Mrityunja Singh: Continuing to Groom Young Minds
Dalal: Yogurt With My Corn Flakes

Reddy: I Wish I had Known Him Better

Santosh Reddy
The Doon School, Batch of 1956

It was approaching 3.30 in the afternoon on a somewhat languorous, somnolent day in May at Fenner's  and Middlesex were coasting along at 300 for 3, when the fieldsman at first slip dropped two catches in rapid succession.

As the players trooped back to the pavilion for tea, a voice came booming through the summer air, “Reddy, you silly arse, why were you not catching your catches?” There, foot on rail, pipe in mouth, leaning across a stile, was Jack Gibson. He had been passing through Cambridge and, having learned that I was playing, came by to pass the time of day. I took him in for a cup of tea, introduced him around -- the interval was, what, for 20 minutes? -- then he was off in his motor car and I onto the field

He had left The Doon School in 1953 when I was still young and I had not climbed any mountains nor gone fishing with him; I was in Tata House, far removed from his Kashmir House, and yet he had the courtesy and the time to go out of his way to spend those 20 minutes with me. I can only wish that I had known him better and spent more time with him.

They were a formidable triumvirate, the three of them at Doon: Martyn, Holdsworth and Gibson. They fished, shot, climbed mountains in the holidays and wrote like angels about them and the Alpine flowers. They wandered about the Doon and other valleys and hills with Smythe, Shipton and Tenzing. And in school term they coaxed, guided and illuminated generations of schoolboys, who hold them in reverence that time will not dim.


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