July 1979 The Sherwoodian Times 12th Issue

An Old Sherwoodian Is Interviewed

Rajiv Sinha and A.K. Amitava our cub-reporters interview Brigadier Shrikent, an O.S. who was College Captain in 1948.

R. Sinha : What were your first reactions as you entered the school?

S. Kent
: On the way up with my family, we crossed the hollow tree in which we threw pebbles, for it was a tradition in our time to do so. And as I came up from the gate a plethora of nostalgic memories came flooding back, memories especially of bunking down the drains to the 'Puri Wallah' in town where we would eat delicious puris and gulabjamuns.

R. Sinha : Do you find any old traditions missing ?

S. Kent
: I am not really familiar with the school routine now. Oh ! Now I remember. We used to have fights in the back qued every afternoon. The popular maxim was 'See you in the backs'. And the guys used literally to hammer each other. Public flogging was another well-known tradition. I'm glad you've passed that stage of brutality. Your uniforms and house ties for each house are a very good tradition. They are outstandingly elegant and smart whereas we were allowed to wear home clothes even for classes.

A.K. : How was the atmosphere in school during your time ? Was it friendly or tense ? What were the relations between a senior and a junior ?

S. Kent : When I was in school there was a great of distinction made between a senior and a junior and this relationship was rather tense and strained to the point of being unhealthy. But today I feel - and from what I hear - Sherwood has a very friendly and homely atmosphere with a more benign relationship among the boys.

R. Sinha : What was the games standard like ? Did you have regular fixtures with Sem and other schools ?

S. Kent
: Oh ! games were superb, for we had guys who could really play. Our games standard could be considered rather good. We had fixtures with Sem but not regularly. We also had fixtures at times with La Martiniere, Lucknow, and La Martiniere, Calcutta, as well as the Lawrence School, Sanawar. I know you'll ask about our relations with Sem. Don't-for they were deleterious. Our reaction was to thrash a Semian at sight.

A.K. : What do you think of the food ? Is there any difference in the past and the present ?

S. Kent : Exceptionally good now. You have a much wider menu.

A.K. : Did you have any co-curricular activities in your time ?

S. Kent : We hardly had any activities in our time as you have now. We had no swimming for the pool hadn't been built then, so our swimming resort was the lake or lake or the Governor's pool.

R. Sinha : Did you have any holidays during the term ?

S. Kent : Our Principal them was Mr. Binns, a very strict man, who, I'm sure, never believed in holidays. The question of having too holidays didn't, arise. Our Founder's activities were held in the holidays we got. Going on treks like the Outward Bound today was very rare. And movies were never heard of in school.

R. Sinha : In your opinion has the school changed considerably from what it was before ?

S. Kent : Yes, this place has over-grown and was much cleaner better maintained then. That can be attributed to the availability of servants at a pittance. I'm not saying it is dirty or ill- maintained either. Moreover, the staff had changed. And in my opinion the staff now is much friendlier then before. The staff took a pride in talking to me. This made me feel very comfortable and homely I felt really proud of being a Sherwoodian.

R. Sinha : How did you happen to join the army ?

S. Kent : I was never very good at studies. I was more of an outdoor person. I had a strong inclination to a career in either the navy or the army from the very start. Though this idea of my joining the army never appealed to my father, despite his refusal, I got in and now I'm the Defence and Military attaché in Pakistan.

A.K. : What do you think of the educational system today ?

S. Kent : It's confused and in complete chaos. In other words, it's confusing our youth and wasting their time. This system is laying a great deal of pressure on the youth and thus he lacks that development which is very necessary in a growing child. It's nothing like in England or America where the emphasis is upon development of the personality and the emphasis on education lies in arousing a child's interest. I think we can attribute this pressure to the high qualifications required for good jobs.

R. Sinha : Has this affected our school seriously ?

S. Kent
: Not to my knowledge, for we still lay a great deal of emphasis on other activities which helps in the development of personality and does not make a boy a mere book-worm. Here a child is in an independent situation away from overzealous parents. It's here that he learns how to live with others. Because of his impressive conduct, outlook and approach, he has a better chance in life. I don't think it's waste sending our children here. These schools are most helpful to people like us who, being in service, are constantly on the move. A child possibly cannot adapt to these frequent changes in his environment. It's in a situation like this that these schools are of great help for they help the child to gain confidence in himself.

A.K. : Any suggestions for the improvement of our school ?

S. Kent : I can't suggest anything. A cursory glance cannot possibly bring out any earnest and constructive suggestion. In the educational field we are doing very well which I feel is largely due to the interest of the staff and the pains taken by the boys. Anyway, we are much better off than other schools who just produce results. On the games field we are doing very well. Personally, I feel, the school is doing extremely well and I'm proud of being a Sherwoodian.

R. Sinha : How were your relations with All Saints' ?

S. Kent : Very good. We even had a mixed college choir of which I was a member. Socials were a regular feature-I mean, twice or thrice a year. Whenever our Principal approached the Principal of All Saints', she always declined. So then the College Captain would go and ask her, and say "Ma am, this is the last social" and she would agree !

R. Sinha : What is the general opinion of people about Sherwood outside the campus ?

S. Kent : Nearly every one says Doon School is the best and Lawrence School, Sanawar, not far behind. In our times Sherwood was the BEST. The motto was 'School before everything'.

 | Index | Editorial | Calendar | Founders | Easter Picnic | Results |
 | Sports Round-Up | OS Interview | OS Write | Flora & Fauna |

OldSherwoodians.com - Home Page   OldSherwoodians.com - Main Page     OldSherwoodians.com - Home Page    OldSherwoodians.com - Main Page    OldSherwoodians.com - Home Page
| Alumni | About | Eminent | Album | Links | Chapters | Awards | Sponsors |
| FAQ | Videos | TP | Sherwood CDs | Message Board | Sherwoodian Times |