964.

  1. Subhash Mathur, the civil servant
  2. Kesari Singh, the fauji remembers
  3. Jaimni Uberoi, the entrepreneur recalls
  4. Govind Gupta, the entrepreneur recalls
 
St. Xavier's School, Jaipur

St. Xavier's School, Jaipur

 

Subhash Mathur, the civil servant

Subhash Mathur was born and brought up in small towns in Rajasthan. During his school and college education at Jaipur, he was keenly involved in sports, journalism and public speaking. His civil services career has given him a platform for spreading his ideas about modernising tax administration to benefit the common man. Post retirement he is devoting his energies, along with his wife Tilak, to public and humane causes.

When I joined the class of '64 in 1959 in Standard Seven, we were divided into two sections of about 25 each.

By the time we reached the final year '64 our batch had gone through a churning process. The school was not sending everyone up for ISC exam due in December '64. Some of my batch mates were persuaded to opt for the Matric stream. A few others decided to write the Delhi Higher Secondary Board exams. Thus finally only 20 plus wrote the ISCE exam.

 
Standard X A of the 1964 batch of St. Xavier's School, Jaipur.

Standard X A of the 1964 batch of St. Xavier's School, Jaipur.

 
 
Standard X B of the 1964 batch of St. Xavier's School, Jaipur.

Standard X B of the 1964 batch of St. Xavier's School, Jaipur.

 

By and large the Class of '64 was straight and narrow. Only Bhaskar and Inder Pratap, popularly known as Pidku played the pranks.

By standard eight, I had become popular as Dopey, thanks to an off-chance remark by Fr. Ryan.

Fr. Pinto taught English with Julius Caesar as the main text. Fr. Grace drilled ancient Indian history from a Smith tome. Fr. Harland was my swimming in-charge.

We had some ranking sports persons amidst us with Keshav leading the pack. He was the school and state table tennis champion. He bowled fast and furious. And he played delectable tennis.

Surendra or Lala played cricket twenty-four hours a day. Anywhere and everywhere, much to his mother’s annoyance.

I was a pace bowler of some ferocity. And I was the school swimming captain. On track and field, middle distance races were par for the course.

Abdul loved football and was master class swimmer. Bhaskar was the eternal tennis player. Still plays two sets most evenings.

Navin edited the X Rays and I became the Sports Editor.

Most of my batch mates were Keen Types but humor was not an absentee resident.

Pramod the all-rounder, was the Student of the Year popularly called SOTY these days. Haven’t met him since December '64.

There was lot of enthusiasm for the Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2014 but not backed up with good attendance for the Pushkar outing.

We still meet in small groups to relive the good times.

 
Reunion of the 1964 batch of St. Xavier's School, Jaipur on the occasion of their golden jubilee in 2014.

Reunion of the 1964 batch of St. Xavier's School, Jaipur on the occasion of their golden jubilee in 2014.

 

Kesari Singh, the fauji remembers

Thakur Kesari Singh is an alumnus of St. Xavier's School, Jaipur and a veteran of the Sikh Regiment, the most decorated regiment of the Indian Army. He holds an M.Sc. degree in Defence Studies.

From school days

The basketball courts used to be swarming with players before the swimming hour during the summer holidays. Prem Periwal, Anil Mahajan and I had been playing a good game.

School basketball tournaments had been announced and interested participants were required to enter their names on a sheet put up on the notice board. We were to play in the junior group.

I knew that even if two of the three mentioned above landed in one team, the team would win.

I put myself in the organizer’s shoes and tried to work out the method in which he would form the four teams. I concluded that he would pick up the list and distribute the players one by one as they appeared in the list to each team.

I knew that there would be four teams so I entered the names as follows. I entered my name first, left the next three slots blank and entered Prem’s name, and left another three slots blank and then entered Anil’s name.

When the teams were announced, bingo! We all three were in the same team along with another two good players, Vijay Pardal and Virendra Barwara.

Well, we caged smoothly to victory.

From the army days

I had just completed six months of service in the army and was on Army level training maneuvers. One day in the morning my boys marched in a man dressed in dirty civilian clothes and told me that one person had been recceing our defenses and they suspected that he was from the enemy forces.

I looked at him and asked “Breakfast khaoge?” He declined and started pleading that he was a small time bania on his way to buy kirana stores and was unnecessarily being harassed. With a naughty grin I addressed him and said “You are a bania alright, Major Chandra Bhushan Gupta, and a Xavierite. I am Kesari Singh, '64 batch”. He smiled, sat down on the camp stool and demanded “Where is the bloody breakfast?”

(Chandra Bhushan Gupta retired as Major General.)


Jaimni Uberoi, the entrepreneur recalls

Jaimni Uberoi is an alumnus of St. Xavier's School, Jaipur.

Post graduation, Jaimni joined the family enterprise, JMohanco, a construction firm serving the people of Jaipur for past 70 years and recipient of many accolades including appreciation from the President of India in 1984.

Jaimni is actively involved in many spheres relating to development, heritage, cleanliness, environment, sustainability, infrastructure and change in connection to his hometown, Jaipur.

Jaimni has given up on his favourite sports, squash, but he still keeps fit as a fiddle with a daily 90-minute exercise regimen.

Jaimni lives in Jaipur with his wife, Ritu, in a house that sits exactly opposite his alma mater, Xaviers.

We all went to the Golden Jubilee felicitations of Class of 1964 in large numbers in December 2014.

Crest made for the 1964 batch of St. Xavier's School, Jaipur on the occasion of their golden jubilee in 2014.

