I went to The Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet, Hyderabad (HPS) from Class 1 to Class 12. I consider myself very lucky to have had the privilege to go to this school. A very large part of my formative years were spent in this school.
The beauty of HPS was that apart from the excellent academic education, it offered the student opportunities to develop in an all round manner. There was great emphasis on sports and other extra-curricular activities like music, theater and public speaking.
The annual school concerts were a very important event in the school calendar. The concert would be a collection of a variety of performances ranging from plays to dances and songs put up by the students.
Preparations for the concert would start a few weeks before the event. As the final day approached, the focus would be completely on the concert. Such was the emphasis that was given to the concerts. And we students would love those days.
I was a regular participant in most of the concerts during my school years. I remember taking part in the 'Kitchen Band' in Class 4, a play called 'Joseph, the dreamer' in Class 7. I also had a small role in a Hindi play called 'Ikkisvi sadi ki beemariyan' (The diseases of the 21st century) - we were still in the 20th century at that time!
During class 8, I became a part of the school beat group. This was an eclectic collection of students from different classes who could sing or play instruments. I played the keyboard. We used to have so much fun during the practice sessions. The music teacher, Mr. Dennis Powell who directed us was an awesome person. Our event would usually be the most popular during the concert. In fact, at one particular concert, pretty much half the audience walked out after we had finished our performance. That was the only thing they were interested in! So, from the next year, they started scheduling our performance towards the end of the concert!
Some other plays which I cannot forget are My Fair Lady (a part of the movie was played out), Sound of Music (ditto), The Tin Soldier, another play (I don't remember the name) which had our senior, Salman essaying the role of an 'aunt', and another comedy (ditto) directed by Mrs. Marien Oommen which had Abida Ahmed, probably the prettiest girl to have graced the HPS campus ever, playing the leading character.
The concert days and the run up to them were really the best part of school. The practice sessions, the nervous excitement close to D-day and the bonhomie with other participants including the teachers - there was no comparison to anything else in life.
I feel so indebted to my alma mater for providing these memories. Memories which will last forever. Moments that I continue to cherish long after they have gone.