Graduation Day

It was Graduation Day. No, not for High School kids, although they too must have had a ceremony, but for kids from Pre-primary. They were graduating to grade 1.

I never had a graduation ceremony my whole life. Not because I never studied; I did. I’m an Engineer. But back then it wasn’t considered a big deal.  These days schools motivate the kids to excel in so many ways.

My daughter has her final exams going on now. The syllabus that needs to be taught for her final assessment covers a whole page. In the midst of this busy season, my daughter and the other kids from Nursery had regular, relentless practice to prepare them for the big day.

Medha had to sing the “Graduation” song. On the day of the ceremony, she told me she wasn’t scared or shy because she was in a group. Plus, she was too excited about wearing make-up.

I was in tears as I watched my little girl go up on stage and sing her song. It was her first stage performance in front of a huge gathering. And she looked so adorable in the rented costume she wore (For which I’d paid Rs. 600!) and with the make-up on (Prasad thought it was too much!).

I was going “Awww…”, every time a kid performed. They all looked so cute! One could see that the kids that danced to Aqua’s “Happy Girls and Happy Boys” were having so much fun doing their number, pom-poms in little hands. I wanted to dance with them too.

Even though I felt very happy, I couldn’t shake the pain that kept threatening to overtake the joy that filled me. We had just been through a scary incident a couple of days before the ceremony; Medha had to be admitted to the hospital. She’s fine now, but it had been traumatic for me to watch so many kids with complications much bigger than what their tiny bodies could go through.

I was moved by the speech made by the Chief Guest, a BIG FM Radio host, who said something along the lines of, “With so much going wrong in the World, such atrocities happening against children, it is heart-warming to see them nurtured into such confident, well-rounded individuals.”

The ceremony was a hit. None of the kids missed their cue or forgot what they were supposed to do. They just knew where to stand on the big stage and wait for their turn. Even the Chief Guest pointed this out.

She was bid farewell with pomp worthy of a leader of our Nation or a Bollywood celebrity. I was left with awe and admiration for the capability of kids under age 5 and the ability of their teachers to draw it out.

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