Sunday, December 29, 2013

There are NO shortcuts...

The world is increasingly “shrinking”. Availability of resources to acquire knowledge and procurement of things are a lot easier than the past. Shopping, entertainment, communication etc. have become faster and easier because of the technological advances. Although these technological advances have made the process of learning and understanding easier, the competition has also grown many folds. One has to be the best in his field of interest to become successful and touch the horizons. One needs to put in persistent efforts to become the best. Thus in the process of development of an individual or in the formative age there is no technology that can replace hard work. In other words there are no short cuts to success and happiness.

The Shivam House students and teachers explored this very important aspect in the daily morning assemblies during the week immediately following the beginning of the post-Diwali break. This report is a compilation of the various ideas shared during this very inspirational week.

Today, people are in such hurry to get success, that, they impatiently take any shortcuts that come across their way and bypass the process of acquiring skill. Momentarily we feel happy but unfortunately after taking such short cuts the task goes beyond our abilities and comfort levels. So, the key to any long-term success is to take the necessary steps to acquire the skills and steadily progress towards the goal.

Right from childhood, those children who work hard constantly and have regularly increased the practice hours at different stages in life are the ones to be the most successful and create history. But if the students take short cut then they have to face lots of consequences. The pile of concepts not learnt, or skill not acquired during the formative years becomes too difficult to cope up and finally as they move to the higher standards, more and more hours of studies would be required to acquire what is missed. Increase in stress, tension and becoming ignorant of learning are some ill effects of short cuts. Following are a few from the long list of successful people who have persistently put efforts:
  1. Mozart, for example, famously started writing music at the age of six. Mozart had started composing when he was 6 and the earliest of Mozart’s composition that is now regarded as a masterwork was not composed until he was twenty-one: by that time Mozart had already been composing concerts for ten years.
  2. India’s Grand Master Vishwananthan Anand started playing chess when he was 6 years old and he became the India’s first Grandmaster at the age of 18. He won the first World championship at the age of 31. So it took him 12 years to earn the Grand Master Title and then another 13 to become the World Chess Champion.
  3. Bill Joy an American Computer Scientist co-founder of Sun-Micro Systems in 1982 just at the age of 28. He started programming at a very early age, just after graduating from high school. The programs that he wrote in Unix are used till date as the base of programming in assembly line language.
History also presents to us numerous examples of achievers whose achievements were due to the fierce struggle they did in life and had the attitude of never give. For example, Tenzing Norgay could achieve world fame, only after making dozens of unsuccessful efforts at conquering the Mt. Everest. Our country India would never have achieved independence by taking shortcut. It was the battle of 200 years by our freedom fighters. Let me share with you an interesting secret about the Chinese bamboo. A tree that grows really tall --- to a height of over eighty feet. It takes around five years and three months to grow to its full height. But here is the interesting bit. For the first five years of planting the seed, we see nothing, absolutely nothing. Except perhaps a little shoot springing out of the bulb and struggling to grow.

And then, in the next 90 days, it shoots up to a towering eighty feet. That is, for the first 60 months, all the growth is invisible, below the surface. The Chinese bamboo’s roots create a complex network. It is these strong roots that, when fully developed, helps the trees to grow to a very big height. In the next three months it literally takes off and becomes as tall as eight feet.

Often, too often, we do all the hard work and when we are perhaps just a step away from success, we walk away. Trouble is we seldom know that we are only a step away, just a step away from realizing our dreams. In this era of instant coffee and fast food, get-rich-quick schemes and lose-weight-quickly medicines perhaps we all need to take a pause and take a lesson from the Chinese Bamboo. Patience and persistent hard work has its rewards. Nothing happens in a magical way. Persistence always pays. Success in all our endeavours is what we all want, but most of us forget that the road to success is not always sprinkled with roses, it could be thorny and very long!

We may possess the talent but hard work helps us to nurture the talent and make us unconsciously competent by imbibing the skill. Hard work has changed the fortunes of mankind. If we delve deeper into the life of stars like Ratan Tata, Dr. Abdul Kalam, Narendra Modi, Sachin Tendulkar, Michael Jordan, Lata Mangeshkar, Pandit Zakir Hussain, Amitabh Bachchan, Marvan Attapatu, etc. we will realize that they are unconsciously competent in their fields of expertise. They were able to achieve this because of their persistent hard work.

The question is, are we ready to put in persistent efforts required to achieve success. 
Written by: Rashmi Ma'am

Sunday, December 22, 2013


“People may hear your words, but they feel your Attitude”

To facilitate the need to understand and develop the right attitude in the life of the students, Suhradam House got the privilege to celebrate the value: Attitude is everything in the very first week of wintry December. All the members elucidated the value throughout the week with the motive to help the students realize and develop the attitudes an AVM student should possess. The week comprised of many inspirational speeches, captivating PowerPoint presentations and also fascinating stories superbly presented by the teachers and students.

On the first day, the attitude “to be Atmiya with everyone” was well explained with the qualities of a student who is Atmiya with everyone: like forgives and forgets others’ mistakes, respects and loves everyone dearly, is all sincere in prayer and doing pooja. In a nutshell, he shares harmonious relationship with the self and others.

