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The

2009

The Cathedral & John Connon Alumni Magazine

Contents
Editorial

Presidents Message

150 Years

School Update
A Message from the Principal

On Location
Learning on the Job
Rocky Bell-boa

11
13

Spotlight
Shiamak Davar
Changing Tracks
Sonali Sachdev

14
15

Out of the Box


Looking Back, Looking Forward
GAIA: A Response to Climate Changed
A Toast to the Amul Girl
SOAK in the City

Editorial Team

16
17
19
21

Reflections
Alyque Padamsee with Cyrus Broacha
Piloo Hakim
Vijaya Gupchup

22
25
26

Off the Shelf


Amit Chaudhuri

28

Miel Sahgal (ISC 1989, Palmer)


Udita Jhunjhunwala (ICSE 1984, Barham)
Shyla Boga Patel (ISC 1969, Savage)
Ragini Ghose (ISC 1972, Savage)

Teacher Updates

31

In Memoriam

34

Reunions

39

Business

Class Notes

42

Crossword

64

Rohita Chaganlal Doshi (ISC 1975, Wilson)

Design and Printing


Rishita Chandra, Nikunj Parikh

Spenta Multimedia
This magazine is not for sale and is intended for
internal circulation only. Any material from this
magazine may not be reproduced in part or whole
without written consent. Views and opinions expressed
in this magazine are those of the individual authors
and not necessarily those of the Publishers.
Published by The Cathedral and John Connon Alumni
Association, 6, P.T. Marg, Mumbai 400 001 and printed
at Spenta Multimedia, Peninsula Spenta, Mathuradas
Mill Compound, Lower Parel, Mumbai 400 013.
www.spentamultimedia.com

Cover photo: Kunal Kampani, Spenta

2009 The X-Cathedralite 1

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Editorial

e are delighted to bring


you another issue of our
very own, home-grown,
The X Cathedralite. All the writing,
editing and compilation has
been done voluntarily, eked out
of the spare time of alumni who
graduated over a range of decades,
from the 40s to the 2000s.
It has been heartwarming to
see the sheer number of people
who have sent in contributions
both editorial and financial.
Were pleased to have been able
to increase the number of pages
this year and are sorry that we
still havent managed to publish
everything we would have liked to.
The issue brings a mix of
features and facts to keep you in
touch with our alma mater and the
thousands of alumni whove spent
a better part of their youth there.
Through these pages we update
you about recent developments

Feedback
I just flew back into Mumbai and
found a copy of The X-Cathedralite
waiting for me. Great job!
Anish Trivedi
(HSC 1979, Savage)
I attended my 30 year (ICSE 1978)
reunion dinner yesterday and
came home this evening to find
The X-Cathedralite. Good job, well
done! Keep it up Let it Rip, Let it
Thunder! Let me know if I can help
for the 150 year celebrations.
Salman Noorani
(HSC 1981, Palmer)
I received the latest issue of The
X-Cathedralite magazine which
made me feel as if I had passed
out of school just yesterday. I read

in School (On Location) as well


as reminisce about a time gone
by, with Alyque Padamsee, Piloo
Hakim and Vijaya Gupchup
(Reflections). We share the life
stories of ex-Cathedralites Mirai
Chaterjee (Out of the Box) and
Shiamak Davar (Spotlight) and
a short story from acclaimed
writer Amit Chaudhuri (Off the
Shelf). We bring you plans for the
upcoming 150th year celebrations,
and invite suggestions for your
further involvement with the
alumni community. And just a
glimpse through the Class Notes
pages provides an indication
of what a diverse and dynamic
community this is.

at the top of our minds (and the


school ratings). Perhaps, it is the
commitment to education, or
the exceptional extra-curricular
opportunities, or the illustrious
alumni body. Or perhaps it is the
Schools unique 150-year-old
history that no new megabudget project can acquire. A
shared history that connects
each and every one of us who
have walked down those stonewalled corridors.
Editorial Team

This is a special year, a good


one for alumni to renew ties with
Cathedral. As new schools with
spanking new facilities mushroom
across Mumbai, something about
Cathedral continues to keep it

about some of my old teachers


and got to know what they had
been doing I have learnt so
much from them. That each and
every product from Cathedral
has been so successful in their
own field just goes to speak
volumes about how we have been
groomed in our fundamental
years. It was really great to see
pictures of my classmates, some
whom I have not seen since
we left school. I am definitely
looking forward to the next
reunion. I am currently with
Merrill Lynch India as Assistant
Vice-President with their Private
Banking business. Kudos to
the entire team for putting
together a great magazine.

We look forward to your feedback at magazine@catalumni.com

Im extremely proud to be a
Cathedralite.Thank you.
Rajkumar Talreja
(ICSE 1990, Savage)
I have just seen the latest copy of
The X-Cathedralite. The team has
done an excellent job!
Christopher David
(ICSE 1984)
We would like to thank the
following donors for their
generous contribution:
Porus Kaka (1974)
Pankaj Kalra (1983)
Mitali Anand Kalra (1989)
Naheed Lalkaka - Sorabjee (1974)
Kalpesh Loonawat (1988)
Gaurav Talwar (1994)

2009 The X-Cathedralite 3

Presidents Message
Dear Friends,
ts been almost a year since we
took over as Co-Presidents and
a lot has happened in that time.
Little things and big things, happy
ones and terribly sad ones.
We had a remarkable turnout at our
Founders Day brunch in the Middle
School. With Ernie on keyboard and
vocals, a good time was had by all. The
Class of 1958 were there in full force
and fine voice, and we believe they
really enjoyed the morning, as did all
the others present.
The School vs. Alumni Cricket
Match held at the Hindu Gymkhana
was organised by Sanjay Shah (1982),
ably supported by Chirag Doshi
(1990). The school team won, but our
day will come!
The 14th Annual Golf Tournament
at the Willingdon Sports Club was
once again an outstanding success, so
well organised by Akshay Kilachand
(1988), Pushpa Bhatia (1953), Meher
Amersey (1960) and Kiran Kanwar.
Just a couple of weeks later we
were sad and sombre. The terrorist

The Big Plan

attacks in Mumbai on 26th November


left us all paralysed. We lost three
members of the Association Ashok
Kapur (1959, Palmer), Sanjay
Agarwal (1977, Wilson) and Sunil
Parekh (1980, Savage), nine parents,
a former teacher and two little boys.
There is really nothing one can say
in the face of such a tragedy; we are
truly sorry and our sympathies go out
to all those affected by this senseless
massacre, wherever they may be.
The X-Cathedralite was released
in December 2008 and was very
well received. Our thanks to Miel
Sahgal and Udita Jhunjhunwala for
producing the magazine so seamlessly
and perfectly. And as you can see
from this issue, they have done it
again. Our thanks also to Rohita
Doshi for working so hard to get
the sponsors for both issues and, of
course, to the sponsors themselves.
In January 2009, we held the
school leavers tea organised by
Rangita Bhatnagar. The food was
very good and we immediately had
about 170 new members from the

ISC and ICSE classes! Most of these


students will be studying all over the
world at this stage, but we believe
that when they return, they will
make a significant contribution to
the Association.
On April 16, we had a marvelous
evening at Magic in Mumbai. The
remarkable turnout assured us that
the old school spirit hasnt faded,
and the camaraderie lives on.
The Eighth Cathedral Summer
School was held at Manori at the end
of April. Once again, it comprised
of 45 Cathedral children and 25
from Manori village. Simply put,
the children had a blast while
engaging in various activities like
kite-making, pottery, dance, art,
astronomy and magic. The Alumni
Association contributed Rs. 35,000
and Rohita Doshi Rs. 50,000 from the
Lalchand Hirachand Premier Trust.
Plans are already underway for next
years camp.
Our main thrust this year has been
to focus on creating a new website
and updating our database. The idea

few years. We look to each of you to make our dream, for


this historic year, come true.
n November this year our school turns 149. A year
A governance plan will be set in place and the fund will
later, 150. One hundred and fifty is a lot of years
be monitored and managed by the present Co-Presidents,
and the Alumni Association wants to do something
and Pranay Shah (ISC 1970), Rama Iyer (ICSE 1984) and
meaningful and enduring; we want to set in place a
Bibhash Asar (ICSE 1986).
Health and Medical Benefit Scheme for Retired
Further, to enable us to receive contributions from
Teachers and Staff who have worked for 10 years or
our alumni overseas, we have applied for our FCRA
more. This is our tribute to all those who have given this
registration. In the meantime, they could help us by
institution its formidable reputation.
providing funds directly from India. We ask that your
Our research tells us there is a crying need for this.
contribution reflect the large need and that you will be
We would like to ensure that every staff member feels
generous based on your means whether it is Rs. 5,000,
secure, and lives and ages with dignity. Our Scheme
10,000, 50,000 or one lakh, five or 10 lakhs or more!
envisages a two-pronged approach: First, a Medical
We look forward to your help to make this project a
Assistance Scheme with a panel of doctors which will
success. All donations will be duly acknowledged and
give free or partially-free treatment. We already have
will receive an 80G certificate. Please make your cheque
80 alumni and parent doctors who have very kindly
in favour of: Cathedral and John Connon Alumni
volunteered. Second, since hospitalisation is cripplingly
Association Medical Fund and post it to:
expensive, we are working on a group insurance policy
The Cathedral and John Connon Alumni Association,
for about 30 teachers. With rising medical and insurance
6, Purshotamdas Thakurdas Marg, Fort, Mumbai 400001.
costs, our target is to raise at least Rs. one crore towards
Shyla Boga Patel and Viral Doshi
this endeavour so that we are comfortable for the next
Co-Presidents

Executive Committee
2009-2010
Office Bearers
Co-Presidents
Shyla Boga Patel

(ISC 1969, Savage)


shylaboga@gmail.com

Viral Doshi

(ISC 1975, Palmer)


viral@viraldoshi.com
Seated (L to R): Rohita Doshi, Chitra Rajkumar, Shyla Boga Patel, Viral Doshi
Standing (L to R): Amit Advani, Ragini Ghose, Miel Sahgal, Udita Jhunjhunwala, Pragni Kapadia, Rangita Bhatnagar

was to revamp the website in time


for the 150th year celebrations.
This was executed by Udita
Jhunjhunwala and Miel Sahgal. We
are having a few teething troubles
with both the website and database,
but are working very hard at setting
these right.
We are fortunate to have as
our new honorary webmaster
Gautam Shewakramani (2001),
who we are sure, will get things
on track very soon. Databases are
dynamic, so please get in touch
with Gautam at gautam@catalumni.
com and update your details and
put your news and views on the
website. It is imperative that every
member is a part of our database
long before November 2010, so
please volunteer to be class leaders
or chapter representatives. Also,
if you or your friends havent
registered as members, please go
to www.catalumni.com and do so,
preferably, NOW!
As of September we have a
Helpdesk operating from the Green
Room of the Junior School from
3 p.m. to 5 p.m. three times a week.
You can call 9930577120 or e-mail
catalumni_helpdesk@yahoo.com
for further information about it.
Thank you Mrs. Isaacs, for making
this possible.
On November 14 we will have
a lovely evening with a live band,

a great dinner and lots of alumni at


Blue Sea, Mumbai. We are sure this
will be a very special evening and a
fitting start to our 150th year.
After years of talking about it, we
have finally applied for our FCRA
registration to enable us to receive
donations in foreign exchange to
help with our plans for the 150th
year. The papers are with the Home
Ministry. Bureaucratic wheels turn
very slowly and there has been
much delay in getting this through.
We expect this will happen soon
and we will be able to accept these
contributions.
Talking about matters of finance:
Our treasurer Chitra Rajkumar has
played a truly stellar role this year
and we cannot thank her enough
for all her meticulous hard work.
Our alumnus, friend and Chartered
Accountant, Surin Kapadia (ISC
1998) has been equally wonderful.
Our appreciation also to Amit
Advani, Anand Shroff, Gopika
Saran, Pragni Kapadia, Prakash
Thadani, Ragini Ghose and
Rangita Bhatnagar for being such
supportive committee members.
And finally, to Mrs. Isaacs, a big
thank you for all her time, help and
advice amidst her already madly
busy schedule.
Shyla Boga Patel and Viral Doshi
Co-Presidents

Vice-Presidents
Rohita Chaganlal Doshi
(ISC 1975, Wilson)

Miel Sahgal

(ISC 1989, Palmer)

Co-Treasurers
Chitra Rajkumar
(1956, Savage)

Pragni Kapadia

(ISC 1994, Palmer)

Secretary
Ragini Ghose

(ISC 1972, Savage)

Committee Members
Mrs. Meera Isaacs (ex officio)
Amit Advani

(ISC 1994, Palmer)

Anand Shroff
(ICSE 1985, Palmer)

Prakash Thadani
(ISC 1969, Savage)

Rangita Bhatnagar
(ISC 1989, Palmer)

Udita Jhunjhunwala
(ICSE 1984, Barham)

Co-opted Members
Rama Iyer

Mukeeta Jhaveri

(ICSE 1984, Barham)

(ISC 1983, Savage)

Bibhash Asar

Nikhil Raghavan

(ICSE 1986,Palmer)

(ISC 1992, Savage)

Aditya Dhawan

(ISC 1996, Wilson)


The Executive Committee looks forward to
your active involvement with the Association.
Please do contact us on the Cathedral Alumni
Helpline (99305 77120) or through our website
www.catalumni.com.

2009 The X-Cathedralite 5

The 150th Year


Celebrations
Schools dont turn 150 every day. So what are the plans for our big birthday?
One plan, the big plan, is to start a Medical Benefit Scheme for Retired Teachers
and Staff (please see page 4).
Alumnus Fareed Zakaria, Editor of Newsweek International and host of the
international affairs programme, Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN, will be giving us
a talk on Monday, 21st December 2009 and we hope many of you will attend it.
Further details on the time and location will be e-mailed to you and displayed on
the website.
Also in the pipeline is the definitive, exhaustive history of the Cathedral School.
Crammed with interesting information with which you may not be familiar - like
that when the foundation of the JB Petit School for Girls was laid, it was actually
meant to have been for the Cathedral School. Or that through some of its history
the school existed in tents. But the book is finally about all of you, the alumni and
teachers, and we need your inputs immediately! What absolutely stands out in
your mind about your years in Cathedral School? Your spontaneous reflections
are, of course, important, as well as thoughts recollected in tranquillity, with the
wisdom of hindsight. Please write to the authors Mridula Maluste (1973) and Viral
Doshi (1975) at cathedralhistory@gmail.com
We are planning two golf tournaments among other sports events during
the year. Please do have a look at the updates on our website. Various items
of memorabilia will be on sale and we have created a very special 150th year
commemorative tie. Please call the alumni helpline on 99305 77120 for further
information.

The 150th year commemorative tie will be available at


the Zodiac showrooms at the Taj Mahal Hotel, Mumbai,
and Khan Market, New Delhi.

Photo: Rayomand J. Patell

Our committee member, Rangita Bhatnagar (ISC 1989, Palmer) has been
appointed Chairperson of the 150th year committee. We are an integral part
of this team and will help in every way possible. The major events will be in the
second week of November 2010, when we will be having school concerts, a tour
of all the school buildings from 1860 onwards, a church service and a grand finale
with a dinner at the Turf Club where a postage stamp, a first day cover and the
book on the history of the Cathedral School will be launched.

2009 The X-Cathedralite 7

School Update

A message from the Principal,


Mrs. Meera Isaacs

ecently, the U.S. President, Mr. Obama


articulated what we have known for a long time.
In urging Americans to raise their standards
of education, he said, We cant afford our kids to be
mediocre at a time when theyre competing against
kids in China and India. (He should know, as Indians
are being inducted into his team on an almost weekly
basis!). Now that the Indian school system has been
validated, warts and all, by no less a person than the
President of the most powerful country, let me assure
you that our students have lived up to this belief. The
proof of the pudding, as the saying goes, is in the
eating in this case, the Public Examination results.
Outgoing students
Of the 145 ICSE candidates who appeared, 56 placed
in the above 90 per cent category, 64 in the 80s, 17 in
the 70s and four between 64 and 70 per cent. The softspoken Akshat Mullerpatan swept to first place with
96.67 per cent.
Turning our attention to the ISC results, 33 placed
in the 90s and above, 38 between 81 and 89, 18 in the
70s and 4 in the 66-69 bracket. Akshay Sukthankar,
another modest young man brought laurels to himself
and the School by standing first in Maharashtra with
96.20 per cent. At the College Board our students
raised the bar once again to a record high with a mean
SAT Reasoning Score of 2034 out of a possible 2400.
Compare this to the world mean of approximately
1600. The Advanced Placement Programme is growing
from strength to strength with a total of 42 students
from Classes 8 to 12 enrolled this year. The US had
better look out for here comes the Indian juggernaut to
add to Mr. Obamas consternation, and maybe to some
future Presidents team!
Led by the versatile and multi-faceted duo of
Ashwini Kerkar our Head Girl and Dhruv Toshniwal
our Head Boy, 95 talented young men and women
who contributed in unequal measure to their teachers
euphoria and heartburn, are now poised to take on
the world with youthful exuberance and legendary
Cathedral panache, tempered, I trust, with a sense of
humility and a sound knowledge of right and wrong.
As is the wont of any institution, people come, leave
their own special mark, and then, sadly, they have to
move on. Each year a group of Std. 12 students pass
8 The X-Cathedralite 2009

out to be replaced by their successors. So also teachers


move on for various reasons.
Thanking our teachers
We thank our teachers who have left, for the dedication
and commitment that they brought to the School. During
the past year we lost two dear and well-regarded former
teachers in Mr. John Lewis, Mathematics wizard, who
was Vice-Principal of the School from 1981 to 1991
and Dr. V. Krishnan, Head of the English Department.
Both gentlemen went on to lead schools Mr. Lewis as
Principal of Campion and Dr. V. Krishnan as Principal of
Hiranandani School, Powai. Their students and former
colleagues came together in a bond of shared grief to pay
rich tributes to both these stalwarts who have touched so
many lives.
Stepping out
The global economic meltdown and rising protectionism
demand that we prepare our students to face change on
all fronts and especially in the job market.To this end
our Guidance Counsellor, and the ever-supportive parent
and alumnus Vikram Uttamsingh organised a School
Career Fair on January 31 this year, with 33 professionals
spanning 21 careers to give our students an understanding
of what is waiting out there for them once they step out of

School Update
If you have to swallow a toad, dont stare at it too long.
their sheltered existence of School and Home.
I only state the obvious when I say that Cathedralites
are some of the most fortunate of students with
opportunities dropping into their laps like manna
from heaven. Our students continue to excel at sport,
drama, music, debates, poetry and much more. In fact,
too much to put into this message, but a few cases in
point. Fourteen students from Std. XI attended the
Young Leaders Programme in Science at Trinity College,
Melbourne. The International Mathematics Olympiad
saw 17 of our students as award winners. Close to
two lakh students competed in the Olympiad. We are
proud to state that Cathedral was awarded the trophy
for outstanding performance. Two of our students
were in the U.S. as part of a group of international high
schoolers attending the NASA residential space camp for
an interactive astronautical experience.
With its inception in 1997, the Cathedral Model
United Nations has been the pioneer of Model UNs
in India. This year our student organisers, arranged
for all the funding themselves. For the first time six
schools from as far as Assam, Kolkata, Dehradun and
Delhi, participated at CMUN taking the total number
of participating schools to 18. The CMUN is the
springboard for the prestigious Harvard Model United
Nations at Boston which nineteen of our students
attended as representatives of the Republic of Slovenia.
A first for us was an invitation to Cambridge.
Incidentally, we were the only School from India to be
given this honour. Seventeen senior students attended
the Reach Cambridge programme for two weeks in
the hallowed precincts of that ancient University town.
Likewise, six of our Std. 8 students attended a two
week Summer Programme this May conducted by Duke
University at IIM, Ahmedabad. Again we are the only
School in Mumbai to have been invited to partner with
the Khemka Foundation and Columbia University in the
Global Ethical Leaders Programme. We began with Stds.
8 and 9 last year, this year we shall induct the Senior
classes into it as well. However, my goal is to evolve our
own Ethical Leadership Programme which we could make
the core of our School experience beginning with our
youngest at the Pre-Primary level.
Community service
In India there are still 300 million illiterates, and as many
poor. In contrast, those of us who have anything to do
with Cathedral know how blest we are. We accept our
good fortune with grace (I hope!) and translate some

of that into helping those less privileged. Community


Service is an innate part of the Cathedral learning
process. It begins early with the babies of our PrePrimary contributing their mite to help support the
children of VOICE, St. Josephs Home, and Save the
Children Foundation.
At the Infant School, the fun fair last November was
enjoyed by not only our children but also by special
guests from the Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital and
their parents. The Infant School also sponsors a child
from World Vision. They presented two wheel chairs for
children at the Tata Memorial Hospital and a substantial
sum to Asha Sadan.
The Junior Schools social service spans a host of
organisations including 12 different organizations for
children which are as far flung as Saswad near Pune to
Thane and Colaba. They raised Rs.1,23,000/- for the SOS
Childrens Villages. The Middle School has its regular
Social Service Programme every Thursday with the
children of the Doorstep School. They too have various
organisations on their radar including the Cancer Society
and ALERT India. All social service and community
welfare activities of the Senior School are directed
through the Interact Club. Volunteers work with Savera,
the Colaba Municipal School, Salaam Balak and the
Akanksha centres.
Both our Art and Music Departments continue to
flourish and our students enjoy what they do, as well
as compete at various fora and return with awards for
their prowess. While an annual public art exhibition has
become the order of the day the proceeds of which are
slotted for various causes, the Cathedral Music Festival
saw nine bands, five solo artists and three groups of
dancers perform to a packed Senior School quadrangle.
The youngest member of the band was from Std. 5, with
none other than Ehsaan Noorani (of the Ehsaan-Shankar
-Loy trio) and incidentally also a former student, as Chief
Guest. The proceedings then took on a distinct glamour
quotient. The noise that was generated was much
appreciated by the young and shudderingly tolerated by
the others.The profits of almost 15 lakhs were divided
between YUVA, a venture by former Cathedralites,and
VOICE two NGOs that cater to the needs of children.
The restructuring of the curriculum and changes that
began three years ago, are now showing results. I believe
that if you have to swallow a toad, dont stare at it too
long.It was a huge leap of faith.The dividends have
been richly rewarding.
2009 The X-Cathedralite 9

School Update
Alumni ties
We continue to cherish our ties with the Alumni
Association. They add value to the School whether it is
through responding to medical emergencies as Dr. Anand
Gokani does, or organising speakers for the Brown Bag
lunches for the Seniors or planning, as the indomitable
Shyla Boga Patel does, the Cathedral Summer School
which has evolved into a popular and worthwhile annual
feature between our students and the children of the
fishing village of Manori.Mr. David Long does yeoman
service tending to his flock at Manori with the able help
of his piercing whistle and stentorian voice.

Photo: Rayomand J. Patell

Positive action
Life for us in Mumbai will never be the same after the
terrorist attacks in which so many innocents lost their
lives or were gravely wounded. We mourned with our
country at the carnage and for the loss, in particular,
of loved ones at the School. We tried to find closure of
a kind in the multi-faith Memorial Service held in the
Senior School quadrangle, but we will not and cannot
forget the senseless horror of it all. However, from
the pain has sprung a new beginning. A group of our

10 The X-Cathedralite November

15-year-olds were moved to initiate positive action


in their search for answers. Their magazine Spectrum
is a document of their quest and a testament to the
boundless spirit of youth.
What I love about our young people is their
swashbuckling, almost buccaneering style their
freshness of vision, their enterprise and adventure,
their courage to innovate and to challenge themselves
and their never-say-die attitude. The sense of energy
and enjoyment that they bring to the tasks that interest
them is truly amazing. This magazine is but one
example. It was their idea, they set up the meetings with
various political figures, worked on the finance and the
production details. Their goal was to put it into adult
hands before the city went to the polls. Discipline, hard
work and creativity worked in tandem to give us this
glossy first issue. It is, of course, to their advantage that
they have a captive audience this morning. Each of you
will receive a copy as you leave the hall. You are welcome
to get it autographed if you so desire! They will be only
too happy to oblige.
An excerpt from the Principals speech at the annual prize distribution ceremony.

