Chowara aka Anil Kumar P.R. accounts for his pulses and pulls our heart strings too. Chowara says “Quick thoughts on my 42 classmates of Civil B and few more (Sunil, Makri and Jays)”
- Aju Thomas – Physics class test distribution, Semester 1. “No 1” physican called out the number. Poor Aju stood up with a not so amused expression on his face. Physican with a completely blank face called out “one” and only two people in the class did not explode into a laughter, one was physican and other guys was obviously Aju!! Realistically, Aju had expected a “zero”, he confessed and he truly believed that physican had put a “one” to make a nice case of instant laughter at his expense (Sir had a great sense of humour, though quite dry type). I met Aju quite recently for lunch and he is quite a successful businessman now and reiterated once again that he wasted five years of his life in doing engineering. One of the popular guys in the class even though he used to claim that everyone else is shit scared of him (especially girls in the college). The fact was that, nobody was scared !!!
Now runs own businesses, hotels, bars (yes guys), poly packs and what not.
- Abdul Salam – Amanulla Khan– Someone whom I trust more than I trust myself. I believe, knowingly, Salam will do nothing wrong and will not hurt anyone. He is a permanent member of Security Council of Smitha Nivas, Chowara (obviously my home at Kerala). The best I remember about Salam (quite defining of him too), was the Hydraulics Lab, University exam in Semester 4 when Varkey Sir (big V Varkey) was the examiner. Salam got a slightly twisted question and could not break through. Rather than asking anyone of us quietly, he preferred asked the V Varkey (same one who used to play marble with kids – no disrespect intended for the respected professor) who promptly replied, if do not understand, you come next time and we saw Salam getting out of the Lab exam in less than 20 minutes. Luckily, I had a great exam and a great vivo too (he gave me 85 if I remember right) and towards the end of the vivo, he asked me very fondly. Anil, the fellow who left in 20 minutes, is he your friend and I nodded in the affirmative. You go and tell him that “Statistics will repeat” whereas what he wanted to convey was that “History will repeat”. Luckily for Salam, neither Statistics nor History repeated!!!
Now building bridges and roads with State Government.
- Anil Kumar – Patta (cockroach alla, country liquour) – I have no clue why he was named Patta (he was at best a very mild drinker). Intelligent and practical guy. Brought a lot of creativity especially in drawing related subjects at the same time being quite practical. His background of “Civil Engineering Diploma” too helped a lot. Quite person, highly respected in the group too.
First professor from our class, now teaching in Trichur Engineering College.
- Arun Kumar – Guru (in true spirits) – Perfectionist and takes hell of a time to decide on things. Quite a creative guy. Once Guru had done a major drawing for the final year project and left to have a shower thinking that he would come back and complete the dimensioning. In the meantime, Chandrakumar entered and thought that he will lend a helping hand by completing the dimensioning. By the time, Guru had returned from the shower Chandru had “completed” the “art of dimensioning”. Needless to mention that Guru was not at all impressed and had to redo the whole drawing again.
Guru is a professional Guru now, teaching kids at Cochin University.
- Chandra Kumar –Tower (tallest in the class), Very mature for his age then too and uses his words quite carefully. Someone who has seen life quite closely and courageous too when the situation demands. Quite miserly though (those days). His handwriting in the note books used to be “microscope compatible”. Some of the other cost saving measures, I do not want to disclose. I had been to Chandru’s house a couple of times, a lovely place in Kilimanoor (Trivandrum) with nice village ponds around. He is someone who you can call upon in a crisis and is quite reliable in any situation. Mentally quite strong.
Tower, is with state government – supplying drinking water to Kochi.
- Gejo Alex – The role model boy and obviously my best friend in college days. Gejo’s lungi was a source of amusement for most of us country fellows (since it was stitched together like a round skirt. Quite polished guy, soft spoken and blessed with a number of soft skills. I was a regular visitor in Gejo’s house and food was a major attraction. His mother was a superb cook. I do not recollect having same type of rice ever (lemon rice, jeera rice, piece pulav and what all). She was a great gardener too. Both I and Gejo complemented very well and respected each other’s strengths a lot.