On the second day, the importance of positive Attitude and the sutra given by P.P.Swamishree to be “ever positive and never negative” were discussed. Furthermore, it was explained that being positive means to look at virtues of others and try to imbibe them in yourself, appreciate the classmates for their good deeds and encourage everyone together to follow rules and regulations of the school religiously, without giving any excuse and just showing the results.

On the third day, the attitude of “being sincere in studies” was shared as one of the most important values a student must have. It was presented through a captivating PPT prepared with the help of the guidelines given by P.P.Swamishree from His discourses to AVM students. Students could understand the importance of sheer hard work, sincere prayer, concentration in class, daily revision and being regular in doing work. Moreover, it was repeatedly emphasised to ask questions to the teachers until the doubts are cleared.

On the fourth day, the attitude of “Respect for everyone” was brought to light. It was discussed that being respectful is to behave politely and humbly with everyone, never criticizing anyone, never giving back answers to elders, and also being friendly with fellow beings. The attitude of acceptance was also highlighted here.

The fifth day contained fascinating stories on another aspect of attitude “using language (vaani) aptly”, shared in speeches delivered by the Suhradam House students. They shared that AVM students should use respectful language while dealing with individuals belonging to any age group and call all the fellow beings addressing them as “bhai”. The importance of speaking only the truth, very politely and avoiding ill-mannered interruptions while others are talking was also shared. More emphasis was laid on the use of English language all the time with use of the golden words like sorry, thank you excuse me, please, etc.

This highly educative week ended with the attitude of “keeping company of good friends” as it is known to everyone that a person is known by the company he keeps. Students were guided not only to have good friends among themselves but also to have one such teacher as a true friend, to whom they can approach easily for any problem which will help to keep themselves on the right track in any adverse situation.

With the persistent efforts of Suhradam House members, the week ended with a positive spirit developed in the students as they made amendments in their attitude. Thus, Suhradam House feels proud and honoured to commence the journey of developing the right Attitude within all of us.

Submitted by: Harsh Gondaliya (Class 10-A)

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sundaram House enlivens the saga of King Vikramaditya

The prayer hall at Atmiya Vidya Mandir on Saturday morning, during the creative assembly session on 7th of December, 2013, reverberated with usual applause and zestful response of the students as they witnessed the drama on the life and message of one of the greatest Indian kings, King Vikramaditya. It was an edifying presentation by Sundaram House members.

The narrative of this creative assembly rests on the inspiring life of King Vikramaditya. The Sundaram House students (Dharmit Mistry, Paavan Shah, Sahjik Trambadiya, Mantavya Ambaliya, Deep J Patel, Uttkarsh Patel) role-played the characters of the drama and relived a few incidences from King Vikramaditya’s life which demonstrated how much just, kind and religious a king he was! They presented the accounts of Vikramaditya’s incomparable sense of justice and his unparalleled quality of being benevolent. This creative assembly presented him as the king of the era who has created the glorious history of Hindus and would be an incessant source of inspiration. Every incident in the life of this great hero is a witness to his brilliant capability which he wisely invested for the welfare and prosperity of others.

The most enchanting part of the drama was the unique and historical throne of King Vikramaditya which had 32 figurines placed on it and the way they came alive to say the inspiring story of King Vikramaditya. The students performed a small skit on the incident of King Bhoj (role played by Yash Jariwala) who unearthed Vikramaditya’s magnificent throne, many centuries after the latter’s death, and decided to sit on it. But each time he set foot on it, a statue carved on its side came alive (role played by Aayush R, Shivang Patel, Manan Thakkar and Nisarg V) and told him a story of Vikramaditya's kindness. The statues warned King Bhoj that he should sit on the throne only if he could match Vikramaditya in his deeds. The selected incidences from his life delve into the intricacies of cultural assimilation and shed light on how his unflinching faith in God made him a hero of the era.

Sundaram House celebrated the entire week by elucidating different inspiring qualities of this great king and shedding light on his overarching personality. The regular morning assemblies by Sundaram House members highlighted King Vikramaditya as a role model who was characterized by a commitment to justice and kindness. Students were explained through presentations, videos, documentary and special talks and speeches that a true leader and a successful person should live a life like that of king Vikramaditya.

Thus, the students recognized the relevance of the tales of King Vikramaditya in their lives today and the worth of adopting qualities of fair-judgement, sagacity, valour and charity.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Inter-House Football Competition 2013-14

If you walk on the streets of bigger cities in India, you will often find youths wearing the T-shirts of Messi, Ronaldo and Beckham. In a café, football often dominates the conversation. These are signs of a changing India. Still a predominantly cricket crazy country, football is surely finding its feet in our country.

AVM is not different from most of the urban centers of India as so many students enjoy playing and watching football. That made the recently concluded Inter-House Football Competition a perfect stage for students to showcase their skills, talent and enthusiasm towards the game. The eagerly awaited showpiece tournament preceded by a 15 day – training camp for all the houses to sharpen their skills and develop team combinations. Dhiren Sir, Tejas Sir and the rest of the Sports team worked very hard with all the houses to make sure they were all ready for the competition.

