Discovering Myself through my Prakriya Experience
I have never been faced with a question as daunting as the one which people I have just met ask me- ‘So who is Shourya the person? Tell me about yourself. As I have sixteen years worth of life's experiences under my belt, they just assume that I know where I stand and how I arrived there. And I do, too, no doubt; but what is even more daunting, perhaps, is the task of summing up the role of Prakriya, as a school, In influencing where I stand.
The atmosphere in Prakriya helped me discover my likes, dislikes and different facets of my personality as it provided me the freedom to do so right from the get go. From having my nursery teachers call me a chatterbox to being encouraged to climb trees during ‘tree play’, experiences such as this helped me discover my free-spirited self. I remember my teachers giving me the opportunity to pursue my artistic side, by allowing me to teach my friends origami in class. I even had teachers urging my parents to encourage me to take up Carnatic music. In high school, I discovered my leadership qualities through my tenure as Captain of Prithvi House and writing the Wipro Earthian research paper. I found myself developing an interest in theatre not only through our self-written and self-produced habbas, but also through our training with Bangalore Little Theatre, the culmination of which was our play ‘Robots Unlimited’, which we performed at the Earthian Awards Ceremony in 2013. Though, I did misuse the freedom given to me many a time, it led me to realize that apart from being able to talk garrulous, interrupt classes and generally be of great annoyance, I could also be a sociable person and a genial friend.
Through the years, I discovered and battled with my weaknesses as well. Appearing high strung, not having goals or focus, and not prioritizing were a few of my many struggles. However, I had interminable support from my friends and faculty, and be it through circle times or by coming down on me like a tonne of bricks when I needed it, their help was invaluable!
Needless to say, Prakriya is quite a distinctive school, in that its disparate yet increasingly relevant philosophy is one which fosters sustainability, sensitivity and earth citizenship. This school of thought is something which struck a chord with me. I really began to understand it in high school, especially through our CECR classes. This, I feel, brought out my consciousness, which reflected in my social life as well. I found myself musing on various issues, ours being a period especially marked by adversities, and feeling a strong compulsion to contribute to brightening our future on earth. Perhaps I will be able to pursue this on a larger scale down the road. For now, however, knowing that all my teachers and friends recognize me as the epitome of a ‘true green Prakriyan' is gratifying enough!
While studying in Prakriya, I did not actually realize how different a school it was until after graduating from it. Calling teachers ‘aunty’, chanting ‘Tryambakam, for people's birthdays and studying under trees aren't as commonplace as they may seem, I found it difficult to acquiesce to the fact that my environment had changed when it did, realizing that I might have been a frog in a well the whole time. However, once out of the well, having been educated holistically, I was ready to face anything. Us Prakriyan students were like tube lights; not to sound pontifical, but though we might have taken a while to get going, once we did, we were brighter than the rest
Of course, to the rest of the world today, my personality might appear to be one which argues eccentricity and a perverse passion for various things. However, not being apologetic about the person I identify myself as was something which required confidence which I indeed did display; confidence, which I might not have been able to acquire without the support system which I had.
Though this might sound awfully clichéd and cringe worthy, the best parts about Prakriya were the small things. From just off the top of my head, from complaining about community service , being given 'reflecting time’ which we would completely disregard and doing 'jiltro' jumps to enjoying the last few minutes of nature walk, all of my experiences, I feel, have somehow seasoned my character!
So, who is Shourya? Well, though Prakriya did help break this question down a little further, I might not be able to completely answer this question as yet. However, the quote offered to me by Emerson during my graduation just might suffice for now- "To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment". As long as I am myself, that is all that matters!