On Location

Learning
on the job

Cathedral School shares its


best educational practices

hree years after the pioneering new teaching


system was launched at Cathedral, Educational
Consultant Usha Pandit speaks with infectious
enthusiasm of the headway made in this bold,
innovative and revolutionary approach to education.
Creating reform is no mean task, and critical to the
success of effective curriculum change is the involvement
of skilled teachers. Special Educator Vidushi Chaudhry
points out, With professional development for teachers
in India at such a nascent stage, there is a dearth of
opportunities for continued growth.
Cathedral, with its resources, extensively documented
experience and commitment to improving teaching
standards, seems poised to fill that gap. Earlier this year
Mrs. Isaacs announced that the time was right to share
some of our best educational practices with other schools
through teacher-training workshops, with the eventual
aim of a full-fledged training wing in the future.
With Junior School being the hotbed for new
policies, it was Headmistress Mrs. Ganguly who
encouraged the first teachers workshop on Handwriting
Remediation. She explains how many Junior School
children are subjected to arduous remedial writing
classes in the uphill endeavour to undo incorrect learning
at the initial stages. She adds, Besides poor attention
to detail, it is often an early start and expecting skill
beyond the childs natural development that causes
incorrect learning. So in an attempt to get to the root of
the problem, Cathedral invited several preprimary educators from across Mumbai
to a workshop on pre-writing skills and
intervention, with Remedial Educator
Hema Doshi. Besides being trained in
contemporary ways of teaching writing,
nursery teachers were encouraged
to avoid entrance exam pressure that
pushes young children beyond
their limits. The encouraging
response from the 60 people
at this first seminar-format
workshop ensured that
the School hasnt looked
back since.

Besides poor attention to detail,


it is often an early start and
expecting skill beyond the childs
natural development that causes
incorrect learning.
Spelling workshops followed, with Mrs. Pandit
pointing out, Its not about memorising just these 20 or
25 words Its a whole new way of generating spellings
and learning to put it all together. Its amazing what the
kids can do in just Std. 2. Teachers are now learning
to actively involve children at three different stages of
reading in one class, or understanding how five minutes
of grammar every day might actually provide better
results than less frequent longer lessons. With every
innovation there are regular internal workshops with
teachers, and key practices are being shared outside as
well. The next few workshops will cover topics such as
pronunciation and managing children with special needs
in the school.
According to Mrs. Pandit, the teachers are excited
about their own personal development and training
happening on the job, and are especially motivated
once they see strategies working in the classroom with
positive feedback from students. She acknowledges that
all change comes with anxiety, but once it takes place
and the teachers are enthused, Cathedral would have a
whole new way of doing things.
Training teachers in innovative, child-centric
educational strategies is yet another way Cathedral
reminds us, that at 150 years, this is an institution richly
steeped in history, yet remarkably contemporary in
its eagerness to pioneer change in education.

Miel Sahgal
(ISC 1989, Palmer)
Usha Pandit, Educational Consultant
2009 The X-Cathedralite 11

Rocky Bell-boa

Within the many changes in School, it


is comforting to find that Rocky still
rings the school bell

Rocky I:
His first job was in a machine works establishment
until his cousin told Rocky of an opening in the Physics
department at Cathedral School. Thus, 43 years ago,
in 1967 Rocky joined the school where he remains the
backbone of the Senior School Physics laboratory. In
this time, he has seen numerous students pass through
the corridors of School and pass out into a challenging
world; many Principals (Rev Ridding, Mrs Cabral, Mr
Kuruvilla Jacob, Col Simeon, Mr Shaw and presently Mrs
Isaacs) and Physics department heads (Mr Hawkey, Col
Benedict, Mr Nagia, presently Mrs Samuel) have come
and gone too.
Rocky II:
In 1970 Rocky Rodricks was assigned the additional
responsibility of ringing the school bell. First another
guy used to ring the bell, but for the last 40 years I have
been doing it, says Rocky as he busily arranges apparatus
and materials for the next class in the Physics lab which
now occupies a larger, better-lit and arranged space across
the quad. An old wall clock and his wrist watch help Rocky
keep time and ensure he rings the brass bell at the correct
moment to mark the end of a period or the start of a
break.Its the same old bell. They tried an electronic bell
some time ago, but it made a different noise which did not
work, so we went back to the old bell which sounds like a
church or temple bell, explains Rocky.
Rocky III:
In 1989, Rocky married Leena. I got married late because
I was looking after the rest of the family, says Rocky. The
Rodricks family -- daughter Fazel, 19, is an Arts student
at Chetna College, Bandra -- continues to live in Andheri.
Today, when the physics teacher is absent, Rocky proudly
proclaims that he supervises the practicals. I know all
the experiments, he says. Some students call me sir. I
give respect, so I get respect. Its nice when ex-students
call. Some call me abroad to join them; I say OK to all of
them. Mostly they dont call again. But I give respect to
everyone. I like my job, my home everybody is good to
me, smiles Rocky.
Rocky IV:
I recall my classmates harassing Rocky to ring the
bell early sometimes, some even offering to ring it for

him, but he always


maintained a good
humour about it,
handling the mischief
of teenagers with
sensitive sternness.
Things are a little
different now. With
changing times, Rocky
too has adapted his
methods. People
are scared of me now
because I keep a Pink
Card with me and
threaten the children
that they will not be
able to attend lab
practicals for one week
if they are naughty.
And if they are very
badly behaved, I shout
at them and tell them
they are going to spoil
their future.

Photo: Rayomand J. Patell

On Location

Rocky V:
Ask him how much School has changed in the last four
decades and he says, Previously there were different
systems; children had respect for teachers. Now children
are very naughty. The new generation is very smart. But
the parents and teachers are very good. Come hail or
shine, the bell must ring, two strokes every half hour, a
long bell to signify lunch and breaks, another short bell at
2.30 p.m. and a final long bell at 2.35 p.m. At 3.40 p.m.,
Rocky ends his day which begins at 7.20 a.m.
Rocky 2009:
Though the school closes for vacations, Rocky doesnt
take long leave. I work Monday to Saturday. On Saturday
I clean the water coolers. We have to seal them after some
students once poured a full bottle of Crocin into the
cooler and another time someone threw shoes into the
open cooler. After that Mrs. Isaacs insisted that all the
coolers be locked. During the school holidays, he keeps
himself busy checking apparatus, repairing equipment if
required and undertaking maintenance.
Hes 58 now and sees retirement knocking on his door.
Ask him about his plans for the future and he mentions a
house in Goa and then cuts the conversation short.
It is 11.20 a.m., end of the period and time to ring
the bell.

Udita Jhunjhunwala
(ICSE 1984, Barham)
2009 The X-Cathedralite 13

Spotlight

Shiamak
Davar

itting in a packed
auditorium, I was deafened
by the resounding cheer,
Shia---mak, bouncing off the
walls and ceiling, reverberating as
it intensified. As soon as Shiamak
began speaking, I knew why he was
so admired and adored. Not only
is he an entertainer par excellence
and a great dancer and singer, but
he genuinely loves kids and is an
incredible motivator.
My first memory of Shiamak
was of him and his pals acutely
conscious of wearing long trousers
for the first time, running around
the senior school, seemingly in awe,
yet always mischievous and up to
pranks and now here he was, holding
an audience of kids in the palm of
his hands.
I was instantly charmed. He is
a star, yet he has no hang-ups, no
attitude, no BS. He calls Hrithik
and Shahid my boys (shades of
Mr. Lewis?) he deals with political
bigwigs and corporate honchos. He
heads and runs virtually a dance

14 The X-Cathedralite 2009

empire, the world at his feet, but


there is no trace of any of this.
He is just a boy, reminiscing and
remembering, opening his heart.
Shiamak was not always happy
in school. He was and is different.
Whereas now the performing
space celebrates that difference, at
that awkward school boy stage the
difference was mocked and jeered
at! There were days when he was
afraid to go to school, and he began
fooling around, acting silly to cover
his pain and confusion. Was it wrong
to be passionate about music and
performing? He withdrew behind a
clowns mask and retreated into his
music spending many lonely hours
at the piano. He became attentionseeking and almost disruptive.
Sensitive and misunderstood,
Shiamak turned inward to
spirituality, to Sai Baba of Shirdi, and
he gradually learnt to accept and live
with himself.
No longer defensive, he began
enjoying school, and the 9th through
11th were very different from the
years that went before. He made
close friends, began excelling in
athletics and became School Gym
Captain. Through this entire period
he affirms, he always had the support
of his teachers.

He remembers all his teachers


very affectionately, particularly,
Ms. Cheriyan, Ms. Bhesania, Ms.
Saldanha and Ms. Kapoor. He
learnt a lot from Mr. Lobo, who
had occasion to shout at him and
has nothing but high praise for Ms.
Hallegua, even though she threw him
out of class. He supported Mr. Pande
and played tricks on Mr. Patki.
Shiamak acknowledges that he
was a rebel. He could not understand
then or now, why it is so important
to be aggressive, to compete, to
push somebody down in order to
rise yourself. Perhaps this is what
prompted him to work with children,
who need special handling; he
knows what it is like to struggle.
He turned all his disadvantages
into advantages, and utilised his
resources and talents to teach.
Through his institute, Shiamak
reaches out annually to over 50,000
dance enthusiasts across, India,
Australia, Canada and the UAE. He
has changed the popular notion
that dance is frivolous and made
dance education not only available
and acceptable but also desirable.
Shiamak truly believes that each
individual has a dancer in his soul
and he has taken it upon himself to
release that dancer! He says that if
you have the will, you will always
triumph and he has managed to
infect all his trainers and employees
with the same zeal and enthusiasm.

Changing Tracks
Shiamak has been commissioned
to perform before world audiences
at prestigious events. He has
choreographed for Bollywood
blockbusters, recorded his own
albums and has staged spectacular
extravaganzas but it is the impact he
has had on the individual that has
really impressed.
Through dance, Shiamaks awardwinning Victory Arts Foundation
(VAF), empowers children who are
underprivileged, vulnerable to HIV/
AIDS or with special needs. VAF
enriches their lives and instills in
them a strong sense of self-belief
and confidence. Shiamak has also
enabled his students by giving them
enormous exposure. Performing on
stage they truly represent his belief
in them and celebrate their own
belief in themselves.
Interestingly enough, his first
love was never dancing. He was
and is essentially a musician and a
performer, recognised and praised
as a brilliant actor by Mrs. Jefferies
in school. Dancing, he says, almost
happened to him by mistake!
While attending voice and singing
workshops in London he walked
into a dance class and knew what he
must do.
He came back to India to take
up the challenge of teaching dance.
Although, he was misunderstood,
labelled effeminate and sniggered
at, he was undaunted. Already
spiritually strong, Shiamak was
further empowered by Khorshed
Bhavnagri,his spiritual advisor and
her book, Laws of the Spirit World.
Shiamak is the pioneer of the
modern dance movement in India.
He is a teacher, bringing joy to his
students. He is a performer, moving
across the stage of life, creating
magic. Dance is his oxygen, his lifegiver. He is grateful to God for all
that he is and so are we.

Ragini (Kochar) Ghose


(ISC 1972, Savage)

Going against the tide

elevision actress and one of the lead


performers in the highly-acclaimed play
The Vagina Monologues, Sonali Sachdeva (nee
Mahimtura) has consistently proven herself
to be a talented and versatile performer.
The pretty Sonali, who drinks her tea with
a vivacious smile and effervescent chatter,
explains that acting was never her first choice.
She was a respected orthodontist, has worked
in event management and film production and
danced professionally in stage shows before the
acting bug finally caught hold.
The Wilsonite who participated in almost
every school activity from badminton to
swimming, from drama to elocution, says it
was Cathedral (ICSE 1987) which gave her the
foundation to develop her talents and interests.
The school really taught me how to be a jack of
all trades. It gave me exposure to so many things.
This multifaceted education allowed Sonali to
pursue her passions while preparing for a career
in dentistry.
Born in Mumbai to parents who were both doctors, a career in medicine
seemed like the natural option at the time. It just seemed like a convenient
profession, I knew Id have hours that I could choose. But I didnt give up
other things for it. During her time at dentistry school, Sonali danced in
Shiamak Davars troupe and performed at various national events like the
opening of the Asian Track and Field Championships in Delhi in 1989. It was
also while in dentistry school that Sonali met her future husband and, after
graduation, the couple moved to Delhi to set up their practice.
But four years in, an opportunity to enroll in a six month-long acting
course by Barry John (famous for being Shah Rukh Khans teacher) was
irresistible. I always wanted to be an actor; I just didnt know where to begin,
says Sonali. But at the end of the course, Barry was really encouraging that
I take up acting full time. And Ive always gone against the tide. So she quit
dentistry and moved to Mumbai with her husband Hemant where she signed
up for more acting classes. I had a blast. The classes were so filmy and so
ridiculous it was just great, she smiles.
The classes led to roles, and before she knew it Sonali was offered a part
in The Vagina Monologues. Initially, it was tough. It isnt an easy choice you
make, and you wonder if youre on the right path, especially when you are
suffering financially. But I loved acting too much it was fantastic being up on
that stage. Her passion for her work paid off. The Vagina Monologues landed
her a role in Aamir Khans film Taare Zameen Par and eventually the part
that made her a household name: Dr Shilpa Thakkar in Star Plus Baa Bahu
Aur Baby. Currently, the actress is working in a successful childrens serial
on the Disney Channel, called Kya Mast Hai Life. If Sonalis achievements are
anything to go by, she wont need to do much acting for this role.

Shloka Nath
(ISC 2002, Wilson)

2009 The X-Cathedralite 15

Out of the Box

Looking back,
looking forward
Dedicated social entrepreneur
Mirai Chatterjee recounts her
early experiences with social
service and her hopes for a more
equitable India

iddle age is a good vantage point from which to


look back and to look ahead. For me it has been
a most rewarding journey into the world of poor
women workers in the informal economy of our countrytheir hopes, their dreams and their immense strengths
and insights on all aspects of life and living.
I realise, however, that this journey began much earlier
at our school actually. As a mother, I now understand
how important the solid foundation at our school has
been. The academic part, of course, and the good quality
education we all have been so fortunate to have. But
perhaps more importantly, the values shared with us
at school of respecting all, upholding the diversity
and plurality of our traditions and multiple cultures, of
questioning and of looking beyond the classroom.
At school, I was exposed to those much less privileged
than we all are. We played with children at the Nariman
Point slums, now gleaming towers of glass and steel, and
understood what it meant when a construction workermother did not have the money to care for her sick child.
We understood early at St. Anthonys Orphanage in
Byculla that deprivation meant no one gave you the food
and care you need as a young child.
Looking back, I realise that these early experiences
steeled my resolve to put my education to the service of
others. I became increasingly aware that we lived in an
unfair world that had to be changed. I know it was the
same for my dear friend, Sanjoy Ghose. We often recalled,
years later, how the Interact Club at school put us on the
most unexpected courses in our lives.
The role of our teachers, especially Miss Hallegua, in
this process was critical. I was happy to tell her so when a
few years ago, she visited us at SEWA. As we travelled in
the impoverished villages of agariyas, salt workers of the
Little Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, we talked about of those
early forays into the world of the poor in Mumbai.
The Self-Employed Womens Association (SEWA)
which I joined 25 years ago, has easily been the most
life-changing experience of all. Elaben Bhatts (SEWAs
Founder) appointment letter to me reads: Welcome to

16 The X-Cathedralite 2009

Mirai (left) with board members of SEWAs Lok Swasthya Health


Workers Cooperative

SEWA. I hope you enjoy it here. That was it. And there
was no looking back for me!
Again, I lucked out! I found a wonderful mentor
gentle yet firm, quiet of voice but loud in her
condemnation of all the injustices that had been making
my blood boil increasingly over the years. She asked me
to just go and be with the women to listen, to learn and
to wear khadi.
Armed with American degrees, I was raring to go.
The lively street vendors of Shankarbhuvan slum,
a community which still exists on the banks of the
Sabarmati river, quickly put me in my place. Oh-ho!
What will this little thing teach us? She will be like
everyone else come for a short while and then leave.
Who will stick around these parts? They wove their
magic around me and so I stuck around. For the first
six months, I attempted to understand their world. We
became friends. But before that, I had to learn garba and
Gujarati, and to relish the gunpowder lasan ni chatni that
accompanied every hot rotla. They became my friends for
life. Even now, when I need re-charging, I return to my
friends in Shankarbhuvan who set me right with their
philosophical acceptance of the ebbs and flows of life.
What I gained from these women, and the thousands
of others at SEWA, as well as fellow travellers in different
organisations all over the world, is a sense of solidarity
and shared purpose to build a just and equitable world.
From Shankarbhuvan, life at SEWA unfolded fast. I
was initially the Coordinator of our health team with my
new Shankarbhuvan friends as the first of our now 500
health workers/barefoot doctors. We developed a health
cooperative together, providing primary health care and
health education to our members and their families. This
has grown into an all-Gujarat cooperative, financially
sustainable and run by the women themselves.
Soon I was part of SEWAs Core Team and much to my

Out of the Box


surprise, when Elaben stepped aside
to make way for younger leaders, I
found myself as the General Secretary
of SEWA. It was a truly enriching
experience. Now the baton has been
passed to the next generation for
the first time a workers daughter,
Jyotiben, a close colleague, is our
General Secretary.
Currently, I am working on health,
child care and insurance for SEWA
members. Our all-India insurance
cooperative has just been registered
and we are committed to get it up
and running.
Looking ahead, there is so much

more to do! We are increasingly in


a world of great divides. The poor
who contribute so significantly, and
especially women, hardly get a look
in. SEWA members dream, like we
all do, of a better future for their
children. They work hard, take loans
and save to get the books they need
and pay their tuition. Their lives
dont get easier, although we do have
each other at SEWA for support and
encouragement. It is still an unfair
world, and I am still so outraged!
The issues that drew me into this
work in the first place continue to
keep me on my toes. So many of our

people are still without the basics of


roti-kapda-makaan, health care and
education. At a time in India when
we can finally afford to do better, on
these, there are still huge gaps.
A few days before my writing this,
Gandhi Jayanti was celebrated. At
SEWA we continue to be inspired by
his thought and action. Each year we
re-commit ourselves to completing
his mission of Doosri Azadi, freedom
from want and despair and towards a
world of dignity and justice for all.
Mirai Chatterjee (1975, Palmer) is
Coordinator of Social Security at SEWA.

GAIA: A response to climate changed

s we all are aware, we now live in a world of


changed climate. Since Independence, India has
destroyed almost half its forest cover, pillaged
natural resources and polluted rivers and skies all in the
name of progress and prosperity. But while we can survive
without petrol and electricity, try living for one single
day without water! And as per the IPCCs latest report on
climate change, thats exactly where India is headed. With
the Himalayan glaciers retreating and the south-westerly
monsoons already becoming unpredictable and sparse,
the Indian subcontinent potentially faces one of the more
dire consequences of climate change, the loss of most of
its fresh water sources.
We must face this problem by protecting natural
ecosystems, and the best investment for the future
is for the government, corporate groups and private
communities alike to protect our remaining natural forest.
Many of you may be wondering how can I make a
difference? What can I do in my busy schedule to help
reverse the effect of climatic change? Two years ago my
own friends were asking the same questions, and with
no outlet to quantify our desire, we started the Gaia
Conservation Foundation.
The Gaia Conservation Foundation is a Not for Profit
organisation formed by three Mumbai based nature
enthusiasts - Romil Parikh (ICSE 1998, Savage), Agastya
Chopra and Vikram Gupta purely out of a passion for
the natural environment and its wildlife. The company
was formed as a response to Climate Changed.
We have picked the conservation of the Sanjay Gandhi
National Park (SGNP) as our pilot project, acknowledging
that it is a natural wonder and resource Mumbaikars

cannot afford
to lose. Spread
over 107 square
km. it is the
largest national
park located in
a populous area
(Central Park
in Manhattan
is three square
kms). It houses
28 leopards and over 1500 other species including barking
deer, langurs and fresh water crocodiles. It also holds
the Tulsi and Vihar lakes which provide our city with
drinking water.
This people-driven project intends to get Mumbaikars
to visit the park, plant their own saplings in the forest
and then be witness to the change brought about by their
efforts. We aim to restore 100 hectares of degraded forest
land back to its pristine glory using scientific methods
provided by our partners, The Bombay Natural History
Society. Once people experience the wonders of the SGNP,
we believe that they will begin to fall in love with the
forest and become advocates for its protection.

Romil Parikh
(ICSE 1998, Savage)
Gaia organises nature walks through SGNP, fundraising concerts,
educational events and tree-planting drives across Mumbai for individuals,
schools, colleges and corporates. Individuals can also sponsor trees. Contact:
gaiaconservation@gmail.com or twitter - gaiamumbai or join the facebook
group gaia conservation foundation.
2009 The X-Cathedralite 17

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Out of the Box

A toast to the Amul girl


Rahul daCunha on his bread and butter

he was born in 1966 and since then the Amul


girl has been nurtured by father Sylvester
daCunha followed by son Rahul. From 1993,
Rahul has brainstormed with his team at daCunha
Communications on a weekly basis to create topical,
funny and iconic Amul butter hoardings, one of the
longest-running and most successful Indian advertising
campaigns.
Every Monday morning Rahul and his team of
a writer and a cartoonist discuss the biggest news
stories and talking points of the week. There are no
mandatories except that the Amul girl has to feature
in the artwork in some avatar, says her guardian
Rahul. The catchy baseline Utterly Butterly Delicious
was coined by Rahuls father, the Amul girl created by
Eustace Fernandes. We always aim to come up with
lines that mean something, adds Rahul. What he does
not mention is the wit and satire also associated with
the hoardings we see dotted around Mumbai and the
country, like Ear today, gone tomorrow! when boxer
Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfields ear or Pow Bhajji
when Harbhajan Singh sing slapped Sreesanth on
the pitch.
After leaving Cathedral, Rahul studied at St. Xaviers
College and XIC. He graduated wishing to pursue public
service advertising. Joining the family enterprise was

never the obvious choice but it is what he wandered


towards, and remains involved with even today. The
Amul campaign is his baby and one he thoroughly
enjoys, even if it means creating four different concepts
in one week in order to be relevant in all zones across the
country. A Bandra-Worli sea link idea is only relevant
in Mumbai while a Quick Gun Murugun movie hoarding
has national relevance, says Rahul who is currently
putting together a book on the Amul campaign and its
evolution.
From movie stars to cricketers, politicians and TV
channels, no one is spared the Amul girls wit and
penchant for puns. Indians dont have a sense of
humour, so we have to be a little careful of whose toes
we are treading on. In terms of currency, one cant help
but note that the Amul girl seems to have succumbed
to peer group pressure and the size zero fad. Yes, she
was fatter earlier and has pared down a bit, concedes
Rahul who picks the hoarding they did right after the
26th of November Mumbai terror attacks as one of the
ones he is most proud of. But my personal favourite
was at the time of the renaming of VT. The little girl was
shown looking at VT station and the line read Victoria
Terminated. We also get a lot of our ideas from pop
culture and it is wonderful that the Amul hoarding is
also a part of pop culture now.

