Stan Blogs

Outing Sunday

Boys from the first division were allowed outing Sundays when we could officially leave the premises to visit near family who lived close by. Well I had an aunt down Chinkpoli road em route to Veronica street. When I did visit her she would give me a real fantastic lunch ( and you know how much a hungry boarder can eat). I had cousins living around on D'montee street and elsewhere, but I had other plans. I was intrigued by things mechanical and by things that fly and always dreamed that one day I would build machines. My class work books were filled with drawings of contraptions and so I got my ear twisted quite often. So my outing Sundays were spent at the Parel railway yard watching those guys with black grease all over, work on the locomotives as I made drawing of the wheels and other parts. Another favorite was the aerodrome as it was in the 50s with its semicircular hangars and with the Dakotas parked nearby. Then one day a kindly guy saw me staring at the aircraft through the barbed wire and offered to take me to see the things that fly. He took me into a Dakota and even seated me in the pilot's bucket seat. Wow, I was blown and dreamed ever of flying those aircraft one day. But as you already know, man proposes but GOD disposes, and I can tell you now at the ripe age of +63 that its a fact. As life would have it I was told 18 was too old to join the air force via kadakvasla and in any case my mother could not afford the fees for training as a commercial pilot. So be it (Amen). Life had other plans for me (read that as GOD had other plans for me ).

Looks like something can be done after all...

In my previous post I asked the question if "anything can be done at all" to improve local governance. And this post is provides a seed for thought. In various email exchanges and wanderings in the blogosphere I was made aware of this effort driven by concerned citizens of Mumbai – (Thanks to Prakash Thadani!).

I went through this site briefly and can see that Vote Mumbai is an “umbrella” under which neighbourhoods can drive change. Evidently a huge amount of thinking and hard work has gone into shaping this community governance idea. See these 3 links to judge for yourself: , and

This idea is in the public domain and open to alternative viewpoints and constructive criticism. It would be worth putting all strength behind this one “arrow”. I understand that much of the thinking started in 2005! and is derived from “The Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission” see -

Interpersonal skills training for service professionals at TISS

Posted on Karmayog by: "sonali sehgal"

Dec 15, 2008

Interpersonal skills training for service professionals


*Tata Institute of Social Sciences*

*PO Box 8313, Deonar,*

*Mumbai 400088*


*January 12 to March 06, 2009*

BATTLE GROUND : St Xavier’s College

An account of what happened outside St.Xavier's College on the night we lost our brave Heroes

Can anything be done at all?

I just read Sir Mark Tully's "Will India heed the wake-up call? and cannot help sharing his scepticism as to whether politicians will stop interfering in creating institutions for security and intelligence. I am hoping that public interest groups will issue a clarion call to action. An action where ideological differences are put to the side and these groups collaborate to relentlessly drive politicians and public servants in taking concrete, measurable steps for a safer Mumbai.

And while there are a number of Facebook groups on the Mumbai terror events, we also need local action that can be backed up by virtual groups on FB, Orkut or others. It is about time Mumbai created something like that can be used to raise awareness among citizens and to let politicians know they are being followed. Because they need to get their act together.

Updated 9.14 CET, 3.12.08: A few typos corrected - Francis

Condolence meeting for our fallen Heroes

St Xavier's College has organised a condolence meet to mourn the death of alumunus ACP Ashok Kamte, ATS chief Hemant Karkare, father of former student Sayalee, and Taj Chef Vijay Banja, husband of a Farida, a staff member on December 4 at 5.30 pm.

I have not been to St. Xavier's College for many years. I feel the strong need to be there on December 4th. I remember Ashok well even though my junior at football practices.

Mumbai, My Mumbai !

In St. Stanislaus High School, then as perhaps now, there were boys from all communities and we were peaceful. Typical competitive behavior was but natural as in any other school. The typical school day began with the prayer in the shed (as we called it then - the space between the stationary and the Donnelly ground) and recess found most boys playing or in groups. Sports day and other events found the boys enjoying together as we did the picnics.
As the years went by, we grew into adults, some of us grandfathers, the scene has radically changed. Communities seem to have separated. Many of us saw no real difference between us and the boys from the Hindu and Muslim communities. But in the real world we are expected to pledge loyalty to our own communities, perhaps for our own security. This divisive character has become fertile ground for manipulators who as we can see have succeeded in breeding suspicion among communities. Now we are paying the price and its seems that daily life is one we must fear. No telling what happens next.
It is very imperative to rally the alumni and the current school boys to begin a dialogue, to reach out, to understand, to trust, to assist, to get rid of fears, to break down the walls, to unite. We were given knowledge and values at this school so that we can think about issues and perhaps make choices. We are not ones who can be manipulated by politicians or their muscle. Or are we? Yes we are IF we stand divided. Thus unity is the key, just as it is in its most negative scenario (mobs).
As Jesus our Lord and Savior told us "love thy neighbour", let us at least try.

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Thinking about the most important period of my life, from the age of five to eighteen, brings on a tsunami wave of nostalgia that simply overwhelms me. Sure, this was the period that those who lived with parents at home may have gained values that guided their lives until now. But we did not live with our parents in the boarding, we lived with hundreds of other boarders and the Jesuit priests. During the vacations when I went home to my widowed mother, she filled me in with details about my father and other family members. My exposure to family was minimal and very brief, as was my exposure to family acquaintances. So in a way I grew up a stranger to family and those who knew us.

But some of the values that did rub off on me while in residence as a boarder have become part of my guiding light all these years. One is that I trust my conscience totally and its guidance in the matters of honesty. Hey! I'm not making any claims, except that my conscience will never let me be in peace if I'm dishonest. And thank GOD for that. The other is the value of prayer, but in recent years I learnt that greater value lies in just shutting up and being still if I want to hear what GOD is telling me.

Dilip Chahal

While we were at St.Stanislaus I have very fond memories of playing at my classmate Dilip Chahal's house on Kane Road (Band Stand Apts). I lost touch with Dilip after school and I have always wondered how he was doing and where he was. I tried locating him but it seemed he had just disappeared. Then yesterday I got a call from my dear classmate Gurmeet Sahani. Dilip was visiting India and was in Mumbai for the last two days when he suddenly pased away. I attended his cremation at Shivaji Park crematorium yesterday afternoon. Really tragic way to catch up with a long lost classmate.

Sesquicentenary Inauguration

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