04 Mar 2024  |   03:45am IST

Down Memory Lane

Kalyanasundaram Ramamurthy

The occasion was the Alumni meet of the school mates of Mahabub College, Secunderabad. This meeting was very emotional one for me as I was meeting most of my school mates after more than five decades. We were in our teens, in the morning of our life when we parted and are now in seventies, rather in the late evenings of our lives. As was expected, we had difficulty in recognising each other with our once shining black hair giving way to shining bald heads or grey hair, and our youthful looks and exuberance lost with the passage of time. We had lost some good friends in these five decades and it was sad that we will never be meeting them again in our lives.

The name Mahabub college gives the impression of a Muslim Institution and also as an institution for under graduates. In reality, it was neither of these. The school owed its name to Mahabub Khan, a minister in the Nizam rule in the State of Hyderabad, a patron of the institution and was a multipurpose school and not a college at that time. I moved from Tanjore, the historical town in Tamil Nadu and joined this school in 1963, in my Class nineth. Till my Class eighth I had studied in Tamil medium and the medium of instruction in the new school was English. I had to study Hindi as my second language of which I had only rudimentary knowledge and had to cover a lot of ground to be on par with the rest of the class. The transition was really tough, and I was cursing the educational system in Tamil Nadu for not including Hindi in their curriculum. The school atmosphere was totally different from the one in Tamil Nadu. It took nearly one year for me to cope with the new educational system and the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the twin cities. Thanks to the guidance of my cousin, I could accomplish this transition successfully.

During the meet, we shared our experiences, our educational and career paths and retired lives. We recalled nostalgically our school days, our teachers who played a great role in laying foundation of our lives, their nick names, the naughty acts and the pranks we played. We also recollected some of our own explosive experiments we did in our Chemistry labs and the fun we had in the games' periods. The metamorphosis of many of us from the crazy boys to respectable senior citizens was amazing.

It was a memorable day in my life which reminded me of the following lines of Robert Drake: 

“I want to go back in time…not to change things but to feel a couple of things twice. I wish I could go back to school… Not to become a child but to spend more time with those friends, I never met after school. Since the times that are gone can never come back, let’s enjoy the moments as we live them from now on, to the fullest.”


Iddhar Udhar