ALUMNI SUCCESS STORIES

A bright scholar, I was good at oratory and creative writing. My skills and talents were honed at the school and what chiseled out from that raw, novice amateur is a well known, Writer - Director in theatres and cinemas!

I graduated in English Literature from Kirori Mal College, Delhi, and found inspiration in the works of Woody Allen, Quentin Tarantino, and Patrice Leconte. I am better known by the alias, Victor Acharya. Quite early, during my school days, I learnt that there are two ways to look at life – One is by jest and other by seriousness, and the former not only wins appreciation but also hearts.

My participation and victories at the School level oratory and writing competitions helped me choose my career as a writer. The rungs I climbed at school level, made me gradually come up at the top and carve a niche for myself.

Directing the Movie ‘ Dhoom 3’ , and contributing to the script of the movie Guru, Tashan and Ravaan were certain milestones in my career that have given me the boost to strive for the better.

I am just so thankful for my years at SAJS and I owe it to my alma mater, in all earnestness. Currently, I am busy in back-to-back directorial ventures as well as judging a renowned Tele Show on Zee TV, along with my co-judges, Ayushman Khurana, Parineeti Chopra and Sonali Bendre. I proudly say that my success and my perks are a prestige that I have gained through Seth Anandram Jaipuria School, Kanpur.

Vijay Krishna Acharya

(Batch of 1985)
Hindi Film Director

Mr. Abhishek Biswas

He has extensive business experience working in many Asian countries, including China, Republic of Korea, and mainly Thailand (14 yrs till date). He has gained profound knowledge on local business legal framework and possess deep understanding of different local business ethics and cultures. Through out these many years, he has built and maintained friendly and solid network with many in both public and private sectors in all the countries mentioned above. In addition, he served on the board of the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Thailand from 2011-2013 as PR (sub committee) – 2012. Since early 2013, he was appointed by a Thai PM Office, under the office of the Prime Minister of Thailand, as Thai Trade Representative to help promote bilateral trade between Thailand and other countries. He has launched the World’s First Vegetarian Food Certification programe SATTVIK INDIA COUNCIL – 2017.

Mr. Abhishek Biswas

(Batch of 1995)
Kanpur School

Mr. Abhishek Biswas

He has extensive business experience working in many Asian countries, including China, Republic of Korea, and mainly Thailand (14 yrs till date). He has gained profound knowledge on local business legal framework and possess deep understanding of different local business ethics and cultures. Through out these many years, he has built and maintained friendly and solid network with many in both public and private sectors in all the countries mentioned above. In addition, he served on the board of the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Thailand from 2011-2013 as PR (sub committee) – 2012. Since early 2013, he was appointed by a Thai PM Office, under the office of the Prime Minister of Thailand, as Thai Trade Representative to help promote bilateral trade between Thailand and other countries. He has launched the World’s First Vegetarian Food Certification programe SATTVIK INDIA COUNCIL – 2017.

Mr. Abhishek Biswas

(Batch of 1995)
Kanpur School

THE SPOILS OF A JOYFUL CHILDHOOD

It is nearly 30 years since I Cnished school, so I think it’s now safe to confess: I was the one who used to swap my classmates’ lunches – placing one’s sandwiches next to the other’s paratha and the other’s subzi next to the one’s green coriander chutney. My only hope is that while many may curse me, some might want to thank me!

Joining Jaipuria was perhaps an act of providence for me. I remember having written an entrance exam - a daunting prospect since Jaipuria was known for its high standards - in the middle of the term. Jaipuria was where the elites and the well-heeled used to send their children and I belonged to a family that had humble roots. After all, the school offered horse-riding as an activity!

I clearly remember being conscious of my background during my early days but our teachers went the extra mile to encourage all to participate in school activities by following a ‘House’ system, and this helped make me much more than I would have ever been – a studious geek. On my end, I made up for my sense of embarrassment by participating in sports and extra-curricular activities such as debating, speaking extempore, theatre, and dance and coming tops in all contests. I belonged to the Godavari House and I remember us winning more often than losing! I would proudly wear that yellow shirt any day.

It was mandatory for every student to be a part of an activity and that of a society as well. My chosen activity was food preservation and I made many a jam with fruits in my heyday, most of which I consumed myself.

