Madhurie Singh at Indo Scots Global School Wagholi Pune Annual Day

By Madhurie Singh, January 14, 2024

Madhurie Singh Lighting Diya at ISGS Wagholi Pune Annual Day 28th Dec 2023
Madhurie Singh Lighting Diya at ISGS Wagholi Pune Annual Day, 22nd Dec 2023

My Experience as Chief Guest at ISGS

As you all know I am a very choosy person when it comes to accepting invites for events. But when it’s anything to do with colleges, schools, preschools or great products which in my opinion are worth sharing, I do accept them wholeheartedly. When I received the invite from ISGS to grace their annual day event named Antah Karnam, I was quite intrigued by two aspects. Firstly the name of the event and secondly the Director of the school Mr Ajay Pandita. Let me take you with me to the event from the time I received the invite to the time I am writing this article.

Antah Karanam

Antah Karanam means Consciousness. The internal instrument of the mind. It is made of four parts, manas = the mind which helps you think, buddhi = the intelligence which helps you in decision making, Chitta = the storehouse of your feelings in your heart, ahankaar = the ego or the identity of self.

Mr Ajay Pandita, who is one of the directors of the chain of Indo Scots schools and preschools called me to invite me to the Annual Day event a month back in November 2023. Then, when I received this e-invite, I was pleased with the title of the event to be a pure Samskrit word. However I was not surprised as I have been observing that the school has been working in this direction for a few months. How? I closely watch the past posts and comments on my parenting group and other forums related to each school. My detective-like brain keeps tabs on every school, which then is shared with the parents who seek my consultation about school admission especially the ones who are educated parents. So it’s the consistency in the theme of events of ISGS that made me believe that this was not a one-off event. On the contrary, the school has been working on incorporating Bharat and Bharatiya culture beautifully and unabashedly. Like their Diwali event, Holi event and other events which made me their event fan.

The Founders of ISBS

I have to share a few words about the founder and directors of ISGS Indo Scots Global School. I received a call way back in 2022 from Mr Ajay Pandita about some post-approval on the Pune Parents Group and we had a long talk about his school and his intentions. Not many of you know about this talent of mine which is my ability to read faces, voices and intentions behind them. Sometimes much ahead of the person himself would know, I know their intentions. That is the power of meditation at Brahma Muhurtam. Super cool isn’t it? So I could go beyond what he had in his head when he was talking to me over the phone call. Verdict? Pure intentions for the well-being of children and teachers! Yeah, for the teachers too. I bet when he reads this article, he will be nodding in agreement. About other directors, I have not spent time with them to read their mind or their intentions and definitely not their future. So will share a few words about them in the coming paragraphs.

Travel to ISGS at 5:40 pm

I had recently been gifted a beautiful Pink Paithani Saree by my Husband for Diwali which was the perfect choice for Antah Karanam. Paithani Sarees are traditional sarees worn in the state of Maharashtra in India for all auspicious cultural occasions. After getting that iota of realization during covid time, I have decided to promote Bharat, Bharatiya Culture and all Bharatiya Traditional things to make India Bharat Again. Because when you wear appropriately, you feel right, then you think right and act right.

So the vehicle arrived at the gate of my society and I greeted the driver ji Mr Balasaheb Khaire with whom I had a lovely conversation about how his son is working with a software company and his second son Ajinkya Khaire who is a Youtuber whom I follow too! His channel name is @IndianMonk. Do subscribe to the Indianmonk channel. An absolute delight to watch the videos.

Lighting Diya and Saraswati Vandana

I was greeted by the teachers who had beautifully secured the way to the stage ground. I was kind of lost as neither the teachers nor did I know them. So I waited for Mr Pandita. In a few minutes, he escorted me to the front stage where I was introduced to the other four directors. Mr Ajay Srivastava, Ms Nidhi Srivastava and Ms Sumeera Palekar. More about them later.

The event started with a prayer by a group of children. Then it was time to Light the Diya. Although it is a usual tradition to commence any event in India by lighting the Diya, I have to let you into a tiny but important act by the Director Mr Ajay Srivastava who requested me to light the Diya when we were sitting on the sofa. He stood up removed his shoes and then gestured for me to come along with him. This may seem a simple normal act but let me tell you, I have been to several functions and never before saw this respectful gesture towards our Bharatiya tradition of Lighting the Diya where the hosts remove their footwear to honour the Agni devta. And why not? The first shloka of Rig Veda starts by offering reverence to the Fire as our ancestors had understood more than 30 thousand years back that the source of life on Earth was, is and will always be the Sun, Fire and Light.

ॐ || अग्निमीळे पुरोहितं यज्ञस्य देवं ऋत्विजम् | होतारं रत्नधातमम् || 1.001.01 || Rig Veda which means

I sing praises for Agni. I who is the Purohit and who is a supervisor of Yajna. Along with Ritvija who supervises the process of sacrifice of all evils within us. And along with the Hotaram who invites the deities who provide humans with ratnas like healthy body, sound mind and spiritual growth. Well, I have resisted my urge to describe in depth about each word. But will inform you that each shloka in any text is like a zip file. When you learn Samskrit bhasha and decode the sholka word by word, you will feel so small in front of the wisdom of our Maharishies, yet so overwhelmed with the pride for the richness we have yet to unlock, if someone learns the language.

