My Prize Giving Speech

Excerpts from the College Captain’s speech delivered on the 130th Prize Giving of Mayo College, Ajmer.

Prize Giving Speech

Your Highness, distinguished guests, I echo the sentiments of the boys who have been here for some time as I address you.

For most, the journey begins way back in the Junior School or the Oman House. The parents’ emphasis on becoming number One in class before joining Mayo continues to haunt the boys through their first year. Slowly, over a period this fades away. The ambitions of the boys gradually change to becoming – Number One Batch, Number One Team, Number One House and finally Number One School. A few more ‘Number Ones’ are added to the boys’ vocabulary – One phone call allowance, one sweet dish, one holiday in a week, one outing in a month, and one blazer and tie for the entire winter season! The Mayo experience is also One in a lifetime. It is the number One that infuses the spirit of equality, for wherever you come from, whatever your parents might be, at Mayo College, everyone is given that one blazer and tie only. The only difference that matters is what you do in School and how much you extract from the vast opportunities that Mayo offers.

During the last few years, while outwardly Mayo may seem to have transformed due to change, which is inevitable to keep pace with time, it continues to be steeped in its rich traditions and retains its unique core values. Today, the School is a more welcoming place for junior boys than ever. The seniors play a mentor’s role in guiding their juniors. Only a senior can spend patient hours monitoring prep while preparing for his own exam and teach his juniors to perfect a cover drive or play power chords on a guitar.

As the College Captain, I’m asked by many – ‘Why is Mayo so special?’ My answer to them is this – the pressure placed on students nowadays is immense: there is a growing emphasis on specialization and high marks. But Mayo provides a solution. The time spent here in Mayo prepares boys for life. Here you are encouraged to broaden your horizons rather than narrow them. The boys play sports, dabble with colours, learn musical instruments, debate, and even use a paint brush and saw, all in a single day.

A Mayoite may try and fail but never will he fail to try. Mayo emphasizes on the importance of every opportunity. A Mayoite’s commitment to a cause greater than himself and his ability to collaborate with others to the best effort is superlative. And if opportunities don’t knock on our door, we go ahead and build our own door. We make the most of whatever is offered. Mayo provides all the pieces to the puzzle of education. But it leaves it to the boys to piece it together. They are taught how to think, not what to think.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I speak all this from personal experience and that too a happy one. Here we cry the day we enter the School as unsure little boys, and we cry the day we leave the School as confident Class 12 boys. It is what happens in between that makes Mayo so special.

Over to Kushagra Agarwal, College Vice Captain and Medical Inspection Captain for some important highlights of the year gone by.

Thank you.

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Gibson Debates 2012

We were the runners-up in the 18th Gibson Debates! A full report is available in the 60th issue of The Mayo Mail which can be read here. You can also visit the Mayo College Website for a report on the event here.

The Mayo College Debating Team. From left to right, me, Raghav Bhargava, Tuhin Basu and Kushagra Agarwal

The Chief Guest for the event was Mr. Deepak Verma, an eminent debater himself, who won a Best Speaker award in the famed Titans Cup Debate 2010 in New Delhi, winning against stiff competition posed by leading members of Parliament, Ministers and Media and Corporate stars, including Shashi Tharoor, Mani Shankar Aiyer, Subramaniam Swamy, Kabir Bedi and Hardeep Singh Puri.