Virendra Keshari

Lt. Col.

My dear Alma Mater,

I entered inside your huge gates as a tiny tot of three and a half, holding my parents’ hands. The sudden familiarity and comforts of the home were soon replaced by strange faces all around. I never could understand why my parents had to leave me with you every day and then pick me up after some time. As the A-B-C-Ds and the 1-2-3-4s started sinking into my mind, I realised that it wasn’t that bad after all to spend some time in the company of strangers!

Within a year, I was made to understand that you were to be a part of my life for many more years. Though it was difficult to fathom what that actually meant at that time, the picture became pretty clear when I saw the Report Card at the end of each year.
I am grateful to you for all the sweet and sour memories that I have had with you that have played a crucial role of shaping me into what I am today. It goes without saying that I am grateful to you for having such expert teachers who instilled the subject knowledge into me. I still remember some of those difficult formulae of Maths and those experiments in the Chemistry lab which would invariably end up with someone breaking a test tube resulting in severe reprimanding.

I am grateful to you for the discipline and values that you have imparted, that actually made you one of the best, not only in the city, but also the country. Rules may have felt a bit too harsh that time, I must admit. But, they have moulded and made me.

It is often said that reminiscence of the past should be done as long as it gives pleasure and happiness. And this is exactly what ensues every single time I remember my Alma Mater…. Dayawati Modi Academy …. my nurturer, my haven, a place I called my own for 14 glorious years of my formative life, and keep connecting myself to it today even after almost 2 decades of concluding my student life in its premises.

The school has the most significant role to play in modeling one’s personality. As far as I am concerned I can very humbly say, I am what I am mostly because of my schooling at DMA. I am very grateful to my parents for having chosen this school, which even after decades of its existence still stands rock-solid to its motto, ‘Dedication. Motivation. Aspiration. My heart is filled with immense pride, fondness, gratitude-coupled with nostalgia and longing as to how those wonderful years flew by.
What a marvelous journey it was transforming me from a tiny tot to an inquisitive child to a gregarious teen and finally graduating to being a professional.

Every minute detail is still vividly sketched in my memory. At a very young age, qualities of responsibility, discipline, punctuality, truthfulness, and healthy competition were instilled in us. When it comes to friends and relationships, I must admit that some of them have most certainly stood the test of time. These friends came into my life without prejudice and expecting nothing in return. Over the years they have changed roles from being my partner in crime to my well-wisher and confidante, and even my soul-mate!!!

I was privileged to be taught by some of the most wonderful teachers, who very effortlessly yet meticulously taught life lessons through languages and simple mathematics, complex trigonometry, biology, economics, politics, social sciences, value education, art and craft. These teachers allowed us to excel in whatever skill set we had, helped us to overcome fears and shortcomings. Many years later too, even after I left school, some of them continues to be my counselors, coaches, mentors and Gurus.

Something I have learnt at DMA is the ability to look forward.  The school taught me that sometimes the best surprises in life are…well, surprises. Some opportunities can’t be planned.  So thank you for giving me the courage to be bold and take those opportunities when they arose. Thank you for not letting me hold myself back for the fear of failure and making me understand that failure is not something to be ashamed of, but should be celebrated because that means I tried, and I know how to improve for next time. Thank you for teaching me how to be a leader and a follower (both very important roles). Thank you for the memories you have given me and the ones I have made because of you. Thank you for the people, a wonderful community you offered to help me grow. Thank you for instilling empathy in me by making me accountable for my actions and creating the desire to want to make a difference. Thank you for believing in my creativity through the teachers, who set exceptional standards, and affirmed that focusing on my individuality would lead us to successes.  

Lastly, thank you for teaching us that the world is full of possibilities and the key is to believe in ourselves at all times. I’ve learned over the years that no one besides you can make you do anything, including attaining success. I am where I am, and who I am because the school encouraged me to go forth and explore, to be fearless and unapologetic of myself.

Thank you !!!!!!!!