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Saturday, February 12, 2011

BM High School Reunion Dinner 2011

(From L to R : Teck Aun, Boon Kheng,Kalai, his wife, Zuriah, Imbaraj, Radzi, Aravind & Jalil)

I had never attended any reunion dinners of my alma-mater, the famous BM High School. I know that the BMHS Alumni Club has been having this annual do at some posh hotel in KL ever since I left school in 1973 but it never interested me previously although on some occasions, the guest of honour had been ex-PM Abdullah Badawi (an old boy himself). I remember my classmate Jalil inviting me about 6 or 7 years ago to attend one when it was held at Sunway but I turned it down politely although I knew my other classmate Farid (the ‘F’ from JACHFRINS fame and now demised) would also be attending and I had not met him in a long time. Somehow the idea of celebrating a school function away from the school didn’t quite appeal to me.
So when Jalil called to inform me that this year’s function was being held at the school grounds in BM itself for the very first time. I was elated! I quickly spread the word around my other classmates whom I was in touch with and managed to gather the numbers for a table of 10. Nazir declined the invitation saying he had some other engagement on the same day. I called up Boon Kheng (who was in China at the time) who quickly reserved 2 seats, the other for Teck Aun. Imbaraj wanted in but Seck Hock, a successful lawyer in KL turned down for some reason. Imbaraj managed to contact Radzi who also agreed to join in.
So on the day of the function, off we went, all excited about being able to meet some old friends and teachers who we had not met since we left school 38 years ago. Imbaraj picked me up at about 10 in the morning from the Rawang Rest Area that I can actually access via a back route from my house in Rawang without having to hit the highway. I packed enough beers in my bag for the 3 hours or so journey. Once we passed Tapah, we started on the beers that had been chilled in a cooler bag that Imbaraj had brought along. We recalled so many incidents from the past as we took a slow drive, finally reaching BM at about 2 in the afternoon. After checking into Summit Hotel, we decided to go for a walkabout around town to get a feel of the place that we had traversed in during our younger days. Most of the shops were still around but some new buildings have sprung up. And the roads have been made one-way to ease the congestion. Found a nice cozy corner in an old chinaman stall and continued having a couple of beers more before we advanced to Ali Nasi Kandar nearby that had been in existence since our school days and which Imbaraj vouches to sell THE best Nasi Kandar in the country! After a sumptuous meal of chicken, with a dash of karuvadu curry and sotong, we retired to our room for a much needed short nap. We couldn’t have slept for more than an hour when Boon Kheng called to inquire our whereabouts. It was about 5 then and he wanted us to join him for some beers nearby. We quickly washed up and went to meet up with him. I had been in touch with him often especially during my Kulim days since he too lived there but Imbaraj was meeting him after 38 years. We had some more beers with him and Teck Aun over much fun and laughter before finally adjourning to the school for the reunion. Met up with Jalil at the school hall where he was having some light snack with his wife Zuriah (an ex-student herself from High School). Abdullah Badawi came with Jeanne a while later as the band started to belt out some old numbers. Interestingly the band was made up of school teachers from nearby schools.
We reminisced of our bygone days as we walked through the school corridor, stopping by at the very classroom that we studied in, taking a snap inside it at the very spot where we had been seated. Nothing much had changed except that the chairs that were either made of metal or wooden then had been replaced with plastic ones now.
We looked out hoping to be able to meet up with some of our old teachers but were disappointed when none of them had turned up. They must have retired obviously but efforts must have been made to invite them for the function which naturally isn’t complete without them around. I have since pointed this out to the organizer who promised to address the issue in the next event that will be held on 20-1-2012 (as Abdullah Badawi had insisted in his speech that all future reunions must be held at the school grounds).
When it was close to about 11, we decided to leave as Boon Kheng had invited us to Kulim Club where we went on to continue with our session until the wee hours of the morning. Returning to the hotel at about 3, we slept through the morning, waking up in time for lunch at Ali’s again before embarking on the arduous journey back home.
Thank you guys…….for the wonderful memories.


kranjini said...

Beautiful autograph you have here.......

aravind said...

Glad you liked it Ranjini! I checked out your blog. You have a nice one going there. You can expect my regular visit from now on.