Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Welcome home friends, to your very own Mount Carmel Convent Anglo Indian Girl's High School Blog! This blog is an attempt to help you reconnect with your past and revive your good old school memories. How often do we get the opportunity to talk about the past....before it's too late! So lets make the most while we can still remember a thing or two of our memorable school days. A pat on our backs dear classmates, for the successful Silver Jubilee Reunion that was held on the 25th of July 2010 at The Nani Hotel, Kollam. A big round of applause to all those who travelled from far and near to attend this glorious occasion. The rain didn't dampen our spirits and the memories of the day will linger on. We are thankful to all those who contributed their valuable time to make this event a grand success and also to those who documented important parts of our school's nostalgic reminiscences. Please keep checking in for latest updates. If you are an ex-student of Mount Carmel, you are also welcome to add in your comments directly or share with us your story by sending it to us at cynthiapinto@hotmail.com and we'll post it on the blog. Thankyou.

Left: Mount Carmel Convent AIGHS, Kollam (Primary Section) Right: Mount Carmel Convent AIGHS (Secondary Section)

Our Dear Departed Principal, Rev. Sr. Mary Patricia

Our Dear Departed Principal, Rev. Sr. Mary Patricia
Monday, September 13, 2010
A Loving Tribute to Our Principal
By Cynthia Pinto

Sr. Mary Patricia was an enigmatic personality with an abundant aura of grace. Her very presence would inevitably call our attention to drop everything we did to hear her speak. I am often reminded of a few instances of my interaction with her and wish I could turn back the clock just to relive them. Throughout my student life, I realized that she was distinctively different but never fully understood her worth. I thought she rarely smiled and when she did, I knew it made a world of difference to me. So preoccupied with my own life, I never stopped a moment to think how lucky I was to be endowed with such a unique principal.

Looking back, today I have many regrets. I wish I could stop by at Mount Carmel Convent and thank her profusely even if no words were enough to do so. Though she’s no longer with us anymore, I would still like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude for all the dauntless efforts she has so selflessly undertaken to uphold the spirit and motto of our school. May God grant her Soul Eternal Rest!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Tangasseri – A Tourist Haven
By Sherene alias Mary Bennet (’89 Batch)

Tangasseri is situated right at the edge of the Arabian Sea, a very unique location for a school. It is a place packed with history that we as students of MCC were either unaware of or took for granted! Our school could be a treasure trove for archeologists. It lies very close to the old run down Portuguese fort.  Many sea battles may have been waged from our very own school yard during the Portuguese – British era. Sounds of thundering cannons may have resonated within the land.  The magnificent light house situated nearby still stands tall and is a lone witness to this timeless history. (Wonder if that monster beehive is still clinging to its side?).

Past students like me who have moved out of Kerala, crave to go back to Tangasseri, a dream destination for foreign tourists.  Reunions give us the opportunity to go back in time and enjoy the place we are so nostalgic about.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chemistry Blues
By Sherene Dcruz alias Mary Bennet (’89 Batch)

Bunsen Burners and Test Tubes! I remember the long hours we had to spend learning our chemistry tables and being bored to death by them. Then the day finally arrived when we got to go to the chemistry lab.  There was excitement all around. Imagine you get a Bunsen burner and test tubes all to yourself!! Not all experiments are successful, you end up with strange residues of all forms and colours, mini explosions, burned plaits, strange smells! Then there are the bottled specimens kept in formol which gives an eerie atmosphere to the lab and for a first timer it’s like being in a funeral parlour. I can still smell the sulfuric acid hitting my nostrils. We never got to go there as often as it was reserved more for our responsible seniors.

After the experiments, we were supposed to hide our testubes in the drawers, but somehow they always seemed to disappear. So my friend Rachana decided that it would be a better idea to take them home. You just can’t put test tubes in between books that weighed a ton and then board a very crowded bus home. Well, she ended up with powdered test tubes!!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Anatomy of a Frog
By Sherene D'cruz alias Mary Bennet ('89 batch)

Science was not exactly my favourite subject, though I ended up drawing diagrams of cross sections for my friends who hated drawing. Strange enough, today when I go to pick up some reading material from the local book store, I always end up with a copy of ‘The Scientific American’.  Looks like I love science after all.

Back in school when Mrs. Cabot informed us that we would be dissecting a frog the following week, I’m sure the future surgeons and doctors may have rejoiced, but there were those of us who felt our stomachs churn.  Mrs. Cabot kept a close eye on everyone. As the brave cut them open we could feel our breakfast rising to our throats.
Strangely enough the chloroform began to wear off and the frogs with open bellies started to wake up. This caused a general panic and Mrs. Cabot went around with cotton dipped in chloroform to put them back to sleep. Once the entrails were examined, the beating heart, the lungs and diaphragms drawn and lessons learnt, the question that popped in our mind was, ‘do we stitch up the belly just like real surgery?’ Unfortunately no needle and thread was available as this was no SUPW class. Mrs. Cabot must have surely wondered why we were being so ridiculous. She asked us to just dump them in the garden for the birds and cats to eat. Now if we were in France someone would have taken them home to prepare some delicious ‘fried frogs legs’ (sorry my vegetarian friends!). Hands were washed thoroughly but somehow no one was in a mood to eat their lunch that day. I wonder why?