Running senior managerial job at Abu Dhabi.
- Gym Varghese – Beemboy/Sadham – big fellow, soft spoken giant. Once we had met him in the night at the bridge close to Kothamangalam town. Gym had downed a few pegs and was quite in his elements. He asked me a very simple question, “ do you think I am not strong enough to throw you down this bridge?”. Since I was not so eager to die, I immediately agreed that he can do any day (who wants to be picked up from the river with fractured limbs and bones in the middle of the night!!!! Second classic from Gym was during one of the class parties, when poor Sabu Peter came and asked for the bike keys to go to the town and pick up some food. Gym just thundered, you are too small to ride a bike, take this 20 bucks and use an auto!! Needless to say that Sabu was not impressed at all.
Long time in UAE, just back to Kerala.
- Hybeen – Pandy – Sweet and handsome, king of Rajakkadu. We never knew he had such a creative mind. What Hybeen has created through “Spice Tree resorts” is something quite exquisite. Someone with a very sweet smile always, party guy who never hurt anyone. Hybeen is someone who always used to treat everyone with lot of respect.
Successful entrepreneur. We are indeed proud of his work.
- James John – Kamath Avaran – Used to discuss lots of agricultural products those times also (coconuts, areca nuts and loads of them too). He was somebody whom no one preferred to meet before the exam. He used to ask lots of complex questions (he is quite thorough always) and used to confuse people. Slowly, we learned to deal with him by asking too many “counter questions” to confuse him back. Once James’s father had come to the hostel and some of the guys thought of taking a chance with the guy (thinking of acting smart with the simpleton). The guys started telling him about all the money James wastes on drinking (he is a teetotaler) and all other bad habits and how his father should caution him now. He heard through the whole thing and just uttered one sentence – “that much money, I never gave him”, issue closed!!!
In Dubai now, always willing to help anyone in need.
- Jaideep – Koottan (big guy) – Brightest guy of the class, but quite moody and unpredictable. Used to get good grades with minimum efforts. Loner mostly, rarely seen in groups. Used to have very good control of Malayalam classical type language and can be quite witty too at times. Quite enigmatic pesron though.
Now, teaching in Palghat Engineering College.
- Jaimon – Kavala – We had very little interactions during e days. Kavala was in my same college for PDC too. “Kavala” name came same time as the famous thilakan movie “Moonam pakkam and stuck quite well. Though Jaimon did not exhibit the same behavior traits as Jagathi in the movie (while being called out as Kavala). Very popular among the “big boys” of the college then and very popular with everyone today.
No more seen in Kavalas much. Now at “Doha junction”, Qatar.
- Jibiachan – Chada – One of the most silent members of the group. But quite an intelligent and deep thinking guy. Generally remains in a shell, good sense of humour while in the known group. By nature, shies away from limelight. From Kalady, very close to my home. Pretty brainy guy too!!!
Dubai, Jakarta and now back to Dubai, design Engineer.
- Pareeth – Pakku – Teetotaler in a full drunkard group, specializes in managing people who are drunk, settling the bill at bar to avoid drunkards being overcharged etc. A “class act”, gentleman, polished and popular among “non-drinking” crowd too. Speaks with typical Moovattupuzha accent. Close friends being Kavals and Pandy (obvious reasons).
“Korottu Kayari” ippol, Dubai – in true Moovattpuzha style.
- Pius (Kothumbu – slender guy) – ladies’ favorite, good boy, good student too. Jokes apart, Pius is loved by everyone. Possibly, as popular as Gejo in the class. Has not left any particular comedy situations for me to recap. Lovely guy.
Good time in Middle East, now back to Kochi.
- Poulose (late) – Totally closed off to most of the class. I would have hardly spoken to him in those five years. Possibly had tougher issues to handle in life. We lost him in 2008 around. He did not take care of himself. Salam and other classmates spent quite a bit of time organizing basic documents and early resources for the family after his untimely demise.
Back to God’s abode. May his soul Rest In Peace.
