8 of us were climbing up the long flight of broken stairs at Angkor Wat to get to our vantage point to catch the sunset. The broken rocks with trees hugging them, looked like it was straight out of the sets of ‘Tomb Raider’. The evening sun, bathing every piece of rock- a thousand years old, in a golden hue, smiled brightly upon us. A flock of eagles flew in circles above us, soaring high. They swooped down to come rest on the tree to watch the sun go down with us.
We flew into Cambodia 2 days ago from Singapore and Malaysia. Engineers, bankers, managers, students- what was it that we all had in common? Was it that we all studied in the same school almost a decade ago? Some of us were not even in our pre-school when the others graduated from school. That cannot be it. What could be the common thread that brought 8 of us together from far and wide, on a journey to the world’s largest religious monument?
It was in 2015 that a few us met at Clarke Quay for the first time. A few Facebook messages and a WhatsApp group later, 8 of us were chatting away and reliving those fond memories of Loyola. Many of us had not met each other or even known, there were so many of us around, even though we lived in the same city.
After our first get together, there were promises of meeting more often and catching up once in a while. And like all such promises, nothing happened afterwards. Of course no!!! This is Loyolites we are talking about. Everyone reached out to the other Loyolites they knew in Singapore and Malaysia. We grew from 8 to 30 and in no time the Loyola get together became a frequent thing all of us were looking forward to.
Meet ups started in school assembly style- School song, welcome speech, introductions, boys chatting away, performances, a game of football and vote of thanks and dinner to end the day. The young ones had topics ranging from career decisions and life choices, to love stories and relationship advice to discuss. The wiser ones were always glad to dish out life advice like they knew what they were saying. It felt like my first few years at school where I looked up to my seniors and listened to everything they said in awe, while they talked non stop ;-). We had created our Loyola right here in Singapore.
The activities broadened- to forming a football team together and representing Loyola in a tournament, surprising each other for birthdays, going on a haunted house trail, an epic pool party, life discussions over high tea in a renovated colonial school, trips to Cambodia, Cameron Highlands and Kuala Lumpur catching up every now and then.
We had all left our nest and soared high in the golden sun like the eagles of Angkor Wat. We were lucky to find each other in the skies and fly down together to watch that sun set, talking about those wonderful school days, cheering “Sabse Aage…” remembering fondly, everything that was Loyola. This is probably what the lines in our school song meant….may be this is how the game is won!!
“Cheer Loyola’s sons
Cheer till day is done
Till the game is won
For our School.”