Write-up and Photos by Dony Kuriakose
Those of you who relate to Dang, Daku and Bolega Bhai Bam-boley will relate to this.
Aravali excursions into the jungles of Corbett and various Sainik Schools, Mount Abu, etc. were among the highlights of school life for most of us who were not too academically inclined (approximately 80% of the batch). The rest managed both marks and masti 😊
We decided to go with the excursion theme for this time’s reunion and headed out to Corbett. Evidently the girls still don’t trust us, so it was 25 very happy men in 5 cars, driving down 300 kms to yesterday, i.e. today minus 37 years. Frankly, I think we’ve finally hit on the secret of time travel. We started out as 55 year olds but reached as 18 year olds. For the next 3 days it was 4 hours of sleep a night, technicolour speech, Patiala pegs in double digit…and a hangover that refuses to go away! A short recap for the benefit of those who missed the opportunity.
Remember to scroll through the images – 39 of them!
Most people landed in Delhi including the internationals like Tarun Puri, George Abraham, Vasant Phatak, Ravi (Markat) Grover and faraway nationals like Lamzamuan, Manish Kawlra, Bogie Sharma etc., while some came in from Chandigarh. The drive got us in to the lovely Corbett River View Resort just in time for a sumptuous lunch to catch up. Most of the entertainment at this point came from Vasant Phatak who had ridden in with Bully. He spent more time with the Bully in that one drive than he had in all his years in school and he explained in technicolour exactly why!
Some rest and then high tea, followed by Assembly in house-wise lines, where goodie bags were handed out name-wise with school ties, lapel pins, caps and customized jackets in preparation for the evening. Dinner is when the party really took off. Everyone landed up in school uniform (Kapil Abrol will have to take 5 rounds of the nearest park for wearing wrong shoes). We had an amazing AV that took us all the way to 1980 and brought us back again. Super stuff that you can see on YouTube. Then came the whiskies and rums, the music, the dancing, the karaoke, the cake and the champagne and finally dinner, which was the start of the evening.
Post dinner everyone retired to Cottage No.15. Thank heavens an advance party had gone to the resort and picked the remotest cottage for this – the absolute ruckus that went on there till 2:00 and and past probably woke up ol’ Jim’s ghost! Crazy fun that went from poems to teacher imitations to renderings of the Bal Leela and Punjabi ballads from school times, not to mention the jokes and the same ol’ stories for the zillionth time. People like Markat, Dilraj, Bogie, Vasant and others rocked through the night. The extra time really let the guys relax and let loose.
Morning was a huge breakfast followed by a walk in the nearby hills and a highway chai with lots of photo ops. Lunch was good but quicker, since we had to head for the first safari into the jungle. Unfortunately, some guys had to leave after one night and set off very reluctantly after lunch. Then came the safari – 5 jeeps 20 guys and the tigers and elephants put on a real show for us! Fantastic tiger sightings including not just photos but superb videos and an elephant who did a cameo for us. We just made it out of the jungle about a minute before close.
Evening was an outdoor do with live music and everyone turned up in their brand new AFCS jackets to eat, drink, make merry and sing more than the singer! Cocktails, tall tales, kababs, Cuban cigars and happiness under the stars, before a lovely dinner-to-order and then more ‘entertainment’ in Cottage No.15.
We slept super late, but most were up at 5:00 am for a morning safari, while those who had an evening flight out of Delhi left early. Again, nice birds and a tigress with her cubs to complete the trip. Well, that was it, before we packed and set off to Delhi, with a ton of tales to tell next time. Look up the pix if you weren’t there. Next time should be GOA!
So start planning…