DELHI PUBLIC SCHOOL MATHURA ROAD
DPS : A fountainhead of human
by Arunava Dasgupta
Reading the notice board was like taking a trip down the memory lane through the hallowed portals of DPS Mathura Road with the ever stern looking Mr Din Dayal, Principal appearing before us at any corner and every corner. Most Dipsites of present years will not have an idea of how DPS looked like in the 1950's and 60's.
I joined DPS in 1957 and the school was located in the present premises but entirely in tents. The tents were like the Border Security Force tents with the floor being laid with bare bricks and the teacher having the privilege of an elevated wooden platform. Whenever it would rain hard it would be declared a holiday. The Oberoi Continental building was being constructed and the present road that circumvents Oberoi and goes towards Lodhi Hotel did not exist. DPS was what one may call the end of the town. The only place where students could go (after bunking classes) was Sweets Corner (Sunder Nagar market) and in the mid sixties at a Disco called "Caves" in the GK (M Block market).
The school had 4 buses: old Dodge buses that one can see in World War II English movies. Since the number of buses was inadequate, the buses used to ply in two shifts. School would be from 8.00 AM and the first shift of students would arrive at the school by 6.50 AM and then the buses would ply again to fetch the second shift of students. Assembly was compulsory and it was a daily routine with the principal reading out a prayer ("Where the mind is with fear...") followed by news, announcements etc. There was absolute strictness about uniform and appearance and even nails would be seen to see that they were clean and cut. Comics were banned and no one could speak in Hindi except in the Hindi class. And yes, Modernite and Columbian were considered as bad words by Dipsites (the rivalry was very intense).
After Mr. K. C. Khanna retired as the principal, Mr Din Dayal took over and it was in the early sixties that the construction of the DPS building took place. We shifted to pakka premises when we were in class VIII.
The school used to subscribe to Senior Cambridge (later ISC) and when we passed out in 1969, it was the second batch that had appeared for CBSE examinations.
It may be of interest to know that Vinod Khanna, Navin Nischal, Subramaniam Swamy and Montek Singh Ahluwalia are Dipsites. It will also interest many present day Dipsites to know that during our days, our wood craft teacher Mr. Tarlochan Singh (who was affectionately called Bhanda Singh) has become virtually immortal due to his famous utterances like "Do not speak to me like that, I am parallel to your father" or "Please close the doors of the window", or "why are you rotating in the corridors, the principal may occur any moment". The murals and wall paintings (at Mathura Road) were done in 1964 and 1965 single handedly by Mr Chittaranjan Roy (who joined as an art teacher). Mr. Roy is a town planner in Nigeria presently.
There are Dipsites every where in the world today: as administrators, professionals, business persons and more. I have come across Dipsites in various parts of the country and outside. But one thing remains universal: Dipsites are never street smart because the value systems that our school ingrains does not teach young boys and girls to be street smart, mean and petty as often required in today's world. Exceptions, ofcourse are always there. Dipsites, generally are more open hearted, straight forward, upright and warm than most, most others. I see this trend among present day Dipsites also.
DPS Mathura Road, 1969 batch.
Consultant, Transcom Communication
C R Park, New Delhi
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