|We're off to Barnes Once More...
Above L:Parvez,Ritchie and Ernie..R:Sharukh trying out the bell.
6pm all the bags are stuffed in Sharukh's car We take off for Devlali - we've got to travel far Sharukh , Ritchie, Parvez and me off to Barnes once more We can't wait to lunch at Barnes and the Dhal we all adore As Sharukh dodges pot holes we catch up on the news What you did , where you've been and all our crazy views Ritchie's back from Dubai on his annual holiday From his wife and family we manage to steal him away We stop at Palavi for dinner the time is about nine As Tandoori chicken dissappears from the plate we're doing fine We carefully cross the Ghats where the mist is really thick Sharukh's very sober and his driving is safe and quick Suhas has kindly invited us to stay at his hotel So we head for Nasik with Sharukh driving really well We reach Suhas's 'Quality Inn' in Nasik about midnight And check into our rooms and find that everythings all right Out comes the whisky from Ernies's spacious bag We ring room service for sodas while Sharukh lights a fag Two thirty in the morning we decide to go to bed Lights out , A.C. on and pull the blanket over my head But we're too excited so talking on we keep It is another hour before we get to sleep I share a room with Ritchie while Parvez is with Sharukh When Ritchi started snoring we could swear the building shook Every morning Parvez wakes us up with a nice hot cup of tea We throw open the windows and the view is great to see We're relunctant to leave our spacious comfortable suite But to Devlali we must go our date with Barnes to keep So after a sumptious breakfast we set off in the car This time Parvez does the driving so we reach in half an hour We have prior information that this will be an exciting day The Christ Church team is here a friendly match to play The moment we enter Gate Lodge nostalgic memories almost bring tears We realize how much we missed our alma mater all these years The Christ Church contingent has a badminton and debating team as well We reach in time to see their badminton team give us hell 'Thorpe' in his prize giving speech loses with bad grace He says ' badminton is a womens game we feel his remarks are out of place
We walk around the school reliving old memories Admiring our old campus and all our favourite trees Parvez on the parallel bars has'nt lost his touch The students gather around and all are impressed very much We join the students for lunch shouting '' please pass the doll '' The food has certainly improved and for seconds we all call Parvez is elected to say the grace after meals He makes a hash of it much to our amusement and laughter peals Sharukh says he always thought '' us truly '' was ''Kasturi'' So now try saying the grace and use ''Kasturi'' instead of ''us truly'' After lunch we take a round of our old domitaries
Above: The dorms and below the toilets
NO MORE SOAP HOCKEY!!!
To our delight Suhas joins us and we also visit the quarries
We meet the son of our famous hairdresser ''bansi'' And watch him cutting the hair of a young student with glee He reminds us that 'Bhendi ' still owes his dad ''charzees'' He says that with compound interest its a fortune if you please We then raid the tuck shop but this time we're glad to pay Old 'Sai' is still in charge but he does'nt have cream rolls today
We find it is almost time for the football match to begin So we take the long walk to the field they'll play in
While the players are lumbering up we take a look at the pool It is in a sorry state no longer a highlight of the school
The match begins and Barnes dominates from the first mimute We have no doubt in our mind that Barnes is going to win it We reach the match at half time with the score at two nil The boys are doing well and scoring almost at will We're bored with this one sided match and we decide to go Later on we hear that the total score was four To visit our old principal Mr. Davis we decide And we take a short picturesque drive to the cottage where he does reside He welcomes us warmly to his comfortable hall He is eighty-four but he still stands straight and tall Ma Davis recognizes all of us and serves us biscuits and tea We were much impressed by her photagraphic memory We try to meet 'I say man' Gadre' but we find an empty flat By now we're getting thirsty so for a drink we sat Sharukh and Parvez are avoiding alcohol and 'goldening' So Suhas, Ritchie and me have to do all the serious drinking Suhas heads for home and we head back to school We're just in time for dinner and the menu makes us drool This time there's mutton curry, cabbage bhaji , dal and rice And a piece of cake for dessert now is'nt that really nice
Soon the music starts from Evans Hall up above There's a dance on tonight come on guys lets fall in love We spend some time upstairs but we did'nt fit in at all In our time dancing was a 'contact sport' and we had a ball Now they dance in a circle boys with boys and girls with girls The boys shake their mascular bodies and the girls their pretty curls We head back to our hotel long before the dance is done Back at the hotel out comes the bottle and we are at it once again Watching the kids we felt really old but the alcohol kills the pain Its been a long day, we're pretty tired so off to bed we go I sit down to write this poem while Ritchie starts to snore
Sunday morning in Nasik is beautiful but we stay in bed till ten Suhas says he will join us but we don't know exactly when So after a leisurely breakfast we wander around the 'Quality Inn' The pool looks inviting but its too cold to go in
Back in our suite we ring ' room service' because its time for beer Suhas and his friend come and join us here Beer and conversation flowing with practiced ease Remembering our old girlfriends each other we try to tease We'd like to leave for Bombay the time is half past three Suhas our generous host tells us our stay with him is free He says all Barnicles in future get a 50% discount So make a note of this ---on Suhas you can count But before we leave Suhas has logged onto the internet Chatting 'on line ' with Erica and Bharat about leaving we soon forget We log onto the Barnes site and see the '' class of '73 '' And laugh at all those photographs of how we used to be From the Quality Inn to Suhas's 'Palace' we make a dash We admire his beautiful bunglow on which he spent a lot of cash We meet his lovely wife who fits in like a queen And see albums of Australia where Suhas and family have just been Then we say good-bye and start the long journey back home Sad to leave this beautiful place where for two days we did roam Its raining really heavily almost all the way But with Sharukh at the wheel in good time we reach Bombay We stop for dinner at a roadside 'Dhaba' where rain drips into our food But the food is really tasty so it doesn't spoil our mood Now we're back in Bombay and Barnes is far away We will anxiously look forward to our next visit another day
ERNEST JOSEPH FLANAGAN