Young professionals, married couples and former rebel rousers were reminded of their school days as they stood in a nostalgic school assembly, complete with recitation from the Holy Quran and the National Anthem. The giggling and teasing of years past came back as the principal chided alumni for forming crooked lines and talking during the assembly.
This was the spirit of the first Froebel’s Alumni Reunion held on Saturday to relive the past while making a firm network for the future. The event brought teachers and students face-to-face after years and even decades; however, the dynamic dramatically shifted as the once-feared teachers approached their former disciples with candour rather than suspicion.
Zunaira, fashion designer in Vancouver from the graduating class of ‘97 commented, “It’s quite funny how different it is talking to teachers now, compared to when I was in school. I was a bit of a bunker and troublemaker, so obviously teachers were avoided like the plague, but now I’m conversing with them so freely, it’s nice.”
Mahwish, from the graduating class ‘98, remembered a rebellious anecdote when a food fight broke out and the school’s founder and then-principal Mrs Zameer locked all the gates so that the transgressors had to stay covered in food for a substantial period of time, resulting in, as she hoped, remorse.
As is emblematic of school life, the most inopportune things seem to make up the fondest memories, such as getting caught for food fights, bunking, and other disapproved of activities.
Imran, from the graduating class ‘93, shared an incident where his class was stranded in Bhurban on a school trip. What at the time seemed an inconvenience is now a fond memory of killing time dancing and singing in a stranded bus.
One of the highlights of the afternoon was playing volleyball and table tennis in familiar surroundings. The importance of volleyball in the pasts of these individuals made itself evident when lots of married couples shared that they used the sport to hang out together and get around restrictions on fraternisation.
One such “Romeo and Juliet” pairing are the married couple Tabinda and Osman Khalid. Tabinda said, “We were in school together since ‘94 and were family friends as well, so we always knew each other quite well. We used to hang out in the volleyball court and café a lot… we have so many memories in that court playing volleyball.”
Nashwa Kafeel and Fahd Shahab are also married Froebelian alumni. The couple was quite coy in dispelling their romance during their school years, but also admitted that one of their fondest memories is playing volleyball in school.
Nashwa said that when she has children she will proudly send them to Froebel’s. In fact, Fahad’s six siblings are all frobelian alumni. His sister, Kashmala Kakakhel from the class of ‘03 commented, “So many people from our family have been to Froebels that our driver has spent twenty years picking and dropping us here. He forged a very strong friendship with all the guards because of it. So being at Froebel’s didn’t only just effect those who are enrolled in the school!”
Indeed, the memories forged in the red brick building do seem to be made to last for a lifetime.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 8th, 2012.
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