The students were grouped in 3 categories for the competition: 
  • Sub-Junior (Class 4, 5 and 6)
  • Junior (Class 7and 8)
  • Senior (Class 9, 10 and 11)
The week long competition had two knockout matches for each of the houses. The winners of the first knockout match in each category would meet in the finals, whereas the losers would meet for a 3rd place match.

After the first round of matches in Sub-Junior category, Shivam house and Suhradam house met in the finals on Friday, December 6, 2013. After a very tough fight, the match went on the penalties where the boys from Suhradam house kept their nerves and won the competition. Satyam House finished third in the category.

Junior category was equally entertaining as Shivam house and Suhradam house qualified for the finals with the dominant performances. In a closely contested final on Saturday, December 7, 2013; Shivam house edged Suhradam House and won the competition. Sundaram House finished third in the category.

Senior category captured the imagination of the audiences with their skills, team combination play and at times with goals galore. In the first round, against a very committed Shivam house team Satyam house scraped through a victory and reached to the finals. In the other knock out match, Suhradam house upset the favourites Sundaram House with some very good organizational and counter attacking play. In the showpiece final on Saturday, December 7, 2013 Satyam house boys finally came to the party and swept Suhradam house and won the finals comprehensively. Sundaram house won the third place very comfortably against Shivam house.

But overall, it was Suhradam house who won the competition as they made it to the finals of each of the categories. Here are the final results:
House          Points     Place
Suhradam       26          First
Shivam           22        Second
Satyam           20         Third
Sundaram       16        Fourth

In conclusion, Inter-House Football Competition truly lived up to its hype and expectations as the students were treated with thrills, entertainment and enthusiasm. The school management congratulates all the sports teachers and students for organizing such a magnificent event.


This major CBSE Handball Tournament was held between 27-29 October 2013 by Singhania Global Academy, Sikar (Rajasthan). 32 schools from Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Madhya Pradesh and Diu/Dadra & Nagar Haveli participated in the tournament.

The Atmiya Vidya Mandir team played and lost against Lucky Bal Niketan in the Quarter Final.

Akshay Golwala scored a total of 5 goals, Love Patel scored 3 goals, Manan Ladani 2 goals and Harshil Soni and Pradeep Chaudhary 1 goals each during the tournament.

AVM Sports Team


The CBSE Cluster 9 - Volleyball Championship was held between 13-15 October 2013 by Shri Ramkrishna Harikrishna Academy, Kamrej (Dist. Surat) in which 41 schools from the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa and Rajasthan participated in the tournament.

The Atmiya Vidya Mandir team reached the Quarter Final in which it gave a commendable fight (25/23, 25/23, 26/24) to the tournament’s runners up team: Montfort School Nagpur.

The following students showed remarkable performance in the tournament:
1. Romil T. Patel (Class 12) 
2. Nirmal A. Patel (Class 10)
3. Rohan Shingala (Class 10)

AVM Sports Team

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Thursday, October 31, 2013

પ્રજ્ઞા પ્રવૃત્તિ

સમગ્ર જીવનસૃષ્ટિનો એકમાત્ર જીવનાધાર વરસાદ છે. માણસને જીવવા માટે શ્વાસ પછી બીજું કોઈ મોટું પરિબળ હોય તો તે પાણી છે ! એ પછી અનાજ. ખાધા વગર માણસ પાંચ-પંદર દિવસ ચલાવી શકે પરંતુ પાણી વગર બિલકુલ ન ચાલે !

વેદકાળમાં ઋષિમુનિઓ રાજાને આશીર્વાદ આપતી વખતે સૌથી પહેલા એમ કહેતા કે, કાલે વર્ષતુ પર્જન્ય: અર્થાત, ‘તમારા રાજ્યમાં યોગ્ય સમયે વરસાદ થાઓ.’ વર્ષના આઠ માસ સુધી આકાશી અગનગોળાઓ તપાવ્યા પછી ધીમી ધારે અને ચોમાસાની ઋતુ પૂરબહારમાં ખીલે ત્યારે અનરાધાર વરસતા વરસાદનું મહત્વ વરસાદ ન પડે ત્યારે જ સમજાતું હોય છે.

અષાઢમાં જો મેઘમલ્હાર જામે તો નદીનાળા છલકાવી દે અને કોશે જાય તો ચાંગળુ પાણીએ ન મળે, શ્રાવણમાં જો મેઘો મંડાય તો ખેતર-ખળાને ધાન્યના ઢગલે ઢગલા છલકાવી દે અને જો રૂઠે તો કોઠીનું તળીયું ય દેખાય.

ચોમાસું બેસે ત્યારથી જ ગ્રામજનોની નજર આભ સામે મંડાયેલી રહે છે. ભાદરવામાં કડાકા-ભડાકા સાથે તૂટી પડે એવા વરસાદની આશા ઠગારી નીવડે ત્યારે મૂંગા જાનવરોને ઘાસચારો અને પીવાનું પાણી મળી રહે તેટલા વરસાદની અપેક્ષા રાખે, અને એ પણ વ્યર્થ જાય ત્યારે વરસાદને વિનવવા જાત-જાતના અને ભાત-ભાતના વૈજ્ઞાનિક પ્રયોગો, ઉપાયો કે પરંપરાગત વિધિઓનો આશરો લે છે.

