M A I N   N E W S

For Doscos of ’40s, it’s friendship forever
Doon School alumni descend on their alma mater to celebrate 75th anniversary
Neena Sharma
Tribune News Service

Dehradun, October 22
Age has neither mellowed down their zest nor dimmed their enthusiasm. In fact, such is the exuberance of these septuagenarians that it can give many younglings a run for their money. So, when old Doscos greeted each other at the 75th anniversary function of the Doon School, it was “business” as usual — fun, frolic and festivity.

“If you are a Dosco, you ought to have that spring in your feet and a twinkle in your eyes,” say Delhiites Vijai Kapoor (class of 1948) and Jagdish Malhotra (1946), whose friendship has stood the test of time. The friends swear by the values imparted to them at the school. “What we learnt here has remained with us. Apart from other things, our teachers told us that fair play and discipline were values that need to be upheld at any cost. These things never go out of fashion,” recalls Kapoor.

The discipline inculcated by the English headmasters was legendary, as no special privileges were given to even royal scions, who studied at the school, he said. “Our class was full of future rulers - Bhawani Singh of Jaipur, Prithviraj Singh of Kutch, Karan Singh of Jammu Kashmir, Akhey Singh of Pokhran and Ali Khan Bahadur Mickey Mian, Mustaid Jang and Nawab of Rampur. However, our headmaster Arthur Foot ensured that discipline prevailed. I clearly remember that Karan Singh was asked to take off numerous rings that adorned his fingers on the first day itself,” says Kapoor.

Most Doscos also vouch for the camaraderie that prevails between them. “I am still in touch with my friends in Pakistan, Mohammed Afzal Khan, Mohammed Zafar Khan and Miangul Aurangzeb of Swat (Pakistan). Even at the height of Partition, there was no animosity between us,” quips Malhotra.

“Those days there were less than 300 boys and we had four Houses. Now there is a new Oberoi House. The school building hasn’t changed much and still has a web of greenery all around it,” says Ranjan Roy, who joined the school in 1944. Murad Choudhury, who also joined the school in 1944, said: “Mukkuram Jha- the Nizam of Hyderabad studied with us for some time. But we all were treated as equals. At that time, even the wards of political bigwigs kept a low profile. I really don’t know the current scenario.”

Choudhary spent most of his time at the Art School honing his skills to later become an architect under the tutelage of his teacher Sudhir Khastgir.





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