A day with kindergarten graduates
“What do you wish to become when you grow up”, I asked Sanketh, a child of five years some months. Pat came the immediate and confident reply that bowled me over.
"What do you wish to become when you grow up", I asked Sanketh, a child of five years some months. Pat came the immediate and confident reply that bowled me over. "I will become HM (Head Master)", said the new UKG graduate. The kid was looking exuberant with his red coloured gown and cape, holding the scroll and souvenir in hand.
Welcome to the world of kindergarten graduates! A few decades ago graduation ceremonies were for, well, graduates who had completed their three years of college, after plus two. But times have changed and such ceremonies are for the nursery and kindergarten students too!
Recently I had the rare opportunity to accompany my daughter to one such graduation ceremony wherein she was the chief guest. The D-day dawned and we reached the venue a good half hour early and the function in fact started a
half hour late, and that made our arrival a whole hour before time.
But it was well spent in intuitive discussions with the experienced and articulate principal and vice principal, as also some of the special invitees. As we were ushered towards the venue we were in for a pleasant surprise, the stupendous decorations worthy of an adult graduation day. As others took their seats, the chief guest was led in by none other than the dignified principal followed by the committee members and other faculty members.
The chief guest, herself a child at heart, later told me that she felt immense joy striding the red carpet towards the scores of waiting graduates sitting patiently on tiny chairs near the dais. As I write, words fail to describe the splendour of the young students decked up in red gowns and capes. Each one looked excited, yet sat with dignity and patience, belying their tender age. Hats off to them indeed!
The welcome speech got off followed by various events in a sequential manner. Three to four UKG students had been prepped for speeches and each one of them rendered it with great aplomb, nodding their heads and gesticulating with their tiny hands, giving the impression that they thoroughly understood the meaning underlying the words being spoken. It was delightful indeed - the applause was deafening and cameras went clicking!
The chief guest's speech was unusually enthralling as it was unconventional and appealing. My daughter seemed to forget herself as she addressed the audience in front of her - the parents and staff - and behind her, the cute graduates! She gave her piece of advice to both sections and the children seemed strong in their convictions when they said "Yes!" to her suggestions.
She later recited a nursery rhyme, "London Bridge..." which they excitedly repeated, and she followed it up by singing William Wordsworth's lovely poem, "The Daffodils", which mesmerised everyone. The tiny tots sportingly emulated her by singing and swaying their arms to and fro above their heads.
The purpose of the gathering was the denouement, and the chief guest along with her scientist husband and this writer were requested to hand over the scroll and memento to each one of the smiling graduates. They were moments of extreme happiness to both the givers and receivers. The photo shoot followed with the tots being prompted to throw away their capes high in the air when the camera clicked. It was a magical sight!
The chief guest and her companions were treated with such warmth and shown such wonderful hospitality that they felt blessed to have graced such a unique occasion. The swaying daffodils in the form of the tiny tots remain forever in my inner eye!