Tuesday, September 27, 2022

TIME TRAVEL THROUGH A LIT FEST

My Alma Mater celebrates its Dodransbicentennial anniversary this year with various events planned during the yearlong celebrations. One such event is a forthcoming Book Release on Founders day containing stories written by its alumni and staff. As a precursor, a three day Lit Fest was held on the campus recently wherein some of these stories […]

My Alma Mater celebrates its Dodransbicentennial anniversary this year with various events planned during the yearlong celebrations. One such event is a forthcoming Book Release on Founders day containing stories written by its alumni and staff. As a precursor, a three day Lit Fest was held on the campus recently wherein some of these stories were read out.

‘Tales of Sanawar’ is a collection of anecdotal narrations spanning 175 glorious years of school’s existence. Almost two hundred memoirs have been penned down by Old Sanawarians of diverse vintage ranging from octogenarians to the youngest one in her twenties. Evidently, a mammoth endeavor has gone into producing this collector’s item that contains our childhood treasures.

The story telling sessions live streamed across the globe opened up the flood gates of memory as we had a wonderful travel back in time zone. Experiences ranging from mundane routine events to anecdotes of naughtiness were given a spice of hilarity, keeping the audience of students, both past and present amused. Nostalgia was evident reliving those days when life was simple and unclouded by experiences of loss, failure, judgement or rejection.

Our teachers, the enduring legends in institution’s history having earned a fair measure of immortality were remembered fondly inspite of the walloping or tongue lashing they gave for our juvenile mischief. There was laughter as well as moist eyes when their idiosyncrasies and little foibles were recounted. The stories also gave glimpses of our history during the ‘British Raj’ days and of challenges faced when this ‘Little piece of England’ was Indianised.

To get a real feel of being ‘Back to School’, the organizers had thoughtfully issued a ‘School Order’ giving out timings for Rouser Bugle, Chota Hazri (morning tea) and Lights Out, taking us back to the regimented school life. It was after ages that we sang ‘Abide with Me’ hymn during special assembly and that too flawlessly without the Assembly Song Book handed to us for reference.

The famous ‘Bun-sums’ (Samosa smeared with chutney wrapped in bun) served during ‘Milk Breaks’ got back our culinary memories of Kasauli. Chanting of Sanskrit prayer before meals in CDH (Central Dining Hall) reminded us of those growing up days of eternal hunger; the food however tasted much better than our times. Dancing on songs of the bygone era during Socials party revived romantic reminiscences of our adolescence days.

An inter-house quiz on school’s heritage held alongside story telling sessions rekindled the house spirit with present students cheering for the veterans of their respective house teams. “What does the future hold for legacy school like ours,” was the theme for panel discussion held on last day. With rich traditions to uphold and necessity to adapt to the changing world around, the animated discussion lent vigor to the function.

The place that molded us has been the One Sole Anchor that got people together at the hilltop many of whom had never met one another till then. Driving back home I said a silent prayer of gratitude for being part of this Ship which was a living entity with a spirit and soul of its own.

 

Col HP Singh, VSM

is an alumnus of the Lawrence School Sanawar and NDA Khadakwasla. He is a prolific writer and based at Mohali, Punjab


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