Indian travels to UAE after 25 years to brush up school memories
Vijayakumar Ganesan with former students during a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Nims Sharjah school premises.
Sharjah - The initial premises of Nims Sharjah was in Maysaloon and then in Abu Shaghara.
A boy who left the UAE after Grade 10 to continue his studies back home in India in 1992 returned to the UAE after 25 years to revisit his school memories.
Now a dentist, in the south Indian state of Kerala, Dr Babu Ahamed Salahudheen was excited to return to the UAE and his school - New Indian Model School (Nims) - in Sharjah.
"I was overwhelmed to be back in the country. It has changed tremendously. Back in those days, life was simple and there were hardly any highrise buildings. The UAE has become completely metropolitan. My school too has changed. It no longer functions in the Maysaloon villa where I have memories."
The school has grown and is currently located at the Sharjah-Ajman border. The initial premises of Nims Sharjah was in Maysaloon and then in Abu Shaghara.
Dr Babu was a boys' section topper in Grade 10 and was also a member of the basketball team. Born at the Sheikh Rashid Hospital in Dubai, Dr Babu often missed being in the UAE but was caught up with personal engagements.
"It is usual for people to come to Kerala and attend their school alumni. We never had a network and there were no connections except for some friends.
"Some of my juniors recently got in touch with me and talked about starting an alumni network and I told them I am eager to participate.
"The team worked hard for over two months, trying to get in touch with former students through all possible means. Our school had begun operations in 1982 and it was hard to trace everyone. We were not sure how the response would be."
However, over 1,200 students with their families attended the alumni event titled 'Nimstalgia'. "I wonder why it took so long to set up an alumni network for our school, given that it is one of the first schools in Sharjah. We should've done this earlier. I feel younger by 25 years now," he said.
A mini-basketball tournament was held during the event, brushing up memories of former students. Vijayakumar Ganesan, one of the longest-serving teachers and the basketball coach at the school, said: "To see my former students still expressing the same passion in basketball was incredible. A students' network is vital to hold memories together and I am glad we finally began our journey."
The Nims Sharjah International Alumni Network (Nimssian) was launched in March under the aegis of the school management.