ધાર્મિક આસ્થા ધરાવતા લોકો આવા સમયે પર્જન્યયજ્ઞો કે અખંડધૂનનું આયોજન કરે છે, તો કૃષિ વૈજ્ઞાનિકો વળી કૃત્રિમ વર્ષાના પ્રયોગો કરે છે. ગ્રામ્ય વિસ્તારનો ભોળો, અબુધ, અશિક્ષિત આમઆદમી પણ પોતાની રીતે વરસાદ માગવાના પરંપરાગત પ્રયત્નો કરતો હોય છે.

ઉત્તર ગુજરાતમાં વરસાદને રીઝવવા માટે આવા અલ્પશિક્ષિત, પછાતવર્ગ દ્વારા થતો પ્રયત્ન એટલે ઢૂંઢિયા બાપજી. આ વિસ્તારમાં સમયસર વરસાદ ન આવે ત્યારે ખાસ કરીને દેવીપૂજક કોમની સ્ત્રીઓ કાળી, ચીકણી માટીની એક મૂર્તિ બનાવીને તેને જાત જાતના વાઘા-શણગાર પહેરાવી એક બાજોઠ ઉપર પધરાવે છે. જેને તેઓ ઢૂંઢિયા બાપજી તરીકે ઓળખે છે. એક સ્ત્રી આ બાજોઠને માથે ઉંચકીને ઢોલ-શરણાઈ સાથે ગામના મહોલ્લે-મહોલ્લે ફરે છે. વરસાદને આર્જવભરી વિનંતી કરતી એ સ્ત્રી મેહુલા તરીક ઓળખાતા ગીતો ગાય છે. અને બીજી સ્ત્રીઓ તે ઝીલે છે. સ્ત્રીઓ ઘેર-ઘેર ફરે ત્યારે તે ઘરની સ્ત્રીઓ બાજોઠ પર બિરાજમાન મૂર્તિ ઉપર લોટો ભરીને પાણી રેડે છે અને અનાજનું યથાશક્તિ દાન કરે છે. પાણીથી ભીંજાયેલી એ સ્ત્રી ગાતી ગાતી આગળ વધે છે. અને પછી ગામની સીમમાં નદી કે તળાવ કાંઠે પેલી મૂર્તિનું વિસર્જન કરે છે. ગામમાંથી એકઠું થયેલું અનાજ પંખીના ચણ માટે વપરાય છે. આમ કરવાથી વરસાદ વરસે છે, એવી આ ગ્રામજનોની માન્યતા છે.

શ્રધ્ધા-અંધશ્રધ્ધાને ઘડીભર કોરાણે મૂકીને સામાન્ય જન દ્વારા પણ કુદરતી સંકટ ટાળવા થતો, આ પરંપરાગત પ્રયત્ન આપણી સંસ્કૃતિનું દર્શન કરાવી જાય છે.

આત્મીય વિદ્યા મંદિરના ધોરણ 5 ના નાના-નાના ભૂલકાઓને આ લુપ્ત થતી સંસ્કૃતિનું દર્શન પ્રજ્ઞા પ્રવૃત્તિ દ્વારા કરાવવામાં આવ્યું હતું.
પ્રેરણા: ગૌતમ સર

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

વિવિધતામાં એકતા

વિવિધતામાં એકતા એ ભારતીય સંસ્કૃતિનું વિશિષ્ટ લક્ષણ છે. દેશમાં વિવિધ પ્રદેશો છે, એ પ્રદેશોમાં વસતા લોકોનાં પહેરવેશ, ધર્મ, ભાષા, રીતરિવાજમાં ભાતીગળ ભિન્નતા જોવા મળે છે. ‘સમગ્ર ભારત એક છે અને આપણે બધાં ભારતીય છીએ’ એ ભાવના પ્રાચીન કાળથી પોષાતી આવી છે. ભારતની આ સામાજિક, સાંસ્કૃતિક અને ભાવાત્મક એકતા ઝનૂની પરદેશીઓનાં આક્રમણો સામે પણ અખંડિત જ રહી છે. રાષ્ટ્રભાવનાની કેળવણી દ્વારા, આપણે રાષ્ટ્રીય એકતાનો પાયો વધુ મજબૂત રાખી શકીશું. સાહિત્યકારો, શિક્ષણકારો, સમાજસેવકો તેમજ નેતાઓ રાષ્ટ્રભક્તિનો વિકાસ સધાય એવું વાતાવરણ સર્જી શકે છે. રેડિયો, દૂરદર્શન તેમજ ફિલ્મનિર્માતાઓ પણ નોંધપાત્ર ફાળો આપી શકે છે.

આ જ હેતુને ધ્યાનમાં રાખીને આત્મીય વિદ્યા મંદિરના ધોરણ-6 ના ભૂલકાઓએ ભારતમાં વસતા દરેક ધર્મના ધર્મપ્રતિકો બનાવી વિવિધતામાં એકતાની ભાવના વ્યક્ત કરી હતી.

પ્રેરણા: ગૌતમ સર

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

From Mt Abu, with renewed energy and novel ideas!

