Being Sanawarian means Happiness
(Chapel Speech- Golden Jubilee Celebration 2Oct 2016)
By Amar Talwar (OS66)
Good evening everybody! Good evening Sir (to the Headmaster).
The last time I spoke "in public" in S'na was at the break-up party 50 years ago in the Vindhya dorm. I had what I thought was a mind-boggling speech in my head, but after speaking a few words, I just broke down and started sobbing uncontrollably. Before I knew it, almost the entire dorm was in tears, including Mr. Jagdish Ram, who we always thought was tough of mind, body and heart!
Well, I hope I don't start sobbing this evening!
I think I speak for all my classmates when I say that the breakdown that night was symbolic of what S'na meant to us – and still does!
After all, that night signaled the end of the absolutely magnificent time we had had here in S'na.
Now, we have been asked to recount happy memories of our time in S'na - that presents a real problem for me because I have so many, that i would still be standing here recounting them three days from now while you all would be heading home for your post-Founders holidays! So the kind Headmaster has given me permission to exceed, to some extent, the five minutes allotted to me!
I can talk about Pine-cone-collecting. Do you guys go pine-cone collecting? (No?). Oh! Well, we did! How some of us would race down the khudside wanting to be the first to get to the spots where we knew we'd find them! “Lumber”, was the self-appointed carrier of our team's loot. He would go lumbering all the way from beyond Lover's Pond - you guys DO know Lovers' Pond? (Yes?) - all the way from Lovers' Pond to our dormitory with this huge sack full of pinecones slung over his shoulder! And he was a senior prefect, mind you!
I have happy memories of our hikes and treks, singing Elvis Presley and Mohd. Rafi songs at the tops of our voices! Uppi and Subri will remember! And once getting nabbed by the cops in 1965 because they thought we were Pakistani paratroopers! They arrested us! Our dear Headmaster, Maj. Somdutt, had to drive all the way to Dagshai in the dead of night to free us and bring us back to S'na! And he did it with a smile! There are happy memories of breasting the tape at the Arch or down at Barnes - though that rascal Dharamvir deprived me of that pleasure on more occasions than one! But no one could get the better of the Vindhya relay team. We are all here today - Harry, Puffy, Pisa and yours truly! Pisa just told me that our record still stands - but you have to take everything Pisa tells you with a large helping of salt!
Happy memories of the Nilagarian Flatty at the goal post, waving his hockey stick, shouting at his teammate "Oi, what are you doing 'thyere', you fool!", or the menacing Puffy as he dashed down to deliver his jaw-breaking bouncers!
Of course, not ALL my memories are happy ones. There were some of us who did not fit in here. I recall Victor Gill, who was forced out of S'na because some guys teased him no end about his American accent! Shekhar Singh, because of weight issues could not take all the marching and running around while the others teased him endlessly about his physicality. He too was forced out of the school along with his sister in GD for the same reasons!
We not only deprived them of the happy times we are sharing today, but also inflicted scars on them that may not have healed! Looking back, i feel perhaps i could have and should have, done something to stop the relentless teasing. Taken a moral stand, as Suniti mentioned already. Well enough of that then!
Darshi, back there, will tell you how he always regrets having left Sanawar too early! Of course he left for different reasons, but the point is, being a Sanawarian pretty much meant: "Happiness"!
I have happy memories of the beardless Gurbir marching ramrod-straight at the Parade and then quietly walking off with the the Best Shot prize towards end-of-term! Of Sandeep, the shy one, casting surreptitious glances at the girl - or girls - of his fancy! Sweet ol' Mrinal, back there, had this endearing habit of talking to himself down at the bogs below Himalaya. He thought no one was listening. We heard EVERY WORD YOU SAID, Mrinal!
Then there were those that went about their tasks quietly - or should i say secretively - Ranjit and MS - and Indrash, who was Himalaya's pint-sized Boxing Champ!
I cannot forget the tall, lanky and pimpled Amritpal who always seemed to have a smile on his face, gup-shupping away with fellow Siwalikans Naveen, PPS Sushil and the others. Not to forget dear Pali, who got me into trouble when he started yelling, "Hullo? Hullo! Hullo!" on the improvised Intercom he'd set up between his bunk downstairs in Siwalik and mine up in Vindhya while Mr Jagdish Ram was taking inspection.