(Frogs are protected species, so try to stitch them up next time. Don’t forget the needle and the thread!)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The SUPW Garden Plot
By Sherene D’cruz  alias Mary Bennet ('89 Batch)
It all began in the best of spirits and ended in the worst! Each class of our batch was divided according to houses and each house was allocated a little plot. Everyone dug their hands in except for a few who did not want to damage their well manicured nails. With scientific precision the plots were measured, fences were built and plants were sneaked in from mom’s vegetable garden or what was found on the roadside - begged, borrowed or stolen! No one had time for games anymore during the breaks as everyone rushed to their plots to take care of their precious plants. Lunch was gobbled up quickly, no time for small talk.
It was just loads of enthusiasm and itching green fingers. While you worked on your plot, you enviously eyed your neighbour’s plot.  Every detail caught your eyes, trying to steal ideas, hey? No way! But how come everyone ended up putting together the same little scarecrows to ward off the birds that were fond of the ripe tomatoes. The plants were suffocated with love. How come no one thought of playing music to their plants?  They say plants grow faster when they hear music! Anyway the plants had no choice but to yield the very best!
Wonder where the vegetables finally ended up, most probably in one of mom’s casseroles. Everything was shared fair and square, at least the first season! Summer went by, the plants were neglected during the holidays. The first day of school everyone arrived early to check their plots.  Even though some of the enthusiasm had died, they were still a few brave who cleaned the plots and planted anew.  No one could predict the damage the torrential monsoon rains would do to their precious plants.  Boundaries got smudged, plants and houses intermingled and finally it was "that’s our tomato plant, no it’s ours". Now, it was just one big floating vegetable garden in a sea of reddish water. Complaints were made, fights had to be dealt with while the vegetables rottened away!
Then there was the calm after the storm - when a new SUPW project was suggested, something for all seasons! This time with wonderful Miss Braganza, cross stitch and crochet, there was no rivalry, coz everyone had their own patch!
In school I was known as Mary Bennet. Sherene is what friends and family call me!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Boarding Life – Part I
By Elizabeth Thomas ('85 Batch)

The prayers we recited at the boarding should qualify us an entry in heaven (if St. Peter is lenient with the keys). Let’s list the major ones –

1.  Mass @ chapel ~ 6:00 -6:45 am
        2.  Prayer @ hallway ~ before school
        3.  Prayer @ area between infirmary
        4.  Rosary @ study hall ~ 6:00 pm
        5.  Night prayers @ dining hall ~ 8:00 pm

Besides the above, all meals were flanked by short prayers. And of course, you are also supposed to do your personal prayers before the holy water was sprinkled on you to enable a peaceful sleep at night and after the morning bell was rung to wake you up.  Sunday was a major prayer day. Garmented in white we either made our way to the chapel at MCC or Infant Jesus church (cathedral now).  I have to fess up that instead of paying attention to the mass, my mind often wandered to the flower arrangements and the finery that adorned the MCC chapel, perfectly coordinated with the robes the priest wore. While at IJ church I focused mostly on the choir and their fashionable clothes, hair styles and so forth. 

The study hall of the boarding was supposed to be the center of gravity for us. Between prayers, self grooming, recreation and school, we were allotted at least 3 solid hours per day. That was enough to strike a balance and avoid the ‘all play/all work’ situation. The brilliant ones simple shone in their studies (Preethi). The studious ones had opportunity to study extra hard in the upstairs study hall, sipping the coffee from the flasks which the ‘fans’ made. The not so studious ones would read M&B under the desk (mostly me) or narrate movies over the desk (mostly Veera).  Veera was a fan of actors such as Mithun & Shankar, Shirley – Kamal Hassan fan, Jaya – James Bond fan, Achumma – Amitabh fan.  Then there were the sport freaks like Jeena – fan of Kapil, Ravi Shastri, Azzar. The musically inclined ones enthralled us with live performance upon request – vocals (Veera & Shirley) and guitar (Mary Susan John). Then there were ‘the bold and the beautiful’ whom the not so bold and beautiful would admire (I dare not mention names).

Singing and dancing were very much a part of our life at MCC in preparation for feast days and house competitions. I admired the conducting and choreography by some of the prominent singers and dancers such as Achumma and Veera.  Some were adept at stage dramas such as Lynda – winner of MCC Oscars.