As Somashekaran Nair walked through the dusty corridors of Mahatma Gandhi College, running his hand along the stone walls, he paused for a second as if lost in thought and mused: “Many have changed, some have gone, so many are yet to come, but these walls remain just as they were 50 years ago.”
For Mr. Nair, returning to his alma mater and being in the company of his classmates and professors after half a century was a moment he could only narrate with moist eyes. The occasion was a reunion of the 1958-61 B.Sc. Physics students and their professors, organised on Sunday.
It was former judge of the Kerala High Court M.R. Hariharan Nair who, through his old autograph book, had reached out to his old classmates, most of them in their 70s, for a meet that he was sure would be an “unforgettable experience.” Their family members and the present students of the college also joined the old students and professors.
The years fell away as the alumni hunted for their once-favourite places in their class and smiled at the scribbling on them. Though former Army captain Alex A. Mathew did not remember scrawling anything on the benches, he pointed out to his favourite seat in class—at a corner near the window. And how did he remember that? “Because it was just behind where the girls sat (all three of them),” he replied with a laugh.
The introductory session was followed by a cultural show involving the alumni's grandchildren and the current students of the college. As one of the students sang ‘Alliyambal Kadavil…,” a golden melody of yore, there were those who hummed along, reliving an age gone by.
For Nivedhita, granddaughter of Mr. Hariharan Nair, seeing her grandfather's college and visiting his classrooms was a “fascinating experience.”
In every memory revived by the alumni — from the endless derivations in Physics class to the lucid lectures on Macbeth…— there was an undercurrent of gratitude for their beloved teachers, each of whom was later honoured with a ‘ponnada.'
“If I get a second life, I would like to be reborn as a professor of this college,” said J. Ross Chandran, who had been a lecturer at the college from 1953.
Speaking at the function, Principal G. Jayakumar said this deep-rooted student-teacher relationship was diminishing among the present generation. The respect and the regard the students had for their teachers in earlier times were missing today.
A group photo was but just one page in the “album of memories” these former classmates took home to cherish.
Keywords: Mahatma Gandhi College