Stars sparkled when the old boys met to celebrate 150th year of Madrasa-i-Aliya

Hyderabad: Some shared a bear hug; some gave a firm handshake while a few smiled from ear to ear. Nothing warms the heart like an old friend. So it was with the Aliyans when they met the other day to celebrate the 150 years of their alma mater – Madras-i-Aliya. It was an evening they would cherish forever. A festive atmosphere prevailed all over.

Incidentally the venue was also a historic one, the 138-year old Nizam Club. What’s more like the Aliya School, it was also established during the period of the 6th Nizam, Mir Mahboob Ali Khan. But it was a different kind of a programme that the banquet hall of the Nizam Club saw. No long drawn speeches, no introductions or celebrity chief guests. There were fewer formalities and more of bonhomie and it had a ripple effect. Right from the word go an air of informality pervaded. The old boys were more interested in talking to each other than listening to what the master of ceremonies was saying. For most, finding an old friend was like finding a lost treasure. Some were luckiest to have their school friend as their best friend.

Old boys at the Madrasa-i-Aliya 150 year celeberations

Such was the warmth of running into old buddies that the winter chill didn’t matter at all. Good natured banter, sharing of life experiences and anecdotes kept the spirits high. The programme was marked by a babble of conversation – reminiscent of what happens when the class teacher is away. The Aliyans just wanted to live the moment, talk about the old stuff, the fun, the little fights and pranks they played years ago. It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.

MS Education Academy

The old boys came in all sorts of attire – suits, sherwanis and casuals. Former Indian cricket captain, Mohmmed Azharuddin, walked in donning a track suit while Shabbir Ali, former football captain, came in formal suit. For a change there was no mobbing of the sports stars and no autograph hunting. Senior journalist, Somasekhar Mulugu, was seen exchanging pleasantries with Azharuddin, his classmate. Some Aliyans like Mohammed Abdul Muneem, popularly known as Haji Sait, turned up in wheel-chair. Zafar Javeed, Nizam Club president, was also there. Nasir Ali Khan, a 1949 batch student, was perhaps the oldest Aliyan present. Siasat Editor–in-Chief, Zahid Ali Khan, whose four generations of family studied at Aliya, wanted the government to work to restore the lost glory of the Nizam era school.

Former Indian cricket captain, Mohd Azharuddin, an Aliyan, being presented a memento

A documentary on the Madrasa-i-Aliya made by Syed Khaled Shahbaz of Mediaplus, was screened on the occasion. The 13-minute documentary presented the 150-year long journey of the Aliya school. It served as a flash back and revived old memories. Some rulers made monuments while the 6th Nizam chose to establish the Madrasa-i-Aliya to prove that Hyderabad was second to none in education. At that time there were 125 schools in the Hyderabad State and 16 in the Hyderabad city.

Programme over, the Aliyans moved to dinner. But here too they were busy chatting up. Some kept taking selfie with old friends, the most valuable antiques. Their bonding showed that no matter where they go, they take a little of each other everywhere.

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