Abu tour was a memorable excursion, full of education, adventure and excitement.

Inspired by the urge of discovering the unknown ways of life, the journey to Mount Abu advanced with some new and unique experiences. By travelling on the unseen ways through avenues and city streets, students not only explored the new paths but also appreciated the different localities and peculiar lifestyles of the regional people.

Concluding the journey, we reached Hotel Hilltone in Mt Abu. The hotel has some stunning panoramic views with perhaps the finest hospitality to offer in the region. Rooms are soothingly decorated and tastefully furnished. Careful attention was paid to the requirements of the students and staff to facilitate ultimate comfort. This tour, again, was managed by Himanshu Sir, and yet again he won our hearts by his very gentle yet meticulous way of taking care of us.

The first day in Mt Abu started with adventurous activities at the Scout ground. Different activities including Horse riding, Improvised ladder, Valley crossing, River crossing, Burma Bridge and Zip lining were performed by all the students with a lot of enthusiasm. Throughout these experiences, physical skills were demonstrated to the students by professionals including skills like balancing, tightening and loosening. After a delightful lunch with mouth-watering starters, balanced nutrition and delicious deserts, we all took a nap and rested for a while. As the swimming pool awaited a long time for the students to jump in, we all barged in and enjoyed swimming for 2 hrs. Bathed and fresh, we visited the temple named “Delwada na Dera”, a distinctive temple built in the 11th century with the eye-catching idols of deities and incomparable architecture of the pillars, floors and ceilings. The temple, as a whole, is the perfect mixture of strength and beauty. Coming back from the temple in the evening we all visited the Nakki Lake, and enjoyed boating in group. On the way back to hotel, we had an ice-cream very popular at Abu. And the day ended by relishing (again) some delicious food in the dinner.

The second day was planned for activities like trekking, rock climbing, rope climbing and repelling. Though difficult, students made it possible to climb the huge rock. Coming down again with rope, repelling, was full of excitement and thrill. Having a refreshing juice, we proceeded for trekking through the turns and twists of the Abu hills. Crossing the ways through the mountain, we all experienced the beauty of valleys covered with the greenery of gigantic trees and wild plants. The bird-eye view from the top of the mountain was an unforgettable sight. Coming back to the hotel, we all savoured our lunch. We then relaxed on bed and in swimming pool, and got prepared for the next most exciting event, night trekking. In the rock-solid protection of professionals, we all started on our way for night trekking. With several thrilling episodes, starting from finding the ways out of the forest in dark, passing through the caves, strolling through the wet fields, crossing the river, we completed the trek and reached back to the decided spot. We all came back tired yet content with some memorable moments of our lives which we would love to cherish again and again. Needless to say, the dinner was the addition to our comfort and joy.

The third day was a day of departure. All enjoyed the continental breakfast in the fresh morning and started our journey back to school. On our way back, lunch was arranged at McDonalds. Watching shows, dancing, singing and playing in the bus, we were back to school by night. Completing our dinner, we all slept with the memories of unforgettable events of our tour.

Written with renewed energy and novel ideas,
Nimit Patel and Smit Patel (Class VIII)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Silvassa - A land of heavenly beauty and charm

After the hectic examination phase, it was time to rejuvenate by experiencing something new and joyful. Advancing on the same line, the students of class 5 and 6 seized the pleasure in their outing from 9th October to 11th October 2013. The trip started on 9th October at 8:00 am in a bus towards Silvassa. It is a tiny dot on the map of India, which is a capital city of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, a union territory of India.

Treat Resort which is about 125 km from Surat was the tour’s destination. It is spread over 24 acres of land and is the best among the luxurious hotels located at Silvassa. Throughout the journey students and teachers enjoyed with full joy and pleasure by dancing, singing and playing cards. On the way, towards this resort a halt was taken near Valsad for some refreshments.

At about 12:30 pm, as soon as the students arrived at their destination, the resort staff gave a warm welcome by offering a chilled welcome drink. The first sight of the resort itself conveyed the later proven fact that it was a heart touching and an attractive place. It was surrounded by colourful fountains and tall coconut trees, in a natural habitat of lush green forest which makes it a popular spot for relaxation of body and peace of mind as well a destination for adventure sports.

The students were guided towards their rooms for freshening up. The rooms were surrounded by a garden, and lake view with balcony and a small private garden attached to it with a royal look, made every child feel special about himself. The rooms were full of comfort and well equipped with all the modern facilities at the service.

The freshening up was followed by a yummy lunch served in the dining hall that energised them for the upcoming activities during the rest of a day. After taking some rest, the students enjoyed splashing in the swimming pool located in the hub of nature.

The delicious supper was served with tasty starters followed by the heavy main course and delectable ice creams. Still the day was nowhere near its end yet as the most important event was waiting for the kids and that was the Navratri celebration in the resort’s discotheque. The students enjoyed dancing with music and played garba to their heart’s content.

The next day began with a delicious breakfast. The most awaiting fun was about to approach in the form of Water Park. Students enjoyed zooming down the towering slide on a mat, or, twisting themselves through the twisting slides, or, grabbing a tube and experiencing a spin like one is stuck in a cyclone, or, a relaxing trip around a lazy river. Students passed through the thrilling rides and discovered the excitement and the fun hidden inside. The only halt in the day was for a lunch, otherwise, the adventure continued in the Water Park.