Guys...I just loved S'na and what it made of me - and again I speak for all my classmates when I say that we would not be the people we are today if we did not have the good fortune of being sent to S'na by our dear parents. (Thank you. My father up there is smiling right now!) None of us would have faced the obstacles that life inevitably sends down to everyone - and you will get you fair share of them - faced them with a smile on our faces and the motto 'Never Give In' in our hearts.
S'na gave me the courage to remain the person I essentially am - to admit it when I am wrong and to apologise for my mistakes. That makes me stronger, not weaker. It gave me the confidence to keep alive this obsession, or need that i have, of always sharing a bit of what God has given me, with those less fortunate than i am.
In the end, I would like to assure the girls, now ladies, of our class of '66 that they are not forgotten! We guys of 1966 are proud to call ourselves your batchmates. Sanawar makes women and ladies of its girls like nobody else does!
Big thanks to the junior staff who served us so well, so selflessly, and who never asked for anything else in return but a smile in gratitude.
And lastly, a huge thanks to our teachers, most of who are now up there in heaven - thank you, our Ma'ams and Sirs, for who you are, and were, and for what you did for us. I know Suniti has done this, but i would like to too. We would like to remember those of our class who have left us. I will name them in alphabetical order, and as we knew them.
Keith Anil Manley
Lalit Ranjan Joshi and
May their souls forever rest in peace.
Chairman and CEO of Grey Group Asia Pacific since 2009, will take on the additional role of Chairman and CEO for Grey Group’s Middle East and Africa region.
Congratulations from the OS Fraternity.
Nirvik Singh gets expanded role overseeing Grey Group Middle East & Africa
Singh continues to be Chairman and CEO of Grey Group Asia Pacific. His highly regarded business acumen has led to numerous additions to the Grey network
Delhi. November 7, 2016
Nirvik Singh, Chairman and CEO of Grey Group Asia Pacific since 2009, will take on the additional role of Chairman and CEO for Grey Group’s Middle East and Africa region. A 27-year industry veteran of the global advertising and marketing agency headquartered in New York City, Singh has played a monumental role in the growth and development of the network’s comprehensive offerings across Asia.
Under his leadership, Grey Group Asia Pacific features among the leading communications networks and his trademark business acquisitions have been instrumental in the development of Grey’s digital and shopper offerings in the region. His passion and his trademark skill to strengthen Grey’s presence have earned him widespread accreditation as the key accelerator of strategic growth across the Asia-Pacific region. Singh’s highly regarded business acumen has led to numerous additions to the Grey network including RC&M (Rural Communications & Marketing services) in India, Yolk (Interactive & Digital media network) in Singapore, DPI (Shopper), Star Echo (Marketing Services) and ArtM (Integrated Communications) in China, Vinyl-I (Creative Digital agency) in South Korea and nudeJEH (Advertising & Digital agency) in Thailand, amongst others.
Jim Heekin, Chairman and CEO, Grey Group (Global), said, “Nirvik has been a prime mover in our dynamic growth and development in Asia. He has been relentless in building our geographic footprint with premier acquisitions, accelerating our offerings in a host of disciplines including digital and shopper and raising the creative bar. He has won every major professional award in Asia. I know he will bring the same single-minded dedication and achievement to his added responsibilities.”
In his newly elevated role, Singh will continue to work closely with Jim Heekin, Chairman and CEO, Grey Group, and Michael Houston, Global President of Grey.
Please find enclosed herewith detail of FOSS contribution as on 15.9.2016. You are requested to kindly upload the detail on the OS net.
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Sanawar Lit Fest-2016
Sanawar hosted its first Literary Festival on Oct 23rd this year on campus. It was an endeavour to create interest and encourage children to read books. The theme of the festival was Indian mythology. It gave an opportunity to the youth to acquaint themselves with the mystique of their roots and understand the magnitude of Indian Mythology.
The session began with a panel discussion by four distinguished panelists followed by an inter-active session. The panelists were Prof. Roma Chatterji from Delhi University, Prof. Chetan Singh, Director IIAS, Shimla, Prof. (Dr.) Ramesh Kuntal Megh, Retd, Head of Hindi Faculty, Punjab University and Prof. (Dr.) Tulsi Raman from HPU. Shri Sita Ram Mardi, IPS, Director General Home Guards, General Commandant Civil Defence & Fire Services, HP graced the occasion as the chief guest.
