| Former students of St Michael’s Higher Secondary School play cricket at the annual alumni meet of the institute in Patna on Sunday. Picture by Ashok Sinha |
Patna High Court lawyer Anshuman Singh would often bunk classes at school to watch Hollywood films. But, on one such truant adventure, he and his friends found their principal waiting outside the cinema.
“Father Alan, our principal, and Father Cox, our rector, were waiting near their motorbike for the show to get over. As soon as we got out, they spotted us, and told us to report to their office the next morning,” recalled the 1981 batch passout of St Michael’s Higher Secondary School at the annual alumni meet of the institution on Sunday.
Singh was not alone in the reminiscing about the charmed years he spent at school. For all the “old boys”, the floodgate of memories opened, and a total recall was in store.
Distance and time were no hurdles for the hundreds of alumni, who had come from far and near to spontaneously chant: “We are black, we are white, / We are Michaelite! / We are dynamite!” (The colours in the chant, of course, refer to the uniform of the students — white shirts and black trousers.)
The memories they shared were not black and white though — they were in Technicolour, as if the incidents had occurred yesterday.
The outgoing president of St Michael’s Alumni Association, Ashustosh Sinha, recalled: “We were a boys’ school. So, the only opportunity we got to socialise or meet girls was when students of Notre Dame Academy or St Joseph’s Convent High School used to come here for proms or fests.”
Memories of others dated back almost half-a-century. Septuagenarian Rajendra Agarwal, who left the school in 1969, said: “It used to be a residential school in our time. I have fond memories of the fun we had in the dormitory on the first floor of the library block.”
On Sunday, Agarwal and his fellow Michaelites had another opportunity to relive the fun with a cricket match and a brunch. While they ate and played, they remembered the values and the discipline that their alma mater had instilled in them. “Whatever we students of St Michael’s have achieved in our lives is because of the education we got here,” said Anurag Sinha, a passout of the 2006 batch, who now runs a consultancy firm in international affairs in Canada.