It Happened in Loyola

I invited Jiby John Kattakayam (1998), a master at retelling stories, to share two original, unpublished Loyola anecdotes for my blog. – Ashok

A Long, Long Lunch Break
There was an age in Loyola when juniors greatly respected seniors: ran small errands for them during the youth festival, the sports day, the school day and the LA Fest; held seats for them in buses; hung around seniors and listened admiringly to their adolescent stories; and tried to imitate them in every field possible. I don’t know if all this continues.

In our 12th we came across a handful of juniors in one class who were seen as an aberration of a great tradition that continued right from the awe-inspiring batches of the ’80s. These boys went for an inter-state athletic meet at a school in Trivandrum, where they had no reason to go, got into some frivolous disagreement and created some damage on the premises. In the evening, a few friends of ours from that school told us of the incident and all we could do was hang our heads in shame.

The next morning, we went up to Fr. Edassery, the vice-principal, (who too had heard of the incident) and vented our anger. He asked us, “What should I do?” We told him, “Give us a long lunch break and please don’t come up, whatever happens.” He readily agreed. At sharp 12:20 PM we pulled up the offending students from their class and took them into Std 12. I won’t go into details on the methods used or what happened next but they left our classroom humbled, teary-eyed and apologetic. In the evening, Sara Madam who heard of what we did, came over and congratulated us. That must have been the only lunch break that got extended in Loyola School history at the request of a class.

Loyolites Hate to Lose
We were a batch that stood incredibly united. But we forgot that unity for a few days in the academic calendar — during the youth festival and the sports day.

It was our final year. AP had gone down fighting SS in the youth festival, and AP and GG were fighting neck-to-neck for sports day supremacy. The final event of the sports day arrived with whoever winning the 4 x 100 metre relay would take home the first place for sports day and the Overall Best House Championship given at the year end. C.T. Varkey, our PT Sir had conducted years and years of successful sports days and this one too looked set to end in that fashion. He gave the get-set-go whistle/gun/shout (I forget which!) and everyone took off…except Vince of GG House. Apparently another Sir, who just joined that year had shouted out, “False Start” and Vincekuttan expected the other sprinters to return to their blocks. They never bothered and we had to egg Vince to start off, albeit late. In the end GG rallied back finely, but ended up losing to AP tantalizingly. The trouble started then.

We of GG cried foul and asked for a restart. AP knowing that they stood no chance if a re-run was ordered, stood their ground. Our class split into three–one backing GG, the other AP, and the third begging for sanity…the danger of coming to blows was real. In the meantime, a parallel fight broke out among the teachers with CT giving grief to the new Sir who had messed up inadvertently. AP finally yielded to a re-race and though they lost both the race and the sports day trophy, they won everyone’s hearts with their sportsmanship and sacrifice.

All of us went home bitter, wondering if our batch would ever come together after the acrimony of the day. The next morning, as I came walking in through the Loyola College gate, I saw my band of brothers huddled together, joking and laughing, as though yesterday had never happened.

9 Comments

  • Hi Jiby,
    Remember that day of that first incident quite well. But i guess the juniors involved were fortunately made to realise their mistakes by the seniors rather than other higher authorities which would have spelt even more trouble πŸ™‚

  • Classic post, Jiby and Ashok! A better title would have been: “It Happens Only In Loyola”. I’m sure students from all Loyola ages will love to read inspiring and heart-warming anecdotes like these.

  • Karthik, we expect someone from your batch to tell us the story after “I won’t go into details on the methods used or what happened next”. We seniors would love to lazily judge your batch’s ‘performance’. 😈

  • sweet. master story teller indeed. keep it going guys. and i echo the awe inspiring 80’s sentiment. we always had someone to look up to. i guess it continues to some extent to this day.

  • yep, those were SOME times…. I remember that incident too, but let’s not take names…
    There were more such incidents, in fact… When we were in the sixth, I think, there was this senior batch that thought that things could be taken for granted, and took ‘putting in place’ a bit too far…and one of my classmates, true ‘Gandhigiri’ style, requested them ‘entha chetta, vendaatto’….and promptly was rewarded for his efforts…
    Luckily, his brother was in the ‘bade pappa’ XIIth then… Somehow he came to know what happened…”B—y, nintaniyane thallunnedaa!!!”…The rest is history….the ‘putters-in-place’ soon got ‘put’ in place….Again, no details on the methods used….
    True, we always had somebody to look up to….Viva, Loyola!!!

  • @Jiby and Ashok

    Nicely said indeed. Good post.
    In my final year at Loyola, we had not one but 3 incidents of startling similarity.
    And so do i remember had happened with Kichus batch one year our senior.

    Again this being a public forum i cannot go into the details lest i give out wrong impressiong to some readers- loyolites and otherwise.

    Ironnically i have to say that it was a teacher who herself asked us, or rather asked me to ask the rest , to look into the said matters.
    Heh we did have a snigger hearing that a teacher would ask that. The matter as Jiby said was taken care of without a lot of trouble with the “Authorities”

    Yes Jiby chetta…. we continue the tradition. And im sure my juniors will do the same when they are where we once stood.

    and yes i agree.. it happens only in loyolaaaaaaaaaaa…..

    Cheers Loyola sons.
    (Wanna know the rest ? Then i suggest you mail meh. heh @ getmesyam@gmail.com ) πŸ˜‰

  • When Jiby sent the anecdotes, I was shocked because the first one hints at mafia behaviour in Loyola. Subsequent comments here confirm what I feared. In the 1980s, looking up to seniors (what Issac pointed out) did not spring from seniors ‘teaching’ juniors like that. Or am I being extra naive here?

    Renjith, the idea was to give a slice of Loyola life. Fr Pulickal was not a slice, he was the whole cake πŸ™‚

  • Hi Ashok and Jiby
    I remember the Sports Day incident very well…
    And I did like the spirit displayed by the AP house guys that day…
    I remember how much I liked watching Ninan Thomas sprint in the re-race. I thought it was his best :-)…

    Ashok, that comment abt Fr.Pulickal being the whole cake was heartening. He taught us only in our 7th(English grammar), and we were not lucky enough to have attended his History classes.

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