Udita Jhunjhunwala
(ICSE 1984, Barham)

2009 The X-Cathedralite 19

Out of the Box

SOAK in the city

An exhibition takes a new look at Mumbais terrain

ur planet is in a state of crisis. The issues of global


warming and climate change are well known.
While we debate scenarios such as the melting
of the polar ice caps, whether the next World Wars will
be water wars, and the future flooding and drowning of
coastal habitats, we are already experiencing extreme
weather events, terrible storms and floods, and the
frequent breaching of 500 year probability scenarios.
In July 2005, Mumbai saw the devastation caused
by 944 mm. of rain in 24 hours. As a Mumbaikar, with
each passing day, I found I was becoming increasingly
concerned about environmental issues and their
repurcussions. It was this sense of unease that drew
me to revisit the work on the Mississippi by my friends
Anuradha Mathur (ICSE 1976, Barham) and Dr. Dilip da
Cunha, Professors of Architecture at the University of
Pennsylvanias School of Design.
Their exhibition, Mississippi Horizons: Mapping a
Shifting Terrain, highlighted how interference with
the natural flow of waterways could lead to disastrous
consequences. In August 2005, the storm water surge
after hurricane Katrina moved inland, nearly wiping out
New Orleans.
Interestingly, I saw a parallel with what Mumbai
had experienced in July 2005. Was the river Mithi a
contributory factor in the devastating floods that brought
the city of Mumbai to a standstill? Perhaps we needed to
examine the significance of the Mithi in Mumbai.
With this objective, I invited Anuradha and Dilip to
come to Mumbai and apply their unique expertise to
analysing Mumbais periodic floods during the monsoons.
Gradually the project grew in proportions. From an
initial examinations it became a detailed study with an
altogether new approach and innovative solutions.
For instance, Government efforts to prevent a repeat
of the 2005 floods have centred on making the Mithi a
more efficient storm water drain. While this is necessary,
we have seen that widening and deepening river channels
and raising embankments are incomplete responses
that carry high risks, as was seen in the aftermath of
Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans flooded because the
levees were unable to withstand the storm water surge
and not because the water flowed over the levees.
Because Mumbai is in an estuary, when it is high tide,
or the tide is coming in, the incoming surge does not
allow the storm water drainage, which empties through
the Mithi into the sea, to operate efficiently. The storm
water, instead of flowing out quickly, is dominated by the
tidal flows coming in. Consequently, with a confluence

of high tide and even moderate rainfall, there is a high


probability of flooding.
Anuradha and Dilip, authors of SOAK, bring a new
perspective to the issue of alleviating floods in Mumbai.
Their approach is not one of flood control, but of
accommodation. As it is the nature of rivers to flood and
meander, it is not always possible to contain and direct
the flow of a river, so we must allow for overflows and
spills into holding areas.
SOAK argues that Mumbai is in an estuary rather than
an island or islands in the sea. In trying to capture and
define territory, surveyors in a colonial era articulated
boundaries on the land, and between land and water,
where such boundaries cannot really be held given the
free and cyclical flows of monsoon and sea in an estuary.
The exhibition uncovers the dangerous effects of freezing
and controlling the fluid nature of an estuary, which has
led to the marginalisation and destruction of functional
landscapes such as mangroves, beaches, talaos, terraced
fields of palms, and shifting saline and fresh water
gradients of harbours and creeks which actually made the
land resilient to floods.
Conventional maps, by taking a two-dimensional
approach sidelined the intricate and permeating
relationship between the land and water, including the
movements in time of tides and seasons.
SOAK is an important template that has international
relevance in the debate on global warming and climate
change. It suggests that we resolve the problem of
flooding not by enforcing lines but by transforming
Mumbai into a place that absorbs and accommodates the
monsoon and sea.

Kavita Khanna
(ICSE 1976, Palmer)

Kavita Khanna is Director of SOAK. She and Anuradha Mathur met


in 1974 at Cathedral and have been friends ever since.

2009 The X-Cathedralite 21

A tryst with destiny


Padmashree Alyque Padamsee graduated
from School a few months before Indian
independence in 1947. Fifty two years
later, Padamsee (Savage) is CEO, AP
Advertising and has been referred to as
the brand father of Indian advertising
and guru of English Theatre in India.
The former Chief Executive of Lintas
India and Regional Coordinator of Lintas
South Asia, Padamsee is associated with
memorable ad campaigns like Lalitaji
for Surf, Cherry Charlie for Cherry
Blossom shoe polish, the MRF Muscle,
the Liril girl in the waterfall and Hamara
Bajaj. His theatre productions include
Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, Tughlaq and
Othello. He was conferred the Lifetime
Achievement Award for theatre by the
Sangeet Natak Akademi and is currently
directing Unspoken Dialogues. He was seen
as Mohammad Ali Jinnah in Sir Richard
Attenboroughs film Gandhi and is the only
Indian to be voted into the International
Clio Hall of Fame. He is also committed
to social organisations like Citizens for
Justice and Peace, the Citizens Action
Group and is on the advisory council of
the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT
Mumbai). Author of A Double Life, a book
on advertising, Padamsee reminisces
with Cyrus Broacha about his days in
Cathedral School.
22 The X-Cathedralite 2009

he legendary Alyque Padamsee -- the first word in Indian


advertising, the last word in Indian theatre. Now the
monumental task of discussing his Cathedral life had fallen
on me. Three questions hit me as I approached the lions den
(Alyque actually lives in a lions den, its a conventional human
house with two statues, which may or may not be relatives, and
one poster of a frolicking feline):
1. Would Alyque be in a good mood?
2. Would he remember his halcyon days?
3. Did he keep any dangerous weapons in his house?
The door was opened by a man in a purple suit. He was clearly the
Riddler from the Batman series. However, on closer inspection
I was informed, in third person, that the purple suit contained
the iconic Alyque himself. We settled down and started our
conversation.
CB: Alyque first give us your school years.
AP: Yes, I left a public boarding school and joined Cathedral in
1942. I graduated in 1947 from the ninth standard.
CB: Let me understand this you graduated from school
without doing your tenth standard. Did you take special
er, permission?
AP: No, in our time school was only till the ninth standard, but it
doesnt look like you, Cyrus, got anywhere close to that!
CB: Sorry please go on
AP: It was a boys school only, which meant no girls. We had
British kids, Anglo-Indians, Jews and a few Parsees in addition to
lots and lots of Hindus and some Muslims. This was the mix at that
time. Lets see, there were the Ley brothers Buster, Steven, Trevor,
the Duthies, Mervyn, Peter and Jeffery. Everybody got on just fine
in school. There was no discrimination even during the British
Raj. The Bombay Gym was a different story though. The Brits and

Photos: Suresh Guruswamy

Reflections

Reflections

Anglo-Indians were better built and excelled at rugby,


boxing and hockey but most of them were duffers. I was
good, but the living brain, the brain personified, the
brain-de-la-brain was a chap called Jal Dastur. Yes, Jal
was the brain and Vernon Todd the brawn.

and I was the delivery boy! We also started quad footer


football played in the quadrangle with a tennis ball. Oh,
and lets not forget the Dramatics Club. Farrokh Mehta
and I put on The Fumed Oak about a convict who goes
to sleep.

CB: And where did Alyque fall?


AP: I leaned more towards the brain. For the more
physical sports, we Indian boys carried letters from our
mothers excusing
us on medical
grounds.

CB: What about the teachers?


AP: Among the teachers there was C.J. Oliver, Eric
Mahar, the French teacher Monsieur Gremont. Yet the
one I remember
the most was Mr.
Bruce. He was
our Principal - a
Scot with cold
blue eyes and
ginger hair. He
had a collection
of 34 canes.
Bruce would
tiptoe around the
school like a spy,
wearing rubbersoled shoes, so
he couldnt be
detected. Hed
then creep up
on any errant
boys and whisk them off for a caning. Our Bruce would
then let you choose your own cane. Soloo Batliboi
had the unique distinction of trying out the entire
cane collection.

CB: Youll be
proud to know
that practice
still continues
today.
AP: Yes. Jangoo
Dubash and I
were the table
tennis lunatics.
Wed play till
eight or nine
at night, some
times alone,
simultaneously
on both sides of
the table.
(At this point I check Alyques pulse to see if hes lying,
he immediately points to a crossbow hanging on the wall.
I desist.)
AP: But my fondest memory is chemistry class. You
see five girls from the girls school would join us for
the chemistry lesson. They were all knockouts. If
Laila Wadia entered the room, Id jump up and down
like a rampaging pony. If Zarine Wadia looked at us,
even McKenzie, the ladies man, would faint. We were
awkward around the ladies. Oh, and the socials -- my
God! Wed all stand in a row, like eggs, and ask the girls
for a dance with our eyes fixed to the floor. The lady
teachers would watch and measure the distance between
the boy and girl constantly.
CB: To be fair it sounds like a group activity.
AP: Jangoo Dubash, Coover Gazdar and I started the
school newspaper. It was a monthly thing called Our
Journal. Thats right, I remember now they started it,

CB: Can you share your most vivid memory of


school?
AP: My best friend Robin Omer and I at the Cooperage
grounds watching Diana Jardine doing the high jump.
She wore extremely short shorts.
As I prepared to leave, AP recalled: In 1997 the class
of 47 had a Golden Jubilee reunion in my house. Dont
forget to print that.
Unfortunately my question as to whether Diana Jardine
still wore extremely short shorts fell on deaf ears as the
door had been closed.

Cyrus Broacha
(Wilson ICSE 1988)
Cyrus Broacha is a writer, TV presenter, stand-up comedian and
actor, and can usually be found most evenings, at the Oval Maidan
2009 The X-Cathedralite 23

Best Wishes
From

Reflections

Back to the future


Dr. Piloo Hakim nee Cooper (1951, Savage) wrote
Bombay in 2001 in the school magazine in 1951 when
she was in std 11. Here are some excerpts from the
story about Avil, a brave, young time traveller who
journeys 50 years into the future:
As Avil went touring round the great city he was surprised
to see how different it had become.
The land between Colaba Reclamation and Marine Drive
had been reclaimed, and an enormous ice-rink had been
built there. The rest of that land was dotted over with prefabricated cottages, which had been manufactured, not in
America, but in a modern housing factory in Bhandup, in the
suburbs of Bombay.
Avil blinked his eyes when he saw Marine Drive, for,
instead of the ordinary buildings, there stood tall buildings,
not unlike skyscrapers. The Fort was studded over with
these huge buildings which towered above the scene like
huge mastodons. At Flora Fountain an overhead bridge was
built for people to walk on. Hence there were no traffic jams
as before, and the hooting of horns could be heard once in
a while.
*****
Although Avil was very much impressed by all these
sights, he was hungry and so he went to his old-time
favourite restaurant, Bombellis. Before, this restaurant
was usually empty, but now it was crowded with men and
women who were walking to and fro at a counter, placing
their annas in slots and serving themselves. There were
little locker-like drawers on which were written Chicken
Sandwiches, Mutton Roast, and so on. Avil placed an
eight-anna bit in a slot and beholdout came a leg of roast
duck with fried chips and pickled greens! This was an
automat, and in Bombay there were at least six automats at
that time.
*****
After a week of looking at these exciting things, Avil
wished to return to his own home and so he once more sat
in the rocket-ship and left the Bombay of 2001 amidst
cheering crowds.
After what seemed hours and hours he landed at the
observatory and related his adventures to the aged scientists
who listened eagerly to the success of their experiment. Avil
went home, but his thoughts were far away, in the Bombay
of 2001.

Fifty Eight years later,


Dr. Hakim and ISC
2001 graduate Gautam
Shewakramani (Savage)
talk about how different
Mumbai in 2001 was from
her imagination.
GS: What was your initial
reaction when you read
this essay almost 60
years after you wrote it?
PH: I had no recollection of
writing this! Im surprised
that lots of things that I
mentioned have happened
Piloo Hakim nee Cooper in 1951
the reclamation,
skyscrapers, flyovers,
helipads, etc. Im a positive thinker and an optimist, and
that shows in this essay. I have this picture of a Utopia
- and the Bombay that Ive described is that Utopia;
what I would have liked to envision for Bombay 50
years from then. Another thing thats interesting is that
my grandson, currently in Cathedral, always chooses
to write about science fiction and the future when he
writes essays. I can see where he gets that from now.
GS: Where did you get your ideas from?
PH: As children, we were not exposed to what life in the
west was, except through movies. So the concept of big
roads, escalators, etc. in my essay must have come from
movies. The automat machine I referred to was none
other than a vending machine, and I remember that the
first one I saw in Bombay was at Metro cinema, just after
Coke had first been introduced in India.
GS:You mentioned your favourite restaurant in the
essay whats your favorite restaurant today?
PH:That restaurant, Bombellis at Breach Candy was
where Amarsons is today. It had an open-air area, where
many young people would stop by for coffees and cakes.
It was owned by a Swedish lady called Mrs Bombelli.
The other branch was at Churchgate, opposite Gaylord,
which I would consider my favorite restaurant today.

Dr. Piloo Hakim is an ENT specialist practicing in Mumbai. She is currently Professor Emeritus at Sir JJ Government Hospital and Grant
Medical College and Consultant at Saifee, Masina and Parsi General Hospitals. She is an Honorary Consultant ENT to the Indian Cancer
Society, Cancer Aid Association, and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation. She was a Professor and Head of Department at JJ Hospital for
over 30 years and was recently awarded a lifetime achievement award from the Cancer Aid and Research Foundation.

2009 The X-Cathedralite 25

Reflections

Vignettes
of an

academic

traveller

arents can imbue absolute


trust and confidence in a seven
year-old child. This, I believe,
was my feeling when I entered
the imposing Cathedral and John
Connon School building clutching
my mothers hand. That morning, I
was about to write my test papers
that would qualify me for admission
into the School. I remember the
large, airy classroom and the desks
in neat rows, the basic paradigms of
a good school. Hitherto, we had sat
on benches at a large community
table which we used when writing.
Little did I realise at that time,
that this structure completed in
1881, designed by John Adams,
would be my alma mater. This and
the Girls School on Napier Road,
again designed by John Adams
in 1889, was a part of the major
urban development in Bombay
and a revival of the Gothic style of
architecture.

26 The X-Cathedralite 2009

Dr. Vijaya
Gupchup (1954,
Orange House)
reminisces
about her long
association
with Cathedral
as a student,
teacher,
Headmistress,
parent,
grandparent
and historian

After getting admission, my


mother and I met Miss Dorothy
King, the Principal of the Girls
School. I vividly remember this
tall, lithe and charming lady with a
winsome smile.
Four girls Nargis Mody, Armaity
Mody, Indira Subramanyam and
I were admitted from our former
school. Nargis, Armaity and myself
were put in Orange House and Indira
in Green House. To this day, the
House that one belonged to serves to
identify a face!

would stay behind till six p.m., after


sports practice at the Brabourne
Stadium, when my father would pick
me up after work. On one occasion,
she took me to his office on Queens
Road and waited; realising that his
meeting would extend beyond my
capacity for patience, she took me
to her house which was close by and
I waited there. That was my first
meeting with her son Foy Nissen.
Many years later he would help
me with the glossary of my book
on Bombay.

Kindness and caring


Years rolled by and I remember Miss.
Blanche, who later became Mrs.
Day, was responsible for inculcating
a love of History and English
Literature in me. Mrs. Nissen, our
House Mistress, was strict but a
good teacher. However, beneath that
unrelenting demeanour there was a
streak of kindness and caring. She

Memorable events
School was exciting, especially
organising our dance shows for the
concert. Nalini Nair, who learnt
Kathakali, Sadhana Shah who learnt
Manipuri, and I learning Bharat
Natyam, were given a free hand
choreographing our dance item.
Country dancing competitions,
gym, art with Lady Temple,

Reflections
singing with Mr. Velu and
winning the Inter-School Singing
Competition at the Cowasji
Jehangir Hall, where incidentally
we had our Speech Day, were
memorable events. Every month
during Assembly, the Honours List
with House Marks would be read
out. Getting Honours and a House
Mark for gym was something to be
sought after.
The apogee came when the
Prefects Badge was pinned on by
the Principal on the stage. In those
days House Captains were decided
by the staff and Vice-Captains were
elected by the students, as indeed
I was. Reading at Prayers was
another stimulant.
A new chapter begins
Once in a while, a point of zenith is
followed by nadir, and this is what
happened when our immediate
seniors received their Senior
Cambridge results. Many of the
girls had failed the examination by
default of choosing incorrect subject
groups. The school authorities at
once sent out a circular in June
saying that they were not responsible
if students had chosen wrong
groupings. My mothers primary
concern was whether I would be able
to get into college with the subjects
that I had chosen without proper
guidance. College authorities would
have refused to admit me with the
subjects that I had chosen. Nearly
15 girls, I believe, left the school
and joined SSC schools so that they
could appear for the State Board
examination that same academic
year. Although this phase with the
Cathedral School as a student ended
rather abruptly, I was to have a long
interaction with my alma mater in
the years to come.
Back to school
While my children were in school,
Mrs. Uma Banerjee offered me a job

in the Infant School. I was hesitant


at first, never having pursued a
career, but joined nevertheless, as
a Teachers Aide. I enjoyed teaching
and especially being with the
children. However, I realised that
my prospects were limited and left
school to do my B.Ed. My mother-inlaw and parents took turns looking
after the children and I completed
my B.Ed. from St. Xaviers Institute
of Education. I applied for a teachers
post. In 1979 I got a job in the Infant
School as a Teachers Aide again.
Six months later I was Class
Teacher of Standard II. I worked in
that capacity till 1992.
Exposure to Indian culture
In 1992, I became Headmistress of
the Cathedral Infant School during
the Principalship of Mr. Desmond
Shaw. Every moment of my career
from 1992-1998 was exhilarating.
I introduced the Project Method of
teaching which culminated in an
annual Open Day.
I trod into general subjects of
environmental concern like Air and
Water. I got the teachers motivated
and involved in these innovative
topics by discussing detailed project
outlines with them. I felt that
exposure to Indian culture had to be
an integral part of the curriculum.
I took up projects like Festivals of
India, and Indigenous Toys. It kept
the children enthused for the best
part of the year.
Widening horizons
A comprehensive scheme was
brought into being to encompass
the project to relate it to subjects
like English Language and
Reading, Mathematics, Social and
Environmental Studies, Science
and the Performing Arts. Each
project climaxed with every child
entertaining an audience, be it
a dance-ballet, a musical or a

pageant in verse. Outings with an


environmental bias with games and
nature-walks were introduced.
These activities were possible
because I had the support of
Mrs. Meera Isaacs who succeeded
Mr. Shaw as Principal. From the very
inception of her career, she gave me
the leeway to pursue my ideas. The
credit of allowing me to introduce
printed writing books conceived by
Mrs. Ketaki Mazumdar and myself
goes to her. It saved the teachers
the drudgery of setting six writing
books for each child; what is more,
it helped the children perfect their
writing skills.
Leaving school after retirement
was heartbreaking but Mr. T.
Thomas, the Chairman of our Board
of Governors, came to my rescue. He
asked me to write the history of the
St. Thomas Cathedral the genesis
of our school. The six years that I
took to write the research book gave
me immense pleasure. In a sense, it
is a dream fulfilled -- a tribute to my
alma mater.
Still connected
I continue to be connected to the
school. My granddaughters, Ananya
and Alekha, study in the Junior and
Pre-primary sections. My role as
backstage helper is not altogether
inconsequential. Occasionally I
muster courage to help Ananya with
a piece of creative writing, or give
an informal talk in Alekhas school.
Interacting with children keeps one
young at heart and provides a future
to look forward to, and I have been
fortunate in this regard.
In expressing my feelings I would
like to alter the last line of Percy
Bysshe Shelley and say: The desire
of the moth for the star,Of the
night for the morrow. The devotion
of something afar. For a brighter
tomorrow.
2009 The X-Cathedralite 27

Off the Shelf

Saturday
Night
Social
Amit Chaudhuri is a novelist (one
of his generations best writers:
The Guardian), a critic, and a
musician. Educated at Cathedral
and University College London, he
was a doctoral student at Balliol
College, Oxford, and later Creative
Arts Fellow at Wolfson College,
Oxford, and Leverhulme Fellow at
Cambridge. He has written four
novels, which, between them, have
won the Commonwealth Writers
Prize, the Betty Trask Prize, the
Encore Prize, the Los Angeles
Times Prize for Fiction, and the
Indian governments Sahitya Akademi
Award, among other honours.
His new novel, The Immortals, was
published by Picador and Knopf this
year. He was one of the Observers
Twenty One Writers for the
Millennium. He has also published
a book of stories, a collection of
poetry, and two critical works: The

Poetry of the Present: D H Lawrence


and Difference and Clearing a Space.
He has edited the influential Picador
Book of Modern Indian Literature,
and, now, Memorys Gold: Writings
from Calcutta. He is Professor of
Contemporary Literature at the
University of East Anglia. He was
also one of the judges of the Man
Booker International Prize 2009,
and is a Fellow of the Royal Society
of Literature. He is a vocalist in
the Hindustani classical tradition,
and first brought to the public,
in 2005, his acclaimed project in
crossover music, This Is Not Fusion
(Times Music).
28 The X-Cathedralite 2009

autam had stayed back with Khusroo because Khusroo had coaxed
him into believing that dancing was something that could be learnt.
'There are no steps, believe me,' he said. 'You just have to move, and
enjoy yourself.' And this matter, of moving, and being able to enjoy it, had
taken on some importance because the first Senior School Social of the year
had been announced, and the date set for Saturday. 'But you must come,'
insisted Khusroo, who had never shown much interest in Gautam's spiritual
or social evolution. 'You should come,' he had said with genuine, though
inexplicable, eagerness. Gautam had been, at first, resistant. He could not
see himself, much as he would have liked to, wantonly positioning himself a
few inches away from a girl, and then, with aplomb, shivering and shaking
ecstatically before her. Perhaps he would not mind if she did not look at him,
but, contradictorily, perhaps he would mind. Such introspective furrows
were left to be smoothed out by Khusroo, who tried to convince Gautam of
the ordinariness and rationality of it - that dance was not a wayward display,
but a necessary pleasure. Yet Gautam would not have changed his mind had
not Anil, at five foot and half an inch, had the temerity to say, 'Of course
I'm going,' as if it were a right it would be foolish not to exercise. If Anil, at
his height, could suffer to relinquish the shield and protection of his white
school uniform for the daring intimacy of his social clothes, so could Gautam.

So here they were, standing in the corridor near the gate, in front
of one of the Standard 9 classrooms, by the back door to the Chemistry
laborotary. The temperature had fallen, imperceptibly, gracefully, to 27
degrees, till the school itself seemed raised to a timeless stratosphere that
was neither heaven nor earth, a place rained upon by coolness. The sun
became tolerant, and suddenly sunlight was reflected in blinks and flashes,
now here, now there, off hidden hospital windows across the street which
earlier in the day no one would have guessed even existed. In the trees just
outside the school walls, whose branches climbed prolifically over roofs

Off the Shelf


and partitions, and ranged freely everywhere like a band of irrepressible
trespassers, sparrows had begun to chirp all at once, loudly, excitedly, and
perhaps informatively. Now that the school was empty, it seemed that the
life around it had begun to imitate the intent, sometimes shy, play of the
schoolchildren, with light bouncing and glancing off one hospital window
to the next, chasing certain routes and eluding others, and the invisible
birds shouting at each other at the top of their voices.

As if he were being rocked from side to side, and backward and
forward, in a train compartment, Khusroo's hip and torso shook, as, more
frugally, did his legs. 'On the shuffeling ma-adness, ' he sang, 'Of locomotive bryeath - da da da all time loser's hurtlin' to his dyeath...' Melody
was replaced by a menacing curl of the lips. All the time, Khusroo seemed
to lean forward quickly and spectatorially, and then immediately retreat
backward with a mildly alarmed air; meanwhile, his arms, quite irrelevantly
and encouragingly keeping time, appeared to treat these two ostensibly
unconnected movements as part of a single motion, accompanying them
with magical and peremptory snaps of the fingers. 'You try too,' said
Khusroo. Gautam, sitting on the floor and looking up, pretended cunningly
not to hear. Khusroo stopped and stamped his foot. 'Gautam Bose, what
am I doing here if you're not going to get up and do something?' he said
sternly. 'Khusroo, I've just realised...' mumbled the other. 'Realised?' said
Khusroo, enraged, as if it had been a particularly poorly chosen word.

