I’ve spent most of my teenage years at The CDS School and I am so fortunate to have been a part of this ever-evolving institution. I still remember the turbulent phase of life I was in when I first joined the school but gradually, I found a rhythm and embraced the school just like it had embraced me. I saw the school grow with me and I along with it. Being a student of CDS has given me the courage to stand for my principles, understand the true value of education, cherish friendships and trust the choices I make.
Being one of the few schools of the cities with ICSE curriculum, CDS provided an environment for a holistic development. Even though I have a tendency of shying away from many activities, I remember doing almost everything the school offered. From participating in inter-school competitions to hosting school functions, from acting in plays to practising march-past drills, from waiting for class to end so that I could have a quick chat with Dolly ma’am in front of the computer lab to wanting to be kind and thoughtful and brilliant like Dolly ma’am, from wandering on the sports-ground in “games” period to reading books alone in class, from spending hours in the school bus (I lived very far from school) to wanting the morning assembly to finish at the earliest (we used to stand in the sun at that time), from arguing with Santosh bhaiya about bus routes to making peace with Santosh bhaiya about bus routes, from doing community service to gobbling the canteen samosas after a long day, and from being the quiet, reserved girl to being elected the head-girl and becoming a board examination topper.
If I am writing about CDS then I absolutely have to mention the two teachers who have touched my soul- Late Mrs Rekha Singhal and Kenneth Mendonca Sir. I still miss Singhal ma’am, she would teach us Hindi. She was a great writer and a beautiful human being. She always always stood by her students and would teach us not just the lessons from books but lessons about the world as well. Her love for us was unfathomable and even after she is long gone, I am sure those who knew her, carry her essence somewhere in their hearts even today, just like me. Speaking of Kenneth Sir, I don’t think I would have survived the school without his constant care, supportive, guidance and wisdom. If this piece of writing resonates with you, you can give the credit to Kenneth Sir because he graded all my essays and letters in school, told me when I had to strive harder and when I excelled. He not only mentored me for English but also helped me pave my way through the difficult times in school and life. He always had an answer and how I wish I could run back to him now as well whenever (and quite often) “adulting” becomes difficult.
Academics are an integral part of every school obviously but the unique thing about belonging to CDS was the freedom to choose what to learn. For instance, I found my love for humanities right here. I ditched the traditional norms of pursuing math and science by the 9th grade because knew my interests lied somewhere else. I am thankful to all my teachers and director ma’am till this day for giving me the space to explore back then. And it worked splendidly because later I found my true love called Psychology. I started studying psychology at CDS for 11th and 12th, continued with it for graduation during which I stood 3rd merit and was the university topper for the same subject for 3 consecutive years, went on to do my masters in Clinical Psychology at Christ University Bengaluru, then went on to do another post-graduation (M. Phil) in clinical psychology. Today I can say I am a licensed clinical psychologist and I get to help people dealing with mental health issues almost on a daily basis. I doubt I would have reached this level of education and compassion for my profession had it not been for this decade long exposure to the field of Psychology; the advent of which happened in CDS.
Life has many colours, we all see the dark and light shades taking turns now and then. Just like that The CDS School was a beautiful rainbow in the midst of some rain and some sunshine. All in all, I can just say that it was a pretty good season. As alumna, my doors are always open for anyone who is or wishes to be a part of this fine institution and I will do everything in my capacity to uphold the good old CDS name.
-Apeksha Shrivastava (batch 2009 & 2011)
M.Sc., M.Phil. (Clinical Psy.)