The 2008 NP/LC re-union in Sydney on April
11th was held as planned with only a change of venue from Surjit's
Restaurant to the residence of Piyush and Poornima Bhatt and it was the
better for this change. Poornima put on a delicious spread which caused us
to spread sideways; the wine and beer overflowed like the River of Babylon
causing a huge flood in the Yellow (and Red) River. As the only sober
person present, it has fallen upon me to report the shenanigans of the
In the interest of remaining factual yet
discreet, I shall not be reporting on the orgy which ensued after the
more "mature" of us had departed for the more sedate and civilized
companionship of their pet cobras and warm beds.
Joaquim DeSouza, class of 71, wins the prize
for having travelled all the way from Milan to attend our humble party.
He detoured to Sydney en route to New Guinea ahead of an Interpol task
force trying to bring him in for war crimes against the Vatican. His
contribution to the party were 2 bottles of French Bubbly, ($6.95 for 3
bottles at the local Bexley bottle shop) a Papal dispensation for
drunkenness from Pope Peter the First, and Salute from Berlusconi and
Namaste from Lallo Prasad of Bihar fame. He also had on an NP tie which
earned him extra merit points. All Hail, Joki! Well done, old chap!
Definitely a gilt card effort !
Then there was the contingent of our poorer
relatives from down south, meaning from Melbourne, in the personages of
Chun Na-Ranong (Adopted by Class of '68 as he had no class at all) and
Ratna Das Pradhan and his better half Chris, who is proof that all the
ugly guys get the prettiest girls, myself being the exception of being a
good looking guy with the prettiest girl, of course! (Wow, got out of that
one just in the nick of time - it could have been a huge nick with a razor
blade instead). Chun is such a gasbag, we could hardly get a word in
edgewise. Ratna of course left the party with promises to everyone that he
is going to send them DVDs of the evening's photographic records - I hope
no-one is holding their breath! I received the Darjeeling re-union DVD
last month. After waiting one whole year, it was sent "Urgent! Next Day
Ivan Valenta, era early 50s came with proof
of his association with NP in the form of the 1955 Annual. No-one was
game to question him - he is a big man, though ever so softly spoken. They
tend to be the most dangerous. But he laughed at the stories about Fr.
L'Hoire, so he must have been from NP.
Milan Bohman and his ever-so-distinguished
sister Mary, era mid to late 50's, graced us with their presence. All the
Loreto girls paid due homage to Mary on bended knees - it was quite a
wild act considering that most were on their fourth or fifth set of
reconstructed knees themselves. Milan still looks trim and fit - like he
could break the high-jump record again. He did let on that he wasn't
familiar with Pole Vaulting - probably because poles were invented yet in
his time. Obviously he hasn't heard of Alexander Graham Bellowski, the
first telephone Pole !!!
Paul Zitek, class of '56, was there in full
colour - NP tie and blazer complete with original badge - he swears he
didn't pinch it from some poor student when he attended last year's Darj
bash. It is thanks to Paul that we managed to round up the "Senior" gang
Loreto, era early sixties, was represented by
Patricia Dayton, accompanied by her long suffering husband Chris, and
Suvarnapha a.k.a. Pom, who flew all the way from Bangkok to attend - (all
together now - boy, aren't her arms tired) which goes to prove what we in
North Point have always known, that the LC girls will go through heaven
and hell to get to us! I must report (only because they paid me to),
that both ladies are looking absolute radiant and don't look a day over
forty, thus proving the embalming attributes of 100 proof Gin. Marilyn
Hyde was supposed have attended, but if she had, she must have been
playing "Hyde and Sikh" because we could not find her.
NP 62 was represented by Mike Huie with his
lovely wife Liz. Mike is famous for his Marathon performance - a bad case
of the trots requiring extended visits to Kaventer's, Glenary's and many
other bogs along the route which have since become famous tourist sites.
I think this is the reason why Mike never bets at the Trots - too many
bad memories. Frs. Burns and McCabe were sent on a gruelling search and
rescue mission unaware that Mike had sneaked back through the Pearly "Twin
Towers" to huge ovation by the dispersing crowd on the PD field. To this
day, Mike's record, for the slowest ever recorded time to complete the 4.5
mile run, still stands, thus completely disproving the adage that only
those who come first are remembered !
Then we come to the "Modern Era", The eldest
of these was Maureen Windsor slash Howard, (Who else she has slashed
remains a mystery) my dear sister who was responsible for dredging out all
the Loreto attendees. She shall go down in the annals of history as the
one with the courage to take on Joki for not attending the NP/Loreto
Darjeeling Bash, making him wish he had given himself up to the Interpol
as the lesser of two evils; at least they adhere to the Geneva Convention,
She brought with her the 2 delightfully
decadent Roy sisters of early 1970s fame. Subhasree, the quiet one, was
content to laugh her head off at the antics of her elders. Her sister,
Debauchery (Debi for short), passed out in 1970, and every night since,
entertained us with her total recollection of every single male student
from NP, St.Paul's, Mt. Hermon, General Holmes and St. Augustine from 1967
onwards - a truly note-worthy talent, especially so for the adjectives -
hunk, glamourous, gorgeous, handsome, beefy. etc. appended to
each name she mentioned. I believe Debi is gamefully employed by the NSW
Fire Department, but it was never established beyond doubt as to whether
she was there to start fires or put them out. Her first words to me were
"Jeez, Derrick, you are as handsome as you were back then", thus proving
to one and all that, despite other organs failing, her eyesight remains
As for me, not being one prone to embelishing
the truth, I remained my sedate, quiet, pensive self, venturing only now
and then to interpose myself into the various discussion groups to correct
a misremembered fact or to offer solace to my inebbriated fellow revellers,
a tower of strength and solitude.
The classic of poor memory: Ratna Das swearing
it to be an indisputable fact that the pre-Oct 1968 Singla Bridge stood
600 feet above the waterline. Had that been true, my dive off the bridge
in 1967 should go down in the Guinness book of Records as the highest dive
into three feet of water ever performed where the diver survived. The
truth is that it was closer to 10 feet, but I will concede it might have
been as high as 15 feet, if one had small feet.
The familiar names of Teachers, Priests and
Nuns made the rounds. We paid due Homage to all with sincere gratitude for
their contribution to our delinquency.
Two things were unanimously agreed to - that
we all had pleasant Memories of our time in Darjeeling, and that I remain
ever introverted, humble and good looking, so much so that Poornima and
Subhasree tried to slip me a "Blue Pill". I was made to promise, under
pain of torture, that I will come out of my shell at Koh Chang.
On that note, and with the neighbours
breaking down the front doors and the girls giving us guys the evil eye,
we called it quits at 1.30 am.
The next morning, Joki, one step ahead of
the the posse, departed post haste to Port Moresby, Chun flew off to
Boston, Pom flew back to Bangkok, Ratna and Chris crawled home to
Melbourne on a Virgin, and Piyush and Poornima were left to contemplate
the consequences of their generosity.
Derrick Windsor, Class of '68.