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Jan-Apr 2005

THE SKV GAZETTE

FAREWELL SPEECH
I am a little surprised at how a person like me, a person who has loved each and every inch of this stage, be so hesitant to come up here and speak. What I am about to do is absolutely fatal. I am here to deliver my farewell speech. It has taken a little time for this fact to dawn on my senses. The fact that this speech has to sum up just one thought: SKV, I'm going to miss you. It has left my heart wrenched. I really don't want to do this! Instead, I'll tell you a story. And as usual, as is a custom, my scripts, my stories always have me in the lead role. This story is no exception. The only difference is that it wasn't written by me. It is a creation of the Almighty that I treasure and share whenever I can. Flashback to the year I was in class VII. It's the Hindi period. Every girl reads aloud a paragraph from the text and now..it's my turn. Manju di and the whole class is coaxing me to speak. And I stand there, choking on the words, dumb in silence. No words come out. Cut to class VIII.. it's Hindi period again and the scene is played out again. Cut to class IX it's Saurabh di's class. I want to speak this time, really, but if and only if the words I read in the book in front of me would come out of my mouth. And at last, Yu..yu.yu.yudhishtrrr r r a n . . . n . n . . . n e Du...Du.Dusashana s...Sse o.k.kkahak.k.k...Ke That was me three years ago. This is me today. Funny? I assure you that at that time there was nothing funny about it. No matter what I say in the next few minutes, nothing will sum up even a fraction of how much I owe this institution. Here I lost my false sense of proportion which was in, of and about the protected army kind of upbringing I had had. I had never tasted 'civil life'. I had this vague sense of vanity about myself and my type of school. I had already changed 12 schools and the thought that my next school was some sort of vidyalayaKanya Vidyalaya to be precise dumped my vanity into the deep dungeons of distress. Here I was at the gates of SKV very confident that I was going to make a mark here because I was the best. I repeat I had a vague sense of vanity. It didn't take me much time to realize I was wrong, terribly wrong. This school flung at me such standards of sports, cultural and academic excellence that it took me years to stabilize and adjust to match the standards. In the bargain I misplaced my confidence and couldn't relocate it for the next three years. In these three years I witnessed what were possibly the darkest days of my life. I couldn't speak a single sentence without stammering. I knew I had the ability to do a lot of other things but somehow things always seemed to boil down to my being rejected because of my speech impediment. It was a dark cloud that refused to budge. No matter what I did, how much I tried, the more I tried to prove myself, the more I stammered. I blamed everybody around me for it. I fooled myself and lied to myself. People laughed at me and they poked fun at me. Then one day I realized that if I don't speak unless necessary, I won't be a joke. So I started keeping quiet. Instead of making myself a joke I started observing. Observing, everything around me. It was this very opportunity that SKV gave me. No other institution could have. I realized that one's problems are as big as one perceives them to be. SKV taught me to see my faults; it gave me opportunities to mend them. It taught me to think, to dream, and to pursue my dreams. It has taught me to trust myself, pick myself up whenever I went wrong and failed. It has taught me then to try harder to make things work just as I dreamt. This institution has taught me the power of silence. This institution has taught me to succeed. When I say 'this institution', I mean the head of the institution, the teachers, the staff; the gardens where I spent my quiet moments; the buildings where I found a new me every day; the seniors who taught me so much either directly or indirectly; my classmates who have been there throughout; my immediate juniors, the XI and X who have been a constant source of support; my ultra juniors, the IX, VIII, VII, VI and V who have been so loving and affectionate. All of them, believe me, each of them has been so special that the essence of SKV stands incomplete even if one were to be taken away. The person I am today is because of my House. Usha House, you've given me the pedestal to step out of my shell. It has taken me six long years to experience what I've summed up in my 60 minutes of an attempt to capture what I feel today. And yet I feel instead I could have just walked away without saying anything as insignificant as my speech just by chanting the seven golden words I unearthed last night. The seven words that shall remain unparalleled for the rest of my life I am proud to be a SKVian. Sunidhi Singh XII (Batch 2004-05)