Returning back from the Water Park and having snacks in the evening, students enjoyed playing, roaming or taking rest in the lap of nature.

The game Housie was played at the end of the day where the magic of numbers was experienced, and the flow of music with time was enjoyed by playing the musical chair. At last, the small token prizes were gifted to the winners of both the games. Now it was time to relish the mouth-watering dinner. After completing the dinner, students enjoyed watching a cricket match in the conference room.

By the effective planning of the management and staff, each student was paid the utmost attention and was served with care and concern. At last, the students returned school happily carrying with them the most memorable moments and a nonstop dose of play and enjoyment.

Written by: Rashmi Ma’am

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Gujarat’s Mesmerizing Paradise: Saputara

To break off from the monotonous routine of the recently concluded exams, it was time for a tour. So it was a perfect choice to visit the only hill station of south Gujarat – Saputara, nearly 165 km from Kolibharthana. It was a three days program from October 6th to October 8th for the students of grades 1 to 4.

We started around 7:30 am. The trip took a halt at Waghai Botanical Gardens – featuring a garden and a Bio-Diversity Conservation Centre. All enjoyed the sight of the horticultural beauty to one’s heart’s content and were recharged with the delicacy of Bhel. The journey continued with animated frolic, music and movie. Our medical team member Vijaybhai pointing towards the hill top showed our destination. Saputara is perched at an altitude of 1000 m and is situated in the heart of the Dang District. It is located on the second highest plateau of the Sahyadari range which looks awesome with its densely wooded hills. While climbing, winding roads provide a spectacular view of the verdant valley on one side and the carved out hill slopes on the other.

Buses reached the destination at 12:30 pm. The accommodation was at the Aakar Lords Inn - one of the grand hotels in Saputara. After a small respite, it was the time for scrumptious lunch. The scenic beauty of Saputara got enveloped by the clouds which were sailing across the sky and descending towards the valley adding elegance to it. The team proceeded with playing housie, musical chair and concluded with an exquisite dinner.

Next day, after the breakfast, kids were eagerly waiting for boating in the Saputara Lake. Boating and splashing of water by boatmen added to the fun. The few recreational rides were a bonus for the kids. Next point was the museum which had a remarkable collection of the things used by the tribal inhabitants of Dang. Our Social Science team minutely observed each and every aspect of major forms of tribal expression depicted in the museum. The various species of stuffed birds, ‘Warli wall paintings’, ornaments, attires, musical instruments, the tools and weapons, the utensils, the hut, clay ritual objects, terracotta toys and many more.

That evening around 4:30 pm, the students reached the table top which was covered with the cloud all around. The horse rides, ball game, having the delicious seasoned boiled corn and climbing to see the sun set point all were marvellous experience.

Soon it was growing dark and again all were back to the pavilion - the Lords Inn. After a small breather, the musical chair was continued. The dinner soon overtook the merriment spirit. All were called on for an early bed time. When entered the rooms, few eyes were still fixed on to the T.V. All were again persuaded to welcome sleep. Early morning, soon after the breakfast, it was time to depart from this picturesque nature’s abode.

The cool breeze was signalling to stay for another day. How the days passed no one realized and now it was time to say good bye to this enchanting place which had got carved in the hearts. We returned to the school refreshed and looking forward to the new challenges and fun of the next term. The memory of the visit to Saputara remains fresh in minds leaving a lasting impression.

Written by: Binu Ma'am

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

"Venice of the East": There and back again

An electrifying tour to Udaipur was organised to rejuvenate the students and to ease off from the recently concluded exams. It was held from October 5th to October 8th for the students of grades 9 and 10. The first day started with refreshment in the awesome hotel: “Valley View” in Udaipur after which we strolled out in this beautiful city of lakes.

We went for boating in the Pichola Lake, a beautiful, picturesque lake that is enveloped by some of the key structures of Udaipur. After the highly informative and full-of-fun ride, we visited the Maharana Pratap Memorial where we learnt more about the very inspiring life of Maharana Pratap. The stories of Chetak, his loyal horse, who lived and died for the Rana gave us goosebumps. As the evening proceeded and it got dark, we went forth to explore the city centre and trekked for about 2 km going through narrow streets and subways, eventually arriving at an eye-catching sight of the city of Udaipur with buildings and structures decorated with candles and lights. It seemed like a city of GOLD! Finally, upon returning back to our hotel, we had a delicious dinner and our day ended with already lots of memories of the city.