- Rajesh – Omkal (long legs – no other issue) – Remembered for his bright and wide smile. We thought that he can keep that smile at still position for 10 minutes plus, just depends on whom he is smiling at!!!. Angry young man then and angry not so young man now. Most of the body language is modelled after Mammookka of the movie “Aroodham”. But, generally a very harmless guy.
Now at Dubai, smiling at Chinese bosses (Chinese girls too…in still position!!!).
- Sabu Peter – Kuttoosan (please do not ask me to name Dakini Amma) – The only known serious love story of our class. Happy and blessed that he got married to his sweet heart too. It is difficult to recollect “one specific” incident about Sabu, though Sabu himself was a “series of incidents”. Popular guy though he generally has the habit of making blunders all over.
Running own construction business at Kochi and quite successful too.
- Santosh George -Kappai (late)– Tall, soft spoken guy. He was one of my roommates along with Gejo and Makri. During that time, he had taken some fancy on learning guitar. With two existing musicians Gejo and Makri in the room, I was the only monkey left without a tail. Luckily for me Kappai left that passion in between and started going to the Gym with me (near the college bus stop). In between the weight lifting workouts, he used to check in the mirror how much the muscles have “bulged out”. After a few weeks, our eyes started “bulging out” due to exhaustion and we gave up the “muscle building programme”. Sadly, country lost two “bahubalees”.
Back to God’s abode as recently as in May 2017. May his soul Rest In Peace. Kappai was in Toronto.
- Salim Ikka – thin and small guy. But Ikka challenge is an iron hard challenge. If Ikka decides “no coffee” means no coffee for days. If Ikka decides “Coffee now” means dozen cups of coffee and collapse. He was an Electronics Engineer at heart in a Civil Engineering class. Even his final year seminar was on Electronic traffic controls, which even “Odiyan Achan” found “too advanced”. Lot of Electrical and EC guys used to visit our room when he was our roommate in HS2. When we sleep we normally see him sitting with the soldering machine and we end up getting up in the middle of the night with some siren in the room and Ikka sitting with fumes all around. After some time, we (Gejo, I and Guru), became immune to midnight hooters.
Running construction related work, in Kerala.
- Vinod – Munshi – as the nickname suggests, too mature at that stage too. Used to interact in very limited groups only (mostly Patta, Poulose and Guru). He was a day scholar and my interaction with him also has been limited.
With state government.
- Mohammed Sageer – Sageer joined us in the fourth year only. But he gelled with all of us so nicely that we remember him as our five year classmates only. Very open and transparent behavior and he used to have complete contempt on any super-fulvous and made up behavior. He quickly bonded with us and one among us.
At Muvattupuzha, with municipality along with family including two lovely kids (twins).
- Bindu B – thinnest of the three Bindus in the class. Possibly most soft spoken in the class too. Many times in Mathematics class, SR used to ask questions with such a “heavy bass” voice and Bindu used to reply with such a feeble voice!!! Normally seen with Pushpa Kumari.
In Delhi with Central Government.
- Bindu TK – Possibly, most popular of the three Bindus. She used to be more inter active and jovial. Again, mostly seen on the right side of Pushpa if Bindu B is on the left side that day.
At Perumbavoor, running own consultancy business.
- Bindu Susan George – For me, very little interaction with her, even though Bindu was not a “reserved type”. Cheerful and friendly, though not so talkative. Mostly seen in the company of Perumabvoor-mate Geetha.
One more contribution to the teaching community from Civil B.
- Geetha K P (not Kerala Police) – Generally silent and quite often too silent. Little bit of friendly interactions with her during our college tours, even though no long talks.
Settled at Surat, Gujarat working with a Civil Engineering firm.
- Jeeja Bhai – the warrior, true to the name Jeejabhai (Shivaji’s mother) – used to maintain a very tough and serious exterior during the college days. I had never seen Jeeja at ease, relaxed and cracking a joke, at least when I was around!!! We always thought Jeeja always had a few extra subjects to give every semester (since she seemed to be quite serious always). Possibly, a sweet person was hiding inside a tough exterior since Jeeja Bhai “version 2” today is quite jovial, friendly and relaxed. We had a lovely dinner with her and family few years back when I had gone to Trivandrum and a nice lunch at Bangalore when they had come here. I interact quite freely not just with Jeeja, but Pradeep and their two lovely kids too. What a makeover!!!!