The second session saw an interesting Literary Quiz in which six schools had qualified for the final round after the preliminary round. This was followed by presentations on critical appreciation of books by all participating school teams.
The results are as follows:
A Book Fair was also organized for the school on 22nd & 23rd October as a part of this Literary Festival.
Dear Parents and Old Sanawarians,
I was in Delhi earlier this month for a meeting and seeing the deadly pollution engulfing the Delhi NCR, I thanked the God Almighty for the pristine environment in Sanawar, but for how long I wonder. The winter is gradually setting in over the hilltop. The days are bright and warm but the nights are getting cold. I take this opportunity to thank all of you for making the 169th Founder’s Day celebrations a resounding success. Your presence, words of appreciation and encouragement meant a lot to the students and staff.
We continue to work towards strengthening the ‘self-discipline’ and I am happy to share that the progress made is quite satisfactory.
The School organized its first ever ‘Literary Festival’ on October 23. The theme of the festival was ‘Mythology’. We had a panel of some eminent authors who addressed the students on some finer and interesting aspects of mythology. This was followed by an inter-school quiz on mythology and presentations by invited schools on various works on mythology. A books exhibition was also organized in the School and the response from our students was quite heartening. We would request all the parents to partner us in inculcating the reading habit among our students. This festival is going to be an annual feature. The festival of ‘Deepawali’ was celebrated by one and all with lot of joy and fervor. The evening began with the ‘pooja’ at the sports complex where the entire School gathered. After the ‘aarti’ and the distribution of the ‘prasad’ we all moved to the Peace Stead for an hour long cultural function. The programme included a dance by some junior girls and songs by students and staff (teaching, administrative and support). The finale was the School band that stole the show. Finally we had a brief fire work display. The next day was declared as a holiday.
We have also started with the ‘night-out’ with tutors. The entire senior school has already been out and the prep school will be going out soon. The feedback received from the students and the staff so far has been quite encouraging.
The School’s entrance examination was held on Sunday November 13. This year we have added two new examination centres, one in Kolkata and the other one in Mumbai. We intend to add more centres next year. On 14th of November the School community celebrated ‘Gurpurab’ and a team of students from Akal Academy, Baru Sahib (HP) recited the ‘Gurbani’ and sang the ‘shabad – kirtan’, adding a lot of sanctity to the joyous occasion. The ‘langar’ that followed the ‘ardas’ was enjoyed by one and all. Later in the evening the staff entertained the students community on the occasion of the ‘Children’s Day’. They sang, danced, acted and ensured that every child of the School had a bountiful of fun, frolic and laughter. While all this is happening, the students and the staff are now ensuring that more time, energy and focus is directed towards academics. With the final examinations just about a fortnight away, the examination fever is catching up.
In one of my earlier letters I had shared with you our development plan, specifying seven areas of intervention. Needless to say all such plans require substantial financial backing. I am in the process of activating and energizing the alumni support in this regard. In our endeavor to be the best, we need to recruit and retain qualified and competent faculty. Therefore, the remuneration and facilities offered to our faculty and other staff needs to be comparable with the best. We are looking at revising our School fee structure from the next financial year in order to meet some of our requirements. Your support and cooperation in this regard will be highly solicited.
From the next academic year we are modifying our assessment format. For each assessment cycle there will be a continuous assessment through assignments / projects / short tests. The longer duration tests will be conducted towards the end of the assessment cycle over 4-5 days. During this period (and also a few days prior to it) no in-school or outstation activities will be calendared. This is to ensure that the focus is on the assessment and nobody misses out the assessment due to an activity. No leave of any nature (other than an emergency leave) will be granted during this period. The dates will be put up in the term calendar. Imparting the correct values and ensuring that each child grows up with a strong character is a dual responsibility shared by the parents and the School. It is sad that some of the parents are not discharging their responsibility in a correct manner. In spite of a strict no for cell phones and cash for students in the School, some of the parents are not supporting the School by constantly flouting School rules. In future I will not be generalizing this problem and will address it directly to the defaulting parents. Without your support we cannot succeed in our efforts.