The next day, our curiosity was exploited in Chittaurgarh – the land of Bhakti and Shakti (the land of devotion and strength), about 100 km from Udaipur. After a “heavy” breakfast, we travelled and reached there by noon. We then explored through the ruins of places where some of the most inspiring events took place. In this historically significant Mewar part of Rajasthan, we saw for ourselves the place where Queen Padmini and the Rajput women performed “jauhar” symbolising the extent of their dedication towards their faith. We relived the sacrifice made by Panna Dai in order to save the infant Prince Udaisinh and we were touched by the life and devotion of Meerabai. We got to see the ruins of the Royal Palace, the Vijay Stambh (Tower of Victory), Meerabai Temple, Rana Pratap fort and the breathtaking views of the modern city which lay at the foothills. After lunch in the city, whilst our buses took us back to Udaipur, we continued marvelling in the glory of the city we had just witnessed. Upon returning to the hotel, we freshened up and got replenished with some tasty snacks and games. Swimming was great fun. And then again, came another very delicious dinner serving some awesome food. Everyone was charged up and looking forward to the Navratri celebration arranged in the hall within the hotel itself. After some time after dinner, we enjoyed garba in which all students and teachers danced with a lot of passion.

The final day of our trip began with our visit to the mesmerising, grand City Palace. It was built by 22 kings, one after the other and is an excellent masterpiece of architecture infused with strategy. We saw the well preserved rooms, gardens, clothes, jewellery and weapons used by the generations of the royal family. We witnessed first-hand the life style of the royal family. Everyone left the palace in awe and reached the hotel for lunch.

It was time then to bid farewell to this beautiful city of palaces and lakes and we started our return journey to school. One of the most remarkable things about this tour was the extent of meticulous planning and execution of our tour manager Mr Himanshu Goyal from Booking Station. Himanshu Sir was personally involved in every event and situation taking such care so as to provide us with the best possible experience.

This trip was indeed very adventurous and enthralling and surely one of the best trips we’ve ever been to. The experiences of this tour have left indelible footprints on the sands of time for us.

Re-Lived by: Yaksh Badhiwala and Utkarsh Patel (Std 10)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

जल-झुलनी एकादशी 2013

तिथि, वार, नक्षत्र, योग और करण इन पाँच प्रमुख अंगो से बने हिंदू पंचांग के अनुसार नवसंवतसर (नववर्ष) का शुभारंभ चित्रा नक्षत्र से युक्त चैत्र मास (मार्च-अप्रैल) की प्रतिपदा (एकम्) को मनाया जाता है। तत्पश्चात् द्वितीय माह ‘वैशाख’ और तृतीय माह ‘ज्येष्ठ’ को छोड़ कर के चतुर्थ मास ‘आषाढ़’ के शुक्ल पक्ष की एकादशी; ‘देवशयनी-एकादशी’ से प्रारंभ होकर कार्तिक मास के शुक्लपक्ष की ‘प्रबोधिनी एकादशी’ पर्यंत, समय के इस प्रवाह को – चतुर्मास कहते हैं । 

धरातल पर ‘जेठ’ महीने की भीषण और प्रचण्ड धूप के बाद, आषाढ़ माह के शुरू होते ही काले बदरवा की गर्जन और दामिनी की आतिशबाजी से गगन थर्रा उठता है तथा मेघ समारोह के नजारे दृष्टिगोचर होने लगते हैं। पावस की बूंदें धरती पर पड़ते ही लोगों के तन-मन फुहारों से सिंचित हो खिल उठते हैं, ताप भाग खड़ा होता है। झुलसे उपवन में बहार आ जाती है। घनघोर घटाओं से अंबर घिर जाता है। चहुंओर हरीतिमा ही हरीतिमा। नदी, तालाब, सरोवर आदि लबालब हो जाते हैं, कृषक प्रफुल्लित हो उठते हैं, ठंडी बयारें, वर्षा का जल नया संदेशा, नई चेतना लेकर आता है। धरती की गोद से जब नव अंकुर फूटते हैं तो भूलोक पर कोपलों की हरियाली से चूनर लहरा उठती है।

और फिर प्रारंभ हो जाता है दौर त्योहारों का। हरियाली का उत्सव हरियाली अमावस्या से लगाकर नाग पंचमी, रक्षाबंधन, कृष्ण जन्माष्टमी, गणेश चतुर्थी, नवरात्री, दशहरा, दीपावली आदि–अदि... क्या ये सभी उत्सव पृथ्वी को हरा-भरा रखने और सरिसृप(सांप) सहित संपूर्ण प्राणी जगत की सुरक्षा का संदेश देते हुए हमें ये नहीं बताते हैं कि वनस्पति और प्राणी जगत एक-दूसरे के बिना अधूरे हैं ?

त्यौहारों की शृंखला के में एक और कड़ी जुड़ जाती है जो जल-झुलनी एकादशी के रूप में ख्याति प्राप्त है। यह अद्भुत और विशेष त्योहार आर्यावर्त (भारत) में कई नामों से जाना जाता है जैसे- परिवर्तिनी एकादशी, पार्श्व एकादशी, वामन एकादशी, डोल ग्यारस आदि ।