Crest made for the 1964 batch of St. Xavier's School, Jaipur on the occasion of their golden jubilee in 2014.

Fond memories of school days keep flooding my mind as I am able to look at the School building from my office window across Bhagwan Das Road.

Feeling happy going down the memory lane.

Harking back to the school days I remember that none of the Fathers / teachers, ever allowed me to take the window seat saying that I would look into my home and not concentrate on learning.

So Jaimni had to select any other row. What a thought. Great teachers, we are grateful them!

I often use to hang around the hand ball courts getting involved, not so much in hand ball play, but for the cream rolls and ice cream cones at the Dayal Canteen.

Another thing I most often remember is the baseball game. I fondly remember the sports slot from 3:30 to 4:00 PM. Fr. Ryan used to supervise our games hour.

In fact, immediately after finishing college when I went to US they were surprised to learn about my knowledge of baseball. Xavier had taught me that.

Also as soon as I got to know that Father Ryan was suffering with cancer, I obtained his address and drove down to meet him at the hospital.

He was very happy and touched to see me. He clasped my hands and chatted with me for about 20 minutes. He did not have much time left then. I said goodbye to him.

Just as I was passing through the lobby, a lady at the reception approached me stating that Sir, if I were coming from room number 233 then this box was for me.

The box contained chocolates pastries. Father Ryan had scribbled: "Jaimni, thanks for coming. I know you were very fond of pastries from school canteen and that is why the chocolate pastries for you."

A few months later he passed away.

 
Class of 1964 at St. Xavier's School, Jaipur

Class of 1964 at St. Xavier's School, Jaipur

 

I also remember the stunning Ms. Lyon, who was Mr. Herman Muller’s girlfriend. I also recall that we naughtily threw pencils or erasers on the floor to go down on our knees to pick them up. In hope.

Such were our Fathers; such were our teachers from whom we learnt so much.


Govind Gupta, the entrepreneur recalls

Born post-Independence, Govind Gupta is a Xavierite and a Rajasthan University graduate. He played an active role in shaping the activities of Xavier’s Alumni Association and served as its President in the mid 1980s.

Govind is an active member of the Rotary Club and served as its President for the year 2014-15. He is also the founder President of Jaipur Mansingh Jaycees and a life member of Agarwal Samaj Samiti.

Married to Poonam, Govind lives in Jaipur surrounded by his son and daughter, who are both married and blessed with two lovely children each.

Thank you, Subhash for asking me to write such lovely memories.

I joined school probably in 1953 in KG. (Yes, we had KG & Prep then.) Faint memories I have is one Ms. Lal and of course Ms. Francis in the primary section, the latter always had a cane in her hand.

Ms. Francis

Ms. Francis

No wonder Fr Rebiero adopted the cane from her. Fr. Rebiero, where ever you are, are you listening. Then I recall being taught by Ms. Alexander, a tall and a very graceful lady and of course Ms. Sarcar, a short lady with gentle demeanor.

The school building was awesome and still is. Facing the main building, I can easily recall the two jungle jalebi trees on either side, Before the classes would start, the senior boys would throw stones on the trees with a hope of a ripe jalebi to fall to be gulped falling.

The hand ball courts behind the canteen looked giant structures to a 6 year old like me. And seniors played the game with bald tennis balls. I often watched them with awe.

Mr. Robert, the cycle stand in-charge was always seen shouting at the boys for parking their cycles improperly. I fondly recall Mr. Dayal the canteen man who always gave us such world class milk shakes, which we never got at home to drink. At home only a glassful of hot milk was given to us. The ice cream cones were another novelty and delicacy, probably imported from US.

Handball game and swimming were also star attraction for all of us. More so, because Jaipur in those days did not have very many of these two.

 
Sports at St. Xavier's School, Jaipur

Sports at St. Xavier's School, Jaipur

 

Education was a very basic core requirement of the school. Now that when I go down the memory lane, I realize how great the emphasis on teaching and learning was. No wonder we had the outstanding students in entire Rajasthan, studying at Xavier’s.

I can go on recalling but perhaps it’s time for me stop. Let's keep something in the kitty for next time.


Editor's Note: Here are some more memories from the alumni of St. Xavier's School, Jaipur. Xavierites are welcome to keep contributing!

Comments

Illuminating, nostalgic and exciting account of the golden years of life. Loved each and every narration. Beautifully done! Look forward to reading many more such wonderful memories in the days to come.

Thank you sangeeta . This section is open for every school . You can do it for your school passing out batch too. Or your college batch. We will be happy to publish the memories .
Thanks .

Sir, your love for sports is known to me from the day of my interview (in March, 1990) for selection in the Customs department. I very well remember sir, as one of the Member of Interview Board, your goodself had appreciated me greatly for my sports certificates and performances. I will forever remain grateful for that. Beautifully described your revisiting of schooldays sir

Thanks Mahendra . This section is open to all schools any where . You could perhaps organise memories for your school or college passing out batch.
Be the leader you wish to be .

Thanks Mahendra . This section is open to all schools any where . You could perhaps organise memories for your school or college passing out batch.
Be the leader you wish to be .

It's gives so much joy to recount the wonderful days spent at Xaviers. As I was in the 1966 batch I can easily relate to these contributions from the batch of 1964 --- the handball courts, the KG & Prep classes, Dayal and his delicacies, the fathers and other teachers, the games and sports, et al, and of course the great hostel experiences!

Dear vijay. Thanks for your observation . Would you like to like it for your batch ? The more the merrier . Thanks L

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