28th January 2019, Pathways School Noida. A day that will stand out in the memory of so many young minds because Lord Jeffrey Archer spoke to them of the power of their generation. Of the tremendous potential that India has. Of the future belonging to the women. The boys will remember this morning also because of the challenge thrown out to them!
Pathways Noida had the privilege to host Lord Jeffrey Archer this morning and the sun was out in all its glory as the school orchestra struck the first chords of welcome. While the gathering comprising students from twenty-one schools, including our own, eagerly awaited his arrival, Lord Archer spent some time talking to the musicians, learning more about the school and the vision for the holistic development of each child that underpins everything that we do in the school. He was delighted to see that the president of the school council was a girl and teased the vice president, about his having come second! Already, with his wit and humour he had broken the ice for the children!
From the moment Lord Archer took the stage to the moment he left the school, he had the audience enthralled. A brilliant orator no doubt, he will be remembered here not only for his oratory but for the depth and power of his words and his candid appreciation of the younger generation, that will linger on.
He struck a chord with the audience, the cricket crazy boys especially, because of his love for cricket, and stayed tuned in because he spoke to them of the power of tenacity and hard work and the belief in themselves and because he spoke from the heart and with the conviction that comes from experience.
Vanshika, the school president, thrilled with her interaction with Lord Archer had this to say, "I think that being given the chance to meet individuals such as Lord Jeffrey Archer, who so strongly embody the work-ethic and values that we as students hold paramount, is awe-inspiring. His words – that held the attention of so many, with so much passion – absolutely resonated through the auditorium and left me thoroughly roused by their humour, candour, and power."
After his address, Lord Archer also took questions from the children, and then went in for something that the children had eagerly been waiting for - the signing of copies of his books!
He left the mesmerized audience with the famous words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, that summed up the substance of his address, "The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night."
In the words of Parth Sharma, a grade 12 student of Pathways Noida, "Longfellow's words as spoken by Lord Archer have summed up the experience of listening to live of one of the greatest authors of our times. And serve as an inspiration to overcome all challenges one is likely to face. I was impressed and amazed by his discipline and the passion with which he approaches his writing."
The sun shone in all its glory not just to welcome a clear winter morning but to welcome Lord Jeffrey Archer to Pathways School Noida as well.