After 40 years, the batch of ’74 gets together for a reunion at St. Joseph’s High School

The son of a State Home Minister would naturally be a conspicuous presence among his classmates.

Even more so if he joined the institution much later than the others who had established themselves as boys of the St. Joseph’s High School since lower primary.

No special treatment

But no special treatment was doled out to now MLA K. Muraleedharan, since the day he was first chauffer-driven to the school.

Ragging

Instead, he too was subjected to mild ragging, particularly some unflattering remarks about his weight and size, the MLA joked to himself and others who make up the 1974 batch of St. Joseph’s School, around 60 of whom got together for a reunion at the school here on Saturday.

This was the first, ‘official’ get-together of the ’74 batch since they left 40 years ago, but these ‘old boys’ slipped easily into their childhood selves for a day.

Despite the decades, they had no trouble remembering in detail moments of hilarity when pranks were pulled off successfully or hours of last-minute panic ahead of unprepared tests.

In total, there are around 180 students who constitute the ’74 batch.

Some had come quite close after having studied together from class I in Holy Angels’ School (that was then a co-ed institution), and then in class IV at St. Joseph’s and even for engineering at the College of Engineering (CET).

After a long time

But some were meeting after a long time.

“Most of us are meeting each other for the first time even though we have been living in the same city all this while,” said U. Suresh Kumar, former student and member of the Kerala Public Service Commission.

This long-overdue reunion was held inside a small computer lab in the school.

But even in this unglamorous setting, the alumni got nostalgic over what they described as traces of the past in the room.

In fact, one of them even suggested that the headmaster must not make drastic changes to the building’s structure but maintain the ‘heritage value’ of one of the city’s old schools.

Honour for teachers

Senior and retired teachers were honoured during the occasion including Purushothaman Nair, Nagappan Nair, P. Varghese, Antony Gomez, Sekharan Asari, Stanley Julian, and A. Varghese.

A different dynamics

The alumni meet was an event that acknowledged that the participants represented a time when a different kind of dynamics prevailed between students and teachers.

‘There was a profound sense of commitment from both sides,” said alumnus Anil Kumar, now with the Geological Survey of India.