Alumni Remember SJS

A tribute to uncle… Kiran Chaudhary

In year 2001 Midnight, I was coughing like anything due to cold. Though everyone was suppose to be asleep, my coughing was disturbing them. However everyone tried hard to sleep. Around 2 AM Uncle walks in with medicine to our room!!! Next day morning we were all excited for our Shanku Waterpark’s trip when a friend told me Uncle was calling me in office. I was afraid he would not send me, and that’s what Uncle said! I can’t send you, you need rest and your cold is too bad. My eyes were almost filled with tears and I couldn’t speak anything. I just stood there. He saw those water droplets in my eyes and said, ok I will allow you to go but you have to take care, do not go much into water. I promised him and left the office. Generally this is where it ends, but Uncle as he is, he made sure I do really stay less in water, he informed Joseph sir too make sure about it. This is what an Uncle means to me. Someone who would care for me like a father. So far away from home he treated us like a family. I do not know how we started calling him Uncle but it was so apt to SJS family. May be he just chose to be Uncle and treat us like his children. Yes my school principal was my Uncle, our Uncle!!! Its 11 years since I left the school and still I can visualise him walking in the hostel corridor with a bunch of keys in his hand. Just taking light strides and passing by each room. The humming and murmuring of each room fading into a pin drop silence as he passes by them and the students in far away room realising his presence just by the sudden silence. It is magical to know someone’s presence by silence, such was his power. I can see him moving by the ground while going to ‘Tabela’. I can see him standing by the door in dining hall and sending us to take our plates in a queue. I can see him standing in the lobby on the left side of the stage during morning assembly. The visions are so clear as if it all happened just yesterday. Looking back, I realised his vision of school was not just limited to school hours. Along with books, sports was given an equal importance. Our food was well balanced and complete. Far away from home we were home. He knew he was shaping and building a better and stronger next generation. SJS was the among the best place where complete education was being given to children’s in North Gujarat. Uncle was the man behind this dream. I remember one of his republic day speech where he explained the importance of banyan and banana tree and why both are equally important, irrespective of the number of years they live. He explained us that each one of us is different but equally important and unique. He taught us to make our own way. Uncle, most of the time wears an off white plane/lining shirt and light cream trouser. His trousers never had cuffs for belt. He was almost alike everyday. Then, i used to wonder why he doesn’t try different types of clothes, later I learned its a time saving tactic, followed by even the most busiest men in business, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg to save time!!! An efficient manager of time and work, we would always observe him following his routine everyday with complete serenity, without fail. He played all roles with complete poise and efficiency. At the same time, he was a Maths teacher, a principal and managing hostel. His interest in Maths made us crazy about maths, and it inspired us to score more with those X and Y’s. Personal time spent with him: When new hostel was built, after dinner and before study hours, Uncle used to sit and talk to us . It was wonderful knowing him, he allowed everyone,juniors and seniors, to talk and listened us. Always peaceful and full of wisdom. One day he came to our room and told us to dress well in evening and not to tell others as he was taking us out with him. That day we realised Uncle looks after many things other than School. He is helping the outer society as well. While returning he took us to a restaurant and told us to order whatever we would like. It meant so much to us at that time, He just was the perfect Uncle of our life. A hero within: His interests in architecture was as equal to his passion for Maths. There was always a reason behind why and how everything was built. Our contractor kaka would have for sure learned from him more. An avid reader and crazy for tug of war!! As every year passed by he was challenging his own abilities. A real hero who learned to write with left hand when he lost his right hand finger in accident. A fighter. A true hero in today’s India, where education is meant as a business. I wish he writes his autobiography for us, from where all that energy came from and how he managed everything with such wonderful ease and gracefulness. SJS’s emblem says ‘seek ye wisdom’ and Uncle was the one who was full of it!!!