The neighbourhood surrounding the school, also had a British tinge in it. The road where the Railway Mixed Higher Secondary School was located in Perambur, was studded with so many Anglo Indian families. Besides this bunch, there were those on the Foxen Street too that lay next to this road. Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine that stands on the Paper Mills Road was where many of us students went either during our lunch breaks or after school and we always got to see a large Anglo Indian population flock there. There are two other churches adjacent to our school and one of them is just beside the playground. This is where we went when we had a free period, either to play or to sit and chat. Some teachers even took classes under the tree shades, close to this church.
Christmas parties were special and it happened just before the school closed for the Christmas holidays. Each student brought cakes, pasteries and decorations. We had Christmas trees decorated in our classes. I can still feel the hard pinch on my nose, given by one Santa Clause, while he went around distributing gifts. I am still not sure who it was. Annual day every year came with it's own colour and grandeur. We had lots of stage plays and singing and each of these had so many rehearsals at the Railway auditorium that stood opposite to our school. I still recall the feeling of having lip stick smudged all over my lips and cheeks, just before stepping on to the stage for the different plays. Quite a number of them set the tracks on fire and came out in flying colours in the field events too, during the annual sports competitions.
Many of my Anglo Indian classmates had their homes very close to the school and I had the opportunity to visit some of their homes. My immediate neighbour at the Railway Quarters where I spent my childhood, was an Anglo Indian. Kevin Geer, the eldest of the three sons in that family, was my playmate during those years. I got to hear a lot of English music from his home. Hid dad was a saxophonist. I am in touch with many of these friends even now. My dad had an Anglo Indian friend Duncan who gave him so many English music cassettes. He even screened Biblical movies for our prayer group's annual gatherings. If it was not for Duncan Uncle, I would never have had a tryst with so much English music at that age.
A life without this flavour would certainly have been bland. I really cherish those days when I lived in the middle of an Anglo Indian world.