Talking further on the issue of imparting correct values, we feel defeated when some of the parents game the system to procure leave or extend leave or flout School visitation rules. One may get a few additional days of holidays or a chance to meet their children out of turn, but our concern is the impact of the unethical modus operandi that leaves a wrong impression on the young minds, on the children who are a mute witness to these unethical malpractices. Here again, in future, I will not be generalizing this problem and will address it directly to the defaulting parents.
We have also been working on eliminating the scourge of ‘favours’ and ‘bullying’. Interestingly, one of the factors that has been playing a key role in supporting them is the possession of ‘tuck’ by the students, especially the juniors. It has also been noticed that many children do not eat the healthy food provided in the School’s dining hall and fall back on the tuck stored with them. The mess committee, guided by a qualified nutritionist, has brought about lot of changes in the School menu. We are also working towards providing a variety of healthier options during ‘milk break’ and in the tuck shop.
Please note that from the next term (beginning February 20, 2017) no student will be permitted to bring any tuck to the School. May I request all the parents not to bargain with the House staff on the quantity or the nature of the tuck. No tuck will strictly mean ‘NO TUCK’. I am sure you will support the School in this area in the larger interest of your children. The children will show some ‘withdrawal symptoms’ initially but rest assured we will deal with those in the School.
Finally may I request all parents when they are communicating with the School about their child, could you clearly indicate the child’s name, house and the class in which he/she is studying. This will allow us to quickly attend to your request/query/concern. May I also remind all parents not to use the social networking sites such as ‘whatsapp’ or ‘facebook’ for any official communication.
I take this opportunity to thank all stakeholders of the School who have been giving their unflinching support to our efforts in taking the School to greater heights.
Induction Ceremony Class of 2017
Below is the obituary sent by George Browne's daughter Pippa McCarroll
On 28th September, 2016, one of the proudest Old Sanawarian’s sadly passed away, two days before his 97th birthday. Despite his adherence to his life-long school motto of “Never Give In”, George Browne, Life President of the OS Society, succumbed to his injuries from a fall whilst receiving a routine treatment in hospital.
A Havelock House Sanawarian from 1930-1937, George was both an outstanding student and athlete, being in the first elevens for hockey, cricket and football, and a champion boxer. His post Sanawar studies took him to England, graduating from King’s College, London and working at MI6 during the war. George’s days at Sanawar provided him with the foundation of an incredible adventure in life that led him across many countries. Having solely supported all his family who joined him in England after the partition of India in his earlier years, he thrived on the ambition to provide all of those he loved with a comfort and care that reached out far beyond even his own dreams. George built a dynasty, created upon his hard work, diligence and acumen. His life may have afforded him a luxurious lifestyle, but he remained humble enough to encompass others less fortunate and was always helping people, whatever their needs or situation.
George leaves behind his beloved wife Frieda, whom he referred to his as “his angel” and indeed she is. After 57 years together, their love, commitment and companionship is unequalled. His legacy continues to his children Adrian, Angela, Nikki, Paul and Pippa, his ten grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Their hearts are all heavy, as I’m sure many of yours will be, at the loss of one of the last standing true gentleman and a fine Old Sanawarian.
In life he was magnificent, in death he is a legend.
Heartfelt condolences to George’s family and friends from the Sanawarian Family !
Dear OS & OS spouses,
It gives me immense pleasure to announce that the next Reunion & Golf Day will be held on the 12th of Jan 2017.
Golf in the afternoon and the reunion is the evening.
1) I am also delighted to announce that new Headmaster Mr. Vinay Pande has confirmed attendance along with the current OS President Col. Jitender Chandel.
2) During the last reunion earlier this year a number of young OS expressed their desire to help organize the reunions. Kushal Mittal, Sagar Bhasin, & Piya (Bhatnagar) Mittal will take active part in organizing this reunion. There are many activities that need to be coordinated and volunteers for helping out are most welcome.
3) Golf as usual will be organized by Anil Sobti along with Rajiv Suri & Kunal Chowdry.
4) The venue, timings and cost per head will be advised shortly.
Kindly save this date! Look forward to everyone’s participation.
Never Give In!
Email ids of the organizers:
Anil Sobti firstname.lastname@example.org
Kunal Chowdry email@example.com
Angleen Malik firstname.lastname@example.org
Shaila Singh email@example.com
Sonali Ahluwalia firstname.lastname@example.org
Kushal Mittal email@example.com
Sagar Bhasin firstname.lastname@example.org
Piya Bhatnagar email@example.com
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