New version of Jeejabhai is now at Trivandrum and with State Government.
- Jaya PT – Quite a popular face in the class. Good student, smart mannerisms and reasonably talkative too. Post college days, she has been quite helpful in getting the class get together events organized from the girls’ side.
She is with State Government now.
- Lali George – Lali was quite talkative and a very friendly personality. We used to call Lali “Kamath Avaran” of the girls side, since her questions and answers were quite natural and nonpolitical.
Lali is now with the state government.
- Maheshwari – I used to sit in the right side front row and sleep in the class and Maheshwari used to sit in the left side front row and sleep. But I always wondered how SR used to pick me up alone? Generally, very silent during college days. Like Jeeja, Maheshwari “version 2” has been a major change. Outspoken, smart and in complete control. Moving around and travelling smart on work. Possibly, a combination of CA (Chartered Accountant) and CB (Civil B), became a big hit.
Now runs valuation business for major Banks.
- Marykutty – Kuttans – One of my closest classmates during college days and after college days too. Like Gejo’s house, I used to visit her Kollam house quite frequently (almost every job exam trips to Trivandrum had an automatic stop at Kollam). Both her parents (lovely individuals) and sisters (Ansamma Miss already a lecturer then at TKM and other Litti Mol, quite little at that time), were quite fond of me. Normal Trivandrum trip would mean getting down at Kollam for a nice lunch at the railway quarters and then take a bus to Trivandrum.
Kuttans is now happily living at Abu Dhabi.
- Preetha James – Friendly and sweet person, though relatively silent. We had visited Preetha’s home towards the end of the course and had a nice lunch once. Otherwise, long interactions have been limited.
Now happily married to our own Siji Paul (MB).
- Pushpa Kumari – What a great reputation!!! – Rama Devi teacher came first time to the class of 45 and before even keeping her books down asked, “Who Is Pushpa Kumari?”. Suddenly, it was one “Pushpa” and 44 “others”. Superb student and a smart professional now. I thought there was a 5% difference in marks between Pushpa and No.2 in the class when we left S8. It is like losing a test match by an Innings and 150 runs. Though, she was not a “padippist” in the true sense. She was truly intelligent and not someone who mugged up Kurmi text books. Despite her heavy academic records, she was always quite sweet and accessible.
Now with State Government.
- Rajeena – Quite a popular person both among boys and girl, though my interactions with her has been far and few in between. Quite fashionable and stylish person and communicative too.
Now with State Government.
- Renu Ramachandran – Gejo Alex equivalent of girls’ side. That is the best way to describe Renu. Non-controversial, friendly and accessible. Used to lead most of the communications from the girls’ side regarding tour organising, assignments etc. Straight forward and practical person too.
Now residing in Riyadh. Working with State Government (on leave). Like in the case of Jeeja, I could also interact with her husband Renjit (such a lovely gentleman), son Atul (handsome boy and a bright doctor) and the little daughter.
- Reena Thomas – If I remember right, possibly the next best student in the class after Pushpa. Not much communicative during college days.More in touch with Reena post college days. Settled and working in US now. Someone had circulated her new look in the group with a challenge to “identity the person”. Lots of questions came back (from girls of course), asking “where is the long hair gone” (guys never had the courage still to ask)?. That is Reena, “US smart professional version”.
- Roby John – The story goes like this (pardon me if I am wrong), some adventurous guys from the class (not me of course) visited Roby’s house at Ankamali. I am told that they were served great food and accorded quite warm hospitality. But along with the food they were also served lots of questions about the visitor’s marks, academic record, back papers, future plans etc (which was completely out of syllabus). This led to a situation where most of the guys started doing serious research on academically oriented parents before they visited a classmate’s house.
Jokes apart, Roby was a great confident student and a simple person. Roby is now in Dubai .
