Memories came flooding when we met after fifty years

By Gita Malik

On February 20th, 2019, a bunch of 65-year old young ladies, all dressed in green bundled with excitement at the Holy Angel’s Convent school grounds, in T Nagar, Chennai got together for a 50 year school reunion. We came from different parts of the world. The dress code of green was in keeping with the school uniform of the time.
A lot of planning, emails, Whatsapp chat group and the Chennai planning committee met periodically to check venues for the Grand Annual Meeting (GAM). We had to pinch ourselves to believe we were meeting our classmates to see how everyone had changed, and what we had achieved, in the last 50 years. The sports grounds, the auditorium, the chemistry lab, the Chapel and the Principals office was open to us and thanks to the current school Principal we were permitted to take a walk around, but only if we didn’t make too much noise (some things will NEVER change). Still the same discipline, still the same giggling? 
The two days spent together was an overwhelming experience. Every person gave a glimpse of their lives from 1969 onwards. Clearly HAC had given us the strength to believe in ourselves and follow our dreams no matter how long it took. 
From jumping about in the waves of Mahabalipuram beach to hugging and laughing there was not enough hours in the two days. We laughed, we cried as life can take some tragic turns and at times laughed so hard that we cried at jokes even and nostalgic memories we’d all recount now and again. 

Ganga, Maryanne with Chandrika Tandon

The sheer breadth and depth of talent and brilliance of the class was mind blowing. Social workers, movie stars, spiritual healers, journalists, home makers, Doctors, bankers and teachers, we made as we went further into our own lives with destiny’s hand written on us that became us. Everyone an achiever in their own life and there were no egos in the room. 

Some of the most notable achievers included; Chandrika Tandon, Vice Chairman of the board of Trustee at New York and Grammy nominated singer (sister of Indra Nooyi who was a year junior to us); Bharati S Pradhan, Mumbai based columnist, critic and author Bharathi who won the Mahatama Gandhi Award for creative contribution; Swamini Bhuma Vidyananda (Shobha Ethiraj) who successfully ran the family business that provides comfort and the materialist life. Swamini took 8 years to get to convince her family and with their blessings has followed her calling having written a book about her spiritual awakening, ‘WHY PRAY’.  
Mamta Apparao, a successful Business woman and Director Kama Schachter jewellery. Ganga Murthy is an Independant Director of Oil and Natural Gas Corp Ltd. with 3 decades of experience in different sectors of the economy in the Government of India.  
Girja moved to Paris soon after marriage and raised her family overseas.   Girija’s home is now the Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry where   she serves the visitors and community of Auroville. Manju Bhargavi, actress and dancer best known for the Telugu blockbuster film ‘Sankarbharanam and Nayakudu.
Shanthi had a spiritual experience, Mother Velankanni appeared in her dream and indicated that she wouldn’t need an operation for her cancer.   Faithfully following yoga and lifestyle change and couple of month the cancer had disappeared.  

Bina Chopra, the main driver of the reunion, on the cover of Eves Weekly and had won the title of Miss Madras for Femina judged by none other than, Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bhaduri, everyone gathered together in an emotional one-minute silence for the departed soul.

Bina Chopra, Miss Teen India and Miss Madras was one of the drivers of this meet. Unfortunately she met with a car accident a few months prior and was sadly missed, a painful reminder of how a life can suddenly be taken away from us.  Thanks to her that we were all there catching up on each other after fifty years!

As a group we decided to give back something to the school for the current and future students providing them the best opportunities in life so we decided together to make a worthwhile contribution to the school. We wanted to leave a little gift of gratitude to a school that gave us so much, all those 50 years and have come back charged for more from this memorable reunion!

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