Bid Adieu….

A student writes back…
I bid the school a teary goodbye in 2017. I thought I had years to go before I would be called to an alumni reunion and get to meet every single person who’d pushed me for years to be a better version of myself. What is a mediocre student in an institution full of young, talented minds? One would expect a successful school like ours to be… indifferent. And honestly, I wouldn’t blame them considering the number of kids that pass out each year.
But boy, was I wrong!
Year after year flew by yet I never really felt I’d left the school. Events of which I’d once been a part, were held again and I was welcomed with open arms to be a part of it all.
Stepping through the school’s main gate itself brought back a flood of memories… How we’d try to sneak past Sameer sir before he caught us without the familiar ID strapped around our necks (he is a legit hawk, don’t try to tip toe past him, it’s futile. Just look down dejectedly, slide your bag off your shoulders and stand with the remark page of the school calendar set wide open).
The ever smiling faces and the incredibly helpful nature of the security and the non-teaching staff always made it worth waking up early. Be it a water spillage on the floor or paints smeared on our desks, the didis and the mamas would uncomplainingly be there before the teacher could even begin to reprimand us.
Running around the field during the PE lecture we’d wait for all week (I DESPISED the warm up and couldn’t wait to start shooting some goals but a skipped warm-up session and a pulled hamstring later, my obstinate self-accepted defeat and followed protocol), waiting desperately to issue a copy of The Wimpy Kid (Falguni ma’am probably heaved a sigh of relief when I attended the farewell… It was an assurance I wouldn’t be back to pester her about letting me borrow The Cabin Fever edition), silently hoping for it to rain so hard we’d all be forced to stay in school (which was really dumb now that I think about it; the teachers should get special awards for putting up with us), being really desperate to be called upon by the art department to help with the annual day decorations (Jignesh sir deserves a special mention for putting up with our over-enthusiastic and terrible-at-art vibes), practicing obsessively for an highly coveted inter-school competition (after school sessions with Swati ma’am, Cecelia ma’am and Daksha ma’am were always a riot), singing songs (well, yelling, actually, since we all were pretty lousy singers) and screaming until our throats were positively raw during field trips and picnics, and planning a secret program to be put on Teacher’s Day are all memories that form a talisman for those days when I’m down and in a desperate need of some serotonin.
All these years, the teachers have been my best critics and the fear that comes with stepping out in the real world after school majorly stems from coming to the realisation that there won’t be a higher authority or a parental figure who you can turn to when faced with bullies. It was only when I met my teachers for a final goodbye during the felicitation did I fully understand the meaning of the phrase ‘the school is your second home.’
The one thing I will be forever thank my stars for was that the school was helmed by Dr Mrs Pramila Kudva (or Princi, as we fondly called her). I’d always be awed by her composure and decisiveness but she never really came across as intimidating or unapproachable. From pathetic tears shed by a self-obsessed teenager to the pure joy I felt upon sharing all my laurels… She’s seen it all and always been a guiding hand. A mere ‘thank you’ is lame. But then no words can ever that capture that feeling.
Pages can be filled with all the shenanigans I did at school but those are stories I’ll patiently wait to tell should someone ever ask, “Why did you love your school so much?”
For now, I will sign off, go look for my class photographs and stare at them with melancholy in my heart.
Pushti Shah
Hasanaites write back… A teacher was an aunty to them.

Dearest Pramila Aunty,
After watching your video I m feeling so blessed to have been your student at some point of my education….It was so amazing to watch you Listen to you….everyword you spoke was “Anmol” …And to sum it up You look absolutely Classy 👸🏼👸🏼
Wow Pramila Aunty
Proud to be once your student and later my sons as your students.
It’s been a long time since I saw u and met and it’s given me immense pleasure to hear ur views I whole heartedly agree with all ur views especially about the RTE children though we still have to practice the oral assessment part as every principal does not agree to it but there is always hope and yes balance is needed between the head and heart.👌
Simmi

Congratulations Pramila Aunty!
It’s a privilege to have had you as my teacher!
May you keep spreading your knowledge and make a difference to lives of students!