'You haven't realised anything! Come on, get up.' Gautam obeyed, out of
embarrassment; he lifted himself out of his brooding inactivity with a
giant, ostentatious effort. Then he stood with both his arms by his side,
like a boxer who does not know what to do. Khusroo uttered unexpected
soothing words: 'It's easy, Gautam, just loosen up.' But each part of his
body felt like a mechanism that had been jammed and rusted and made
useless by shyness and sensitivity, and some miraculous lubricant, like
forgetfulness, was now required.
He remembered his parents, who, for about two months in the middle of
their lives, used to put a 45 R.P.M. on the gramaphone, and then, in broad
daylight, amidst the drawing-room furniture, watched by Gautam looking
past the twin peaks of his knees, sitting huddled on the sofa, try out their
recently memorised dance-steps. His mother, continually adjusting the
aanchal on her sari, and saying 'Cha - cha - cha' under her breath, as she had
no doubt been told to by her instructor, would dance with an expression
of utter determination on her face. There were times when, on Gautam's
request, she did this when his father was not there, alone, in the drawingroom, and the look of determination reappeared. Every Saturday evening,
they would go to the first floor of an old mansion behind the Taj Mahal
Hotel, where Mr Sequiera conducted his dancing classes. Mr Sequiera even
advertised on the slides in cinema halls, illuminating this message: Be A
Social Success: Learn Ballroom Dancing! For a while, thus, cha cha cha was
mentioned in the house, and also that word that could have come straight
from a fable: foxtrot. Then, after two months, almost overnight, his parents
gave up dance and stopped playing those records and quite calmly took up
other habits.
This extract of the short story Four Days Before the Saturday Night Social has been
taken from the collection Real Time by Amit Chaudhuri.

studied in Cathedral School upto


Class X, and hated most of it,
perhaps because of my traumatic
first day there. I would feign all kinds
of illness to avoid going to school. My
favourite tactic was to jog up and down
as I drank my milk, so that I was forced
to throw up. Actually, I loved home, and
school was an alien land where I was
surrounded by strangers. To this day, I
hate staying away from home. In fact, I
was so deeply unhappy that I even ran
away once. I was in Junior School at that
time and we were taken to the Bombay
Gymkhana for lunch. I spotted our car
outside the Gymkhana and as we were
being led out, I dashed to it and got in. Of
course, I was discovered and taken back.
I remember another occasion when I kept
dodging from side to side in the car to
evade my father, who was trying to get
me to go to school.
In Class I, however, I found a teacher
who made school bearable and created in
me a love of English literature. I didnt
know the language too well before that,
as I spoke in either Bengali or Hindi
with my parents and the domestic help
respectively. My teacher encouraged me
to read Ladybird books and Enid Blyton,
on whom I even modelled some of my
English essays. However, since early
childhood, even before I could write, I
would create rhymes, which my mother
diligently wrote down.
When I was in Class VIII, I grew a
little rebellious and was shifted to a
section noted for its rowdiness. By the
time I was in Class IX, I had fallen ill and
missed a number of classes, of which I
took advantage. I grew out of the habit
of studying, though I was always good at
English. I even earned a pink card - akin
to a black mark - for sporting long hair,
not carrying books to school and talking.

Amit Chaudhuri
(ICSE 1977, Savage)

First published in The Telegraph, Kolkata.


2009 The X-Cathedralite 29

From the staff room


Mrs. Olinda
Alfonso
Ms. Alfonso
was a member
of staff for 25
years (1983 to
2008) during
which time she
taught Home
Science, Art & Craft, and English in
Middle School. With her son studying
in Australia and her daughter
working, shes finally found time for
herself and has decided to get back to
her old hobbies.
Mrs. Perviz Bhesania
Mrs. Bhesania taught in school
between 1975 and 1999. During
these years she taught commerce
and accounts to the 11th and 12th
standards. She was also Palmer
House Mistress. After retiring, Mrs.
Bhesania teaches school children
Economics and Commerce in the
evenings and college students
Accounts in the mornings.
Ms. Nina Bilimoria
Ms. Nina Bilimoria was a 7th
standard class teacher from June
1978 to 2001. Then till 2006 she
served as Headmistress of the
Junior School. She now lives with
her parents in Bandra, Mumbai
and appreciates the peace, quiet
and ability to indulge in things she
couldnt do when she had her hands
full with students.
Mrs. Ruma Khullar
Mrs. Khullar taught
standards 1 to 5 for 23
years (1977 to 2000).
She fondly remembers
the camaraderie and
closeness that existed
among teachers in the
Junior School and how
it always felt like one big
close-knit family. Her
students are a large part

of her memories. She loves the fact


that even today her students scream
out for her outside her balcony
something the rest of building is not
as pleased about.
Ms. Shirin Mahabaleshvarwala
Ms. Mahabaleshvarwala was a
teacher in Cathedral for 15 years
(1967 to 1982) and then continued
to be associated with School by
substituting for teachers whenever
the need arose. In addition to being
the 4th standard teacher, she took
an active interest in helping her
students develop great handwriting
skills. Its a field she continued to
train children in even after her
retirement. Post-retirement she also
gave tuitions in Math and Social
Studies, and ran creative workshops
until commuting from Ghatkopar
started becoming difficult and forced
her to reduce her workload. She says
shes best remembered as the short
teacher with a long surname!
Mr. J.C. Mehta
Mr. Mehta was in school for 38 years
from 1954 to 1992. He started off
teaching Gujarati in Senior school,
which was then known as Boys'
School, then went on to teach Hindi.
Based in Santa Cruz, Mumbai, even
today hes busy taking classes.

Ms. Nitya Peerbhoy


Ms. Peerbhoy was 4B class teacher
and a member of the faculty from
1982-1986 and then again between
1990 and 2007.
Currently based in
Mumbai, she continues
to do what she enjoys
most -- teaching
children English and
Math. Shes finally
found time for some
of her indulgences like
painting and reading
Mrs. Patruni, photographed
and discovered what
by alumnus Sushil Velu in
fun it can be to start
Chennai, February 2009
learning all over again.

Teacher Updates
Mr. Mahavir Prasad Sharma
Mr. Sharma taught Chemistry
and sometimes Physics in School
from 1965 to 1991. But the most
interesting things students learnt
from him were photography,
Himalayan trekking and tennis. He
set up the Cathedral Camera Club,
with a fully equipped processing
room. Post-retirement, he joined Sula
Wines and then moved to Vinsura.
Ms. Rekha Sharma
Ms. Rekha Sharma taught Math and
Science for 17 years (1978 to 1995).
She was also responsible for setting
up the Pavement Club. Even today
this interest continues. Ms. Sharma
spends most of her time working with
charities, like House of Joy, a home
for the mentally challenged. She is on
the constant look out for alumni who
can spend some time or donate old
clothes for people in these homes.
Mrs. Shanthi Shastri
Mrs. Shastri taught Hindi to std.
1 and Sanskrit to standard 4 from
1978 to 1997. To the extent her
health permits, she spends most of
her time managing the Trust created
in the name of her Rhodes Scholarwinning daughter Mridula Shastri.
This Trust supports education for the
underprivileged, those whod like to
excel in sport and doctors whod like
to go overseas for further education.
Mrs. Gouri Srivastava
Mrs. Srivastava taught Hindi and
Sanskrit in the Junior School
between 1998 and 2008. She was
famous for the music and singing
during her assemblies. Now shes
happy spending time at home
something she says shes neglected
for the last 10 years. She plans to
get back to her passions -- music and
singing. Her son, an ex-Cathedralite,
is doing his MBA in Mumbai.

Compiled by Rama Iyer


(ICSE 1984, Barham)
2009 The X-Cathedralite 31

With Best Compliments


from
The Bajaj Group

In Memoriam
Ashok Kapur

(1959, Palmer)
shok Kapurs meteoric
rise to the top of banking
circles was the stuff dreams
are made of. Just when the
world was at his feet, while he
and Madhu, his charming wife,
were hosting a quiet dinner for
friends at the Trident-Oberoi
Hotel Mumbai, cruel death
snatched him away during the
dastardly terrorist attack on 26th November, 2008.
Ashok, joined Cathedral in 1949 where he remained
right through his school career as did his siblings Satish,
Pramilla and Billy. He was fond of sports and played
badminton, cricket and hockey in which he represented
Palmer House and eventually the school. He became a
prefect in 1959.

Sanjay
Agarawal
(1977, Wilson)
t was extremely
shocking and
disturbing for me to
hear about the sad
demise of Sanjay
and Rita during the
terrorist attack on

Sunil Parekh

(1981, Savage)
unil Parekh came
to Cathedral from
Campion for the 11th
and 12th in 1979
as Campion had no
chicks or HSC! He
was a bundle of fun
and energy, always
game for anything,
always immaculate in his Savage best. Generous to a
fault, Sunils hospitality and chauffeur service were
legendary. On completing school, he went off to
Franklin and Marshall in the US, though not before
leaving his mark on Sydenham College by denting the
wall! After graduating, he ran a successful group of

34 The X-Cathedralite 2009

Ashok was a whiz at the numbers game and usually


topped the class in maths. He passed his Senior
Cambridge with flying colours. Almost immediately
thereafter he joined Grindlays Bank and then ABN
AMRO as CEO, moving to Singapore as Asia Head. He
then used his vast experience and exposure to form a
partnership with one of the few five-star global banks
the Dutch Rabobank and set up office in Bombay. Soon,
in the face of many challenges he started his own Yes
Bank with branches all over India.
Ashok married the brave and lovely Madhu and had
two children Gaurav and Shagun.
It is said that the biggest threat to friendship is
success but with Ashok that was never the case. He was
always there for his friends and peers at the Bombay
Gymkhana where he was President or in his office, his
desk clear, and always ready to help.
RIP, my friend Ashok.

Vijay Shivdasani (1959, Wilson)

November 26 last year. I can imagine how difficult it


must be for Sanjays children.
Sanjay and I came together in school as we both
played cricket for Wilson House and the school teams.
During our school days, I have fond memories of his
birthday parties, which I enjoyed a lot because they
always included going to a movie. I remember Sanjay as
a very gentle, kind, and large-hearted friend, and he will
really be missed.

Anurang Jain (1977, Wilson)

companies in the US, Dubai and India with interests in


shipping, logistics and automotive dealerships.
Sunil married light-eyed, jovial Reshma, who was
an enthusiastic class mom, always available and always
agreeable. They leave behind two spirited die-hard
Cathedralites in Anandita in grade 8 and Arundati
in grade 6. A hands-on indulgent father, Sunil even
orchestrated their tiffin boxes. For Sunil the master
exaggerator, Believe me was his patent opening line
to convince all to participate in his various bonafide
and malafide schemes. Everything was surely or
thousand per cent. For someone who was famous for
his non-existent sense of timing, how we wish he had
not rushed to Tiffin that fateful day to keep his date
with Destiny.

Mukeeta (Kataria) Jhaveri (1983, Savage)

In Memoriam
Armaity Dastur

rmaity Vazifdar joined what was then known


as The Cathedral & John Connon Girls High
School almost 60 years ago. She passed out in 1958
and thereafter graduated with honours from the
Sydenham College of Commerce & Economics.
In school she was a Prefect and Vice-Captain of
Savage House. She had fond recollections of Mrs.
Bebbington, Mr. Alan Glynne-Howell, Mrs. Navalkar,
Mrs. Nargolwalla and Ms. Oliver to name but a few.
She continued to keep in touch with her teachers and
built strong and enduring ties with her classmates till
she recently passed away on September 25, 2009.
She took pride in the fact that the Mathematics
prize was presented to her by the late Mr. Homi
Bhabha. She nostalgically recalled that the eminent
scientist confided to her that they both shared the
privilege of learning Physics and Maths from the
same master (Mr. C. B. Nix-James). She often jokingly
reminded her sister Thrity (Class of 1956) that when
the students of Class IX (to which Thrity belonged)
could not solve a mathematical problem, Mrs.
Bebbington summoned Armaity from Class VII and
she successfully provided the answer!
After leaving school she was very active in the
Alumni Association and was Treasurer. At the time of
the Schools 125th Anniversary, which was celebrated
in 1985, she was the Chairperson of the ParentTeachers Association and a very active member of the

Mrs. Randhawa

have tried to write this piece


thrice but have had to stop each
time due to the deep sense of loss
that fills me. However, I learnt
from Mrs. Randhawa to never
give up.
I first met Mrs. Randhawa in the
8th standard when she taught us
chemistry and we were all terrified
of her. However gradually our fears diminished and we
realised that she was a passionate teacher who genuinely
cared about her students.
Mrs. Randhawa always went above and beyond what
was expected of her. I vividly remember my 8th standard
Inter-house Swimming Meet. Wilson was coming last in
the relay and I was the fourth swimmer. I dove in and
swam my hardest but it did not seem to be good enough.
I was losing all hope until I realised Mrs. Randhawa was
standing at the other end, cheering me on. She believed

125th Celebrations Committee.


It was her initial association
with the Bulbuls and training
them which resulted in her
great involvement with the Girl
Guides movement in India and,
in later years, worldwide.
As a Fellow of the Bharat
Scouts & Guides movement
she was felicitated by the
then President of India, Shri
Shankar Dayal Sharma. She
represented India at several
international conferences
organised by the World
Association of Girl Guides and
Girl Scouts.
In addition to her rather formidable guiding
achievements she was associated with the Duke of
Edinburghs Award Scheme (Maharashtra) and was its
Treasurer. She was very actively connected with the
Society for the Education of the Crippled and she and
Ms. Tehmina Barma introduced guiding and formed a
guides company.
Armaitys daughters, husband and brother-in-law are
also Cathedralites. It is a pity she will not be there in
physical form when the school celebrates its 150th
in 2010!
in her students and her belief inspired us to excel.
She had a grin that could light up an entire room. She
ensured that we pursued our passions and stayed true
to our dreams. As a teacher she broadened our horizons,
whether it was making us interact with the hearing and
speech-impaired as part of our Nature Club activities or
teaching us about traditional handicrafts on a camp to
Ranthambhore. She made us face our fears, whether it
was pricking ourselves to do a blood test for our 12th
standard biology class or swimming in front of the
entire school.
Mrs. Randhawa always seemed larger than life. And
maybe she was. The values that she helped instill in me
still hold strong. She played a large part in moulding me
into the person that I am today and there are so many
things that I want to thank her for. From being a scary
teacher she became my guardian. She has left behind a
void which no one can fill and I miss her terribly. I strive to
be someone who would have made her proud.

Tripti Sahni (2007, Wilson)


2009 The X-Cathedralite 35

In Memoriam

Remembering Mr. Lewis

his story involves a class friend


whom I shall refer to as KK
for the sake of discretion. While in
Std X, KK tells me, Guess what!
I wasnt at school yesterday and I
gave our class teacher Mr. Lewis
an empty envelope (instead of the
mandatory note from a parent) and he didnt say a thing!
Surely, that cant be! I said. With this discovery, KK
and I got into the habit of deciding that todays got a
crap timetable, lets do something more exciting and we
would wander around Bombay to pass the day. And Mr.
Lewis took our empty envelopes without saying a word.
KK and I gradually became more focussed on studying
and not only attended school regularly but I managed a
First Class at the final exam. I forgot all about our periodic
school skipping. On the last day of school I went around
the school thanking each of my teachers. As I left after
thanking Mr. Lewis, he called out to me. His words and
kind smile still echo across the intervening decades.
Naoroji, theres something I need to tell you, he
whispered lest the juniors in the class overheard him,
Thanks for those empty envelopes. Ive got quite a
collection thanks to you and KK! I almost fainted and
was hard pressed to say anything other than Thanks.
The big lesson for me was that everyone needs support,
space, kindness and understanding as they learn right
from wrong and make their journey through life.
Thanks, Mr. Lewis, for not destroying my school years
which you could so easily have done and instead gifting
me your virtues of tolerance, understanding and the belief
that there is good in everyone even a rogue like me! You
have earned my lifelong gratitude and appreciation for
your sterling qualities. May your onward journey be as
pleasant as the memories you have left me with.
Nadish Naoroji (1969, Savage)
r. Lewis was my class teacher for two years, which
were my most memorable days in Cathedral. His
soft voice and mild temperament were ideal to smoothen
ruffled feathers. Even after passing out of school, I kept in
touch with him when he was Principal of Campion School.
Prakash A. Thadani (1969, Savage)
r John Lewis was a diminutive man, born to rule.
He ruled our classrooms, our minds and our hearts.
He worked wonders with the bright students and the not
so bright ones. His passion was mathematics. His vision
was to make his students equally passionate about a
subject which perplexed some minds. When his patience
ran out, it was his trademark Boysh, which brought us

M
M

36 The X-Cathedralite 2009

to order, as we tried to suppress our laughter. I also owe a


personal debt to him. Realising that I was weak in Maths,
he would coach me without any monetary considerations.
When I reminded him of this he was reluctant to take any
credit and humbly stated that it was his duty as a teacher.
He was truly a noble soul who did full justice to his noble
profession. May his soul rest in peace.
Rajiv Kapur (1972,Wilson)
r Lewis could control a rowdy class without
screaming or punishing and explain Higher Maths
to us without belittling or admonishing. Demanding yet
compassionate, he made us believe that we could conquer
anything, if we wanted to. Sir, as Vivek and I, your house
captains, laid a wreath at your funeral, we did so on behalf
of hundreds of students whose lives you transformed.
Per Ardua Ad Astra still echoes in our ears and wonderful
memories of you, remain embedded in our hearts.
Rohita Chaganlal Doshi (1975, Wilson)
t is hard to pen just a few lines on Mr Lewis. There is
so much to say about this special man who was always
there for me. He believed in my talent and made me a
prominent sportsman. I was proud to be his house
captain. I won him many medals and in turn he ensured
that my math skills were never compromised. I dedicate
all my medals to this calm, selfless, sincere and lovely
human being who made such an impact on my personality
during those impressionable days. We loved you Mr Lewis
and you will always remain alive in our hearts.
Vivek Kapur (1975, Wilson)
r Lewis will always remain our beloved Math
teacher - energetic and wanting the best from all of
us. He made school so memorable and special. I was part
of the 75 batch - a motley crew, playing stupid tricks,
driving Principal Jacobs up the wall - at the same time,
we were a group of students who loved and respected
our teachers and valued their roles in our lives. Mr. Lewis
helped shape those formative years. Thank you Mr. Lewiswe will always be in your debt for your support and your
desire for great futures for all of us.
Sulu Hegde Grant (1975, Bahram)
he John Lewis I knew was a jovial figure, always ready
with a quick math problem to keep his unruly charges
occupied. He made a very successful transition from a
gifted teacher to an able administrator and very credibly
held the office of Vice Principal at our school. Somewhere
up there, I have no doubt, he is still conjuring up math
problems saying to himself, Its quite easy, QED! John
Lewis, we miss you.
Nisha Khattau (1986, Savage)

In Memoriam

Remembering Mrs. Nargolwalla

rs. Thrity Nargolwalla joined


Cathedral as the Hindi
teacher and was a beloved member
of the school community for
over 40 years. Being a dedicated
teacher, she took a keen interest
in her students. She encouraged
the youth to give their best at all times. She was not
merely a teacher but a friend, philosopher and guide.
Her gentleness, kindness, generosity of spirit and heart,
combined with her professional approach to academics,
made her a favourite across three generations of pupils.
She is survived by her husband, Mr. Pahli Nargolwalla;
her daughter, Dilnaz Billimoria (Head Girl of Cathedral
School - 1979); son-in-law, Homi Billimoria and grandchildren, Friyana and Shahzad Billimoria.
Dilnaz Billimoria (1979, Palmer)
t was with great sadness that I learnt of her demise,
from Mr. Nargolwalla, who called me a few hours
after Mrs. Nargolwalla passed away. I am grieved and
my mind is filled with so many thoughts. We were in
the Junior School and had just started learning Hindi
from Miss. Thrity Meherhomji, a kind-hearted and
gentle teacher, who struggled to teach us good Hindi
not only spoken but also written. I still recollect
vividly the rapturous manner in which she introduced
us to Premchand-ki-kahani. As we struggled to master
our national language, we soon saw ourselves in the
Senior School, looking forward to being in Std. X. It was
always the Std. X students who had the privilege of doing
the annual School Hindi play, directed by none other than
Mrs. Nargolwalla herself. How we enjoyed this the black
and white photographs in many of our school magazines
will bear testimony to this event. The plays were hilarious
and I really dont know how Mrs. Nargolwalla conjured up
the witty dialogues. It was admirable that though Hindi
was not her mother tongue, she had a natural grasp of
the language and an in-depth knowledge of classical and
popular Hindi literature.
As a family, we have known the Nargolwallas for
more than 55 years. In 1959, my parents had attended
Thrity Meherhomjis marriage to Palan Nargolwalla.
Mrs. Nargolwalla never hesitated to call me for anything.
She was more like a senior Aunt in the family. When
my children, Raika and Navroze needed help with their
Hindi, I turned to none other than Mrs. Nargolwalla
and even though she had retired from active teaching
in school, her love for the subject and love for children
attracted them like magnets to her door step.

Her dedicated principles and system of values


belonged to the old school. Both praise and reprimand
were given in a manner which made us realise that our
good behaviour was appreciated and we learnt to improve
our bad behaviour and clumsy ways. Character-building
was a value highly cherished by all the teachers of our
time, including Mrs. Nargolwalla.
While we will sorely miss Mrs. Nargolwalla, at our
Founders Day and other School events we look forward
to continuing our friendship with the family. The class
of 1965 both girls and boys join me in prayer. May her
soul rest in peace and may the almighty grant her family
the grace and strength to overcome this irrepairable loss.
Pheroza J. Godrej (1965, Barham)
hen Thrity Meherhomji joined the Cathedral Girls
School, pupils refused to believe that a true-blue
Parsi would be able to teach them Hindi. Generations
of Cathedral pupils have had reason to thank their stars
that they were in her class and long after she retired,
children continued to flock to her for help in Hindi,
knowing they could not find a better teacher.
With her mop of curls, her beautiful complexion and
gracious demeanour, Thrity was lovely to look at. But her
beauty went much deeper; she was gentle, unassuming
and caring. I do not think I ever heard her speak ill of
anyone and no one had reason to speak anything but
good about Thrity. But she was no goody goody. We
would frequently hear her chuckling, and she had the
priceless gift of being able to laugh at herself. The pupils
thought that as she was very short sighted, she would
not notice a billet doux passed from one side of the aisle
to the other, books, other than Hindi texts, (Mills and
Boons?) being read surreptitiously, cricket scores being
received on transistors. Thritys trusty glasses caught it
all, only she was wise enough to know what should be
ignored, and what should not.
As a teacher, House Mistress and colleague she
was greatly loved. Thrity and I were together for
over twenty years, and continued our friendship
after that. At her Golden Anniversary celebration
early this year, she was not very well, and could not
stand to greet her guests, which obviously bothered
her. But she looked beautiful and happy. I hope that
Mr. Nargolwalla and Dilnaaz and her family will
find consolation in the thought that many people
feel their lives were enriched by their contact with Thrity.
Thrity, dear friend, may you continue to find
something to smile about in Gods home.
Mrinalini Kochar

2009 The X-Cathedralite 37

Reunions
The big reunion

25 years later

simple case study: Anita Tankha (Palmer House


Captain, 1986) came to be known as Taanka
merely because the general South Bombay
Cathedralite saw no reason to try to understand that the
pronunciation of her last name could be Tun-kha, as
in salary. She did make several attempts to explain the
meaning of her name, and therefore the correct way to
pronounce it, but that did not seem to help. Taanka is
what Anita was largely referred to as.
It was not meant to be derogatory just familiar. She
had no issues with it, nor did the many that were called
by their last name, or a twist on their last name, or by
their fathers' names (a short phase restricted only to the
boys). So Taanka soon became Tanker which sounded
more hip. Tanker went on to become Tank-Fank (no
logic available for that one) and then, one day, the Tank
was dropped and Anita came to be known as Fank.
Twenty five years later, her closest friends still call her
Fank. And you know shes met an old batch-mate if you
hear her being called 'Taanka.'
There were many such names given to us all. Some
were funny, some rude, some were convoluted, but they
were all well thought out by the name-giver and came to
stay. Those were our school names. Sometimes, even the
teachers got to calling us by those.
Ernie, Sumya, Sambo, Naidu, Monji, Payee, Poid,
Chowch, Kheeyoo are today respectable adults who are
all doing very well for themselves in their chosen fields.
However, in a flash, at our reunion, their legal names will
fade into the background and the familiar voices from 25
years ago will scream across the room to them by their
Class of 84 names.
Thats what Im looking forward to.

Anahita Uberoi
(ISC 1986, Head Girl, Wilson)

wenty five years! Yes, its been that long since we


completed our ICSE! Having said that, it certainly
doesnt seem so, and herein lies the unique spirit
of Cathedral School which has allowed us to forge such
long and enduring friendships, that for most of us, our
closest friends (and for some of us even our spouses) are
our classmates.
For this very reason it does not seem like 25 years
have passed as we continuously meet and relive so many
of our school memories which, for our unfortunate nonCathedral friends, must be a nightmare -- having to hear
the same story repeated over and over again. But this is
what our Cathedral experience meant to us.
For the class of 84, the last 25 years have brought
their share of happiness and sorrow, success and failure.
Sadly, we have lost a few classmates, schoolmates and
teachers, but we will be ever grateful to all of them for
having played a role in what we are today.
For both Anahita and me, Cathedral continues to
be a very important part of our daily lives as both our
daughters, Anisa and Aliya, are now Cathedralites. The
only dilemma I have is that both of them are in Wilson
(an indication of who the boss is in this house) so how
is this Savageite going to be able cheer for Wilson in the
coming years?
I do hope many of our classmates can make it to our
reunion planned for early 2010. It will be fabulous to
catch up and relive our school days and, at least for that
weekend, go back to being carefree 16-year-olds again.

