Memories- A walk down the corridors of St.John’s…….

Don’t be dismayed at goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet
again. And meeting again after moments or lifetime, is certain for those who are
more than friends. Alas, we only part to meet again. We only disperse to endear
those whom we have left behind when the walk of lines returns us to our beloved

Glued are my emotions to a certain entity that has developed inside me
over the past few weeks.Interwined is my passion and my sentiment with this
higher sense of thought that l have attained through time and its game of chess.
Describing this realm of superior reflection is improbable for even the most
skillful of auditors, whereas l am a mere student of life. Instead I will chance my
hand upon taking you through three decades of which has dawned my shades.
Sometimes taking the silhouette of a man in a dark alley, it has imbibed
trepidation which I fought to overcome. Occasionally it derived inspiration from
a cold white desert invoking me to seek joy and warmth in life’s smallest
pleasures. From time to time it took the route of a monotonous schedule yet I
was prompted to recognize precisely why l was doing what l did. And every now
and then more so than often it embodied the smile on a student’s face. The glint
in the eyes of a satisfied parent, the look of contentment signifying appreciation
on the faces of Brothers and Principals. If at that moment these thirty three years
would have been succeeded by another thirty three l would have opened my
arms and embraced them.

My voyage at St. John’s has been a chronicle encasing numerous chapters
and events. Subsequently, no story is complete without its characters and neither
is mine. Some of these characters have had a healthy and elongated role while
some of them have merely brushed me with their personas as they flew past. Yet,
what they share is, and without a shadow of a doubt, they have all changed. It
would only be fitting that today, before my final audience at this institution that
be in of them.

Starting from the very indentation of my story, there was a man who
crossed my path one morning out of the brightest shades of azure prompting me
with an offer that has resulted in my adult existence. Brother Walsh, who was my
first Principal who saw a promising figure in me which I did not decline sighting
the great man’s wisdom. It was his initiation of myself into St. John’s that l will
look upon as the turn which came in my life forever changing it into a magical

Our school has had no dearth of Christian Brothers. Rev Bro Walsh, Bro Bela,Bro
Whiting. Brother Sabino D’souza, Bro AJ. Pinto, Bro MCcan, Bro Meredith The list
is endless. One such individual was the omnipresent Bro D Abreau at the bottom
of every stair well, at the turn of every corner, at the entrance of every gate and
in the middle of every lecture, you Could feel his caressing presence engulfing
everyone as if to cradle the very soul. A man of extraordinary proportions, he has
been my lantern in the dark, ever filled-with guidance and admiration.
A character that outlines my expedition in the world of St. Johns, l shall never forget his words of wisdom in all my endeavours.

A school full of boys is an active, incessant, boisterous and sometimes a
harsh and gruelling place. It is like a fast train screaming towards its destination
and at the head of this train must be a conductor that has each of the above
mentioned adjectives as qualities. How then, could a lady command the respect
of a juggernaut that was St. John’s ?How was it that anyone ever doubts that? Our
school’s swansong, Madame supreme, Mrs. Cheema. The woman was a history
lesson in herself. Streaming and buffering with knowledge exuberant yet mellow,
in her track and with her leadership, qualities we reached new heights. Yet to me
she will always remain a friend that I can trust and confide in knowing that in
return she would reignite my faith.

The lord has transplanted many crossroads in our route of life. But at
every twist he has also stationed a person that will show you which piece of the
puzzle fits where and in doing so, you fulfil their purpose so that they may move
on and facilitate others. As a teacher, I am compelled to ask this question what is
the one place for a teacher besides the classroom that reinvents refreshes and
reboots her after a hard fought battle with curious young minds? The only place
which pops up in our heads would be Of course the staff room. The room has
way of combining and uniting people. Friendships are made and broken between
our society’s educations in this very room and l am fortunate enough to receive
many a friend over the years because of this room.

Longevity has a way of reminding people of reasons and motivations. Add to that the concoction of stress, anxiety and pressure and walah! You’ve got the perfect recipe of a nervous breakdown. If that makes you jitter, then consider the plight of us teachers who have to endure all that tenfold on a daily basis. So what is
the fuel that drives this engine of education? What is the essence of screaming at
the top of your lungs till you get a migraine? What is the colour that completes
our painting of stray shades? Naturally without precedence, it is the tiny toddlers
that come through the portals with the dream of one day departing as
accountable, determined and successful men. Students if it were not for you, I
would have given up long ago on this wild goose chase, if I might call it that. It is
your ultimate desire to learn along with your undying love for us teachers that
make us face our demons every morning when I might think of quitting, I
remember that there is a child waiting to learn. As l come to the dusk of my
career l realize that l must no longer refer to my students as mere students. Over
a period of time l have been privileged enough to see them transform into my
friends. My buddies and my greatest achievements. This is decorated by the fact
that upon the call logs of my phone, there are members from batches long past
and batches yet to pass. The meaning of that, I might not be able to illustrate, but
I pray that every instructor at the close of their vocation might be able to feel a
glimpse of what l feel, as of now. It is due to you dear students that l feel proud
and it is in you that my legacy will be carried.

To confer through my dialogue today. l agree to leave a memory that weaves
patterns of ecstasy, hard work and determination. Our school has given success to
some, love to others and fulfilment to all. To me at this point, it has given me
enlightenment and peace of mind, nothing more could an old war horse like
myself ask for. It has taught me never to let the beads of expectation weigh
heavy on your necklace of triumph for at the end of it all it is for you to foretell
your Story along with the dealings that you dealt and the measures you
undertook. Pro deo et Patria has trained me to live life as if you were learning to
walk with purity and innocence, overwhelming all adversity and signing off as
someone who believed in good. “No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen
the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other’s worth. May
the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be ever at your back. May the sun
shine warm upon your face and the rain fall softly on your fields. And until we
meet again, May God hold you in the hollow of his hand”.
Bon Voyage and Vale.

By Rita Trehan

  • Rita Trehan

    I am an enthusiast for life, passionate for teaching and motivated by excellence. I enjoy the small things in life that add to my basket of happiness. Having lived in Chandigarh for as long as I can remember, I love the city and its vibe. A true Carmelite at heart, I graduated in English honours from GCW and went on to do my masters in English from Punjab university. I found my calling in teaching and pursued Bachelors In Education which gave me the opportunity to join St. John's- one of the top schools in the tricity as a teacher and was a part of this amazing family for over 33 years. I am an avid reader and have read all the volumes of Shakespeare which I highly recommend.

    • Show Comments (9)

    • Shivani Trehan

      Wow ma. So well written!

    • Kamla Sharma


    • Siddharth Duggal

      Amazing ma’am! Emotional and brilliant writing.

    • Vipul Joshi

      Wonderfully written, Ma’am! Enjoyed it, thoroughly. 🙂

    • Siddhant Das

      Fantastic ma’am !

      • nishank

        Beautifully written!!!!!
        Kudos ma’am…

    • nishank

      Beautifully written!!!!!
      Kudos ma’am…

    • Aseem Raj Kaur

      It’s beautiful Rita Ma’am. Written so eloquently. Brought so many memories in front of my eyes.

    • Neera and aunty

      Well expressed

    Leave a Reply


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