This journey with our graduating sons and daughters began about 17 years ago when our arms cradled and rocked a crying new born to sleep, with a lullaby on our lips. From giving joy rides on our backs to buying a tricycle, transitions have been rapid. We watched you take your first step and stumble as you fell over and over again, till you finally learnt to walk and utter words sensibly after a long period of prolonged gibberish. From a tricycle to a bicycle, you did not need that hand which you clung to each day… the hand which waved goodbye as we left you to your class ONE of the junior school.
We lost count of time ever since your five years of primary schooling ended up with three years in the middle school. Being a parent as well as a teacher was neither easy for me, nor for you. To strike a balance for me was no less than a herculean task. I secretly satisfied myself with the glorious thought that you were studying in the same school I went to.
Dear graduating students of the 2017 batch, the school has not just taught you content or subject matter, it has made you explore yourselves in fields more than one. Most of you, found the pitch to score runs, you hit goals into the nets, you shot 3 pointers at the basketball courts, you set records as you lapped the length of the pool, you excelled as a shooter, you sweated it out on a winter morning as you completed a 4.5 km cross country track, whether it was a table tennis ball or a shuttle cork, you learnt to serve well, you dominated the stage with your eloquent debating skills, you stunned the audience with your theatrical performances, you rocked the stage with your dance moves or your musical talents, you captured stills in your cameras and uploaded posts to keep everyone informed of school events, you searched the library for that one book you always wanted to read, you went out of your way to add colour to your sketch books just as you added colour to the parade and track and field events on every sports day.
You might have won many laurels and done yourself proud or might have lost after putting in your best. While you tasted the sweetness of success and excellence, some met with dejection and failure. But that brings us to the point which reminds all of us that life is not a bed of roses. The pricking of thorns and the licking of dust will be the elementary formulae for your success tomorrow. Success has never taught the kind of lesson that failure teaches. If you have not learnt this today, you will learn it tomorrow. As parents, we have loved you and tried to teach you values based on our experience. And in the process we began seeing ourselves in you. We began to expect. We even dreamed for you. But did we realize that even you have a right to dream for yourself? At times, you might have found your parents strict and far from the way you perceive things. Let me tell you on behalf of all the parents sitting here, we did it because we thought it was best for you. It could have been right or wrong. We had our reasons. But all of us want the best out of you. We want you to shine.
We want you, not just to be a face in the crowd, but a face that can face a crowd…. With whatever it takes for you to keep your ground, your values and every lesson that you learnt from your parents, from your teachers and from your alma matar.
The world outside the safe confines of your cozy homes and portals of this school is challenging, competitive and demanding. You will require to find a space for yourselves. High percentages will secure you a seat in colleges and universities and this further will decide your professional status in life, but remember to brace yourselves with a few important values like punctuality, honesty, perfection and accountability. Keep things simple. Let your work do the talking!
These 12 years at Xavier’s has made you into a young and dynamic person with a vision that is your own. Get out there into a new world of your own, dominated by your own fiery passion, enthused with inspiration from your family and mentors and the blessings of this prestigious 75 year legacy called XAVIER’S…
I have spread my dreams under your footsteps… tread carefully for you tread on my dreams !