Samir Uberoi
(ISC 1986, Head Boy, Savage)

The ICSE batch of 1984 celebrates its 25 year


anniversary on January 2, 2010 at 7.30 p.m. at the
Blue Frog, Mumbai. We hope you have received
emails and Facebook updates. If not, do contact
us immediately at cathedral84@gmail.com or
catreunion2009@gmail.com.

Members of the Class of 84 at a get together in Mumbai in early 2009.

2009 The X-Cathedralite 39

NEW BOOKS FOR CHILDREN!!!


BY NOTED CHILDRENS AUTHOR, DHEERA KITCHLU
~Read for a Cause~

MAYA, for ages 10 and up. A story about a troubled girl whose deep friendship with a
magical horse helps her find the real person within.
MY FRIEND SADHU SHIVA, for ages 8 and up. A story told from the wondrous eyes
of an eight year-old child about an Indian way of life.
MY GRANNY'S GREEK TALES I AND II, for ages 8 and up. Stories from Greek
myths and legends told by an Indian grandmother to her granddaughter, cleverly strung
around incidents in their lives.
FUN WITH ALPHABET STORIES, ages 3-6. A series of six books which emphasize
the phonetic sound of each alphabet through fantastical characters created from A-Z.

**Books are available BY ORDER ONLY, by e-mailing


fingerprints2009@gmail.com**
~Proceeds from all book sales go to St. Siena School & Orphanage,
Mumbai~
About the Author: Dheera Kitchlu is an educationist, a full-time writer and illustrator.
She was the Principal of Sophia Nursery School and then the Vice Principal of Sophia
Polytechnic, both in Mumbai. Her books are set in contemporary India, providing
children with rich vignettes of daily life. She spins cheerful worlds of fantasy and
addresses situations with a unique brand of humor, through which children instantly
relate to her tales. For more on the author, please visit dheerakitchlu.webs.com

Reunions

The Golden Years:


Class of 59

his year the Class of 59 will be celebrating


its Golden Reunion at an eventful week from
November 11 to 17, 2009, straddling Founders
Day. A week which will see us dancing to the tunes of
Elvis and Chubby Checker, transported to an Alibaug
Retreat for garden parties, and making merry at
exotic events such as Under the Stars, Breaking the
Ice, An Evening with the Findians and culminating
in a scrumptious sit-down Parsee bhonu. The spirit of
belonging to the premier school in Mumbai is no doubt
bolstered by our motivating and inspiring school song.
As we sing Let it Rip, Let it Thunder, that satisfying
roar is in our lungs, spirits soar and at that moment,
we are engulfed in emotion which envelopes our
entire being . Life is not measured by the number of
breaths we take, but by the moments which take our
breath away.

(Left to right) Top line: Mody, Ezekiel, V. Nayar, Mirchandani,


A. Kapur, Gordon, Lakhani
Standing: Elias, Mohindar, Balani, Thadani, P. Miovic, Stevenson,
Choksi, V. Shivdasani, M. Dharia
Seated: M. Colaco, V. Sethi, Bhupinder Singh, Bernard Gunnery (Principal)
Hayeem, J. Matthan. Bottom: R. Advani, T. Newnes.

Vijay Shivdasani
(1959, Wilson )
(Left to right)
Top line: Parvin Surti,
Pamela Shellim, Zarine
Taraporevala, Anne
Sopher, Matilda Moses,
Kamal Batliboi, Armaity
Daruwala, Zenobia Masani.
Seated: Shirin Mulla, Piloo
Dastur, Harmohina Uberoi,
Nergish Karim, Asha Gupta
Bottom: Nargys Irani, Gita
Vasvani, Renuka Dhanrajgir

Calling all Alumni


in Delhi!
We are a rum lot and
like to celebrate at every
opportunity. We meet
regularly to exchange
memories of our school
days. Our annual reunion is
scheduled for December 5,
2009 at the residence of Mr. Jamshed Desai who has kindly agreed to host
the event. If any alumnus is in or passing through Delhi, please contact us:
Yezad Kapadia (1949, Palmer) +91-98 100 40711
Ravi Jaitly (1954, Wilson) +91-99 710 22332
Deepak Deshpande (1964, Palmer) +91-98 100 28914

THE CLASS ACT- THE FIFTYNINERS


Few things in life could be finer
Than being known as a Cathedral Fiftyniner
Of belonging to a select band
In India and many a foreign land
We can never forget the times gone by
Though so many decades past by
Indeed those were the days, my friend
For sure the memories will never end.
Our teachers ranked among the best
Pop Pharoah, Nix James, Lady Temple and the rest,
Oh that we were young all over again,
Remember the fun, laughter and even the pain.
Some of us joked and played the fool
But overall there was an unwritten rule
That we belonged for better or for worse
Regardless of caste or size of our purse.
Weve all long gone our separate trails
Some are grandparents of girls and males,
But whether we have made it big or small
Were proud to be Fiftyniners, one and all.
Thats the lesson we were taught above all
Be it in class, playground or exam hall
Weve always tried to put in our best
Do well on our part,to hell with the rest.
To those in the Classroom in the sky
Your faces will not fade from our minds eye
And there are those for years out of sight
We often remember with feelings so right.
Our school days played a special part
Forever fixed in the Cathedral of our heart
And yes, wherever our lot may be cast
We cherish forever those school memories past.
Indeed few things in life could be finer
Than being known as a Cathedral Fiftyniner
Of belonging to a very select band
In India or many a foreign land.
Ratan Singara
(1959, Wilson)
2009 The X-Cathedralite 41

Class Notes
The Class of 1954
at their 50 Year Reunion

Top: Dara, Dante, Saleem, Soli, Arnavaz, Zarrin, Nalini, Jal, Pratap,
Chubi, Vasant, Kavsy, Aziz, Anthony, Nilina, Rumy
Middle: Nargish, Ratan, Naju, Saroj, Sadhana, Gracie, Homa, Mary,
Ravi, Armaity Bottom: Arun, Suhas

The Class of 1958


at their 50 Year Reunion

The celebrations started on the eve of Founders Day


with a warm-up evening at the Cooch Behar Room at the
CCI (booked by Darshana and Kamal). The Founders Day
ceremony in St. Thomas followed. Jean and Jaffer (Head
Girl and Head Boy) were both present and walked down the
aisle just as they did 50 years ago. The Brunch at the Middle
School hosted by the alumni was different this year. We had
music (Ernie Flanagan) and other inducements to get up
and shake a leg and warm up for the big night at Joss the
following evening.
The Joss evening was amazing! It was a bit like one of our
old School Socials, but with a time warp. There was a slide
show of old photographs sent in mostly by Abey. There was
lots of music from the 50s and considerably more flexibility on
the choice of beverages and the closing-hour. The orators, the
singers, the dancers were all in great form. Attendees carried
away boxes of chocolates made especially by Meher (Katrak)
Pinto and music CDs of the 50s put together by Homi.
After the reunion, many new bonds have been formed,
mails fly around and some 58ers are already planning their
next meetings. Lets do one every Five years hereafter! was a
popular refrain.
Homi Khusrokhan
(1958, Barham)

1964

The 50th year reunion of the Class of 58 from November


13-15, 2008 had its full share of fun, frolic, emotion and
lots of happy memories to carry back. The planning started
about a year earlier and Darshana (Bhogilal) Gupta, Tej
(Kothari) Dalal, Mehroo (Dadhabhoy) Vakil, Kamal Gupta,
Suresh (Peter) Phillip and Homi Khusrokhan decided to be the

L to R: Aiveen Bharucha, Deepak Deshpande, Mr. J. C. Mehta,


Anand Desai, Rustom Dadabhoy, Ishwari Desai, Rajiv Ved and
Manek Bharucha.

shepherds for gathering the flock with a little scholarly advice


from Premila Shivdasani.
It was an amazingly good turnout, 27 in all 14 out of the
23 boys that we managed to contact and 13 out of the 26 girls
that we tracked down. Some flew in from long distances like
Jennifer (Prince) Holmes from Australia, Jean (Hillel) Fatall
from Israel, Maki (Bhikaji) Hendry from Indonesia, Sushma
(Kumar) Schotti, from Japan, Abey Stevensen from the UK
and Abbas Currimjee from Mauritius, some were accompanied
by spouses and in Jennys case the full family. From those who
came from other parts of India, there was Jawid Laiq from
Delhi and Vidya Chand from Pune. Neel Advani and Devi Shah
both wanted to come down from the US but unfortunately
couldnt make it and sent in messages to be read out.

L to R: Manek Bharucha, Rustom Dadabhoy, Robyn Bharucha, Geeta and


Jimmy Billimoria, Nadir Bharucha and Rajiv Ved.

42 The X-Cathedralite 2009

Class Notes
ISC 1973

1973 Prefects with the Principal and Vice-Principal

Vikram Ahuja My wife Meera and I have a 23-year-old


son, Aditya, who is working at our showroom in NYC. Aditya
also went to Cathedral and quite a few of our classmates
kids were with him - Rustoms son Jehangir Jejebhoy; Vivek
Jains son Asaatvic; Suketus daughter, Aditi; Manjulas
daughter, Trishya; and Mridulas daughter, Avanti. I play
tennis at Willingdon twice a week and bump into all the bawas
frequently. email: vikram@shyamahuja.in.
Dhaval Ajmera I completed MSEE at the University
of Florida and started working in the high tech industry
in Silicon Valley near San Francisco. I worked for several
companies such as AMD, National, Sun Microsystem, and Im
now with Verismo Networks. I am married with two kids, 17
and 14, and live in Fremont, CA. email: d_ajmera@yahoo.
com, Tel: 510-366-1995.
Punam Anand Keller Im a marketing professor at the
Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College. My husband
Kevin is also a professor in marketing. We live close to campus
with our two daughters Carolyn and Allison. I get news
about Cathedral through Rajeev Merchant. My best school
memory is the first school social (I danced once) and endless,
but gratifying mornings and evenings for sports practices.
Ironically, Kasturi Haldar and I shared the best all-rounder
prize in our last Cathedral year and we are both professors
who spend most of our time in labs! email: Punam.A.Keller@
tuck.dartmouth.edu
Geeta Andhare Misra is married with two daughters,
Gayatri, 24, studying marketing in Manchester, and Urvashi,
21, studying marketing in Warwick. Tel: 022-23841133
in Mumbai.
Pheroze Bharucha lives in Toronto with his family and
practices medicine. email: pherozeb@rogers.com
Sameer Chinoy lives and practices medicine in NH, USA.
email: Sameer.Chinoy@newlondonhospital.org
Dr. Peter Cordeiro is Chief of the Plastic & Reconstructive
Service, Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering
Cancer Center, New York City and lives in NJ. MD, Harvard
Medical School. Tel: 212-639-2521. email: cordeirp@mskcc.org
Manu Daftary I have a Bachelors in Economics and
Psychology from Elphinstone College 77. Left India in 1978
for Cal State University, Long Beach and graduated with a
B.S. degree in Business and an M.B.A. Founded DG Capital
Management in Boston in 96 (www.dgcap.com) where I am

currently Chairman and CEO. Married to Beverly Gee (of


Newport Beach, Calif) and have two children: Neil, a freshman
at New York University and Marissa, a high school junior.
Fondest memories at Cathedral: good times with Rajeev
Merchant and Neville Umrigar. Thanks, guys, for accepting me
as your third leg when I joined the school in the 9th standard.
email: mdaftary@dgcap.com
Eric Dastur lives in Mumbai and runs his own business.
email: ekdastur@kmdastur.com
Darab Davar zdavar@hotmail.com
Serene Dhondy I live in New York with husband
Rashid and dog, Spartacus. Rian Shams, my older son is at
Binghamton University and Jehan Shams started at Vassar in
August. Im still with American Express after almost 22 years.
Have lots of land up in the country and gardening is my new
hobby. Enjoy the blueberries and other fruits and vegetables
we grow. What I remember most about school are my friends
and I am fortunate to still be in touch with them. email:
serene.h.dhondy@aexp.com.
Kavita Dhurandhar Gonsalves is a pre-school teacher in
Baldwin, NY. Is married to Glenn and has a daughter, Shauna
and a son, Rehan. School memories: Mrs. Karats geography
class, being made to stand in the quad on lab stools by Mr.
Patki for doing something silly, home science, basketball,
sports day, the awkward socials, waiting in Mr. Jacobs room
for our ISC results. email: ggonsa@aol.com
Suketu Doshi Im Director at Sulphur Mills which
manufactures, markets and exports fertilizers and plant
protection products. I spend most of my time travelling across
India doing rural marketing. While I cant say Mumbai is
rocking, we do have the occasional Blues and Rock live gigs.
Some of us get together and spend half the night getting
smashed on booze and the music. Yeah, some things havent
changed Tel: +91 9967572572. email: suketu.doshi@
gmail.com
Anna Eapen Fanning lives in Virginia , USA with her
family. email: anna.fanning@cox.net
Simon Elias lives and works in New York. email: Selias@
gamaholdingsltd.com
Behram Gamadia I got married young, at 42, like most
Parsis. My wife Simoneel and I have two lovely daughters
Shireen and Jehana (ages 9 and 7) and I run my own office
block and finance business in Bombay. I worked for nine years
with Glaxo before going solo. Im still great friends with Sir
Rustom (Jejeebhoy), Darab Davar and Doctor Randy (alias
Pheroze Bharucha). Was it really 36 years ago that we all
finished hearing Mr. Jacob say GOOD MUNNING and Mr. Rao
say GETHOUT YOO YEEDIOT!
School memory: One October 1973 morning at school
assembly, carefully timed bombs went off with Reverend
Oscar Brown on stage shortly after his sermon. The maroon
curtains of the stage took on various shades of yellow and gold
as the RAT- A-TAT-TAT took place! Umrigar, Rajwar, Jejeebhoy
and Gamadia smiled their Oscar winning smiles in the 11B
student line as Jacob jumped, Newton defied gravity, and Oscar
Browns calm countenance twitched in terror. Mr. Babubhai,
the craft master, was deputed by Newton to search for more
unexploded bombs on stage there were none! I also remember
guitar-playing Beatnik from 1967 (std. 5 along with James
Timms, Padman, Linda Khambatta, and Rajeev Merchant)
performing the Seekers World of our Own, Blowing in the Wind,
2009 The X-Cathedralite 43

Class Notes
Ventures, and Nancy Sinatras Boots!
email: simoneel@vsnl.com.
Kasturi Haldar Morrison Professor
of Pathology, Professor of MicrobiologyImmunology, Chicago, IL. Medical School
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(PhD; Biochemistry). Tel: 312-503-0244.
email: k-haldar@northwestern.edu
Rajiv Juggy Jagtiani is married
to Reena,with two children - Rhea and
Rohan both at Cathedral and in Barham
House, maintaining the family tradition.
Not only got educated in school but
also had a blast enjoying ourselves.
email: rajivjagtiani@yahoo.com
Indira Jaisingh lives in Mumbai.
email: indira.jaisingh@gmail.com
Sir Rustom Jejeebhoy I am an
unemployed gentleman at large taking
care of the small interests of Destitute
Eranis. email: jj@sjjcf.org
Madhu Khaitan Tomaselli Upon
leaving Cathedral I went to Sydenham
for one year before going to study for
my A-levels in the UK. On obtaining
my A-levels I qualified as a Chartered
Accountant which eventually led to
meeting my husband, Rossano, of 25
years next May. When my first child,
Stefano 19, was born I stopped
working to take on the easier(!!!) task
of looking after him. Three years later
my second child, Olivia 16, was born
and between them they have managed
to keep me young as I have been running
around after them for the past two
decades! Mob: +44 7970 623488; email:
mtomaselli@hotmail.co.uk
Anjini Kochar I am still at Stanford,
CA, where I have been since 1990. I
head a research programme on India at
the Stanford Center for International
Development at Stanford University.
My husband (Corey) continues to
practice law in Palo Alto, and my three
children are growing up far too quickly
for my liking -- the oldest is in college
(University of Chicago), and another will
be in college next year. Luckily, my son is
still 12 years old, so we have him at home
for a few more years. I continue to be a
terrible correspondent, primarily because
work and family leave me with little time
for anything else (not a good excuse,
but the truth!). The best thing about
my job is that it takes me frequently
to India -- still home for me, and the
best place in the world. My children,
luckily, love coming here too -- we were
in Mumbai in August this year, and
44 The X-Cathedralite 2009

took the mandatory trip to the school.


Brought back a flood of memories, as
usual. Unfortunately, being on the West
Coast makes me even further from most,
but would welcome meeting any who do
come here -- you are always welcome to
stay. email: anjini@stanford.edu.
Rashmi Lamba lives in Delhi.
email: rashkhanna@hotmail.com
Farrokh Langdana I am Professor,
Finance/Economics; Director, Rutgers
Executive MBA Program, Ph.D Virginia
Polytechnic and State University;
B.Tech., IIT, Kanpur, India. School
memories: A bizarre and fairly violent
lunchtime activity called Kitty Kitty.
Terrifying! Thanks to Savage House,
any male that could walk was dragged
into every possible sport. Terrifying
again! The Tuck Shop in grade 3 (with
bulls eyes!). Firecrackers at assembly
in the hall with delayed action fuses.
In 5th standard, Mr. Pande, our hero,
was apprehending a thief after a lengthy
chase that tore through the Lloyds
bank. And on the last day of school a
forlorn group of teary women from the
just-graduated class, standing around
the piano as Anahita Engineer played the
school song one last time. Even steely
cynics like me got all choked up. email:
langdana@business.rutgers.edu. Tel: 973353-5620.
Fiona Lenygon Lister I married
John Lister and have a daughter Caitlin
(nearly 20) and son Spike (nearly 16).
I have wonderful memories of school,
most especially friends, some of whom
are still in contact with me! The boys in
class used to pretend to spray (disinfect)
their books if the girls ever touched
them! They grew out of that by the end
of Standard 9! I remember fondly: Mr.
Abraham (our school bursar and boys
rugby coach) for always helping me with
money to call home, for his words of
wisdom and encouragement; Mr. Elisha
(our biology teacher) for his humour
and patienceand for bringing in Eric
Johniii (the school snake) to class in
Standard 8, and letting him slither across
our tables so we could touch him; Mrs.
Karat for her wonderful expressions in
Geography and brilliant teaching! I had
the best time, and feel very lucky to have
gone to Cathedral School I still have
my uniform and badges! Happy 150th
Birthday! email: joficasp@yahoo.co.uk.
Vinay Malhotra lives and works in
the USA. email: vinay@insightbb.com

Sunil Mathrani left Bombay in


1974, became an economist and never
returned to live in India. Now a perpetual
global nomad, working for the World
Bank, based in Ghana. W. Africa, after
lengthy periods living in the UK, USA,
Mauritania, France and Italy.
email: smathrani@hotmail.com
Amrita Matthew John Thirty
years in a nut shell Post Cathedral
and four years at Sydenham, I went to
the US to attend business school and
returned to Bombay to join Lakme. I
married and returned to the US, ended
up staying and making a home here. The
intervening years have flown by... I have
two amazing daughters, Leila working in
NYC and planning law school next year
and Priya who is a sophomore in college.
I am a product manager with CIGNA, an
interesting place to be given the health
care reform and debate. I have lived in
Connecticut for the past 25+ years and
built a life with new friends and old (no
pun intended!) from Cathedral who live
on the east coast Rajeev Merchant
(the mayor of our class who keeps us
all connected), Fally, Minal, Manu,
Eva, Anna, Sameer, Punam, Serene. I
reconnected with Fiona and Madhu
and their families in London and more
recently with Ragini and Kiran. You all
are an important part of my life! This
is a great opportunity to catch up with
friends who have drifted apart over
the years and would love to hear from
you. email: axj49@hotmail.com or
(860) 523-5827.
Kavita Syal Mehta Married
Nikhil Mehta in 1981. My children are
Arjun (25) and Jaya (22). We live in
Brentwood California. Our address is
11911 Mayfield Ave #302 Los Angeles
CA 90049, mobile: 3107291156. We
have lived in California, New York,
Connecticut and are back full circle in
California once again ! This is home
for us now as my children, parents
and sisters family are close by! I have
taught elementary school for the past
15 years whilst enjoying raising my own
children. Weve travelled extensively
and have had great experiences while
doing so ! The journey continues and I
hope to connect with some of you from
school. Though the memories are distant
they are fond and dear nonetheless.
email: kmehta129@gmail.com
Pradeep Mandhyan Practising law in
Mumbai. email: man_dhyan@vsnl.net

Class Notes
dear friends
I am not ashamed to say this: I miss you
have courage
you are not abandoned
on the pages of a yearbook
one moment we were caught in time
caged in history
shuffling from encounter to encounter
then gone to the other side of the world
defying gravity and the urge to come back home
I dont remember all the names
but the faces crystallize in windows
in events torn from time
the love we bear, the promises we made
I will not hold you to them
at least one pair of eyes has followed you unwittingly
just give me the chance to see you again
our conversations will reinvent the world
Rajeev Merchant
Alma mater
from his second book letters never sent

Vikram Merchi Merchant


According to Viks, Merchi doesnt like to
write - he prefers his BlackBerry and once
a month he reluctantly spends a Sunday
opening his mail and responding with
sheer poetry. email: vikram.merchant@
hotmail.com
Achinta Mitra Living in Houston,
Texas. Married since 1988 to Sabrina
(originally from Bombay too, Alexandra
School right around the corner from
Cathedral, didnt know her then). Own
a marketing communications company
specialising in industrial marketing and
advertising that I founded in 1987. Fond
memories of inter-house competitions
(Go Wilson House!), school socials my
first close dance to the sound of Knights
in White Satin, getting into trouble over
lighting firecrackers in school -- Anjini
and Sidhant had to bail me out, getting
together at the break of dawn for the
cross-country meets, Mr. Lewis, Dr.
Krishnan, Mrs. Kochar, Mr. Lobo, Mr.
Sharma, Dr. Wagh, Mrs. Kanga and Mr.
Mehta and hanging out after school
at Vik Ahujas place with a bunch of
friends. www.tiecas.com.
Kiran Prakash Chainani I have
been living in Bangalore since July
1991 - longer than I have ever lived
continuously in any other place. So this
really is home for us. I gave up working
in a corporate sector job and now I
do what I enjoy most - teaching yoga.
Sunil (1972, Wilson) is a Management
Consultant and works out of home.
Also, since we are footloose and fancy
free, we travel a lot. Would love to have

a reunion in Bombay and catch up with


everyone - 2013 anyone?? If anyone is
passing through Bangalore, would love to
catch up. Tel: 91 - 80 25521136. Cell:
91 9341209677. email: chainanikiran@
gmail.com
Jairaj Purandare I am currently
the Regional Managing Partner with
PricewaterhouseCoopers in Mumbai. Im
married to Manjiri who is a class teacher
at JB Petit School. Our son Varun is an
undergrad Junior at Yale. Tel: 22040280,
cell:9820028282,email:manjirip84@
hotmail.com
Madusudan Rungta Still living
in the same bungalow on Nepean Sea
Road. Married with a son, Pranav, 26,
also a Cathedralite who lives in Pune.
Busy with manufacturing business with
a plant in Pune and a family business
of various engineering, electrical, and
plastic products. A whole group of
us fell ill in the rainy season, bunked
school and went to Sterling for a movie.
Mobile: 9821042115, Residence:
23632369, Office: 66306839, email:
mlr@precisiontechindia.com; also on
facebook..(Rungta is now on a mission
to hold a reunion at CCI wearing shorts!
Should be a cool party!)
Eva Shah Ghosh lives in Boston at
388 Warren Street, Brookline, Ma 02445.
Tel: 617 7399820; email: evaghosh@
rcn.com Kids: Rhea Ghosh (21), Samir
Ghosh (18), both in college. Welcome
reconnecting with old friends so get in
touch if youre in town.
Fally Shah: After school, I headed
to London and spent two years at the
London College of Printing and Design,
got married to Vikram Malkani (a
Cathedralite until 6th std) and returned
to Bombay where I worked with the
Festival of India, Architecture exhibition.
An international posting for Vikram
soon had us in Tokyo, where we became
parents of two boys and where we stayed
six years. Then we moved again, this
time to New York, which is where we
have been close to 14 years. Our older
son Kunal is a sophomore in college and
our younger son Kabir is a junior in high
school. I currently work at a NYC hospital
in Admin and volunteer at a museum in
my spare time. Meeting school friends
for our 25th reunion in 98 and another
reunion in 08 (coinciding with our 50th
birthdays) was a whole lot of fun. I am in
touch with Amrita, Fiona, Madhu, Anna,
Serene, Rajeev, Peter, Manu, Eva and
Anupam, Minal, Kamal, Mickey (other

batches)! Contact info: kunkab@aol.com


914-672-9570
Ranjit Shah Maths section or the
reluctant nerds. Electrical Engineering
from IIT Bombay and an MBA from
Michigan. After 25 years in Consulting,
Investment Banking and then CFO/
CEO roles, co-founded a Private Equity
firm in 2005 in Mumbai where I am a
Partner. Married to Mona and have a son
and daughter (both finished school from
Cathedral). Play the Cathedral School
alumni golf tournament every year and
am in touch with several other alumni.
School memory very hazy but remember
cricket net practice, avoiding boxing and
the injustice of having very few girls in
our class above the SLR. email: ranjit@
vsnl.com
Tiku Shah I am a Director at
Raman & Weil which is under technical
collaboration with Bode Chemie in
Germany, manufacturing disinfectants
and antiseptics for hospitals. Ive been
a full time working woman for the past
21 years! We have recently moved into a
new apartment in Bombay very close to
my office. My son, Abhishek, 26, is doing
his MBA at Hyderabad. Life is busy with
no complaints. Best school memorythe time when we all bunked school to
see Mckennas Gold. email: bnshah@
ramanweil.com
Subbu Subbaraman After
graduating in Commerce, I qualified as a
Chartered Accountant in 1978 ranking
16th in India. I moved to the Middle East
after five years of work in India and it has
been one long stint of 27 years in Dubai,
Bahrain and now Doha, Qatar with my
wife Saras. I am Director of Finance &
Admin Alfardan Group Holding Co. The
Gulf has become our second home as
we have spent over a quarter century
here! Indeed I have spent more years
here than in India. The memories of the
last 2 years in school include winning
streaks of inter-school hockey and
basketball matches for Savage House,
and to a lesser extent, studies, detention
and assemblies. And, of course, Mr.
Lewis untiring refrain The more I
practice, the more I score, and score I
must. Interestingly, I met Mr. Derek
Lobo our Physics Teacher who until
recently was coaching my niece. email:
rssubbaraman@gmail.com.
Anna Thomas Chacko I have
lived in Dubai since 1992. After school,
I studied in Delhi University (Shri
Ram College of Commerce) and then
2009 The X-Cathedralite 45

