Monday, April 14, 2014

The School Motto

Life is a long journey. A learning journey. That is if you consider it so. Learning at home, at work, in the park, at the pool, in the kitchen, at V's school. 

The catch is -"never satiate your hunger, to learn".

As you move on in life, you imbibe what you learn, what you see, what you hear, what you read. My school motto is one such phrase, which forms a phrase of my life. 

"Light to lighten" 

Enlighten yourself, your body, your soul. Let the knowledge carve you into a human, a better person, a loved being. And when you are shining, enlighten others - with wisdom, with love, with truth, with power.  

(This could well fit in the "L" post. But the meaningful "Motto", school motto, couldn't be emphasized upon. for this post is about the guiding light which STS has been in my life, be it my alma mater's motto. Moreover, the "L for library", couldn't fit in M anyways. :) )

Every year, as all other schools, and as your school, we fare thee well the year 12 students. There is a presentation and cultural program by juniors, and like in many schools, Ms STS contest is held as well. Fun it is. But the "real" farewell ceremony at STS, is known as "Candle Light Ceremony". I talk about it here, because it is closely related to the school motto. Infact this is the evening when Thomasites finally understand the meaning of the school motto. 

This ceremony is held an evening before the cultural farewell. The solemn ceremony is attended by Class 11 and class 12 students, along with the parents. A chief guest is invited for the ceremony. 

The evening marks the official and emotional handover of the "school and its pride" from the outgoing batch to the class 11 students. Not one being you will find who doesn't have tears rolling down their cheeks. The day, year 12 feels the real meaning of "Light, to lighten". The evening when Year 11 drinks the fact. They are the torch bearers, and have to live upto it. 

The outgoing Prime Minister hands over the School flag to the next Prime Minister. Since years bygone, the school flag is accepted in the same manner - the outgoing PM leans forward and hands over the flag, and the new PM bends down on her knee, and holds on to the flag, with silent promise of keeping the outgoing batch's alma mater shining bright as ever. Post this, each of the Year 12 student hands over a lit candle, to the Year 11 student. No one remembers how that happens, no one has seen it, the tears have never allowed it to be seen clearly. The school song (I talk about it in a later post) can be heard in the background, soft and heart wrenching. 

As I was in the cabinet, I have attended 4 farewell ceremonies. And I distinctly recall each one of them. Yes, the heaviest was my own. I recall looking at the school one last time, with swelled eyes. It wasn't clear. At all. It all seemed like a dream. And yet, it was real. 

Deeksha Kaushal, Prime Minister, 1996, a year senior to me, held me tight, and cried, uttering, "I will miss this red and green building, the life, the love, the shine". I remember her so clear. And the next year, it was my turn to say the same, to my loving juniors. The new flag bearers. 

So, I take forward the love, the light, and the shine - and thus make "Light to Lighten" my life's motto. 

Salute to thee, STS. 

From this day, I start showcasing my fellow bloggers, who are taking part in the challenge. Visit them, trust me, it will be worth it. 
Usha Menon ji blogs at and as eccentricgrandmum. Her blog, her passion, her life is a true inspiration for all. Life and learning go hand in hand. Visit her to know more. 

Photographs courtesy: Seniors, super seniors, super duper seniors, loving juniors, and the school website:

This post is dedicated to the A-to-Z blogging challenge - the largest Blog Challenge in the history of Blogkind. My selected theme is "memories of St. Thomas' "- my Alma mater. This is the thirteenth post of the challenge, and is linked to the letter M: M for school motto.. 
Linking this post to UBC too.