Tunnel Vision

You’ve been given the ability to build a magical tunnel that will quickly and secretly connect your home with the location of your choice — anywhere on Earth. Where’s the other end of your tunnel?

Well, the answer is very simple. My school.

Located in the middle of a very arid land, Ramakrishna Mission Vidyapith is a very special place. It is literally like an oasis in the middle of the desert. I was sent there when I was twelve. The institution is a complete boarding school so even the locals were supposed to stay inside the campus at all times. It might sound a little too harsh, restricting a child from the outside world so completely but you fail to realise that the campus was an entirely different world in itself. With a total area of more than 40 acres of lush greenery with simple architecture, the place really doesn’t feel like a typical boarding school type. Man, the place has more than 15 football fields. I mean who want to leave this place anyway? Especially when playing regularly is more important here than studies! And when you’ve been there at least once, you’ll know that the place is beautiful. But yeah, we have so many nice and wonderful places around the world. So why to waste my magical tunnel on a not so famous place when I could’ve linked myself to a Playboy Mansion. (C’mon, you gotta agree with the Playboy mansion at least.) Well, there are a lot of reasons. One, that it is still far from my place and I could save a lot of money and time by getting a free magical tunnel ride. Second is that no matter how many times I go there, it is never enough. This is one commonly experienced by all the alumni of this institution. I mean everyone feels school sick all the time and they try to give the school as much as they can even though they have absolutely no obligations to this institution. But the thing is, nothing is ever enough.

Independence Days (previous) 1
Independence Day Parade in our school

What the Vidyapith has done to me; what the Vidyapith has done to every lucky individual who got the opportunity to study there is indescribable. Basically, it is responsible for who I am now. It is alone responsible for having turned my batch of 72 small children into real men. And seriously, I know very few people who are as honest and talented as my fellow titans.

Campus 6The Vidyapith is a very special place. Special in the sense that it cannot be defined by the people who run it. The place is run by monks and all other sorts of people taking care of all the various aspects of the institution. Note the ‘school’ is only one of the many faces of the Vidyapith. The vidyapith runs a charitable health dispensary, provides free medical help to the remote areas nearby, provide free water to the district, run a dairy, a garden, a poultry, an aviary and what not. The facility is entirely self-sufficient and is run by a completely nonprofitable organisation, again run by monks. You see, this whole organisation was founded by a very famous saint of India, Swami Vivekananda in the name of his guru Sri Ramakrishna Paramahansa. The motto of the whole organisation is ‘Atmano mokshartham jagat hitaya cha‘, meaning “For one’s own salvation, and for the welfare of the world”. If you follow the philosophies of this great man you will come to know that in a gist, he wanted to say that ‘He alone lives who lives for others.

And even after 92 years, after growing into such a huge establishment and facing countless other modifications, Vidyapith essentially remains the same. It doesn’t even matter who runs it. It just is.

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