Class Notes
worked for a short while in New York.
Spent a few years in London, studying
and working and then moved back to
Bombay. Got married and moved to
Calcutta for many years and then to
Delhi. I have two daughters, Maya,
almost 18, and Tara, 11. Maya goes to
the University of Pennsylvania and Tara
stays with me, thankfully, and goes to
Dubai College (a school!) here. We have
four cats, all rescued, who rule our lives.
I run a small business and this is home
for now. I am in touch with Kiran, Indira,
Fally, Serene, Amrita and Fiona from our
year. Would enjoy a reunion of our batch.
Its been so long since we all met. If
anyone is passing through Dubai please
get in touch. Mob: +97150 6447903.
email: mayatara@eim.ae
Neville Umrigar Married 25 years
to the beautiful Miss India 78, Sabita
and have two kids - Zahan (24) and Zara
(21), both studying in London School of
Eco. We live in Mumbai now at Dhanraj
Mahal, Colaba (near the Taj). Previously
we lived in London 1990 to 1993, then
Dubai 93 to 97. My business is very high
range jewellery (by appointment only!).
Main business is in London and Kuwait.
Our showroom is in Dhanraj Mahal
(ground floor); my mobile 9820800035.
Have recently plugged into Facebook
and have contacted all our classmates.
Very exciting and hope to keep in touch
now. What I remember very clearly was
our class running out of Mrs. Madons
elements of commerce class and going
to the morning show at Sterling Cinema!
Cant get it out of my mind! email:
umrigar@vsnl.in. (According to Viks,
Neville still has all the women in his
pocket (worldwide) as usual.)
Manjula Vaswani Nanavati After
School, did Psychology Honours at
St. Xaviers and Films - Production &
Criticism, at the University of Southern
California (USC). Started a childrens
gym, Head Over Heals, and Flex
Appeal, an exercise studio and ran
them both for 16 years. Also worked at
Western Outdoor, a Post Production
House that did Sound, Editing and
Special Effects. Retired from it all at 45. I
live in Mumbai.My 22 year old daughter,
Trishya, is pursuing a Masters degree
in Films at USC. School was fabulous,
work was challenging and parenting has
been the greatest pleasure of all. I now
find that I have the time to contemplate
the forest, instead of counting the trees.
manjula252@yahoo.com.

Anil Venkatrao I live in Austin,


Texas, USA.I am married to Hena and
have two kids - Gitanjali 24 and Anand
21; I obtained a BS in Engineering,
Material Science from UCLA in 1979;
I run a family business in electronics www.venkel.com. In contact with Vikram
Merchant, Achinta Mitra, Manu Daftary,
Pradeep Mandhyan, Vikram Ahuja. Best
school memory sneaking out for lunch
every day to Excelsior followed by a
smoke. email: venkie@yahoo.com
Geetu Watumull Kirpalaney: Live
in Mumbai. email: geetu.rk@gmail.com
Compiled by Rajeev Merchant

ISC 1974
Andrea Jescy-Hunkar joined
the faculty at University of Budapest,
Hungary for Economics/ Commerce.
She lived in Teheran/Iran for five years.
She joined Herend, a large porcelain
manufacturer, where she worked for 10
years ending up as the Sales Director.
Now she works as a freelancer. She
enjoys mountain biking, skiing and
travelling. She often visits India as well
as other countries with her husband.
Anupam Khanna worked for 17
years in the travel industry with Thomas
Cook, American Express TRS and Vista
Travels. She has a 13-year-old daughter,
Siya, who is in Std. 8 and in Barham
House. Anupam lives in Mumbai and her
email address is: anu_siya@yahoo.co.in
Chetna Sanghavi Thanawala lives
in Central New Jersey with her husband
and two children. samvish@optonline.
net. She would love to be in touch with
her classmates.
Darshana Chinai Ogale is currently
VP at Cap Gemini India. She has been
married to Ramesh for more than 30
years and has a married daughter,
Namita, who is an investment banker at
Kotak Mahindra and a son, Rohan who
is the Asst. Food and Beverage Manager
at Oberoi Hotels, Mumbai.
Dinyar Madon (Palmer) went to
La Sierra High School in Sacramento,
California on a Rotary Youth Exchange
programme, graduated from La Sierra
and returned to Elphinstone to complete
his B.Sc. He studied Law at K. C. Law
College and has been practising in the
Bombay High Court since 1982. Dinyar
married Simonil on 15th October 1991.
They have a son, Ziyad and a daughter
Nyrah, both of whom are studying in

Cathedral. He is interested in riding


and polo and was the President of
the Amateur Riders Club. He is also
extremely interested in numismatics and
collects Indian Bank notes and coins.
Indrani Sigamany did a student
exchange after Cathedral in Helena
(Montana Rocky Mountains) USA
(where she met her future husband
Brian), and stayed on for her BA at
Whitman College in Washington. She
returned to India for an MSW at TISS
in Bombay and worked in Rajasthan
and then in Tamil Nadu in rural
community development. She met her
first husband in Tamil Nadu and moved
to Holland and did another Masters in
Gender, Women & Development in The
Hague. Both her lovely kids Nikhil and
Anisha, were born in Holland and are of
university age now. Indrani,worked in
International Development in Holland
for a Dutch aid organisation, and later in
England as a Consultant in International
Development. She has recently relocated to the USA with her dog, having
finally married Brian whom she met 30
years ago, and lives in Denver near the
Colorado Rocky Mountains, doing a bit
of consultancy, and trying to get a foot
in the local job market.
Mahesh Goel (Wilson) is a PhD in
Shipping Logistics and is a consulting
specialist on ports and marine
infrastructure development and
anything that moves on water. Mahesh
is Mumbai based and has a wife, Rati,
a son, Varun, who is 24 and is a 2nd
Officer in the Merchant Navy, and a
daughter, Meha, who is 22 and studying
graphic design.
Mira Sagar (Dhanak) finished
schooling and went to Elphinstone
College. On graduating she got married
and moved to Kuwait for five years.
She has two kids, Sasha 25 and Mrinav
22 years old. After her return she has
been working with Rehwa Society which
is a not for profit organisation which
has revived the tradition of handloom
weaving in Maheshwar, Madhya
Pradesh.
Neesha Jhaveri has come full circle
by returning to Ballet School. She is
presently working in Administration,
but is training to teach. She is also a
waterfall addict. Not married to Rakesh
Puri, but quel difference?!
Perseus Banaji joined Wilson
College to do B.Sc. and then switched
over to Elphinstone College to study
2009 The X-Cathedralite 47

Class Notes
law. On graduating in 1980 he joined
the solicitors firm of Rusi Sethna
(Maneksha & Sethna) in 1982 and
finished from Govt. Law College in
1983. In 1990, he shifted to Ahmedabad
to pursue law, and is happily married
and settled there. His son Sharoukh is
pursuing the Commerce stream. His
daughter Delara is in the 9th Standard.
Polonca Pucnik-Skodic has been
married for 28 long years to the same
guy and has two daughters 28 and 23.
After returning to Slovenia in 76 she
studied English and French. She also
worked in accounting for many years.
After her stint in accounting was over,
she decided to become a guide. She
obtained a licence in several languages
and is still working in the same field.
Pradeep Kar went to Elphinstone
College for his Inter Science then did his
Mechanical Engineering and an MBA
before joining Wipro in Mumbai. He left
Wipro to start a computer retail chain
called Computer Point in 1985 for the
Indian Organic Chemicals and then went
to the US (Bay Area) for three years to
start Sonata Softwares US Operations
(1987-1989). Returned to Bangalore
to found his own company called
Microland Limited (www.microland.
com) which is a leading provider of IT
Infrastructure Management Services
for global customers headquartered
in Bangalore with offices all over
the world. In between he founded a
bunch of Internet companies called
Planetasia.com, Indya.com, ITSpace.
com and Net Brahma which he sold to
US companies including Indya to Rupert
Murdochs News Corporation. He got
married on the way and has an 11-yearold daughter. Hobbies include golf,
photography and technology.
Rajeev Rohatgi Lives in Reno NV,
biggest little city in the world. He is
married to Manisha nee Warke, also
an alumn, Class of 83. They have two
boys Karthik (1997) and Dhruv (2000).
Karthik attends Davidson Academy
at UNR, and plays clarinet and organ.
Dhruv is home-schooled and plays
the piano. Rajeev enjoys hiking and
biking. After high school, he spent five
years each at IIT-Bombay and MIT,
then 12 years in California, working as
a physicist at Stanford and Livermore,
before moving to private industry.
He developed commercial electronics
in several industries including,
agriculture, microwave radios, medical

equipment, whilst moving east through


Iowa to Massachusetts and New Jersey.
When the last startup went under, he
was introduced to the world of buying
and selling patents and he now makes
his living as a consultant in intellectual
property, working mostly from home.
Roopa Sukthankar is a
simultaneous interpreter par excellence
for English/French/English. She is
married to Graham Webb and they have
a son, Alexander. Roopa and her family
live in Paris.
Sanjiv Dhanak went to HR College.
On graduating he lived in Kuwait for
about 10 years, returning to India during
the Gulf War in 1990.Has been married
for the last 28 years with a daughter, 26
and twin sons, 21. He lives in Bombay
and has his own jewellry business,
Ramniklal and Sons on Hughes Road.
He spends most of his weekends in
Khandala.
Sunil Vijayaker is a foodie to the
core and is the busiest-bee in London in
his own words. He has a wife, Geraldine
and son, Finn. He has lots of cook books
to his name, which are available in
Mumbai stores.
Swaroop Rawal Sampat PhD
(Education), University of Worcester.
UK. Presently facilitating on-going
teacher-training sessions in semi-rural
and rural area schools in Gujarat with
Gujarat Council for Educational Research
and Training. Additionally, facilitating a
participatory action research project and
action research projects. Also conducts
residential drama camps in the villages
to enhance life-skills in children. Has
written a book Understanding and
Helping the Learning Disabled Child.
On the editorial board of Educational
Journal of Living Theory published from
UK. Guest faculty at various institutes.
Presently teaching Life-skills at SVKM
International School. Photographic and
film model since 1977 done some of
the most prestigious advertisements
both national and international.
Working in theatre since 1978 as a lead-role actress in over 20 plays. Has
also produced plays under Aangikaam
banner and worked on National TV since
1978. Represented the nation as Miss
India 79. Married to Paresh Rawal and
has two sons, Anirudha and Aditya.
Tarun Kataria After being away
for 20 years, Tarun returned to India
as Managing Director and Chief
Executive, HSBC Global Banking and

Markets. Between school and his


return to Bombay, he did his MBA from
the Wharton School and worked in
Investment Banking in New York City,
Singapore and Hong Kong. Is married
to Priti Devi and his daughter, Shaiyra
Devi, at 16, is a twice published author.
Tarun supports the education of women
and girl children.
Vinita Gilani Vinita Budikins
Gilani lives between Delhi and Marbella.
She is a successful artist represented in
Europe and India, creating large works
for corporate and individual collections.
Naheed Lalkaka Sorabjee went
to Elphinstone College after school,
then married Hormazd Sorabjee. She
has two sons, Niki and Ardeshir, both
of whom also went to Cathedral which
makes it three generations of proud
Cathedralites. She is a Trustee of
Concern India Foundation and presently
helps Hormazd in his publishing
business.
Kavita Mitter (Prakash) is one
of four Prakash sisters who went to
Cathedral. After graduation from
Elphinstone College,she moved to
Delhi where she met Rajeet who is in
the Foreign Service. They have lived
in the UK, Yugoslavia, Singapore and
Botswana and are presently residing in
the Philippines. They have two children
Ashish (19), who is in Yale and Radhika
(16) and she would love to get in touch
with class mates: kavita_mitter@
hotmail.com
Compiled by Anupam Khanna

ICSE 1982
Arjun Khullar (Palmer) married
Teeny in 1993 and has two boys - Varun
(13) and Amar (10). He has been based
in Singapore for the last two years after
13 years in London. Prior to that he was
in Chennai and Mumbai and has been an
investment banker with JP Morgan since
1995. arjun.khullar@jpmorgan.com
Hemindra Hazari (Wilson)
graduated from St. Xaviers College,
Mumbai in Economics, followed it up
with an MA in International Studies
from the University of South Carolina
and has been involved in Indian equity
research where he met and married
Vaishali. They have two sons, Akhil
(12) and Arav (9) who are in Cathedral
School. He is currently with Karvy Stock
Broking. hazarihemindra@hotmail.com
2009 The X-Cathedralite 49

Class Notes
ICSE 1983 10D

Reuniting with 10D,


25 years later
I feel like Im writing a composition
for Mr. Krishnan, the difference being
that this time The X-Cathedralite has
given me a subject I love the 10D
reunion. Sunil Mirani, Noopur Biswas,
Priya Mulchandani and I started
planning the reunion about six to eight
months before the date, January 2,
2009. Along the way we heard that
all the other divisions were planning
something too for the 25th reunion.
We were, however, a little more
ambitious, after all meeting after 25
years deserved an entire weekend of
celebration which eventually became
one night in Alibaug.
Months of planning later, 25 of 10D
classmates met opposite the Yacht
Club to board our boats to Alibaug.
People had flown down from all over
the world USA, Kenya, London,
Europe, Delhi. And when that moment
of meeting happened, it was as if no
time had passed at all. We instantly
recognised each other, the same jokes,
the same leg pulling, everything was as
it was 25 years ago.
A surprise awaited the group in
Alibaug. Sunil, Priya and I had made
huge posters of random pictures of our
batch from the 1st standard onwards.
Needless to say, it was a huge hit.
The welcome kit comprised of a DVD
50 The X-Cathedralite 2009

with a little film I had made with all our


pictures from the 1st standard to 10D;
a 10D shirt with everyones names on
it, pictures from over the years and, just
for fun and old-times sake, Milan supari
and Phantom cigarettes to remind us of
the simple times we grew up in.
Individual presentations by each class
member followed, updating us on where
their lives had taken them in the last
25 years. A mock sports day followed
where we were divided by House, and
competed for medals! And then we
just jumped into the pool. The fun and
catching up went on till the wee hours of
the morning and the next day we were
in for a treat. Gautam Singhania had set
up brunch at his Alibaug house, a fitting
end to a memorable reunion. Until that
night when our entire class of 1983
was meeting.
The feeling we all had for those 24
hours is indescribable, but its something
that will always stay in my heart as one
of the best days of my life. It took me
back to a time when life was innocent
and pure, when no one wanted to take
advantage of you, no one was your friend
because of need, no one cared who you
are or what youve achieved -- or not
achieved, everyone just loved everyone
because we grew up together. We were
ourselves, and that is something you can
only be with childhood friends.

Kunal Kohli
(ICSE 1983, Wilson)

Noopur Biswas lives in Mumbai with


husband and kids.
Ami Chandarana is married and
lives in Kenya. She is into real estate.
Danielle Holmes lives in the UAE
with her husband and son.
Pragya Jain is married, lives in
Mumbai, and works in a placement
agency.
Sonali Mehta lives in Europe with
her husband and kids. She is involved in
the diamond business.
Lavina Mirchandani is married and
lives in Pune.
Priya Mulchandani runs a design
cell in Mumbai.
Rafat Padaria is married, lives in the
US and has two children.
Nima Parikh lives in Mumbai and
makes the best brownies in South
Bombay.
Rohini Prakash is married, lives in
Delhi and works with Google.
Gayatri Raghunathan is married,
lives in the US and works with Google.
Gitanjali Vasudeva is married, in
Mumbai and was formerly with Arthur
Anderson.
Abhin Alimchandani runs an
architecture firm in Mumbai and has
constructed many high profile structures
all over the world. He is married.
Suhail Arora is married with
children and manages a chain of hotels
in the US.
Gaurav Chopra is married, has
children and is a sound designer for ad
films and feature films in Mumbai
Manoj Hemrajani lives in Hong
Kong with his wife.
Parthiv Kilachand is in Mumbai,
married with two daughters and
is associated with foreign liquor
distribution.
Kunal Kohli is married and a
Bollywood filmmkaker in Mumbai.
Mohit Lalvani works with Ten
Sports and lives in Mumbai and
Singapore with his wife Mandira.
Riyaz Mama runs a hotel in Chiplun
and is married with kids.
Sunil Mirani lives in Mumbai. His
children are in Cathedral and he runs
many companies.

Class Notes
Sandeep Mitra is a lawyer in the US
and married.
Amit Nanda lives in the US with
his wife.
Girish Nanda lives in Dubai with his
wife and works with Mastercard.
Sundeep Nayak is a doctor in the US.
Preetish Nijhawan lives in the US
and created Akamai.
Ameet Pispati is married and a
doctor in Mumbai.
Vardhan Rajkumar lives in London
with his family and is involved in the
steel business.
Sanjay Shah is involved in property
development in Mumbai where he lives
with his wife.
Ankur Shah is married and living in
the US.
Jayajit Singh lives in Mumbai with
his wife and runs the popular Shiro and
Hard Rock Caf.
Gautam Singhania is chairman of
Raymonds and other industries. He
is married, has a daughter and lives in
Mumbai.
Anil Thakkar is a Mumbai-based
architect and interior designer.
Mihir Worah lives in the US with his
wife and son and works with Pimco.

Compiled by Kunal Kohli

ICSE 1986 / ISC 1988


As we approach our forties (and are
busy dealing with our individual mid-life
crises!), there is a lot to report on our
various classmates scattered around
the world. Im writing in some kind of
alphabetical order lest I be accused of
any bias!

Maneesha Sagar, Nisha Khattau, Sonali


Thakker, Monisha Sujan, Simone Dubash at
Monisha Sujans 40th birthday celebrations

Sudhir (Paso) Bhatia lives in


Brooklyn, NY with his beautiful Danish
wife Tine Berentzen, and their smiley
son Arvid (16 months). They run a

boutique consultancy in NYC focusing


on design strategy, and occasionally
run Research and Design Workshops at
design schools. They visit Mumbai and
Denmark often as projects and family
bring them home.
Sonali Bhagwat, sorry Dr. Sonali
(Bags) Bhagwat, writes saying, Im a
Consulting General and Laparoscopic
Surgeon, and Associate Professor in
Surgery at Nair Hospital in Mumbai.
I am married to Dr. Prashanth Rao, a
consultant G.I. and laparoscopic surgeon
in private practice. We run a hospital in
Dombivli and we are building another
one in Parel. We have two little
kids
- Pramit (3) and Mitali (1), so as you
can see we are a bit behind things - still
talking about nurseries when everyone
else is talking about Middle School!
Namit (Betey) Bimbhat runs Switch
Media in India. Switch Media offers
a video streaming platform to enable
broadcasters and other larger content
owners to migrate online and manage
video-centric online properties. He lives
in Mumbai, and is married to Geetanjali,
a graphic designer. Their baby daughter
Mira was born in September.
Still in London is Shivani Chand
de Chaussey, with husband Jerome
(affectionately referred to as Jairam by
some) and their two boys.
In addition to a keen interest in
submarines, after 15 years as Creative
Director of various Ad agencies, Amish
(Chatting) Chinai now heads his
own design and communications
company - Native Ink. When hes not
cracking ad campaigns, youll find
Amish on the squash courts or working
out in the gym. Or doing what he does
best - cooking up a gourmet meal for
friends. And yes, despite his advice to
the contrary, I would like to add he is
still a permanent fixture at the Bombay
Gym Bar.
Dr. Ameet (Dr. Doom)
Dhurandhar got married to K
(Karishma) since the last update, and
in addition to his thriving Gynaecology
practice, he is running a very worthwhile
NGO The Olive Foundation in Mulshi
which focusses on health and education
issues (donations welcome!).
Our class virtuoso Ardeshir (ABD)
Dubash has returned to India, and is
working at Tata Capital.
Arvind (Arvi) Dubash was recently
spotted at Simones 40th where he was
up to no good. He is married to Tanya

Godrej (Wilson, 1987) and they are the


parents of two.
Rajeeta Gajree is in Pittsburgh
with her husband Raveen who is a
Cardiologist and their two daughters.
Haseena Jethmalani is the mother
of a rebellious teenage daughter
(Hasoo...do you remember what you
were like, if not wed be happy to jog
your memory!), and twin boys who are
permanently Power Rangers. She is the
Consulting Editor of Harpers India, and
a columnist for the Indian Express. She,
along with her partner, design clothes
and retail from their own boutique S, as
well as from Ensemble.
Rohan Jha runs a very successful
premium Italian kitchen and furniture
company Woodville in Bangalore and
has just opened a showroom here in
Mumbai (best of luck Jha!).
Rustam Kumana is in the advisory
business - value investment in the
secondary market.
Akbar (Akoo) Khan relocated from
London about a year ago with wife
Roshika, son Rayan and another on the
way - Rupert for now. He writes, Easy
adjustment given that the 10C class of
86 has moved from outside Mr. Lewis
office to the BG Bar!
Nisha Khattau Mahadevia returned
from New York two years ago and has
two young children Vir and Naasha. She
used to work in New York as an interior
designer for 15 years and is taking a
short (hopefully!) break before she starts
creating New York style interiors in our
very own Mumbai.
Sanjeet Lamba writes in succinctly
Living it up in Pune. In the food
business.
Ainsley Lewis is an award-winning
architect based in Mumbai. Ainsley
has his work published in professional
architectural journals. He is an integral
part of the design faculty at Kamala
Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for
Architecture and Environmental Studies,
Juhu. The highlight of his career is the
competition-winning design for a school
at Vapi for the Aga Khan Educational
Service India and the Young Designers
Award organised by Indian Architect
and Builder.
Deepika Mehta lives in suburban
Washington, DC and runs a successful
graphic design business, and is parenting
two boys Niki and Neel.
Eruch Mody is a Senior Vice
President at Securities Finance Trust
2009 The X-Cathedralite 51

With Best Compliments


from
Manoj Murarka
B & K SECURITIES INDIA PRIVATE LIMITED
City Ice Building, 298 Perin Nariman Street,
Fort, Mumbai 400 001

