Home page for Institute of Medicine (1), Yangon Class of 1986

It was a rather wet evening

by Than Tun Aung
December 2002

It was a rather wet evening with drizzling rain. News forecast as un-seasonal rainfall at the end of Nov. It was Nov 27th 2002 to be exact. We talked about it and making a huge plan on the phone and on the web for long time. But it was the foot soldiers effort, which count. Door to door calls and credits to hand phones, which has made communication easier in YGN. We did not expect a huge turn out as it was a hush rush gathering. 48 hours notice to be exact.

Well, we have cameras ready and rely on Ko Zaw Lwin’s camcorder to record whoever ventures to come to the gathering. (As he told me, he wants to record his future Bride in the camcorder so that he can rewind again and again at leisure at home). Sunlight fading quickly as winter sets in.

Organizers ( Khine Than and Min Wai Latt, Sid Naing, Aye Aye Myint) choose Kan Yeik Tha restaurant as it is new and partly owned by our well known super businessman Zaw Tun (actually was looking forward to a great discount or free food perhaps). I have half deflated feeling about the discount; as he calls us in the morning that he has to leave to Bangkok on Business trip, and without him at the restaurant, expect full fare. I heard, Yangon is catching up with world standard quickly in expense everywhere and food is not so cheap anymore at some restaurants.

Time was set around 7 pm for convenience of all parties keeping in mind that all of our GPs classmates work hours. We got a call from Min Wai Latt (Valentine Video production, owner, director, actor) as he was there at the restaurant at 7 pm exact and only Diamond traders (Khin Maung Htwe and Tin Tin Wai) were there making him anxious. I put the blame of being late on Maung Maung Myo (Road to Mandalay Cruise ship Medical Officer), my faithful chauffer who in turn blamed it on Zaw Lwin (Shu Shi chain owner and operator, USA) as he took long time putting on perfumes expecting to meet rare left over of un-wed/so so single/spinster or his old time heart throbs.

As we roll in the parking lot, some dazzling light caught our eyes. We first thought it is the headlight of a car with high beams but on closer look found Myint Myint Nyein (Pathologist IM 1) with sparkling stones (I don’t know what they are but bright) reflecting in light. She greeted us cheerfully. She has not changed much in size or voice. As we got in there are about 15 friends there. Everyone is delighted to meet everyone in good shape (which is round neck, puffed up waist, 40 plus lbs weight gain showing middle age spread).

One by one and in groups, classmates rolled in and cheers were in the air. Atmosphere was thick with talk of the old time and chatting what’s up at last 15 years. No reservation of who is what and feeling of togetherness well spanned over 6 years roamed.

Beer and food arrived and voices getting louder. Musicians were playing on the stage and no one pay attention to.

Table arrangement was made to accommodate everyone so it got longer and longer just about to touch the middle wet bar counter. As we couldn’t lengthen farther, chairs were brought in to squeeze in tight. Min Wai Latt called the group to order and I talked about why we started the classmate web site thanking Aung Khine (Pioneer, President, GI, LA US) for his time and tedious collection and constant updating of classmates addresses. Nearly everyone has computer these days and about half already had e mail and web access so that getting in touch to one another is easier and those who are doing well could look after those who are in need of information and for a friendly chat such as your son and my daughter business.

Khine Than (Golf Guru) took over the party with a genuine style of his own like in old days with a unmistakable voice. Sid Naing (AIDS) was busy with the printed version of classmate address book and Moe Kyaw Thu showed up his top of the line digital camera for a flash. Zaw Lwin regretted that he forgot his camcorder, as he was too excited. All his friends who slept tight together on Final Part 2 exam nights (Saw Thein, Aung Kyaw Oo, Thein Kyaw, Win Maung), showed up (Kamayut gang). ??Remember those days when we have to sleep by the phone.

Thein Kyaw, (Outstanding Dual channel Burmese Doc), showed up. Aye Aye Yee (Tavoy) had left Tun Aung (Basketball guy) with the kids and same with Aye Aye Htwe and Aye Aye Myint (Thet Shay’s cousin, Sewing factory).

Thein Zaw was hard to recognize at first as he gained quite a bit of weight. Many of them are studying for post grad studies namely Thein Zaw, Aung Kyaw Oo and Win Maung etc, etc….

Can’t say all in words how we felt but positively younger and amazed how quickly time has passed.

Thet Shay’s wife must have been plucking his hairs as he became quite bald (came at midnight from Wa Khe Ma). Than Tun (Arakan) tries to beat that as he is also married earlier too. Maung Maung Aye (fishy business) tries to join the baldy group but he is just married so his hairs are much preserved.(give time to his wife)(see photos for reference).

