Thursday, August 06, 2009

Chaddi Peter

A conversation with a friend on social networking turned to orkut and then to the one community I was a *owner* of on the site which is the only one reason for keeping my profile active and finally to Chaddi Peter, certainly not a delectable conversation turner but to cut to the chase, and boy do I love chases! Okay, okay, it reminded me of this post that has been languishing in my drafts folder for weeks if not months and it concerns St. Peter guarding the gates of heaven!

I think most Mangaloreans would know or have heard of Chaddi Peter. Sounds like an exaggeration? Would it be appropriate to say that most students in the city of Mangalore know of him? Or I could narrow the pool to students of a particular mighty all-girls institution and possibly students of a few co-ed and boys colleges too.

Chaddi Peter, a permanent fixture at the gate with his khaki shorts, whichever way he certainly has an envious job, not that I envy his job but I’m sure some would. His job profile does not match St. Peter’s at the gates of heaven to a T, his focus was more on making sure the girls didn’t slip out and even more on making sure that the boys did not sneak in although I must admit, I have not knocked on heaven's doors yet, so I can't speak for St. Peter's job!

I remember this one particular incident (I think it was the Hindi hour, certainly it had to be since it was the most yawn inducing class we had) when we were contemplating slipping out through the side entrance of the Bendur Church but then his stare made us stop and turn right back. So, technically it was not an incident and well, girls will be girls and had discovered other ways of breaking out of the campus (hush, hush). Of course I’ve heard of sob stories narrated, the devious little plans hatched to sneak out and even more interesting were the stories of those trying to sneak in.

It has been a long time since I visited my Alma Mater, the place where I literally broke through the shackles, although I must admit the process started sometime in the 7th Std! and came into my own. It sure was one of the best places to study in Mangalore and I believe it continues to be. The gate policy could well have changed over the years but the familiar figure of Chaddi Peter was proverbial when I drove by the college a few months ago.

To Thomas (a.k.a Chaddi Peter) and to St. Agnes (Deus Fortitudo Mea), the second Catholic Women's College in India, you may not be heaven but you certainly hold some of my fondest memories. How did this post turn into a love fest for St. Agnes, ah well… that's the thrill of the chase!

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