Class Notes
Company in Boston. He is married to
Roxane E. Mody (Palmer, 1991). They
have two boys Jeh and Sean.
If you want a mean tray of brownies,
look no further than Shona Nath, who
lives in Mumbai with hubby Sameer
Bulchandani and their two daughters.
Ritu Jaggia and Vivek Nayyar have
two boys Aman and Ishaan. Vivek works
for Publicis in Mumbai as a Creative
Director, and Ritu has her hands full
with the kids for now.
Gautam (Gooey) Mulchandani
sent me an email writing that he is living
in San Francisco and overseeing the
Banana Republic.com website (content),
and other online marketing initiatives
for the brand.
Also in London, is Ajit (Eggie)
Nedungadi who runs the office of a
private equity firm called TA Associates.
He makes it to India fairly often.
Rohan Jha told me that Dinshaw
Pardiwala is a hot-shot doctor at the
new Ambani Hospital, and is one of the
few surgeons in the world who can do a
certain kind of surgery.
Simone (Simoo) Dubash is running
her thriving interiors business and is
raising her two kids with childhood
sweetheart turned husband Farokh
(Froggy) Pundole, who has recently
joined Merrill Lynch in Securities.
Yash Rana lives in Hong Kong with
his wife Nikki and their two kids, Abby
and Andrew. He says, We moved to HK
from NY in January. I opened up the
Hong Kong office for my law firm here.
We love HK and enjoy travelling around
the region - we have trips planned to Bali,
Thailand, China and Australia over the
next 12 months. Please do let me know if
youre in Hong Kong. Id love to meet up.
Vikram Reddy is a very successful
hypnotherapist in Mumbai and was
featured in a full-page article in the
Mid-Day.
Maneesha Sagar is trying to juggle
her three children, her husband Rahul
Bhat (Palmer, 1987), and her home. She
is focusing on getting supremely fit by
running, swimming and playing tennis.
Alka Vazirani is spending a
significant part of her time between
Cathedral School (watch out for the
diary shes designing for our 150th
annivIve had a sneak preview and
its fab) and Saffron Art, where she
continues to look after the graphics.
I have just taken Radhika Suri
on a shopping expedition to buy her

first laptop, and shes finally going to


upgrade from using her sons email
address and get her own! She is married
to Dr. Mehli Nazir (Savage, 1987) and
they have two kids.
Also using her sons email account is
Monisha Sujan She had a birthday bash
at Olive in September to celebrate her
40th (see photograph)
Shalin Vora is married with two
daughters, Shaina and Aashna who
study in Cathedral. He is in the jewellery
business and his brand is called DIA
AMOUR. He supplies shops and
personally designs jewellery for his
varied clientele.
Amar Mehta started his career
training in rough diamonds assortment
and manufacturing during his college
days in Mumbai. He learnt cutting and
polishing in Surat and for two years,
conducted his own business of diamond
manufacturing and wholesaling in
Mumbai and Antwerp, Belgium. In
1992 he joined the Livingstone Group
as partner for setting up their first
jewellery plant in Mumbai which later
expanded with factories in China, South
Africa, Italy and two facilities in India
with over 500 people. In 2000 he helped
his family start the resort business Dr.
Modis Karjat Health Resort Ltd. In
2008, he took up the position of C.O.O.
of the Hammer Group, a German multinational company in the business of
jewellery, real estate development and
venture capital investments.
As for yours truly Sonali Thakker, I
quit my job from Star TV after 12 years,
and I am involved in running a part of
my family business, and I am travelling
like a maniac (for fun, not work!).
Trying to figure out what to do next and
generally trying to find myself! Happy
40th everybody and please keep those
updates coming to an email Ive created
cathedral88@gmail.com.
Compiled by Sonali Thakker

ICSE 1988 / ISC 1990


Amrit Sidhu (Palmer) Amrit lives in
Cleveland, Ohio with the love of her life
(Aman) and two superbrats (Armaan,
9, and Ayaan, 8). She works/plays as a
pediatric hospitalist at the Cleveland
Clinic. Amrit says that anyone coming
to this little corner of the planet come
visit me, especially if you get excited
about a white Christmas.

Homi Adajania (Barham) is a


freelance travel and humour writer, one
of Indias highest level SCUBA diving
instructors, an intrepid adventure
traveller, and a filmmaker. He teaches
diving in the Lakshadweep Islands.
His debut film was Being Cyrus. He
is writing a sequel which is rumoured
to be loosely based on Cyrus Broachas
experience with Rohit Aggarwal at the
water cooler. Itll be aptly titled Doing
Cyrus. Homi and his wife Anaita have a
son Zreh who is unemployed.
Manisha Agarwal completed her
undergrad from CEPT Ahmedabad and
then went on to Cornell University
for her Masters degree. She has her
own architecture firm called MO-OF in
Mumbai.
Rohit Aggarwal (Palmer) is married
to Akanksha with a three-and-a-half year
old daughter, Mehek. Living between
New York and Mumbai, with plans to
move back to Mumbai in 2010, Rohit
is CEO of RAS Capital, a hedge fund
company investing in India.
Rupa Bhagwat (Barham) lives in the
San Francisco Bay Area in Menlo Park
(near Stanford University). She married
Pravin Vazirani in 2004 and they have a
thirty month old daughter named Jaya
and another baby on the way. Other
than running after my two year old, I
keep out of trouble by working in Visas
Product Innovation group developing
the companys global mobile and
person-to-person payment strategies.
Sonya Bhavnani (Barham) is
married to Vinod Krishnamurthy Iyer.
Sangeeta Chacko (Wilson)
completed her BA in Psychology from
St. Xaviers College, a diploma in
advertising & marketing, and an MBA
in marketing from Newport University,
California. After working in advertising
with various agencies she switched
roles to the clients side of the table and
has worked with leading companies
in the travel and tourism domain as
well as organisations operating in the
entertainment and media space. Based
in Mumbai, Sangeeta currently heads the
corporate communications division at
Percept Limited. Her single status does
occasionally grant her some leisure time
which is well spent in writing fiction,
catching up with the latest movies and
travelling to exotic destinations.
Shaheen Vaaz (nee Chamarbagwala)
(Wilson) lives and works in LA. She is
married with a four-month old cutie,
2009 The X-Cathedralite 53

Class Notes
Sofiya. She teaches theatre and speech
at a private school in Pasadena and
sometimes auditions and works as an
actor. After years of acting in theatre
and on TV and film, she started teaching
and now loves it.
Mutruza Chhil is single and doesnt
have any children. Relocated to Pune in
2007 after 12 years in the USA working
for a couple of companies. Currently
works for S-0ne in Pune heading a team
of software developers.
Pereena Colabawala (Wilson) is
married to Dev Lamba (ICSE 1984) and
has two children. Living in Mumbai, she
works part-time as a freelance writer
and with an NGO started by batchmate
Suparna Gupta.
Kim Das (Palmer) lives in Singapore
with his wife Mitali and their two
children, Maya (5) and Kabir (21
months). Kim works for DDB, an
advertising and diversified marketing
services company, looking after their
global interests across the region in
the capacity of VP, Regional Director
Asia Pacific.
Anita Francosi (Savage) got married
to lawyer Anosh Shroff in 1992, and
continued studying for six years. They
have two daughters, Francesca (14) and
Alessandra (9) both in Savage house, of
course! After working with an Italian
telecom multinational for 12 years,
Anita got bored with the corporate world
and decided to do something creative.
She is now a professional numerologist
and is also working on a line of jewellery
connected to numerology.
Gauri Ghai (Barham) is married to
Sunny Chandok
Saloni Ghuwalewala (Savage) is
currently in Canada, is due to return to
India in November 09.
Romi Godhwani (Barham) is
married to Pooja Bhasin
Samir Harlalka (Palmer) married
Seema (nee Sheth) in 1997. They have
two children Shyla (10) and Sahan
(4). After school, Samir worked in the
family business for a couple of years and
then ventured on his own, working in
Mumbai, London and Dubai with British
Airways. Moved to Sydney, in 2001
where he currently works for Microsoft.
Shibani Harlalka (nee Hede)
(Savage) is married to Manish Harlalka.
After finishing school she went to
Sydenham College and then did her
IATA from Geneva. She has a 10 year old
daughter Simran who is also studying in
54 The X-Cathedralite 2009

Cathedral. Shibani now designs clothes


and works from home.
Saloni Hora (Savage) lives in Tokyo
with her husband Prem Samtani and
two children, Karma and Takdeer. After
nine years in Tokyo she is fluent in
Japanese. After completing a law degree
and working for several years, she quit
to spend time with her children. But
now that they are older, she is looking
into getting back to work, perhaps
somewhere else in Asia.
Shabir Hussain (Wilson) is married
to Zarina Hussain.
Lavanya Jaggi (Palmer) earned
her BA in biology and psychology from
Randolph-Macon Womens College
in 1994 and joined the National
Association of County and City Health
Officials in Washington, DC where she
focused on Environmental Health as
well as on Public Health Infrastructure
and Systems. She then moved to New
York City as a Consultant for Capgemini
where she applied her experience
in business analysis and project
management to client projects, HR
operations and marketing. She currently
lives in New York City with her husband
Manjul Ramchandani and their son and
continues to volunteer actively in her
local community.
Petita Jhaveri (Barham) is now a
Captain with Kingfisher Airlines. She is
married to Australian John Gloster, a
sports physiotherapist.
Rajesh Kapadia (Wilson) aka Boogie
is Managing Director Biotor Industries
Ltd, international chess player and author
of the book Queen to E5 Check, a Dive
into the Soul of a Grandmaster. Married
to Tejal (Nandish Kilachands cousin,
thereby laying claim to my stake in the K
house bathroom). Has two sons Rahul (5)
and Rohan (4), both in Cathedral.
Rahul Khanna (Barham) is married
to Deepshikha and they have a four
year old son Karamvir and a one year
old daughter, Nayantara. After an MBA
at Kellogg University, he returned to
Mumbai in 2005 and has since been
running Clearstone Venture Partners,
a venture capital fund that invests in
early stage companies. Rahul can be
found on most days at Indigo Deli where
he spends all his hard-earned money
on lunch!
Rajiv Khanna (Savage) Is very
much in Mumbai and busy with my
old family business of manufacturing
textiles. Married Smita in 1998 and

lives on Little Gibbs Road, Malabar Hill.


The factory in Dahisar manufactures
technical textiles for mass transport
corporations and also other knitted
fabrics for the fashion industry. Our
current focus is on development of our
mill land and in diversifying further into
the technical textile space.
Akshay Kilachand (Palmer) is
married to Payal Vaziralli and has two
children, daughter Arianna and son
Agastya. Residing in Mumbai, he is
the franchisee of Subway Restaurants
operating seven stores in Mumbai.
Nandish Kilachand (Barham)
completed his A levels from Eton College
and his undergrad from Tufts University,
Boston. After spending a couple of years
working in London, he returned to India
to set up a speciality liquor distribution
business, and is currently the authorized
distributor for many world-famous
liquor brands in India. Married to a
Cordon Bleu ptissier - Mamta Mehta in
2003, they currently have no children.
Riaz Kopti lives where I always
lived. Married to Jumana, a
schoolteacher. Riaz is a project manager
with Sang Infotech, a software solutions
company. Their son, Danial, is presently
in Lower First at Infant School
Sangeeta Stewart nee Lakhani
(Wilson) is divorced and has two
sons aged 11 and 8. She owns two
restaurants, a bar and a venue for bands.
Shonar Lala Chinoy (Palmer) is
married to Sajjid Chinoy and based in
Pune. She has traded in a life of constant
travel as an economist with the World
Bank in Washington, DC for a 24 hour
shift, no holidays job, as a new mom to
her baby girl Zaara.
Dhiraj Mallick has been living
in the San Francisco Bay Area for
the past 15 years. Married Andrea
in 2001. Did his Undergrad degree
at University of Rochester, Masters
at Stanford University and has been
working in engineering leadership roles
in technology. Started with NexGen
(a startup), then a 10+ year stint with
AMD, and then helped build a server
memory related startup called MetaRAM
and now exploring the next thing.
Hobbies include skiing, golf, travel,
cooking, wines, and playing with their
fox-like dog (a Shiba Inu).
Bijuriya Mathur (Palmer) went
on to Sophia College after Cathedral.
Thereafter she spent about three years
in ad film production and is currently

Class Notes
employed in the film department of
McCann Erickson (an advertising
agency). She continues to live
in Bombay.
Harsha Mehta (Palmer) still prefers
to be called Candy, the name that
everyone in school knew her by but its
a different world now and I have to go by
the name Harsha. She works in the nonprofit field of public health.
Rahul Morarka (Barham) is married
to Rachana and has his own family
business of manufacturing sugar. The
unit is in Bellary dist., Karnataka. They
have two children, Avanti and Aryaman.
Johann Mulla-Feroze (Wilson)
and his wife Anu Munshi live and work
in London.
Cyrus Netarwalla (Palmer) is very
much in Mumbai married to Nikita
with a daughter Nyriika. Cyrus is a
dental surgeon and they currently stay
at Jal Darshan, Nepean Sea Road. His
clinic is at Cuffe Parade, next to the
Taj President.
Minal Pastala (Wilson) is married to
Shilpa and they have two children, 3.5
year old boy Mayon (at Cathedral) and
a two year old daughter Kriya. Minal
runs a designer furniture business,
Fusion Access.
Prachi Patel (Wilson) works in
the hospitality industry in Mumbai,
occasionally dabbling in art and writing.
Still single, waiting for Mr. Left as there
doesnt seem to be any Mr. Right.
Harsha Raghavan (Savage) has
been back in Mumbai for the last four
years busy producing babies during this
financial meltdown. Harsha and Lulu
(nee Srinivasan, Cathedral ISC 1993)
have two baby girls Ruhi (2) and Riva (9
months). Harsha quit Goldman Sachs
last year where he headed the Private
Equity team in India and is now working
for an independent PE fund in Mumbai.
Nandita Rajkumar (Savage)
married Raj Dugar and lives in Mumbai
with their two children, Anjali and
Vikramaditya, both in Cathedral in the
6th and 3rd Std (Yes - I am a Middle
School parent!). Presently CEO of
The Akanksha Foundation educating
children from the slums of Mumbai and
Pune. Did a Masters in Engineering,
Economics and Management from
Oxford, and worked for Unilever and
The Boston Consulting Group before
joining Akanksha.
Jayanta Ray (Savage) moved to the
UK in 1991, graduating with an MA

(Hons.) Economics from the University


of East Anglia and a MPhil Economics
from the University of Cambridge.
Started working with KPMG UK in 1995
and has been living in London ever since.
Qualified as a Chartered Accountant
in 1998 and currently working with
KPMGs Risk & Compliance practice in
London. Married to Sujoya, a childhood
family friend from Kolkata. The couple
share a passion for all kinds of Indian
music, both are trained singers and
quite active on the Indian cultural scene
in London.
Pia RoyChowdhury nee Kripalani
lives in Philadelphia with her husband
Shantanu. They have two children, Seher
and Sanah. She runs a boutique-events
company called Avanti Ideas.
Samir Saraiya (Barham) married
Monali five years ago and has one
daughter Riana (2). Samir also has a son
named Rocky 6 who is seven years old.
Samir lives in Singapore and works for
Microsoft. Rocky 6 is a boxer.
Pulkit Sekhsaria (Savage) is married
to Grishma with a daughter Tanvi and
son Nirvaan. Based in Mumbai, they are
part of a family office into private equity
deals as well as in the secondary market.
They also do loans against shares in the
market.
Jaideep Shah (Wilson) has been in
San Francisco since 1998 and is married
to Jennifer Sy Shah. They have a son,
Atish. In 2004, Jaideep started, and
still runs, an investment fund/money
management firm that focuses on stocks
and bonds, named Bodmas after our
second standard Maths concept which I
totally loved.
Yuvraaj Singh (Savage) is married
to Guneet.
Nipun (Gupta) Singhal (Barham)
went to Eton College after 11 memorable
years at Cathedral and thereafter to
Oxford University to read Metallurgy,
Economics and Management. Currently
lives in Pune with his wife Pooja and
nine-year-old son Sidhanta. His company
Mindage Solutions Pvt Ltd is engaged
in sales and distribution of various
machinery such as powder coating lines/
painting lines/ETPs automation systems
and represents a Chinese governmentowned conglomerate CEI (China
Engineering Industry ) group. Another
company Mindage Realty Pvt Ltd is into
investment/trading real estate/ stocks/
commodities.

Srikar Srinath (Savage) is back


to being a student (grad student in
Physics right now, Dont ask, long
story that requires an essay), living in
San Francisco.
Vikram Thadhani (Savage) is now
director at Uniglobe Packaging Pvt. Ltd.
Unmarried, he has three illegitimate
children named Rajiv, Rajesh and
Nandish, all of whom are from different
mothers who have disassociated
themselves from the children. He finds
them rather fun and jovial despite their
deprived childhood.
Yasna Uberoi (Savage) has been
in New York since 1994 and works
for the United Nations in the area of
policy and donor/external relations for
peacekeeping and field support. She
lives in Brooklyn with her husband
Jesper Jensen.
Ambereen Yusuf (Barham)
graduated from Xaviers College and
then spent nine years in London moving
back to Mumbai in 2003. She is now a
freelance make-up artist for film, TV,
print, ads and bridal.
Compiled by Nandish Kilachand

1989 ICSE / 1991 ISC


Kirit Sarvaiya (Palmer) attended
Stevens Tech in New Jersey for
Engineering, and the Marshall School of
Business at the University of Southern
California for his Executive MBA,
where he graduated with Honors. After
working for industry stalwarts such as
MTV, Microsoft, Yahoo!, eBay, News
Corp, he founded his own firm, Malabar
Hill Ventures LLC (named after the hill,
in Bombay, where he grew up). He is
settled in LA with his wife, Kala (a patent
attorney), and their toddler, Nikhil.
You can find him on Facebook or email
him at kirit@sarvaiya.org. He is a yoga
enthusiast, and world travel aficionado,
and welcomes Cathedralites visiting the
LA area to stay with his family.
Shonali Batra (Savage) graduated
from IMI New Delhi and started her
career in banking 14 years ago. She
is presently working with Standard
Chartered Private Bank. She got married
to Vikram Malhotra who is also a banker
and they moved to Singapore three and a
half years ago.
Monisha Nichani (Wilson) left
Cathedral in 1989 and did two years at
2009 The X-Cathedralite 55

Best Wishes from the


UTV Group

Kodi International. She married Rishi


and has been living in Chicago for the
last six years. They have a five-year-old
girl Aneeka and a two year old boy
Aarav. She is currently managing two
physical therapy clinics in Chicago and
hangs out with a few Cathedralites living
in Chicago!
Farzana Thakore nee Muncherjee
lives in Hong Kong with her husband
and two sons Zahaan and Rohan. She
is currently working with children
with severe learning disabilities in a
secondary school. She has spent the last
ten years living in Singapore, London
and now Hong Kong and is looking
forward to moving back home soon.
Neeraj Sadarangani says I
graduated with a B.A. in Economics
from Knox College, USA in 1995.
Since graduation, I have spent my
entire 14-year career in Reinsurance
and Risk Management. I worked
and partied in New York City for six
years and in London for three years.
The rest of the time I have been in
Mumbai and Hyderabad. I moved back
to Mumbai (yet again) in 2008 as the
Chief Representative of Flagstone
Reinsurance. I am happily unmarried
and have no kids that I know of.
Zafar Ahmadullah did a B. Com in
Mumbai followed by a law degree from
Cambridge University. He then joined
Schroders in London where he was a
Fund Manager for nine years. In 2005,
he set up his own hedge fund called ZA
Capital LLP. He has recently moved back
to Mumbai and is married with one son.
Ami Parikh (Savage) graduated
from Sydenham College with a B.Com
degree in 1994. Married, completely
domesticated and full-time mom to two
lovely kids Saanah (8) and Viraj (5).
Neerja Parikh (Savage) finished her
B.Com at H.R.College in 1994. Did a
course in Gemology at G.I.I. And taught
Gemology for two years. Is a single mom.
Her son Aahil goes to Cathedral Junior
School and is in the 4th Standard. Has a
stationery company called Blue Lotus.
Vibhu Talwar (Savage) graduated
from Oberlin College in Maths, CS and
Econ. Then
worked with
Solomon Smith
Barney (real
estate M&A)
and JP Morgan
(industrials/
consumer

goods M&A) in New York, London


and Singapore focusing on cross
border M&A and LBOs. Currently,
he oversees the familys business
through The Moolchand Group which
has diversified business interests in
Healthcare, Packaging and Investments.
Vibhu is viewed to be a leader in the
healthcare services space in India.
He has developed deep expertise in
healthcare quality, systems and process
development, operations excellence and
organisation design and development.
He is married to Sameena and currently
lives in Delhi.
Chetan Varde (Savage) MSc.
Computer Science, University Of
Buckingham, UK is now in Microsoft,
Redmond after working as a Group
Head in Tech-Mahindra for 11 years. He
married Rinku (MBA, LBSIM) in 1999
and has two sons Yash (6 years) and Jai
(10 months). Being in a band of aspiring
musicians, his more leisurely pursuits
include drumming, rhythm guitar and
sound engineering. He is also highly
susceptible to culinary delights, playing
tennis, watching movies and partying
with his dog, sons, wife and friends. You
can find him on FaceBook or drop him a
line at chetanvarde@yahoo.co.in.
Akhil Sanghi
reports After
a B.Com from
H.R college I
joined my family
business. Initially
started with
the automobile
division of Maruti
cars. Currently looking after the airconditioning division of the business.
Got married in 1998. Have two kids, my
daughter is in Cathedral and my son in
Sunflower Nursery. Enjoy my evening
workout or squash at the Willingdon
Club. Would love to catch up with old
friends, my mail is Akhil73@vsnl.com.
Shaheen Yusuf (Barham) has been
working in the Global Markets group
at Deutsche Bank for the last 10 years.
She is married to Mazhar Shabeeh with
two children Noor (5) and Zayn (2) and
currently lives in London.
Anindita Ramaswamy (ISC 1991,
Savage) is an editor and correspondent
for Deutsche Presse-Agentur (the
German news agency) based in
Washington, DC.
Laveena Mitha nee Advani is
married to Sajjid Mitha (ICSE 1984).

