History in a way is the story of a few men and women who made their mark in this world in various ways. The legacy they left behind has attracted a subjective discussion in the course of time, nonetheless, it is a treasure trove for us.
Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan is one such person who made an indelible mark in the world. He was a great philosopher who bridged the gap between Indian and Western spiritual philosophies. He went on to become the second President of India and was known to tactfully use spiritual Sanskrit verses or quotes from the Bible during the heated sessions of the Rajya Sabha (Council of States – Parliament of India), which calmed everyone down and made it look more like a family gathering! His contribution to the field of education in India is very well acknowledged by the celebration of the 5th of September, his birthday, as the Teacher’s Day in India.
Due to the CMTs this memorable day was celebrated on the 12th of September here at Atmiya Vidya Mandir. The morning assembly witnessed the presence of our mentor Rajubhai Dharaiya, our Student Principal for the day Anand V Patel (Standard 10) and the Student Teachers for the day. Rajubhai spoke about the significance of Teacher’s Day and about the qualities of Dr Radhakrishnan. Anand gave the Principal’s speech for the event. It was an inspiring start of the day already and got all the more inspirational by another event. Anand V, the Principal Student for the day, began his day at Yogesh Sir’s office by getting blessings from the Thakorji and the Principal’s Chair in the office.
The Student Teachers ran all the school activities – teaching, sports, library and inspiring “their students”. The toppers of Classes 7, 8, 9 and 10 served the roles of various teaching and non-teaching staff members. Furthermore, an entertainment-packed evening was put up collectively by students of Classes 9 and 10. In the presence of Pujya Fuvaji, Hareshbhai, entire school staff and hostel staff, this evening was managed entirely by the students in the school’s basketball-tennis courts.
After the opening prayers, the elders performed Thakorji’s pujan. The Student Teachers then performed pujan of the entire staff amidst a lot of excitement of all the students present. During the pujan ceremony, one could sense a lot of mutual respect between the staff members and the students, something that has been very much a part of the AVM culture since the beginning. The event anchors - Jay Tailor and Sarveshwar started off the event in style by singing Jane Kyun accompanied by frequent claps of the audience. Atmiya K conveyed the gratitude on behalf of all the students to all the teachers in a very heart touching speech. He also mentioned about the uniqueness of the students at AVM. His poem was especially touching:
With a special gift for learning
And with a heart that deeply cares,
You add a lot of love
To everything you share,
And even though
You mean a lot,
You’ll never know how much,
For you helped
To change the world
Through every life you touched.
You sparked the creativity
In the students whom you taught,
And helped them strive for goals
That could not be bought,
You are such a special teacher
That no words can truly tell
However much you’re valued
For the work you do so well.
A short comedy skit depicting a classroom situation was performed by Class 9 students followed by another humorous depiction of a real-life situation in a Mumbai local train by Sarthak, Rushy, Siddharth and Samyak. A short candle mimic was then presented by Siddharth. Following that was another comic mimicry of a News Reporter by Bhadra and Siddharth. Finally, the ultimate comedy show was put up by Bhadra and Rushy playing the roles of Munnabhai and Circuit who are on their visit to the USA. All these were very well received by the audience. Sarthak Jariwala and Vivek J Patel were the Executive Organisers of the whole event. They were the key decision makers and co-ordinators in the management of all the items of the function and did a pretty impressive job, especially considering that they only had one day to prepare for all this!
The students then presented every single teaching/non-teaching staff member with greeting cards for the occasion. The students of Class 9 and 10 had prepared these cards themselves using their creativity in art and craft, whilst the card content clearly reflected their spirituality. They had expressed the individual qualities they liked of all the staff members in these cards. It was truly inspirational for the staff. The students then interviewed Renuka Madam and Saumya Madam asking them about their personal achievements and their experience of working at AVM. It was our beloved Paras Sir’s birthday on the 5th of September. Taking the opportunity of this event, the students of Class 10 had collectively prepared a special Happy Birthday card for him with a message from each of them conveying their feelings towards him. The versatility of the senior class was seen in these messages that Paras Sir read out. Some of them were very moving (“You have been like a father to us.”), some very naughty (“You are notorious.”) and some even more adventurous (“You are the James Bond of our School.”)!
Towards the end of the evening, Pujya Fuvaji gave a concluding speech in the manner of a student which was highly appealing to the varied audience from the students of Class 1 to the senior most people present. During the entire evening, Krunal Vakil (Std 10) and Raj G Patel (Std 7) enthusiastically received the phone calls from the students’ parents informing them about the event and requesting them to call back the next day. Arjun Mama and the cafeteria staff had prepared a delicious Punjabi feast for everyone after the dramatic evening.
This event also coincided the time of arrival of Param Pujya Swamiji in Mumbai (8:25 PM, 12th September 2009) from His videsh vicharan. The students rejoiced upon getting the news and were motivated to put behind all the obstacles they had and march onwards towards an even better all-round performance.