My years at Don Bosco Academy were quite easily the best years of my life. Even today, almost a decade after passing out 10th grade from there, I have absolutely no difficulty recalling and reliving those wonderful 7 years at DBA. I joined the school in the 4th grade and at that time DBA was my 6th school! So obviously, having changed so many schools at such a young age, I remember being not too excited about ‘my first day at the new school’. However, all that changed in due course of time, and my love for the institution only grew with each passing day, staring from building no. 152 in Patliputra to the wonderful Digha Campus.
When I started writing this article today on my years and experience at DBA (my friends and I refer to our school as ‘Bosco’), the first thing that I remembered was something Sudha Ma’am had said to us a long long time ago, that too when she was upset (yes, we were naughty enough to make even her upset!), that it’s only at DBA that teachers would care if you are doing well, if you are learning and becoming better. You go to any place else in your future and you would be totally on your own. No one will be bothered to help. At that time we thought she was bluffing. Now we know, that was a life-learning lesson. I went on from DBA to another school for 12th and then to college in Delhi and then 4 years of job. And this still stands true. I have never come across a group of teachers at any level who actually care about the students and are genuinely affected by the things you do.
The biggest contribution of DBA in my life has been that it has given me confidence. In all these years, I have never ever felt inferior to anyone or intimidated by anyone. And this sort of confidence can only be inculcated when you are a child, when you can learn the most. When I left Patna to live on my own when I was 18, I was scared and hopeful. But never did I stop believing in myself, because my school had somehow ingrained it in me. I know so many DBA alumni doing so well in India and abroad, ask them and they would tell you the same thing. In school, we were always encouraged to do it our way. I was always bad at the technicalities of grammar, and then Allan Sir said to me that ‘if it feels wrong to the ear, then it’s wrong’. I cannot tell you how useful that advice was to me. I still don’t understand much of grammar but I can manage, thanks to this. Vinita Ma’am encouraged me to write in my own way, simple and straight forward. Any other place, any other teacher, I would have had to mug it up.
It was at DBA that I was introduced to Debating. How wonderful that was. So many teachers took such interest in our practice and performances. My victories were always theirs. I remember Alka Ma’am would make me practice in school and then also after school, every single day! They were not only pushing me to work hard, but also pushing themselves to work hard with me. That is as rare as it gets. As i said earlier, nobody would care anyplace else. The dividends paid when DBA won the Frank Antony National Championship of Debates in 2003. That was such a proud moment for all of us. A school from Patna went on to beat every other participant school from India (and few from abroad as well). How was that possible? Confidence substantiated with actual learning and believing in yourself. Something that has stayed not only with me but also with all my friends from ‘Bosco’. All of them are doing so well. So proud.
If there’s one thing I would like to tell all of you, it’s that these are the best years of your life. Value them and enjoy them. Not because there cannot be happier times in your life in the future, but because what you learn now will be the root cause of all that you achieve in life. Achievements not only in career but also personally. You will have the best friends for life from this very place. The best memories and life learning experiences from your classrooms and sports ground will help you in so many unexpected situations in your life. School is not just books and exams. Its for true education where you become better people both intellectually and emotionally. In today’s world, a balance between IQ and EQ is increasingly required for a balanced and sustained life.
To conclude, I would take this opportunity to thank each and everyone of my teachers, Principal Ma’am and Rozario Sir for allowing us to grow in our own unique way and make us good, confident and happy people so that we may take on any challenge with a smile and end up smiling irrespective of the outcome. Even today I try to visit my school whenever I am in town. Thank You to every single one who made us what we are today. Thank You DBA for the best times of my life.
Garuav Prakash Std-X – 2003 Batch