After school Laveena completed her BA


in Psychology and earned a degree in
early childhood care and education. She
taught at the Cathedral Infant School
following which she started her own
after school activity classes for children
in 2000. Today, more than 100 kids
between the ages of 4-9 years attend her
GK Genius and Busy Little Brains classes
at her activity centre in South Bombay.
Aarti Anand. After completing her
MBA, Aarti joint ANZ Grindlays as a
Corporate Banker. She then married
Anish and moved to Delhi and is now
based there with Anish and her two
sons, Ahaan (9) and Aashray (7). Life
now is a constant balancing act between
work and being a mom. She is now a
partner with a Career Planning and
Training company called Compass
One. One of her most memorable
training assignments has been going
back to school to do a teacher training
program absolutely loved it!
Ranadip De
After surprising his
parents by passing
the ISC, he further
confounded them
by graduating with
a BA (Hons) from
St. Xaviers Mumbai.
Armed without a
clue of what career he wanted, he
instead chose to listen to the voice of
the wandering gypsy inside him. As an
advertising writer this has taken him
from Mumbai to Kuala Lumpur to Dubai
to Singapore, where he currently resides
contemplating what sort of career he
would like to pursue.
Amish Mehta (Barham), got his
BSc from UPenn, Wharton followed
by an MBA from Harvard Business
School. Amish is a founding Partner at
Vector Capital, a technology-focused
private equity firm and has been named
a Young Global Leader by the World
Economic Forum for his contributions
to technology investing. Amish, his wife
Shweta and their ten-month old son,
Rehaan, live in San Francisco. Shweta
got her MBA from Stanford Business
School and works in the social sector.
They invite you over for a glass of local
Napa wine the next time you are out
West! Please contact them at amehta@
vectorcapital.com.
Vikas Agarwal came back to
Mumbai in 1994 after doing his
Undergrad in Business and Economics
2009 The X-Cathedralite 57

Class Notes
from Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh.
He then joined the family business
and took charge of a textile unit in
South India. He then diversified into
property development in early 2000
and developed a few commercial and
residential projects. In 2004 he started
his entrepreneurial venture in the
Telecom sector which involves setting
up of complete tower infrastructure for
wireless communication. He is married
to Poonam Bhuwania and has two kids
Pragya (13) and Vishrut (11). He likes
to travel and follows a fitness regime of
going to the gym and practising yoga.
Likes to keep in touch and connect with
old friends.
Zal Andhyarujina is married to
Shazia who he met while studying
at Oxford University. They have two
daughters and live in Mumbai. He is
a lawyer and specialises in litigation
involving commercial disputes. He
continues to play squash and pursue his
other interests such as books and music.
Jai Diwanji is living and working
in Bombay as a lawyer, is married to
Praneeta and has two great kids Kabir
(4) and Amanvir (2).
Compiled by Jai Diwanji

ICSE 1992 / ISC 1994


Vikram Mago Working with JM
Financial in Institutional Equity Sales.
Married to Aparna who is a Fashion
Designer with Trent Ltd. Graduated
from Sydenham College, completed my
CA from Arthur Andersen and then
did my MBA at the Indian School of
Business at Hyderabad. Miss the fun in
school which cannot be replicated later
on in life.
Nirvaan Kirpalani (Savage) I am
currently living and working in New
York City. I am the Director of Marketing
Analytics for Direct Brands Inc. which is
the largest direct-to-consumer company
for music, movies and books in the U.S.
I am married to Payal Singhal. She is a
fashion designer and has retail outlets
in India and the U.S. We have a son,
Sumehr Kirpalani who is five months
old. After leaving Cathedral in 1992, I
went to H.R. College, Mumbai for five
years where I completed my 12th and my
Bachelor in Commerce. In 1998 I came
to the U.S. to do my M.B.A from Hofstra
58 The X-Cathedralite 2009

University in New York. Since 2000 I


have been working and living in New
York City.
Sandhini Poddar (Barham) I have
been Assistant Curator of Asian Art at
the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
in New York since April 2007 and my
exhibition, Anish Kapoor: Memory
opened this October. I moved to New
York in the summer of 2001 to attend
an arts management Masters degree
at New York University, and have been
working in the non-profit sector for the
visual arts since then.
Nikhil Bhandare I was indeed in
the class of 1992/94 although I left
at the end of the 6th. I am working
with Booz & Company, a management
consulting firm in Mumbai. I was just
transferred to Mumbai after several
years in New York. I am married to
Behnaz Khusrokhan, who is also a
Cathedralite (Barham). We have been
married for two and a half years. After
Cathedral I went to Doon School where
I completed my 12th. Subsequently, I
completed by BA from Yale University
and my MBA from the Wharton School. I
am looking forward to reconnecting with
my former classmates and teachers.
Ivy Ghose (Palmer) Ive been living
in Los Angeles with my husband and
weve been married for six years. Came
to the US to get my MBA from the Jones
School, Rice University in Houston and
then moved to California. Would love to
meet up with classmates - if anyone is in
Southern California, get in touch
Harshad Daswani (Wilson) Married
to Nyasha Daswani, I returned from the
College of William and Mary in 1998 to
set up a manufacturing business here in
Bombay. Actively involved in NGO work
to create umbrella charities, I live in
Bombay.
Amit Advani (Palmer) I am based
in Mumbai. I completed a degree
in Chemical Engineering from the
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
in 1998. I became an entrepreneur in
1999 and set up Swagelok Bombay in
association with the U.S headquartered
Swagelok Company, and am the
Managing Director of the company. I
married Pooja Tulsiani who I met at
the University of Michigan. Pooja is
the Beauty Editor at LOfficiel India. I
recently graduated from the Harvard
Business School completing the Owner
President Management Program. Pooja

and I have just had our first baby, a boy.


Priya Coulagi Bakshi (Wilson) I
live and work in Mumbai. I manage
Sigma Laboratories Ltd., a company that
manufactures and primarily exports
pharmaceutical formulations. We
recently set up a plant in Goa that now
has several international certifications.
Im married to Gaurav Bakshi - he is a
distributor of wines, whiskies and other
alcoholic beverages. After Cathedral I
graduated with a BA in Economics from
Grinnell College, Iowa and followed
that up with an M.B.A from the Indian
School of Business, Hyderabad in 2002. I
worked in the corporate field for several
years before returning to the family fold
at Sigma in 2007.
Aditi Jagtiani (Wilson) I am
currently working at Infrastructure
Development Finance Company Ltd.
(IDFC) as Lead Specialist, Portfolio
Management. I have been with IDFC
since 1998. I did my MBA from the
Indian School of Business in 2002-03,
and my Masters in Economics prior to
that from the University of London in
1998. I live in Mumbai.
Niyati A. Nathwani (Palmer) After
completing my tenth from Cathedral
in 1992, I went to Jai Hind College
for two years after which I joined Seth
G.S.Medical College/KEM Hospital.
I graduated in 2000 and then
moved to the USA. I completed both
my Residency in Internal Medicine
and Fellowship in Haematology and
Oncology at the University of Southern
California in Los Angeles. I am married
to my class mate from med school,
Dr. Abhijeet Nadkarni who specialises
in Infectious Diseases and Critical Care
Medicine. We have a son,Rohan, who
just turned three.
We now live in Charlotte, NC and I
practice at Carolina Blood and Cancer
Care Associates, PA.
Suneet Kothari (Savage) Reside
in Bombay. Married Ambika (nee
Singhania, Palmer, I.C.S.E. 1993) in
2001. We have a four-year-old son,
Madhav, and another child on the way
this year. Working in the Chemical
Industry. Graduated from Cornell and
INSEAD.
Niraj Rungta (Wilson) I am living in
Mumbai and am a real estate developer.
Married to Heena Jhaveri who was

Class Notes
earlier working with Saifee Nursery
school at Malabar Hill. I have a son
who is almost three years old and is
currently going to Saifee Nursery. After
school I went to K.C. College for a year,
and graduated from the University
of Mumbai through a correspondence
course, as I was simultaneously
working with my father in his chemical
business. After that, along with a few
friends, I started a nightclub called
Fire and Ice. Post Fire and Ice I started
real estate development in Mumbai
city, my company is called Rungta
Infrastructure Ltd.
Vikram Somaya (Palmer) After
graduating from Yale with a degree in
Architectural History, Ive been working
and playing in New York City. Married to
the cutest Turk in Izmir, Levin Somaya,
our son Karan is now wandering around
with his little I am a drunk man
walk at 10 months. At his insistence,
Im also going to mention our dog Kofte,
who while still cute does definitely not
love being the second son. We live on
the Upper West Side and Ive spent
my career working with media and
advertising technology startups out of
New York, Seattle and San Francisco.
Currently work for a bi-coastal firm
called BlueKai that is revolutionizing
the world of online data monetisation.
Ive also done a variety of shows with
a theatre company called Alter Ego
Productions including Tom Stoppards
Indian Ink, Anuvab Pals Chaos Theory,
Girish Karnards Hayavadana and David
Freemans A First Class Man. Life is
good).
Taronish M Khajotia (Palmer) I left
school in the 7th std and moved with my
family to the UK. After finishing school
there, I studied Engineering at Stevens
Tech, NJ-USA, and then Economics
at the LSE, UK. I returned to India in
1999, to live in Mumbai and work in my
familys shipping business. I am married
to Reena Bhardwaj, who is a professional
singer and originally from the UK.
Devansh Khiani (Wilson) Graduated
from Bryant College, Rhode Island in
1998 and Coursework at UCLA- worked
in LA and NY for five years and now runs
a Textile Mill in Mumbai since 2005.
Unmarried. Kids (uncertain).
Pallavi Swadi (Savage) Married to
Anish Swadi also Class of 1992. One son

Nihal - 4 1/2 months. B.Com in Business


Management from Sydenham College
1997. Worked at the World Business
Council for Sustainable Development in
Geneva, Switzerland 1997-1999. BSc in
System Dynamics from WPI (Worcester
Polytechnic Institute) Worcester,
MA.Worked as a Business Analyst at
Fidelity Investments in Boston, MA
2001-2003 & in New York 2003-2005.
Then moved back to Bombay in 2005.
Work now as an Independent Art
Advisor for Indian contemporary art.
Anish Swadi (Palmer) HR College
HSC 1994. Graduated with a BA in
Business Management in 1998 from
Ithaca College, Ithaca NY. Worked at
Merril Lynch in Stamford, CT as an
International Financial Advisor from
1998-2005. Moved back in 2005 and
working as VP International Business
Development at Hikal ltd.
Rishaad Bilimoria (Palmer) I am
currently living in Mumbai. I work at JM
Financials Private Equity Fund. Prior to
moving back to Mumbai around three
and-a-half years ago, I lived in London
for six years and in the US for six years. I
am married to Puja, who works at Vogue
India. After school, I spent two years at
HR College (Mumbai) and then moved
to the US to complete my undergraduate
degree at Harvard University (Class
of 1998). After graduating, I lived and
worked in New York for two years with
JP Morgan Chase and then moved to
London. After working there for a few
years, I completed an MBA at London
Business School class of 2004).
Vivek Dujodwala (Savage) living in
Mumbai and married to Sunita with two
daughters, Nandiika and Niharika aged
three and two. After leaving school in
1994 joined HR College, Mumbai and
also joined the family business. Presently
heading the business with diversified
interests in chemicals and finance.
Saurav Das (Savage) Residing in
Hong Kong since 2009, and have worked
for Citi Private Bank since 1999. Married
to Caroline Sia, whom I met at the
Citi Management Associate Program
back in 2000! Prior to moving to HK
we were naturalised New Yorkers having studied, lived and worked there
since 1994. I attended Baruch College
and Stevens Institute of Technology
for my Bachelors and Masters
degrees respectively.

Gaurav Talwar (Barham) I


graduated from U.S.C. in December 1999
and moved back to Mumbai. I have been
working at Henkel CAC Pvt. Ltd. for the
last 10 years. I met my wife, Priyanka,
in London while she was working with
Clifford Chance. We have been married
for three years and our son, Jaiveer, was
born in May 2009. Life is currently super
busy between work and family!
Aarthi Ramakrishnan (Barham)
Went to Jai Hind for junior college
(Science). Followed it up with an
integrated law degree from National Law
School, Bangalore. Followed it up with
an MBA from IIM Calcutta. Have been
an investment banker at Merrill, HSBC,
Credit Suisse and currently head the
Capital Markets business for Centrum
Capital. Married Varun Bajpai (we
met at IIM). He is also an investment
banker and currently Country Head
for Macquarie Bank. We have two girls
Vedika and Aditi aged six and two
respectively. Vedika is in the Cathedral
Infant school now.
Navroze Marshall (Savage) After
completing my ICSE from Cathedral
in 1992, I completed my high school
from the United World College (UWC)
in Singapore. Then went on to complete
my undergraduate degree in Chemical
Engineering from Carnegie Mellon
University and continued to work in
the US for three years with Honeywell.
After completing my MBA from IMD in
Lausanne in 2002, I moved back to India
and have been living and working here
since then, as the Managing Director of
Simmonds Marshall Ltd (manufactures
fasteners for the automotive industry).
On the personal front, I married Parizad
Kolah (shes a TV anchor) in 2005
and were currently enjoying our first
daughter, Deanne, who is about 19
months old.
Nameeta Dargani (Wilson) I am
presently living in the Philippines.
My husband and I own and operate a
chain of Japanese restaurants called
Red Kimono. I am also the Chapter
Coordinator for the Art of Living which
is an international humanitarian NGO
based in Bangalore. My husbands name
is Michael Dargani. We have a son,
Krishaan who will be two years old in
May 2010. I left Cathedral in 1989 after
completing the 7th standard and moved
to Manila along with my parents who
2009 The X-Cathedralite 59

Class Notes
were awarded the Philippine licence for
the Speedo brand that year. I attended
High School at the International School,
Manila and graduated from there in
1994. In 1998 I earned a Bachelors
degree in International Business
Management from the European
Business School, London, UK. I returned
to Manila that same year to gain
experience in the marketing and PR
department of Speedo. Soon after our
marriage in 2001, I joined my husband
Michael as VP for Marketing in our
restaurant business. I treasure the time I
spent in Cathedral and I look back at my
memories of people, relationships and
events that took place in those seven
years with much gratitude and fondness.
I am truly proud to be a Cathedralite.
Binoy Bharat Khimji (Wilson)
We are currently living in Mumbai. I
am the Director of International Sales
for BDK Engineering Industries, which
manufactures process equipment for the
Oil and Gas, Power and Water Sectors
both in India and Globally. My wifes
name is Urvi Kampani. She is a fashion
designer and also the founding member
of The One Foundation, a charity that
addresses the needs of underprivileged
children and rural infrastructure
development in India. We have a son,
Rayhan Khimji, who is a year old and
will be soon attending the Sunflower
Playschool. After leaving Cathedral
in 1992, I went to Sydenham College,
Mumbai for two years where I completed
my 12th. In 1994, I left for the U.S.
and went to Bentley College in Boston,
MA. I graduated in 1998 with a degree
in Bachelor of Science Management.
Since 1998 I have been working and
living in Mumbai.
Daniel Ezra (Wilson) After my
family moved to London in 1989 (after
the 7th std), I played tons of squash and
ended up following Rishaad Bilimoria
to Harvard where I met my future
wife, Lizzie. Shes half Peruvian, half
Brazilian and is working as a lawyer as
well as the President of a company that
she started with her sister a few years
ago. We were married last year so no
kids as yet. We both live and work in
NYC. I have been working for Credit
Suisse since graduating in 1998, trading
Mortgage Backed Securities... so yes, you
can blame me for the credit crisis. This

is definitely a crazy time, and being in


the eye of the storm over the last couple
of years has been interesting, to say
the least!
Mrinal Patnaik I am a
Haematologist-Oncologist, at the
Mayo Clinic. Currently single. St
Xaviers College for HSC Grant Medical
College and Sir JJ Hospital- MBBS,
MD. University of Minnesota- Internal
Medicine. Mayo Clinic, MinnesotaHematology, Oncology and Bone
marrow transplant.
Mayuri Samarth (Wilson) We live
between Pune and Mumbai. (weekdays
are generally in Pune and weekends
are in Mumbai). I am married to Vayu
Garware . We have two children, Ilaan
who is 3 1/2 years old and Ridhan who
is 4 1/2 months old. I am currently not
working, but I hope to once my children
are a little older. After completing
Cathedral in 1992, I went to St Xaviers
College, Mumbai from where I graduated
in Political Science. I then completed a
course in jewellery design. I got married
soon after and spent four years between
Philadelphia, Pune and Mumbai. Soon
after our return from Philadelphia I
started an export company. I ran this
successfully for three years. Once Ilaan
was six months old I stopped working as
I wanted to focus on him and enjoy these
very special years with my children.
Mukarram Faizullabhoy (Barham)
After leaving school in 1992 I went to
HR College and graduated from there. I
currently run my own company which
is involved in selling steel mainly to
the automotive industry. Besides work,
I actively play Rugby at the Bombay
Gymkhana. During the years 2001-2008,
I played Rugby for India.My wifes name
is Bhavna Thadhani. She is a free-lance
graphic designer. We have a daughter
named Zahra who is 13 months old.
Mallika Baheti Sarda (Savage)
I recently got married and moved to
Raipur, India. Prior to my wedding, I
was residing in Bombay, where I was
working as an Equity Research Analyst
at Sharekhan.com, one of Indias large
stock brokerages. My husbands name is
Manish Sarda. He is into manufacturing
steel, alloys and power. We presently
have no children. After leaving Cathedral
in 1992, I went to Jaihind College,
Bombay for two years and then did my

dentistry at Nair Hospital, Bombay.


Thereafter, I went to the U.S and got an
M.B.A from Bentley College in Boston.
After working in Boston for a little over
two years, I moved back to Bombay and
joined Sharekhan.
Ryad Vachha (Palmer)currently
lives and works on a wee little island
called Manhattan. After leaving
Cathedral in 1994, Ryad went to the
College of Wooster, USA for four years
where he completed his Bachelors in
Economics and learnt to party very
hard. In 1998, he worked for a few years
before going back to school for his MBA
from New York University in 2008.
Ryad currently works for a consulting
company called CGI, the seventh
largest in the technology industry at
large. Ryad works as a senior manager
and Team Leader on extremely large
system implementation projects, to
manage client expectations, resolve
high-profile project issues, work on
business development, and assist senior
project managers with reducing project
risk, reputation risk, and maintaining
contractual relationships. On a personal
note, Ryad loves living in New York
City which reminds him of Bombay in
many ways. His interests involve music,
reading, snowboarding, travelling,
spending time with his lovely family
and friends, enjoying life to the fullest
extent possible, and (last but not least)
promoting Cathedral (the wonderful
school at which he received detention on
a weekly basis).
.school school play up school,
Wherever you lot may be cast,
School first, house next, self last....
Chaitanya Rajani (Palmer) After
ISC 1994, I attended The University of
Texas at Austin from where I graduated
in 1998 with a BS in Civil Engineering. I
moved back to Mumbai soon thereafter
to work with our family business Tristar Infrastructure - which is into
engineering and construction. I have
been married since 2003 to Mayana - she
is also from UT Austin and we met in our
junior year there. Mayana works with
DSP BlackRock in Equity Investments.
Dr. Jaydeep Halankar (Wilson)
After graduating from Cathedral in
1992 I finished my H.S.C in Science from
Jai Hind College and went on to Medical
school at Nair Hospital. I received
2009 The X-Cathedralite 61

With Best Wishes


from
Tarun Kataria
on the
150 th Anniversary
of the School

Class Notes
my MBBS degree in 2000 and then
completed my postgraduate training
in Radiology at J.J. Group of Hospitals
and Jaslok Hospital and Research
Centre in 2006. I have now been in
Toronto, Canada for the past three
years where I trained and specialised as
a clinical fellow in Abdominal Imaging
at Sunnybrook Hospital & Research
Centre, University of Toronto. I recently
started working as a Staff Radiologist
in the same institute in July 2009. I
am married to a wonderful girl named
Radhika Prabhu who I met in Bombay.
She is a Microbiologist by profession.
The stork is yet to pay a visit to our
home and we are enjoying our freedom
as we look forward towards an exciting
time in Canada.
Pragni Kapadia (Palmer) Pragni
currently lives and works in Mumbai.
After leaving Cathedral in 1994, Pragni
went to the H.R. College of Commerce
and Economics and got her Bachelors
in Commerce from the University of
Mumbai. In 1998, she worked for a
few months at the Chambers of Zia
Mody prior to leaving for her LLB at the
London School of Economics. In 2001,
after obtaining her LLB, she completed
her LLM from the University of
Pennsylvania Law School and returned
to Mumbai where she worked with AZB
& Partners till October 2007. She is
currently a senior associate at Wadia
Ghandy & Company and specialises in
corporate, intellectual property, food
and pharmaceutical law. On a personal
note, Pragni is single. Her interests
involve music, reading, travelling
and hanging out with little Soham
(Surins son).
Anushka Jagtiani (Wilson)
currently lives and works in Mumbai.
however, she spends half her life in
Shanghai. After leaving Cathedral in
1994, Anushka went to St Xaviers
College and got her Bachelor of Arts
in Economics and Sociology from the
University of Mumbai. Pursuant to that
she obtained her MSC in Comparative
Politics from the London School of
Economics. In 2002 Anushka returned to
Mumbai where she worked with Business
India as a business journalist till 2004.
As many may know, the familiar face
on NDTV Anushka was with NDTV
from 2004 to 2006. Currently, she runs

Besos, a fashion store for women with


her partner. They have stores at Kemps
Corner and in Bandra. On a personal
note, Anushka is single. Anushka
regularly sings rock / blues with various
bands at Hard Rock Caf, Jazz by the Bay
and in Pune, Bangalore and Delhi.
Petrushka Deas (Palmer)
Petrushka currently lives and works
in Mumbai. Petrushka obtained her
LLB at the Government Law College.
After obtaining her LLB she worked
with Kanga & Company and Jet
Airways Legal. She is currently at AZB
& Partners.
Harshita Bahri (Aneesha Chopra)
- (Wilson) Yes, her name has changed
after marriage! She left Cathedral in the
8th std in 1990 as her family moved to
Lokhandwala. She completed her 9th
and 10th from Jamnabai Narsee School.
Pursuant to that she graduated from
Sophia College in Economics & Political
Science; thereafter she completed her
Diploma in Interior Design from Raheja
School of Architecture. She got married
in 2001 to Vicky Bahri who is an Ad
Commercial and Film Director. She and
Vicky also have their own production
house. They have a son Veer who is two
years old. She is currently not working
although she helps at their production
house from time to time. Guess she
wants to enjoy Veer for the moment.
Haren Kamdar (Barham) currently
lives and works in London. After
leaving Cathedral in 1994, Haren went
to the University of North Carolina.
After that he returned to India and
worked at Mahindras where he met
Namrata Nayyar, his lovely wife! He
then returned to the family business,
completed an M.B.A (yes, the very same
Haren who would never study!) and
now works with Accenture in London
in the Private Equity Consulting Group.
He and Namrata will be having a baby
in January 2010. Namrata works with
Unilever in England.
Zia N Sawhney (nee Khambatta )
(Wilson) I am currently living in New
Delhi with my husband Nikhil Sawhney
and our two month old son Zahan Nikhil
Sawhney. I joined St. Xaviers College for
my B.A and then went on to pursue a
degree in Fashion Merchandising at the
American College in London.
Shalini .P. Amersey (Barham) I
am currently living and working in New

York City, I own and operate my own


clothing business. Married Kerman
Minbatiwalla and we just had our first
child Varun on August 12th of this year.
After graduating from Cathedral, I went
to Iowa State University and got a BA in
Theatre, and BSC in Business. I also got
an MBA from Pace University in New
York City.
Simran Chawla (Barham) is married
to Romit Basu and lives and works
in London. After Cathedral, Simran
went to LSR, New Delhi, SOAS and the
London School of Hygiene and Tropical
Medicine. She currently works for the
London Borough of Ealing as a Young
Peoples Sexual Health Commissioner.
Leeya Mehta (Wilson) After
Cathedral, Leeya went to Oxford
followed by Georgetown. She is married
to Ryan Tuggle. They live in Washington
D.C and have a daughter.
Vandana PuriMahadevia
(Wilson) After Cathedral I went to
Xaviers College to complete my BA .
Shortly after I went to the Gemological
Institute of America in San Diego where
I completed a diploma in Jewellery
Design & Manufacturing. I have been
living in New York City for the past five
years I am involved in merchandising
and marketing for an Indian based
jewellery firm here in New York-called
Unidesign USA. We supply to all major
retail stores across the U.S. I got married
in December 2008. My husbands name
is Manan Mahadevia. He works with
Capitalone, a credit card company here
in the US, as a business director. I have
reconnected with so many of my school
friends since I moved to NYC. Its great
to have a Cathedral network no matter
where you go!
Kuber Miten Hemchand (Savage)
Hi! I am a jeweller and running my
family business Hemchand Mohanlal
& Co. which is into manufacturing and
retailing exclusive handcrafted jewellery.
After ICSE I did my B. Com from HR
College and then did my Masters in
Management studies form SIMSR
Mumbai. I am married to Rajul. She was
teaching at Miniland nursery school
until we had our first child. We have two
children. Our daughter, Diya is four and
our son Shivam is one.
Compiled by Pragni Kapadia
2009 The X-Cathedralite 63

Crossword

How well do you


remember your school days?
1

6
7

11

10

12

13

14

15

17

16

18

19

Across
1 Saying your favourite poem
out loud.
3 Dressed in red and white, led by
Mrs. Dubhash in the 1980s
6 Little book of prayer songs
8 Camping earns medals
9 Whole school together in
the morning
12 Trial-run before Boards
14 Arguments for your house
15 __________ country : Long
distance run

17 Acronym for subject which


teaches you to be a good citizen
19 Social service with the
Rotary Club
Down
2 Winning house
4 Std. X Board exam
5 Barham house on Thursday,
Palmer on Wednesday
7 Receive your honours prize
on ____________
10 Junior school girls extra
curricular club

11 Game played in Senior school


____________ in lunch break
13 Room on a slope, no longer exists
12 Student leader
16 Teachers
18 Athletics event,
Shot____________

Created by:
Sarita Bhalerao (nee Saraiya)
(ICSE 1983)
Nandita Duggar (nee Rajkumar)
(ICSE 1988)

Across: 1. Elocution 3. Choir 6. Hymnal 8. DEAS 9. Assembly 12. Prelims 14. Debates 15. Cross 17. SUPW 19. Interact
Down: 2. Cock House 4. ICSE 5. House Games 7. Speech Day 10. Bulbuls 11. Quad 13. SLR 12. Prefect 16. Staff 18. Put

Answers :
64 The X-Cathedralite 2009