- Rugmini – “Silent Movie” – we have rarely heard her talking during college days. But whenever, she spoke, it was quite loud and clear. Most of the time, she used to be Jeeja Bhai, “the warrior” who was always carrying an AK 47 and therefore no one took the risk of any loose talk. Again, jokes apart, she was a quite confident and smart person who spoke little but always spoke directly on the point whenever she spoke.
Now settled in Trivandrum.
- Sreekala M Chandran – Quite an active member of the group. If I remember right, I did my final year project with her. Quite collaborative and hard working.
Now with State Government.
On the funnier side, I saw Kala last in a jewelry shop. I called her first and could not reach her since she was so engrossed in shopping. Since I knew her husband too, I saw him and requested for help. Finally, I, husband, children and few jewelry staff called together to get her attention. Focus was very clear!!!!
- Sreelekha P – Lovely individual, friendly demeanor and straight forward talk. Does not act pricey, good student too. Always willing to help in need. My interactions during college days were quite limited. However, we found her quite above board on most of the issues.
Lekha is now with State Government.
- Sreelatha B – My best friend (along with Kuttans) among girls during college days. Lots of common interest, bit of writing, bit of Hindi movies etc. Plus her pet name was “Mini”, same as my own sister. She had a great command over English and Hindi written communication (since she was in IOC colony in North most of her childhood). I found her a great student too with a sound GK. Quite straight forward and outspoken too. We guys used to make fun of her accent (One, thu, thee, etc. then).
Now working with State Government.
- Shamla Beegom – I met Shamla and her father before classes started at Kothamangalam. We had met at Trichur Engineering College and branch for college change process. As the luck goes, neither of us got a college change or a branch change. She has been one of the most pleasant characters in the class, talks a lot, quite dignified personality and quite vocal on issues which matters.
Now with State Government.
- Salimol Thomas – Tallest among girls, great student, always studying. I would have interacted the least with her in those five years since she used to be too reserved (at least to me). But, we all knew she is too capable a person.
If you google Sali today, you will get a few complex theorems and research papers. I understand that she has done M Tech from IIT and then PhD from US and now teaches in a US University. Academically, the most successful from our class.
- P R Anil Kumar – yours truly
Let me also write on two guys not a part of our class, but too close-
Sunil, the Dabur (Civil A) – always like family. You visit Sunil’s room and you do not need to visit a Dabur shop. Dabur chyavanprash, hajmula, oil, what not. Therefore someone put the name Dabur.
Sunil is someone whom I can always trust eyes closed.
He used to a regular visitor to my home at Chowara mainly for job exams. Sunil is a slow eater and our home, we are used to eat dinner between 840 PM news and 9 PM serial “Buniad”. So most of the time, hosts used to abandon the guest at the dinner table and run for the serial!!! My sister equally slow eater used to give Sunil company and discuss all type of stories.
Sunil is at HAL at Kasargod. He has more or less abandoned Dabur products thanks to the lovely food cooked by his wife Kala!!!
Abraham (Electrical A) – the Makri – If you go to his house, his mother is nice, but go there when his father is not around, he is a tough guy indeed. Gejo had “drilled” it into my mind a 100 times. Finally, I visited Makri’s den had nice food served by his mother, chatted with another very nice mannered person and went home. Monday, I asked Makri, why your father was not at home that day and Maks said whom else you thought you met that day. And this fellow Gejo Alex burst into a laughter.
Lot of common stuff between us, both his parents were teachers and my mother was a teacher. My mother retired from the same school even though they never taught there at the same time. Finally, at my home also, he is known as Maks the Makri only!!!
Maks, loved by all had the habit of spanking unsuspecting people from behind (quite painfully too). He is now with Cochin Airport.
Last but least – Jays Chandy– our junior – Chandy Kunju – It was like he belonged to our batch, not the junior batch – he was always seen in our company, our roommate….. One of the brightest guys I have met, had great knowledge of almost all issues, great speaker, debater, quizzer, essentially all good things rolled into one. Only minor shortcoming I could think in him was he was not into active sports much. Wonderful student who went well beyond B Tech into IISC. He was admired by all of us. Malayalam accent was quite funny, given that he was bought up mostly outside Kerala.
He had a great career with Taj, Mindtree etc. and is now running own HR business.