The Class of 2010: The Graduation Ceremony
Everything inevitably comes to an end. Two years ago, fifty-six students embarked on one of the greatest peregrinations of their lives; August 2008 marked the start of the IB Programme at Pathways World School. And after two seemingly endless years of gruelling hard work and ceaseless repudiation and remarks from teachers, it came to pass that this year in 2010, the fifty-six students, standing tall and proud witnessed the twilight of their two years shine upon them in their best moments of glory.
As the daylight began to fade, the parents took their seats, hearts beating with excitement, and watched their once-infantile children elegantly stride onto the stage dressed in the customary purple Graduation Gowns, the tassels of their mortarboards hanging proudly from their heads.
The evening began with the dulcet notes of Celine Dion’s immortal song, ‘My Heart Will Go On’, played by the school orchestra. Indeed, long after we have left school and are striding towards our futures, ‘every night in [our] dreams’ we’ll reminisce about one of the best nights of our entire secondary school experience.
After Dr Naidu’s enlightening words of advice, warning and good luck to the class of 2010 came the most awaited moment: the Awards. And for some, the stars simply dimmed to let them glow and stun the audience with their resplendent radiation. Joshua Lee – the valedictorian held everyone’s attention as he addressed the crowd and recounted his past four years at school. Among the numerous experiences that he shared, he shared one parting advice with his friends: passion above all else is most important. Hard work, sincerity and success simply tag behind.
This was followed by CAS awards, the Global Citizen Award and then the subject awards. Shortly afterwards, the IB programme certificates were distributed. Everyone dazzled the crowd with their brilliance. It was our day and we took it with pride glistening in our eyes with uncontained happiness. The Chief Guest, Dr Kanti Bajpai addressed the graduating class, sharing some important advice on what he has learned from his own experience of growing up: being cynical and arrogant are two of the worse afflictions one can acquire and we must strive to avoid these two vexations that are akin to cardinal sins.
The evening could hardly have ended without Prateek Jalan having something to say about it! And indeed he had, and what fine words he had to share! Amongst the many things that he spoke of, the most memorable was the poem that he composed to encapsulate the years of joy that Pathways brought him, and indeed every one us standing on the stage. After Prateek, Rishi Chitkara took the stage as he shared some of his own experiences with the crowd and shed light on the true friendship that binds every individual of 12th grade to one another.
Abhishek Bansal exuded the true sense of being a Pathwaysian as he addressed the audience and with a hint of sorrow and nostalgia proudly presented them with all that Pathways gifted him with. This was followed by the senior school principal Ms Maya Norula’s speech about the ‘strange’ yet amicable group of students that the school has to part to with this year. All of us, at some point in our time in senior school presented some affliction of an adolescent but despite that it was deeply moving to hear that all our mistakes were forgotten and that we had all left a positive impression on everyone.
With these final words that came out somewhat reluctantly for words of parting are always the toughest to express, the class of 2010 proceeded to complete the final rite of passage by flipping the tassel and having their candles lit. This was followed by the National Anthem. Then the ceremony came to a sad end. But the words that were uttered by the students and teachers will remain eternally in our minds. Ms Maya Norula’s recitation of Rabindranath Tagore’s poem, ‘The Gift’ will stay with me forever. As will Anagh Chaudhry’s final words: ‘Dare to be whatever you can be!”