वर्षा काल के दौरान चिरकाल तक भ्रमण के अवसर की सुलभता न होने के कारण अल्प-विहार का संदेश देता यह खास पर्व आत्मीय विद्या मंदिर में भी प्रतिवर्ष की भांति इस वर्ष भी मनाया गया। चिरप्रतिक्षित जल-झुलनी एकादशी का उत्साह विद्यालय में पौ फटने के साथ ही नज़र आने लगा। सूर्योदय के साथ ही नन्हें-नन्हें बालको का भगवान सहजानंद के प्रति धर्मानुराग आज विशेष रूप में देखा गया। प्रभात वेला की ईशवंदना के बाद क्या किशोर और क्या वयस्क, आबालवृद्ध समूह प्रातःकालिन अल्पाहार में केवल राजगिरा और मालकांगनी के पकोड़े खाकर दैनिक कार्यों में प्रवृत्त हुआ। विद्यालय में रविवार का अवकाश होने के कारण विद्यार्थीयों इस उत्सव को लेकर खासा उत्साह देखने मिला। छात्रों ने भी मध्याह्न के भोजन में भी छाछ भाजी और फलाहारी पूरियों का सेवन किया। इस प्रकार आराधनपूर्ण इस दिवस की कब सांझ हो गई, ज्ञात ही नहीं हो पाया।

और अब ! आखिर आ ही गया समय का वो प्रतिक्षारत खंड, जिसका पिछले सप्ताहभर से भक्तों को बेसब्री से इंतज़ार था। करीब चार बजे पूरे उत्साह और उमंग के साथ औत्सुक्यपूर्ण वातावरण में भगवान स्वामिनारायण और उनके साथ शास्त्रीजी महाराज, योगीजी महाराज और प्रगटगुरूहरि हरिप्रसाद स्वामी महाराज की प्रतिमाओं को देवालय से आदरपुर्वक बाहर लाकर श्रद्धा एवं सावधानी के साथ पालकी में बैठाई गई। भगवान की जय-जयकार से विद्यालय प्रांगण गूंजायमान हो उठा। इस शोभायात्रा की शोभा तो बस देखते ही बनती थी। छात्रों एक जत्था पूर्ण जोर-शोर से जोश के साथ वाद्ययंत्रों का वादन कर रहा था तो दूसरी ओर अन्य छात्र भजनों के गायन से माहौल को भक्ति से ओत-प्रोत कर रहे थें।

और इस तरह से यह यात्रा विद्यालय के तरणताल तक जा पहुँची जहाँ पर सर्वप्रथम भगवान का शुद्ध जल से अभिषेक किया गया तत्पश्चात् विद्यालय परिवार के पूज्य बालुकाका, पूज्य वल्लभमामा एवं प्रधानाचार्य डा. विजय पटेल ने पूजन और आरती की। शाम का वातावरण अत्यंत सुहावना था। विद्यालय के सभी छात्र शिक्षक एवं अन्य कर्मचारीगण को संबोधित करते हुए डा.पटेल ने इस पर्व के महात्म्य पर प्रकाश डाला और कहा कि ‘जिस प्रकार किसी नदी या सागर को सुगमता व सरलता पूर्वक पार करने में एक तरणी(नौका) कितनी सहायक होती है, ठिक वैसे ही ये जीवन भी एक सागर जैसा है जिसमे विषमता की समय-समय पर अनेक लहरे आती रहती है जिनका सामना कर सफलतापूर्वक इस भवसागर को पार करने में संत हमारे लिए नाव की भांति सहायता करते हैं और हम जीवन का सुगमता और सरलता से निरवहन कर सकते हैं’। प्रधानाचार्यजी के इस उद्बोधन ने गागर में सागर भरने का काम किया।

फिर कनिष्ठ छात्रों से लगा कर वरिष्ठ छात्रों तक सभी ने भक्ति के साथ अत्यधिक उमंग द्वारा बारी-बारी से श्री हरि को जल में विहार करवाया। कार्यक्रम के अंत में ऋतुफल खीरा(ककड़ी) का प्रसाद वितरण किया गया तथा इस तरह से जल-झुलनी एकादशी के इस उत्सव को आत्मीय विद्या मंदिर में सरसता के साथ मनाया गया। खुब भक्तिपरक और प्रचुर रोचक ऐसे अग्रीम जल-झुलनी एकादशी के उत्सव की प्रतिक्षा मे...

लेखक: पुष्पक सर

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Inter House Skating Competition 2013-14

Stronger foundations are the reason for the stability and strength of a tall building. Likewise in sports, stronger domestic competitions often lead to a strong showing outside of the school.

Skating has always been one of the favorite sports at AVM. Skating can often give you the thrill of speed but also make you realize the importance of balance in our lives. Therefore it was not a surprise that students were very excited to participate in the inter house skating competition. As per the school policy of ‘safety first’, all the students were ready with their protective gears for this very exciting competition.

This year, for the very first time the Beginners group was included through which as young as the students of class 3 participated in the competition. There were also separate groups for Sub Juniors, Juniors and Seniors. Students participated for long as well as short distance races.

Not for the first time this year, the students of Satyam house showed their superiority on the field and swept the competition with a record margin with Sundaram house a distant second.

Here are the results of the competition.

The inter house competition showcased the talent of students along with their will to maintain very high standards. Such a level of skill and commitment, was later rewarded with some excellent performances at the district level. AVM swept the U-14 competition at the district level and three of them were selected to represent the district at the state level later this year.

Below are the students who have made the school proud.
Durgesh Gami (9B) – First
Vishrut Patel (9A) – Second
Hrushi Patel (9A) – Third 
On behalf of AVM family we would like to congratulate the three of them on this achievement.