After I lighted the divine Diyas, we all stood and sang the Saraswati Vandana. How can any cultural event commence without offering reverence to the Goddess of Knowledge. Maa Saraswati should be part of each and every home, school, playschool, colleges and any organization that claims to be involved in creativity.

या कुन्देन्दुतुषारहारधवला या शुभ्रवस्त्रावृता
या वीणावरदण्डमण्डितकरा या श्वेतपद्मासना।
या ब्रह्माच्युत शंकरप्रभृतिभिर्देवैः सदा वन्दिता
सा मां पातु सरस्वती भगवती निःशेषजाड्यापहा॥१॥

Ya Kundendu Tusharahara Dhavala Ya Shubhra Vastravrita
Ya Veena Varadanda Manditakara Ya Shveta Padmasana
Ya Brahmachyuta Shankara Prabhritibhir Devaih Sada Pujita
Sa Mam Pattu Saravatee Bhagavatee Nihshesha Jadyapaha॥1॥

Salutations to Bhagavati Saraswati, who is white like Jasmine,
with the coolness of the Moon, the brightness of the Snow
and has radiance like the garland of Pearls;
and who wears pure white garments,

Whose hands are adorned with Veena (musical instrument)
and who is seated on pure white Lotus,
whose praise is sung always by Lord Brahma, Achyuta (Lord Vishnu), Lord Shankara and other Devas,
and who removes ignorance completely
that Devi Saraswati, may always protect me. ||1||

Why do we light a Deepak or Diya or Deepa before any event In India? Why do we pray to Goddess Saraswati? Have you ever thought about these? If more parents are keen then they can comment below for a child-friendly article.

The Annual Day Program

The annual day program at ISGS is worth mentioning as the presentation was not something I had seen before! The program started with a fabulous divine dance for Shiv ji followed by several dances from Bharatiya to Western style. The dances were unabashedly very Bharatiya and that was a bold freshness by any school I have known to have incorporated. There were two very young, probably grade 3 to 5 students compering the entire event without looking at any paper! I was stunned to see the memorization of the long introductions of each event by them. My best wishes to them for that level of confidence and practice. Ideally, practice brings confidence. So I have to give credit to the teachers and parents of these two comperes along with the students who worked hard for that flawlessness. Another worth mentioning items was the act called Antah Karnam which was played by several students depicting different age groups from the birth of two girl children in two different families, their upbringing, their attitudal differences towards the girl child in each family, the struggles of the females, the attitudes of the males and the final achievements of each family members. In my opinion, the children of the school, parents and grandparents themselves would have related to several scenes. Yet the message that would stay in the minds of the children watching and performing these characters would definitely be stored as Samskara in their brains forever. The message that Girls are Equal to Boys in all families would have been etched deeply into the minds of everyone. If interested one can watch the play “Antah Karanam” on the school page of ISGS to see how one play can be used to make so many children participate!

Special Mention

After I finished the “Samskrita Grammar course” and the “ShrimadBhagvadGita course” from “” I have a special soft corner and love for anything that deals with Bharatiya history, culture, tradition, scriptures and the language Samskrita. So I have to share these two dance videos which I captured myself. The first one is a dance choreographed to visualize the song “Aarambh Hai Prachand..” and the second was the song from the “Kantara” movie which happens to be my caller tune too.

Kantara Song Dance ISBS

My Short Closing Talk

I was prepared with a long speech but decided against it as the mood of the audience would have gone against it. Had I been invited to speak at the start of the event like it should have been then parents would have gotten some gold nuggets from a reviewer’s point of view.

Chief Guest Madhurie Singh at ISBS Annual Day

Felicitation by the Director of ISGS

The event ended and I was felicitated by the Director Mr Ajay Srivastava with a shawl and a lovely plant that has already flowered several pink hibiscus flowers as it was a pretty big plant. But my favourite was this beautiful frame of Silver Lakshmi Maa, Saraswati Maa and Ganpati Ji. I have now a collection of most Devi Devtas in Gold and Silver Frames from PNG. This is such a shocking thing for my family members who knew I was so against rituals. But I guess when the divine blesses you, no one can escape.

My Views About ISGS Annual Day

I left the event in awe of the children’s performance, the teachers who would have months training these children and their parents for supporting their children. The management too deserves a pat on the back for the resources and freedom visible in the entire event. All I can say is Wow, wow, wow via this video.

For those keen to check out the school this is the website link

I’ve been genuinely impressed by the incredible dedication and commitment I’ve witnessed at ISGS during my visit to the Annual Day event. The school’s rich cultural integration, the impeccable performances of the students, and the deep sense of respect for our heritage left an indelible mark on me. I wholeheartedly believe that showcasing the school through a video walkthrough would be a wonderful opportunity to share this remarkable educational institution with parents who are unable to visit physically, especially those residing outside Pune and abroad

Since I have not yet reviewed the school yet, my opinion concerning the quality of education, teachers, infrastructure and other factors important for admission will be posted in future if I get enough comments from parents.

Thank you so much for every word of your experience that you have penned down in such a beautiful way, which is so connecting and heartwarming. The way you write is like you are directly talking to the community. So honoured to have you at the function. Thanks again for gracing the event and giving your valuable time towards the Noble objective 🙏

Pleasure was mine.

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