Moses Ashirvad, the CEO of the Alumni Meet planning committee, weaves his version of the event using namesakes of biblical patriarchs, quoting Isaiah and even borrowing a parable from Jesus.
*Edward Aloysius Murphy Jr.* is not from the batch of 2007 and should not be part of the start of any program – we wish! By now, if you are wondering who he is, you have stepped right into the boots of the planning committee. With two of the important speakers pulling out just days before the meet, and the electricity – like the parents of the kid who just joined Santhosha Vidhyalaya – was there right until the start of the event. This set the tone to the events that happened during the course of those two magnificent days.
“If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong……and at the worst possible moment” – Murphy’s Law. However, the rest of the event fell into its place similar to Abhishek’s fall during the trek.
As usual, the programs began on time – Paul Raja Standard Time – with Ashish’s “stand-up comedy” which had to be done impromptu, followed by the Father of the Israelites (Moses himself, in his capacity as the MC. Ed.) addressing the congregation seated in the tabernacle that had one of the “best” tabernacle acoustics.
Over-comers as we are, we patiently sat through one of the sessions with the highest value in Importance and necessity but the lowest in entertainment – The History and Overview of SVAA, The Presidential Address, and Financial Update. Experts as they are, Stephen (Jothiraj) avoided getting stoned this time and Daniel (Devadoss) navigated the lion’s den and the fire in the form Q&As session that followed after their speeches with the help of Prince Josiah and Paul Raja. The alumni committee did some tremendous funding over the last year and much to his name, Abraham (Sudharson) recounted the blessings through the financial update. Unlike those history periods the and days in the wilderness, the people were allowed to grumble and murmur and Paul (Raja) – being a Hebrew of the hebrews – had tea served simultaneously. Johnson now wishes that his name was biblical and we all know that he did a lot of work behind the screen.
Just like those 30th of March when parents returned, the electricity returned. This is more-or-less the essence of that beautiful presentation by young Joshua (Immanuel).
The last program of the morning – Financial Prudence – was handled by Steve who knew that he would be doing it only a couple of days before the event. Steve expertly knocked out the Fake in #FakeLiving with his anecdote of the Fake Fake Crocs and thereby, becoming the epitome of #SimpleLiving – one of the hashtags that have been running through the Alumni community for some time now whenever someone travels by bus or by foot.
Chicken biryani – like those Sunday nights in boys hostels – had a long queue. Everyone’s mouth had to fight between chewing the food and conversing at the same time. In the end, we had to bend and wash our plates.
The outdoor manager, Jabez Ebenezer, crammed us all into those vans, like Samrajan sir did during excursions, all the way to Fundera Park. A lot of memories flooded our minds and these were not of our schooldays but of those days when we went to the missionary fields along with our parents. We saw hens of different kinds, goats, cattle, and donkeys. It also replicated the smell of those villages where our parents served. Our eyes were also treated to some pre-historic beings like Ostriches, Priscilla, Shim, Daniel Devadoss, Sam, Helena, etc., etc.! The aviary was one good place where the people who weren’t afraid of the birds got to feed them up-close-and-personal. Kingsley (batch of 2008) ate some of those seeds as well.
Samuel, David, Joshua, Deborah, Daniel, Josiah, Samson and the likes got to try Archery. Well, this is how you cover a majority of the SVian’s names in one sentence. Just put down a list of biblical warriors and leaders and more than half the population is covered. (This is Moses showing his expertise in counting Israelites in the wilderness. Ed.)
Clocking down to 1900 hrs, we got to witness some of the best singers and musicians back in action inside the tabernacle. A copy of their performances will soon be available on YouTube.
One man, he had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was intimidating and was feared by men, a man with a new dialect, and we were familiar with suffering whenever we encountered him. Like one from whom boys and girls hide their faces, and we esteemed him not. His disciple, Paul Raj, shared some of his qualities – he was feared by men and women, lest they become a content for his speech, and we were familiar with the suffering during his speech. Some of us had sore abdomens and the others were left with sore cheeks. He made sure that the laughter didn’t cease throughout his speech. The media team did a great job – Binny and Jehu – made sure that they didn’t move their cameras throughout his speech which is a commendable achievement.
After that, we were treated to SV’s favourite menu – Chapati and Beef curry (not the one in which Balaji baptized his butt). This officially concluded the events for Day 1.
As usual, the programs began on time – Paul Raja Standard Time – with a tribute to Ivan Uncle by Priscilla, Helena and Sam, followed by “Lead, Kindly Light and a presentation of every one of us whose footprints stopped being made in the sands of earthly time”.
Shim eloquently transitioned the mood of everyone who had gathered there with his remarks and he set the tone for the rest of the day.
The Edison Daniels Lecture on Life was delivered by Ajai Kuruvilla and he ensured that the Christians in the crowd didn’t have to feel guilty for missing the Sunday service. He is that man in the parable where the seeds fell on a fertile land.
It’s sad that Rojo’s session wasn’t as long as it could have been because most of us thronged to listen to his speech. He made sure to cover some important topics about us being survivors. He concluded with a quote asking us to stop surviving and start living.
God be with you till we meet again – did you hear it being sung out of tune? Was it Sudharson again!!
This Alumni Meet wouldn’t have been as good as it was without the help of these few people who worked in the background: Bernice, Gladcy, Deborah, Bezaleel, Nikhil, Jason, Come on Joshua, Brightson, Sherbin, Hudson, and a few others!
We made new memories by remembering the old ones!