Yet another student speaks…
It is a truth universally acknowledged that four things are required of a person with authority – to hear courteously, to answer wisely , to consider soberly and decide impartially.
And today, it is our firm belief that it had to be some unearthly power that vested this authority into you by bringing you to the altar of wisdom.
It has been around three and a half years since you have taken the initiation of moulding our fragile personalities one of which was mine and so was most of those present here. And today, on behalf of the entire student body ma’am we have to tell you that in these three and a half years you have worked the magic of decades for it isn’t just reformed humans that you are leaving behind , you are leaving behind your legacy.
We all know that in life we come across some people who influence our lives so much that we never forget them and with a hand over my conscience I can say that you will never be forgotten by us.
All these years there has been none so encouraging when we go out to conquer our Everests or Football matches, none so enthusiastic and none so optimistic as you.
But standing here representing the students, I have to tell you more than a principal, we will remember you as a teacher. Someone who taught us that in order to do the right thing, we must listen to our conscience someone who gave a whole new definition to punishment by never being angry but only disappointed and we all know that in the heart of hearts that stings more.
So we worked harder, trying to give back to the one person whose contribution in our lives we can never compensate. The one person who made us deliberate and question ourselves and acted as a conscience keeper asking questions about our decisions that We had forgotten to ask ourselves and in the end left us with a gem of realisation.
So, as I come up to an end of my speech and ma’am comes to the end of her wonderful journey with Arya Vidya Mandir, there is one thing that will never come to an end and that is our gratitude and love for you.
Tanya Sharma
2014-15

Without question, madam you have shaped the minds of the children and thus, our future. In some cases, it might be nearly impossible to capture my gratitude with a written note or tiny token of appreciation, i am going to try anyway.
You gave me the strength I needed to take my steps towards my dreams.
I am so grateful you are my principal. Thank you for emboldening me. Your positivity and encouragement brightened my days. Thank you for your patience throughout this year and you are, hands down the best principal I have ever had! The world has seven wonders and you are my eighth wonder.
Hem Dixit VI D
Pawar Public School

I wish you all the best
Ma’am you are such a bright star
In confidence and and complassion you set the bar
Right from the moment when I walked. into your room
You became my inspiration and role model as you were really cool
—- I wish you all the best
With patience and love you helped mould me
A better person and teacher to always be
Your warm smile and apt anecdotes
Will help me to always stay afloat
—- I wish you all the best
May happiness, good health and peace be yours,
Whether at home or in other shores
You have inspired and ignited a thousand minds
top Excel and go that extra mile.
—- I wish you all the best
May you always be safe in the hollow of His hands
through stormy weather or shifting sands
Let his wisdom and strength light your way,
And stay with you forever and a day
—- I wish you all the best
Serena
16th January 2015

Like a rare gem
found in the depths of the ocean
you are one of those jewels
of whom there is a dearth.
We saw the smile grow on your face
when you tackled something new
We watched as your sparkling eyes lit up
Our eyes they glistened too.
You were the change
You sustained it till
It became our culture.
We have incurred a huge loss this year
The resignation of inspirations
motivation, knowledge and wisdom
But always kept safe and secure
your teachings and lessons
Will be in our hearts for sure.
We wish you well our precious mentor
We will cherish you.
As you walk out of the door today,
Know for certain wherever you go
You are in our hearts to stay.
From PTA AVM [BKC]
16th Jan 2015

Goodbye and farewell and all the best
These words are just the start
Of all the things we’d like to say
Straight from our hearts.
you’re such a special person and
We’ll miss your caring ways
We’ll remember your sense of humour
that got us through many days
your anecdotes have always
carved a niche in our hearts
They will remain with us forever
even though you depart.
We hope you enjoy life
and love what you do
For We will be at every moment
Praying for good times for you.
Staff
V.C. W. AVM
16th January 2015

you have never been hesitant
In sharing your wisdom
You’ve always allowed us
To operate with freedom
You have never been reluctant
In giving us authority
You have believed in us when
We have been in doubt
You have shown to all
What great bosses are all about.
Thank You Ma’am
Staff
V.C. W. AVM

16th January 2015

We may not remember
Everything you said
But we will remember
How special you
Made us feel
Thanks for all your love
Support and guidance
Charmi Gala
Grade X C
Respected Principal Ma’am
Thank you is too little a
thing to say for the
Kind gesture you’ve shown
you have made a great
difference in my life.,..
May you always be as happy as
you make others.
Neel Doshi
Grade X C

Hello, ma’am.
I can’t ever thank you enough for all that you’ve done for me. From patiently sitting through my angst filled ramblings to giving me the chance to be the Head Girl to appreciating me for things as trivial as wearing a school uniform during a competition after I had passed tenth grade (it was just a small thing I thought no one would really care about but you made sure you told every single teacher about this and that really made me feel so special)… You’ve done it all. You organised special stress-busting sessions amidst the choas and pressure of tenth grade examinations and that helped me so very much. Being the Principal never stopped you from paying special attention to each and every student. But more than anything else, I want to thank you for always being there for me. They say school is our second home. Well, you made sure that home had a mother who cared for me.
The best I can do at the moment is to wish you a very happy Mother’s day, ma’am. ❤
Pushti
10/06/2020

Published by Dr. Pramila Kudva

I am a teacher educator currently worrking as a Principal of a reputed school in North Mumbai, have more than 30 years of experience, with several publications to my credit and have authored a book -"From chalk to Talk The Art of Teaching.

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