I remember proudly delivering speeches at the Independence Day and the Republic Day celebrations every single year that I was in Jaipuria. Today, when I Cnd joy in giving motivational speeches to corporate honchos, students and trainees, I know whom to thank.

I also got a lot of mischief done, all quite innocently, though. I remember bunking Scouts sessions to go play table tennis with likeminded friends and then hiding at improbable places to avoid being discovered by some vigilant teacher. Our then Vice Principal Mr Arvindakshan kept this ‘wild side’ of mine in check; he’s the one who wielded a cane up his sleeve and I distinctly remember getting a lick or two – things that wouldn’t Cnd favour in today’s time. All I know is, thankfully for him, I checked myself! Going to the canteen during the lunch break was almost a ritual for me; two samosas and cold-drinks every single day.

Mr Y Gupta helped us develop strong fundamentals in physics, which stood me in good stead when I was pursuing an engineering degree. Mr M C Gupta’s emotionally charged rendition of the Sankshipta Ramayana I Cnd unforgettable; although, in our childishness we gave him the moniker, ‘Maa Sita’, as he chose to respectfully refer to the character in the epic, also a deity in the Hindu pantheon. What felt funny then I have grown to respect now; so much so that I try to infuse the same passion in my Leadership Through Literature classes at the Indian Institute of Management-Lucknow.

In the last three decades, I went from collecting an engineering degree to joining Tata Steel (Jamshedpur) as a Graduate Trainee at the age of 21, where I had an eight-year stint through Operations, Engineering, and Corporate Communications departments. I also became a quiz master, a Master of Ceremonies, even represented Bihar at state-level snooker championships, had the chance to interact with and learn from iconic personalities such as JRD Tata, Bachendri Pal, etc.

My involvement with Tata Steel Adventure Foundation made me fall in love with mountaineering and it is on one such trip on the Himalayas that I had an epiphany and went back to school at Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad for a fellowship. After completing my doctorate here in ConGict Management and Negotiations, I joined XLRI Jamshedpur and taught Human Resources there for a year, before Cnally joining IIM-Lucknow, where I have been for almost eight years now, teaching courses such as Strategic Business Management, Leadership through Literature, and Justice, Ethics, and Morality.

I am now about to take leave for two years and go to Mumbai as the Dean of the India campus of SDA Bocconi School of Management, Milan, Italy. If I know one thing for sure, it is that a happy adulthood thrives on the spoils of a joyful, constructively spent childhood and I have to thank Jaipuria for every bit of that.

Prof. Himanshu Rai

(Batch of 1985)
Indian Institute of Management-Lucknow

I miss the school diary with daily noting Of homework and tests and remarks, Of houses and songs and hymns, And a hand-written time-table at the last.

Waiting for Anand Samwad to come out, And to check if my poem figured there, Or climb aboard the book-van Which came from St. Paul’s or somewhere.

Poetry recitations and vocal music tests, When teachers would usually go roll-wise, But sometimes would reverse the order, Or call out randomly much to our surprise.

The library, where books were Handed over to us on long tables, And thereafter the senior classes, When we could choose our own titles.

Using fountain ink-pens for the first time, And soiling fingers black or blue, Changing into games-dress in the classroom, And endless jokes which ensued.

The bugle and the band and the fields, The tedious PT and march-past practices; Music rehearsals in music rooms; Doing assignments in carpentry classes!

The smell of ammonia (or H2S?) from chemistry lab, Lab-coat torn and test tubes broken; The metallic badge affixed on my blazer Which scratched my fingers ever so often!

Eagerly opening my tiffin during break-time, Only to find it half-empty, And the not-so-subtle hints from the culprits Who laughed while patting their tummies!

Asking for the most extra sheets during exam time, And getting looks from fellow classmates, Making ComFest something to remember, While choosing events and sponsors and dates!

As Founder’s Day practices filled the evenings, All rooms and halls were readied for the grand exhibition: Charts and art, clay and craft, gizmos and models, And all possible human creations!

News of the day at morning assembly, And echoes of the daily prayer. But sometimes, I bunked (quiz classes, you see), And others, I sang in the choir.

Basketball dunks or creaking swings Or Sun, moon, stars on the stairs. Gulmohar blooms or Jolly or Jinx, Solemn oaths were “mother swears”!

