MY FAREWELL SPEECH – 1994/95
Principal Sir, my loving teachers, and my fellow Tenacians:
Words don’t come easy to me when it comes to speaking on an occasion like this. All throughout my school life, I’ve seen batches of students being bade farewell by the school and in all those times, I’ve feared the day when I’ll be among those stepping out of the doors of this institution for ever. Today, the time seems to have come for me too to make a transition from present to history.
I don’t know if you realise how difficult it is for a student who has spent thirteen years of his life, in fact more than half his life thus far, in a school, to step out of it. Perhaps what makes it more difficult is the fact that you’re leaving behind the care and guidance of ever-respectful teachers, the love from friends — only to soon find everything shrunk to a handful of memories.
An episode of my life is over, and perhaps the most important one, but the greatest happiness lies in the fact that it couldn’t have been more memorable.
Today, as I’m here to bid you goodbye, I’d like to share a few of my experiences with you.
I was in LKG and was told that I’d won a prize. Like we have now, we used to have rehearsals for prize giving. Mr Tashi Tenzing was the acting chief-guest. I was given a school diary. I thought it was the prize and started walking away with it. Mrs Damayanti Gatraj came running after me and took the diary away.
On the actual day, the chief guest handed over the prize to me. I remembered the day of the rehearsal and handed the prize back to the surprised chief guest.
I also have a confession to make. I was in Class VI or VII. It was the time when the Suggestion Box was newly introduced in our school. I used to speak in elocutions and debates and would find it very difficult to project my voice. I wished that we’d be provided microphones while speaking. One day, I wrote two suggestions in different handwritings requesting the introduction of mic’s. The next day, I tried to be expressionless as Mr Nadik approached me. He said, “Naresh, we’re going to have mic’s in elocutions this year. You know, two students have suggested that we have it.”
One important aspect what was in my mind, but which perhaps I’ve not emphasised enough is the usage of English as a communicating medium. The primary reason was the guilt in my mind. Until and unless the senior-most Class XII students decide on speaking in English, there is no use in forcing the juniors. Ours being a public school, we should all understand the importance of English. I’m not just saying this because we’re so used to hearing it time and again, but because I realise how much it counts today when you step out into a world of your own.
In the same vein, I’d like to recount an incident when we were in Class III. Mrs Beena Pradhan advised us to speak in English. She said that we shouldn’t feel embarrassed even if we made mistakes. Those were the times when I didn’t know the difference between sun and son, beating and cheating, and so on. But the words of Mrs Pradhan got into our heads and two of my friends and I started with khais-thing (ate), napis-thing (measured) and gais-thing (went), and soon found it easy enough conversing in English.
There have been various other memorable moments. Years passed like a quick roll of drums, and soon we were in Class XII. I know we couldn’t bring about very many changes. Perhaps there wasn’t a need. But what greatly satisfies me is that we didn’t face any major problems, not even a single one. The students of TNA proved to me much more disciplined than what I was prepared to give them credit for. It indeed gives you a lot of happiness to see a fellow Tenacian greet you, “Good morning Captain” as he walks past you.
When I was small, I used to hate the prefects for being harsh on me. As School Captain, this feeling was always there in my mind and that was the reason I never got myself to be harsh upon a little-one. This was a great help as I proved to be more approachable and got to know my Tenacians better.
TNA has been more than just a school to me. In my life till now, my teachers have been everything for me. The amount they have done for me is not possibly quantifiable.
TNA has given me a lot — care from teachers, love from friends and respect from juniors.
This day, as I prepare to leave, I’d like to thank the Principal Sir, all my loving teachers, my fellow Twelvers and Tenacians for all your love and care.
I also wish to thank the Prefects’ Body for all the co-operation they’ve given me.
The only message I have for you is that if our batch has done something good — learn from us, and if we had our faults, discard them. Even if students must come and go, TNA and the Tenacian spirit must remain forever — shining and smiling in the hearts of all its members.
Its hard to put into words all that I feel, but some day, I’m going to look back to these days, and feel ‘GREAT’!
Before I leave, here’s a well-known sher for you:
I’ll miss you a lot!