/Pathways School Gurgaon celebrated its First Founder’s Day with an Exclusive exhibition and some breathtaking performances

Pathways School Gurgaon celebrated its First Founder’s Day with an Exclusive exhibition and some breathtaking performances


Pathways, Gurgaon celebrated its first Founders Day on November 26, 2011 with an original production of the Old Turtle.  Many times in our lives we come upon a film, a book or a performance that changes our world view forever. Old Turtle is such a story, written by Douglas Wood and illustrated with exquisitely sensitive water colours by Cheng-Khee Chee.  The book was brought to Pathways by our librarian, Bandana Sen and quickly became a favourite amongst students and teachers. It was not long before this timeless tale of wisdom and hope captured our imagination and became the source and inspiration of our first Founders Day production.

This new production included every student of Pathways Gurgaon from the tiniest toddler in Daycare to the tallest of our Grade 12’s. Involving each and every student in a befitting manner posed a great challenge to the creative team but as the days progressed all were drawn in by the urgency of the message in this simple story and all felt the need to contribute to its telling.

What is that message and who is Old Turtle?  There comes a time in the journey of every civilization to pause, reflect and consider whether it is moving in the right direction, or whether the collective needs to scrutinize its choices.  The story of the Old Turtle is an allegory for that moment of pause.  His ancient voice, older than the earth itself, echoes in our hearts and serves as a gentle reminder that this is our moment to pause and reflect on our journey as a people.  Are we headed for destruction with our greed, intolerance and hunger for power… or will we find a way to survive?

In simple clear language Old Turtle tells us that we have forgotten our true selves; that beneath the surface of apparent differences we are all one; part of a single divine creation, from every rock and tree to the far distant stars.  How marvelous then, that this echoes the vision of Pathways ‘to build and nurture a community of thinking, compassionate world citizens’.  The Old Turtle tells us that the tiny ants and the mighty mountain; the soft breeze and the roaring lion are all equal in this citizenship.

We were indeed honoured and fortunate to have the blessings and wisdom of another voice on this joyous occasion, our chief guest, Padma Vibhushan Shree Soli Sorabjee, former Attorney General of India.  He began the evening by imploring our youth to actively take up the responsibilities of citizenship by developing compassion and tolerance, little knowing that this message would soon be illustrated by the entire student body through the production itself.

The children of Primary School stole our hearts with their ingenuous portrayal of the glory of nature.  The Middle and Senior School worked together to produce scenes of thought provoking horror holding up a mirror to our darkest natures. But in the end, it was the innocence of the little children, our true future, which brought us through the darkness to a new vision of tomorrow. The glorious hour long dance and drama production was a visual delight with costumes, stage properties and stage design all created in-house by the diversely talented faculty of Pathways Gurgaon.  Every staff member including faculty, administration and support staff was caught up in the whirlwind of creativity and demonstrated what a team can achieve when each person takes ownership of a project.  There is no doubt that each one of us felt personal  pride in the success of this important event.  And in my heart there is no doubt that we have all been transformed by this process.  Old Turtle did not only give us a message. The entire process of creation and the final production itself was a practical guide on how to survive together and create beauty together:  a beautiful play, a beautiful school and a wonderful world.  As the song said:

I see birds of many colours, and skies of blue

Lush fields of green, and farmers too

And I think to myself,

What a wonderful world.

I see the Aravali hills, from my classroom window,

Crisscrossing pathways, amidst green and yellow

And I think to myself,

What a wonderful world.

The colours of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky

Are also on the faces of people going by

I see friends shaking hands, saying “How do you do?”

They’re really saying, “I love you.”

I hear babies in Daycare, I watch them grow

They’ll learn much more, than I’ll ever know

And I think to myself

What a wonderful world.

Congratulations Pathways Gurgaon!! We are one!