You are lucky to get it over in such a short duration!!!
First of all is it an appeal against lower court decree or a set-aside application in HC?
If it is a set-aside application in HC (??) then it should have been first applied in trial court which passed the decree.
You wrote 'notice of an appeal from HC'. (HC just wants to hear your side first)
If you got ex-parte decree of divorce..............then it can't be an appeal.................If it was ex-parte decree, it should be set aside application alongwith 'condonation of delay'....nothing gets decided without giving a notice to other party first and hearing the both sides!!!
For Alimony and maintenance: Yes you can ask from your ex-husband.
Husband says 'he consideres himself a good and changed person' (Humorous!!! and amazing.....who gave him this idea to go to HC with this ecuse!!!)
This is an admission of his misconduct implicitly.
There is no such ground of .... appeal or appelate jurisdiction!!! (He should have gone to Hon President of India for clemency...but that is also not possible as it is a bilateral civil suit and not a criminal suit to condone his sentence!!!! Even Hon President CAN NOT compell a spouse to condone/relinquish his/her rights to seek relief over guilty spouses plea of clemency/'oneself procaliming to be a changed person'.
He had that chance during counselling sessions scheduled in the due process!!!
If he wants to get you back ...Ask him to come with 'marriage proposal' again!!! and Evaluate his proposal.
But he can't take legal recourse of 'appeal' in upper court to compell you go back!!! (But the very act of filing appeal.... isn't that displaying his dominating character behind the mask actually (true but hidden)??)
This happens in offices as well...................an employee is kickedout due to some misconduct....then he apologises...and expects the company that clemency be given and employee be reinstated...but its a discretion of the company!!..
Can that employee go in court 'over company's reluctance to take him back by giving clemency?'. He can say that he was wrongly dismissed from job without his fault...but not on the plea of a 'changed person'
To attend the proceedings and give reply ...and do ask for dismissal of appeal with heavy costs this time...with a detailed list of expediture incurred..travel/acco/legal/medical etc etc etc'.
If you can't afford a lawyer you can do it in-person as well.