Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sri P R Lonappan sir - Cycling his way 38000 ft above to the oasis of his Past Pupils

Sri P R Lonappan sir - Cycling his way 38000 ft above to the oasis of his Past Pupils

Franson Michael Edakulathur welcoming all for the evening.

Sri P R Lonappan Sir and his wife Mary teacher.

A traditional Kerala style welcome to Sir.

Representatives from various batches waitinf for the cermonial lighting of the lamp

Inauguration of the function and ceremonial lighting of the lamp by Mrs. Mary Lonappan

The senior most past pupil present Sunny Manath who studied in the school during the period 1964 lighting the lamp.

Lighting of the lamp continues..

Lighting of the lamp continues..

Lighting of the lamp continues..

Lighting of the lamp continues..

Memento presentation - a written message from Ranjith Thampan and message of thanks from 81 batch

Memento presentation - all present.

A memento - remembering the good old school days, during (and even now) Lonappan sir with his favorite cycle.

Remembering late Sri A J Varghese sir. A memento for the school staff room.

Sri P R Lonappan master

Student of Don Bosco High School Irinjalakuda 1968 batch (1st English batch that passed out from the school)

- worked as Physics and Mathematics teacher for the same school for 31 years.
- Unassuming, non-controversial, simple, humble, god fearing, very dedicated to his profession and family.

Many more to add. We were lucky enough to have him here with his wife to rekindle the fond memories of our school days.

Short visits to India many times after I left cycle and came abroad. I never really got a chance to see him after. It was during my recent visit, I saw him with his trademark cycle in the town centre of Irinajakuda. I was driving, and the road was busy and unfortunately, could not capturing him through my lenses (as my usual self). But the memories captured well that time itself. After coming back here, I checked with my friends and found that despite of his poor eye sight he still uses his cycle to move around. I never knew that time that an occassion will be due very soon to portray him in a natural way.

There is also another story behind this picture. I had promised Franson that I will try and do a carricature of Lonappan sir (after this memory of seeing him with his cycle) for giving it as a surprise present during his visit. However, till thursday around 4:00 pm, I did not get time or did not have a clue as to how I do this job - between my main jobs. It was then my colleague, Souheila brought to me a piece of white paper with a picture of a beach, sun and a boat drawn by her son Wassil (he is a regular participant of Talent Share). She told me that this was drawn by Wassil (4 yrs old) during his visit to her office previous evening using marker pen and yellow and blue highlighters on her desk. It was like an apple hitting Newtons head for me. While all the time I was complicating thigs to portray him, here is a simple solution and the result was that I was able to keep my commitment to Franson. Children many time teach us things in an entirely different way.

I submit this as a pranam to all my gurus.

Date: 11 December 2009
Event: Dynamix of 80s
Venue: Sheraton Hotel Deira Dubai

His speech. Sri Lonappan master addressing his students at the function. He was truly his self during the evening. Recollecting his past memories, as a student and as a teacher of the same school, he conveyed special thanks to the batch of 81 or remembering him even after the school days and then giving his the greatest honor of his first ever foreign trip with his family. He was recolleciting the friendly atmosphere prevailed in the staff room. He also recollected the gratitude of meeting several of his students at various stages of their post school life and their continued affection to him. Finally, how can he conclude without a word or two of guidance. He emphasised the importance of honesty in profession and commitment to the family. He also stressed his students to lead a non-alcoholic life.

In a light manner, he finally mentioned, while coming to Dubai his Emirates flights was showing that it was flying at an altitude of 38000 ft above the land. He felt as if his students honoured him him to reach 38000 ft above.

Mrs. Mary Lonappan speaking at the function.

A teacher by profession in a different school and due to officially retire in March 2010, she mentioned the prestigious role of the Don Bosco students in her life. The affection shown to her husband was nothing new to her as she was literally married into a family of Don Bosco students. Even now both of them cherishes the reception organised by the 81 batch students after their marriage. It continued from then on. She emphasises two important things during her speech. The importance of a continuous communication process between husband and wife, which happened in her life due to which she was able to identify each of his students as he discussed about them and their progress at home. Also, she precised on the success tool for marital harmony. "Any differences between the husband and wife should happen within the sunrise to sunset period. It should not extend beyond that and get carried over to another sunrise.". Concluding her speech and on behalf of both of them, she said "Indian teachers get national awards, but this is truly greater than an International Award".

No wonder. Now we know the secret of remaining happily married to a husband totally devoted to his profession, no time for holidays, movies and other worldly pleasures that she and her children get to see around. Good wishes to her from all of us for these golden words of wisdom. Probably as a reminder to many.

A photographer in the making - a big group and a great job to start with at a young age. Well done my dear for your enthusiasm.

Celebrating a joyous evening.

And the mood was really playful - back to the school days, the band, the orchestra, the play ground, even the rain was favoring the occassion. As a special welcome, it rained in UAE for the first time yesterday evening. The rain falling while the sun shining took our memories further back to the school days, the walk towards the school during the rainy mornings.

There were also special attractions by way of recorded video speech by the current Principal and Vice Principal of the school. Mementos and thoughtful words by past pupils Ranjit Thampan and his students.

A great evening, a theory has been proved once again. Teaching is a noble profession, irrespective of what the monetar benefit involved. A good teacher is always remembered by a student. Let this be a beginning. Let this be an inspiration for other alumnis, past pupils organisation to remember their teachers, arrange a venue to reunite the spirit of the school days.

More photos and updates will follow upon receipt.

A word of special thanks to the organisers Franson, Suresh, Sunil, Sundar and all others who made this event possible. Thanks also goes to the members and families who took time out to come and participate.

Best wishes to all.

Ramesh Menon
12 December 2009


  1. Greetings From

    SAVIO PALATHINGAL Alumini of Donbosco Irinjalakuda and Mannuthy as well.

    Congrats for having made the reception to Lonappan Master grand success specially TO RAMESH MENON for news updates.I hope sir is okay with the cold weather in DXB

    I saw Franson my old friend in the photos.

    what about the rest CLITSON,SABU CHANDY,BABU K MENON ETC from that batch(my batch).I hope that will be adedd later.
    suggestion to post the names with email ID of all present in the function. Regards

    Savio Palathingal

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  3. Congrats for the great occasiaon.
    Lonappan is my father's favourite student at Christ college. I had the chance of being the student of my fathers student. This even memorises the days my father used to go to Christ College on a Rally cycle.

    Hormis P Oommen
    Alumini of DonBosco Irinjalakuda & Bangalore

  4. Dear friends, more photos uploaded today in my Face Book album


    Ramesh Menon
    16 Dec 2009