Visit to Kurseong and GMS
The road up was different, much wider and better. I remembered it as a tiny 15ft wide road that 2 cars shared on the road. Not a lot of changes has taken place in the hills. The scenery is still the same. Kurseong nestled in the midst of many tea gardens, namely Makaibari.
Eagles Nest was still visible from afar. The smells and sights still the same. The train tracks, the colorful houses, and the famous land mark the train station with the words “KURSEONG 4864Ft” marked when you came in to town. Spent almost a decade hating the place, now strangely it was like seeing a long lost place.
Got of in the middle and walked through town, back then it seemed huge. But it was a brisk walk to Tourist Lodge, where I had many a last meal before heading to boarding school. On the way walked past may old haunts; places like Sunrise stores, where we bought our school uniforms, the stationary store, even Kumai Studios where we bought novels, cards, audio cassettes. (And yes, that was a long time ago, more than a decade!)
At Tourist Lodge, the food was still the same. I got my Chicken Sweet Corn soup and it was the same as I had tasted it a decade ago. Hands down still the best chicken sweet corn soup till date.
After a quick meal it was off to GMS, drove by all the same places, the bus station, St. Alphonsus School, the jhora (waterfall) to the right and Kettle Valley to the left. Reached the bottom of GMS to a huge gate. On the way up met with Shyam Daju (he was responsible for putting out the food); strangely he remembered my brother instead of me. But he still looks the same!
One strange observation, was that they had a lot of fences all around. I do not recall there being that many. Upon reaching up to the top, everything looked so different. Was probably the yellow and green that threw me off. It looked like as if the Himali colours had invaded our school.
The school had still not open, so there was extensive renovation going on.
The classrooms looked the same, with the addition of another floor above the senior classes. The class bell location had changed.
The infirmary was no longer at that location, it apparently moved to where the middle dorms was. I remember it used to be so darned scary if you were sick and to stay in the infirmary on your own. The chemistry / physics / bio lab was still where it was.
This center area was where we had the news papers, and read them during the breaks. Loved reading the Odd News section and the comics with Mandrake, Phantom, Garfield, etc. We also had our crew cut haircuts under the stairs.
The classrooms looked so different, our time we had the wooden desks where we stored all our books and stationary. Now it definitely very multi-colored class room.
Met up with the current principal, Br. Larry Miranda. Found out that Br. Thomas and Shannon passed away. Almost every one we knew retired and left. The only two that was left behind was Mr. Lepcha (still terrorizing all the boys) and Mr. Dasgupta. So did not get to meet any of the old teachers.
They lost all the photo’s in the administrative hallways. Where there used to be old batches and their photos along the walls. This is for our batch, the only pictures that did survive, was ours.
Went to see the rest, the study hall was still the same. We used to watch a lot of movies here on weekends, and also remembered the World Cup matches late in the night.
The dorms were still the same.
Had spent all of 1 hour and needed to rush back home. I shot a lot of video, so will definitely compile them some day and upload them.