Friday, September 23, 2011

Back to Sainik School - Day 1

Had an emotional trip to my alma mater -- Sainik School, Kazhakootam, Thiruvananthapuram -- this evening. My last visit to the school was in 2007. As part of the school's golden jubilee this year, all former teachers are being felicitated tomorrow at a function called Guruvandanam, organised jointly by the School and the Old Boys Association.

On the eve of the function, today evening there was a lec-dem of Manipuri dance forms by a SpicMacay (Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music And Culture Amongst Youth) team led by renowned dancer Darshana Jhaveri. Couldn't believe that she is 71 years old! She explained patiently and elaborately the history, traditions and customs associated with various dance forms, as members of her group demonstrated. It was as much entertaining as informative.

At the end of the function, when I sang the national anthem along with the school students and others in the auditorium, it made me very nostalgic, reminding me of the same routine in the very same auditorium, during the eight years in school.

After the function, we all went to Kazhak Club of the alumni association for dinner. It is located near St Xavier's College where I did my graduation. The route we took was the very same one I used to cycle my way to college for three years. Nothing much has changed during the past 26-29 years. In fact, there has been very little change anywhere except that small stretches of roads have become broader, and a few big shopping complexes have come up. The only place where there has been a major change is Kazhakootam junction, 1 km from where is the Techno Park.

During the day, I met a number of my teachers. It was an emotional moment. For all of us students, Sainik School has a unique place in our hearts, the place where we spent our formative years from Class 5 to 12. It was a more than a school. The quasi-military routine and the extracurricular activities played a crucial role in moulding us. Teachers did more than teaching, and we students learnt much more than what was taught.

Looking forward to tomorrow, the day of Guruvandanam.

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