Htin Paw (Academy private hospital) is still in his trousers and Win Maung (post grad) is trying to catch up the style. Moe Kyaw Thu (Lecturer Singapore) has modified his glasses to a thinner version and looks thinner. (Must be food shortage in Singapore) and did not have bushy look hairstyle anymore. Soe Pye (fixes broken hearts) arrived.

None of the singles showed up in ladies division despite Zaw Lwin’s great expectation. Than Than Lwin (Disco) has a photo album handy showing her son now is about 9 years old now. We remember the days Saya U Ba Chun teased her with Ohn Myint. Thin Thin Yee (Baby) is now a prominent Burmese Women refuge director who put the male superiority to the story books in Burma.

Min Thwe (HIV director) proposed a toast but only half of the table responded as the other half was thick with talks.

Restaurant staff served food but no one sits still and rather difficult to know what was being served. I recalled eating some fried rice and pieces of duck and a soup. I did not feel hungry as my heart was filled with joy. Sid Naing made a comment that this will be the start of the chain reaction for this reunion to keep rolling.

Win Pu (Diesel King) told me now he lives in YGN and has attached earpiece to his hand phone. Nay Win Maung (Mayflower Bank director, living color) has the same too. They must have talk a lot. Than Oo squeezed next to Sid Naing. Myo Gyi (AIDS), Hla Tun and Saw Win Aung (AIDS) came together as well as Hla Myint and Mya Win. Min Wai Latt circles around Myint Myint Nyein for a closer look to qualify her for up coming video he is directing. (Htet Htet Moe Oo could be in trouble)

With anticipation of next year gathering to be a better one, Htin Paw suggested that we fix a time frame so that everyone of us could take leave before hand to party. We discussed about how to reach out to the remaining ones. Realized that we need to recruit more organizers.

Kyaw Zin Wai (MRCP) and Thet Khine Win (MRCP) two leading consultants of our class showed up after cutting short their respective clinics. Ko Wai told me that he left the message for Army division classmates (May Thwe Ko, Hla Aung, Roland Bwe) but afraid they may not get it in time. Myo Myat Thu (FRCS) did not show up too. Khin Maung Htwe tried in vain to reach Saw Naung (MRCP) but he was too busy with his practice that night. Maung Maung Kyaw was the last of the classmate to join nonetheless he made it. Not much food has left then.

As all good times are rather short and meeting has came to the end, Min Way Latt announced in in-direct language to clear the bill collectively but Khine Than made it simple with his trademark voice. “Now is the time to pay for the food, so get your wallet ready”. He singled out Dollar earners and well to do businessman. Gathering has gained momentum and everyone try to duck away from Khine Than’s advances. He reached for a tote bag to collect money and start going round the table asking for 10,000 K minimums. The slower the donor response, the more flowery the comments became about the person revealing all the long time secrets of our childhood. Some donated FEC. Girls division did counting as he went around and gave the last chance to Maung Maung Aye to come up with the difference. I believed it costs around 280,000K and collected just above that.

Someone suggested that we save money for fund but as amount was small, majority decided to donate the extra 100,000 K to needy hospitals. Half and half were divided and two consultants take the donation in the name of the class (im1of1986) for the record to YGH and YCH. (Receipts will be posted when available).

We round up the group for a group photo, by then Thein Zaw and Win Pu has left. It took quite a few minutes to clear the tables and while seating took place Aye Aye Yee handed her hand phone to me. To my surprise and quite a coincidence, Aye Aye Thant (Pu Sus) was calling from Japan that night and got to talk to all old time friends at one call.

After the flashes went off reunion came to the end. We departed with see you next time reminders and exchange of addresses.

After thoughts boiled up in my mind for future gatherings;-

  • Pick a date and time. (Nov last weekend is a vacation time for us in US)
  • Choose a quiet restaurant easily accessible by all of us. (Free food better, asks Zaw Tun) This one is good, Western Park was noisy.
  • Shwe Htun Aung volunteers to print the update address book so that we could mail to countryside.
  • Open up the optional dues section at next year so that everyone could put in their share and extras will be for donations and rest for the funding.
  • Keep e-mails rolling, as contacts are vital.
  • Wish those from Taiwan, Japan, US especially NYC group could join us.
  • President Aung Khine better heads next meeting.
  • Will need a microphone if over 100 pepople.
  • Use newspaper to announce the gathering well ahead of time.
  • How do we in corporate our families to these gatherings.
  • Assign a treasurer for the fund for future.