This is terrible news! Sanju or just Sanjay, as he was then called, was our classmate in Cathedral School, Bombay, from 1966, 2nd Standard, to the VIth Standard, in 1970.
Sanjay was a good sportsman. He won the 100 metres dash in the IIIrd Standard in 1967. He captained our combined Vth standard hockey team vs the combined VIth in Middle School in1969. He was a deft centre forward.
I played left back. My main job was stopping Sandeep Khanna, the redoubtable Captain of the VIth from scoring yet another goal. Every time I missed hitting the ball, which was most of the time, I would take a mighty swing at Khanna’s ankles and usually connect. 😆
That would lead to a huge scrap which gave us time to catch our breath and regroup. Sanjay and I would exchange sly grins which infuriated Khanna who was later my House Captain. Khanna never forgot nor forgave my ankle busting tactics.🙁
Sanjay’s mother, the legendary Nargis, was the picture of sublime elegance. She came to school several times a week and waited demurely at the entrance of Middle School, always in a white sari, with her head covered, to meet the teachers to inquire about Sanjay’s progress, or rather the lack thereof. Sanjay struggled in the classroom. Studies were not his forte. As for Nargis, she never had any hangers on, no fuss, the epitome of quiet etiquette.
Sanjay’s birthday party at his Pali Hill bungalow was something else. They had an underground mini theatre where we watched 8 mm Tom and Jerry cartoons. His mother took charge of the birthday party herself without any organizers or helpers just like any other mother in those days.
Sanjay left for Lawrence School, Sanawar, after the VIth, post 1970. He had flunked the VIth and had to repeat the year in Sanawar. Until the VIth none of us had publicly “discovered” girls although we were a co-ed school. That was soon to change.😊
In Cathedral, Sanjay was good fun. A great sport. Tough scrapper too who hit hard and neither tattled, (“skitted”), nor howled.
Hope he fights the good fight against the Big C
Fight on Sanjay
– Rabindra Hazari