When past meets present

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By SHWETA KESHRI
  • Published 11.01.12
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Students dance the bhangra at the platinum jubilee celebrations of Don Bosco, Liluah last month. Pictures by Gopal Senapati

Kindergarten children of Don Bosco, Liluah (DBL), dressed as Santa Claus, Rabindranath Tagore, Tom and Jerry, Mickey Mouse, Swami Vivekananda and Mother Teresa joined in a carnival march, cheerfully waving at their parents.

Watching them from his seat, senior citizen Asit Banerjee could not help but go back in time when his batch, the first to pass out from the school, had their own day of fun.

“I joined Don Bosco in 1937 and was part of the first batch that passed out. Those were the times when a day scholar had to pay only Rs 5 and a boarder Rs 20 a month. A grand celebration such as this was beyond our imagination then,” said Banerjee.

Several ex-students, students from other branches of Don Bosco, members of its night school, adult education and technical education section, parishioners and parents had gathered on the Liluah campus last month to celebrate DBL’s platinum jubilee year. Cultural programmes were also held to mark the occasion. The chief guest was Right Reverend Thomas D’Souza, the archbishop of Calcutta.

The celebrations started with a welcome song and dance. The song was composed by DBL’s music teacher Shubhrangshu Bhattacharjee. The carnival march by the tiny tots followed.

“We wanted to present the spirit of unity through the parade,” said Soma Banerjee, a teacher with the junior section.

The ex-students were as excited to be part of the celebration.

“Ex-students have always played an active role in Don Bosco, whether it is a cultural programme or a health camp. They have always come forward to support their school,” said Rama Mukherjee, a history teacher at DBL.

Class IV students presented dances of India as they grooved to Alisha Chinai’s hit song Made in India. The little ones of Class I followed with their presentation of “Colours of Joy”.

“Our school is the oldest institution in Howrah. We have grown over the years. For the past two years, more than 90 students have been scoring over 90 per cent in their Class XII boards,” said principal Brother Jose Puthenpurackel. Don Bosco, Liluah, has won the Telegraph School of the Year award in 2007, 2010 and 2011.

A participant at the celebrations

Members of the St John Bosco Parish presented a wonderful Adivasi dance at the event. Women dressed in traditional tribal costumes danced to the beats of dhol, mandar and nagarha.

Around 80 students from the adult education project and from the night school presented folk dances. Many of them were performing before an audience for the first time. “I am so happy I got this chance,” gushed 14-year-old Rizwana Khan, a student at the night school.

The daylong event came to an end with a guest performance by DBL alumnus Samrat Sarkar. The latter is a playback singer who has performed in more than 900 shows across eight countries. “It was my school that made made me realise that I could sing,” declared the proud ex-student.