The laughter in a thousand babbling voices, shrieks and shouts of a hundred fights and countless smiles, breathe life into a mammoth of poured concrete, bricks, and furniture paraphernalia – Sandipani.
It still contains a vibe so strong, that we can feel it merely by trailing our fingers along the walls. My disclaimer-esque foreword to this article would be that I, exclusively me, consider there be no worse feeling than getting older and inadvertently cutting ties with the aforementioned simple pleasures of life.
That being said, I know tons of people who like getting & feeling older, who occasionally enjoy bouts of nostalgia whilst driving by their alma mater. Me? Hells to the no. It is more a physical ache than anything else. As being a Sandipanian isn’t about just those 10-12 years, you carry that warmth your entire life.
Driving by the iconic Victorian Façade of Sandipani, I’ve often thought about the relevance and aptness of the institute’s name. It represents the Guru of Lord Shri Krishna, the poornavatar; and much like him, Sandipani has always focused on the 360-degree development of its pupils. It has definitely been successful in its endeavour (the smug writer is alluding to himself here).
I firmly believe that an individual, as an output, is a result of a varied number of inputs. The upbringing is not solely limited to the parents, but the entire environment of the individual, the school being a major component. Based on this, I and my peers cannot possibly thank Sandipani enough, for the school’s continuous efforts for best values, best intentions and complete development.
Peeking into the many, many things that go into the total development, this article aims to set a refresher course for all the alumnus readers.
We can most certainly assume that the reader has borne with me till now, not because of clickbait, but as he/she is relating to this word after word.
In my interest, let's expand to this theme and walk through some pivotal Sandipani hallmarks.
1. Adhuram – Madhuram
Prayers there are many, but ask every Sandipani to recite one straight out of bed – This is the one they will burst out; thanks to the daily morning practice in the morning assembly. Score one for spiritual health!
2. Wonly Englais (pardon the errors)
The reason behind excellent vocabulary and grammar – nazi worthy speech of every Sandipanian – English communication was compulsory and equal stress on every language. Result – Communicate well, or not at all!
3. Orbit – ing around
We had our own personal convenience store, megastore in fact, and right in the premises! Every alumnus who has stepped foot in the Civil Lines branch knows the joy of slipping into the store for some candy bar and snacks shopping. No canteen = No worry! Also, a little mischief never went amiss.
4. Healthy Wednesdays
Our habits of health food gorging originated much before it was trending. Who can forget dodging the tiffin check and later eventually eating the ‘healthy food’, our Wednesdays’ custom?
This inclusion in curriculum generated so many bibliophiles and also gave us a chance to enhance our personality on a larger platform. Delving into an author’s complete works for a year was fun and the prize was oh-so-worth it.
6. Local mocktails
Every Sandipanian knows the joy of having the “Masala Cold drink” right from the inventor’s kitchen, and that too right next door! Nagpur heat and this summer bliss - Love!!!
7. Yearly Regional projects
To make globetrotters out of us, we had these theme oriented, yearly projects wherein every student contributed and got to know about a state, country or region. The invasion of this new world and culture in our regular world was something to look forward to.
8. Be a Sport!
Sports Day and competitive spirits – a kid knows no better high. Interhouse championships had us toil and work for the coveted trophy and glory. In the process, we all got a healthy dose of sportsmanship and, well, health!
9. Take a hike!
Sandipanians have forevermore cared about our mother nature. Be it the bird watching club, nature Clubs, trips and hikes, I am sure all of us have connected to the world around us and learned to appreciate it.
This annual day tradition is something which resides in every Sandipanian’s heart. Whether it might be playing the lead in the plays, being a prop-bearer, smashing the Dahi-Handi or simply taking it all in, sitting in the audience, these memories from Vasantrao Deshpande Hall are known to all, forgotten by none.
For these and the other countless memories that surface now and again, my ode to the school would definitely end on a gratitudinous note. I may be a long way from an all-rounder, but I sure know, it is possible.
For that and everything else, thank you, Sandipani. Much Love.
All gifs sourced from Giphy
Image source: Maitreyi Jichkar