Windows with yellow grill and frames, Brown desks with pencil graffiti, The canteen and the flag post were key rendezvous, The Book Stop had favourite stationery

School trips to new places, And a couple of fun picnics. Or camping in the school fields, And Christmas carols in western music.

Some days an extra loud “Good morning sir,” Was offered with melody and snickers. Other days, actual chocolates were distributed For a good old birthday cheer!

Waiting for the morning bus with mom and dad, (later li’l Rasika joined and waited too!) Jumping out from the bus at noon, relieved, Hungry, tired after a day at school!

The gong going off when school got over, Still rings clear and brings me joy. Such was my school, my home, Who told the boy in me to dream, to fly!
— Raghav Gupta

Mr. Raghav Gupta

An age-long question has always intrigued me: what moulds the sum total of an individual’s personality? In other words, the quintessential debate of nature versus nurture. Is it the former, i.e. the internal, the genes, the hereditary information that a person is born with, the natural tendencies? Or is it the latter, the external, being the environment, the upbringing, the social fabric that a person grows in?

On closer introspection, one also realizes that while nature embodies largely the traits one is born with, and is hence static, nurture is a more dynamic variable, continuously changing and thus impacting the overall evolution of an individual’s behaviour and outlook.

Yet asking “nature or nurture?” is falling for a self-made trap, giving the impression that it is an “either-or” situation i.e. it is automatically assumed that there must necessarily be a mutually exclusive solution. However in my experience so far, the simplest answer to the question is “both.”

Yet, how much one or the other influences the individual, paradoxically, depends a lot on the individual itself. Thus, one may attribute the genetic make up for defining what that person is. Or, he may choose to allocate his personality traits to the environment.

School, and hence early education, is one of the most important environments one goes through. It is a complex institution that contributes in so many ways, and plays a crucial formative role, which can more often than not, be appreciated only retrospectively. For instance, me wearing a tie to school, and coming back home, with it still reasonably intact was something I never knew would have a bearing on me and yet I still wear a tie to office every day. Who would have known that this would be a habit which would just subconsciously bury itself then and manifest itself so routinely now? There are countless examples in each of our lives.

Looking back, Seth Anandram Jaipuria School has given me a plethora of experiences which I cannot possibly list out. It has helped me grow in so many aspects and cultivate so many passions in my life that an eternal gratitude remains for the Jaipuria School family. All existing vocabulary is in fact restrictive to expressing the deluge of memories which I endearingly carry. But I must try and revisit some unforgettable remembrances…

I remember vividly, getting new books just before the school opened, cutting the string which bound them in a bunch and hating that some books would be dented because of it. An excitement to see what waited in the coming year: the smell of the books, the fresh ink, the untouched pages, the registers, the notebooks! And of course, my mother’s impeccably putting brown covers on each book and inscribing my name, class and section with a black marker (my roll number would be scribbled later by me, in my starkly contrasting, untidy handwriting).

And of course I remember the excitement for the summer vacation. The beautiful, long, but not never-ending, summer vacation. When the last working day couldn’t get over sooner! The pending science projects (with the maroon-brown folders and green lace), the mathematics and cursive handwriting exercises, all to be completed during the vacation. And how some of it (rather, most of it!) was done in the last week, the dreaded last week!

EPILOGUE:

I was homesick in Class I, and Aloma ma’am, the angel that she is, impersonated Michael Jackson (I was a huge fan) during the lunch break. I still remember smiling through my tears. And then suddenly, all was not so bad after all. Then I also remember, entering her classroom twelve years later, (of course, having visited her several times in between), when I was in the last year at school: grinning, grown-up, gregarious. Yet my eyes tried to find a young, lost version of me somewhere in the benches; a shy, timid boy, who has 12 beautiful years to look forward to, to nurture him, and to make him what he is today…

(The writer passed out from Seth Anandram Jaipuria School, Kanpur in 2005, completed B.Sc. from St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi in 2009 and then did Masters in Taxation in Business Laws (MTBL) from NALSAR University, Hyderabad in 2017. He is a civil servant in the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) of 2012 Batch and is currently posted in Mumbai. He recently completed his Advanced Diploma in International Taxation (ADIT) from Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT), UK in 2019. His interests include astronomy, Egyptology, music, poetry, travel, wildlife photography and teaching.)

Mr. Raghav Gupta
(Batch of 2005)
Kanpur School

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