This was unexpected. But welcome. Who would run away from a party?
My first Christmas party for the season arrived at a time I least expected.
It happened at St. Bede’s that evening.
Vincent Felix always makes it a point to invite me to events at this over-a-century old school. I am glad I accepted his call earlier this week.
Vincent is among the few ‘old boys’ of this Anglo-Indian school who studied here in the 40s. He is 84 (he passed out of school before India became independent) and he has lots of San Thome and Mylapore stories to share.
And when he shares them on the sprawling grounds of St. Bede’s where boarders play vigorous games of hockey and basketball until dusk, these stories come alive.
On Thursday he told me how he was the only dayscholar among seven boarders in senior school who were caught redhanded by the Rector on the beachside, for enjoying the company of the girl-students from other city schools who had to write their final exams at St. Bede’s!
“Today, we celebrate Mother Mary’s birthday so I am sparing you the flogging,” the padre had told the boys. “But you will have to clean the chapel as reparation.”
It was a great evening - for Vincent Felix and members of the Old Bedeans (the alumni) had put together a Christmas party for the boarders, all Anglo-Indians.
There was music, they had Santa, there was a Christmas tree and the boys sang a few carols. And they roared when all of them got gifts, bought by the alumni.
And when the special biryani was served, the boys were the happiest lot present.
The padres were also there and it was a perfect Christmas party.
I only wish the boys’ band had time to perform after dinner. But then, there are rules to follow in a boarding. The show had to close.
For the Old Bedeans present it was indeed a wonderful evening.
Hopefully, there will be many such evenings this Christmas for you.