There is a sense of catharsis in performing a piece you have spent so long preparing and performing it well. For our DP2s, this year’s Pathways Has Stars has been an opportunity for them to put on a spectacular production to show to their parents just how much they mean to them and there truly is no way to capture just how spectacularly it went off!
By 10:45 am on that wistful winter morning, parents began to roll into the amphitheater who were welcomed and engaged by the enthusiastic emcees of the event, Jovin Nanda and Eito Ogawa. The arrival of the esteemed senior leadership team marked the beginning of the occasion as they headed to the center-stage to participate in the light lamping ceremony. The lighting of the lamp is significant to the start of events as it acts as a prayer to invoke the blessings of deities and bring forth the joyous waves of their presence into our own special occasions.
Shortly after, School Director Captain Bajaj shared a few words with us all and brought upon the theme of hope and gratitude amongst us all. He struck a chord within all the parents’ hearts when he shared an anecdote of his own graduation year and how he had felt a sense of thankfulness towards his own parents for their love and sacrifice. His reminiscent and wise words were followed by the heartfelt thoughts of our Senior School Principal, Ms. Sangeeta Nag. She shared with us all the story of how Pathways Has Stars came to be— how, from a simple observation that concerned her, bloomed this brilliant production that we were able to witness that day. Her words were honest and left a lasting impact on us all.
Finally, began the highly anticipated string of performances.
The first performance had been a string of dances that showcased different portrayals of love through generations of Bollywood movies. It begun with a dance in the rain that set the tune for the next dances. These dances had the audience laughing along as they were taken back in time, the loudest laughs escaping as girls were carried just as dramatically as they had been in the 1960’s! Between this performance and the next, there had been a buffer of time during which the stage was being set for the next act. Our charismatic emcees then took this opportunity to connect with the crowd as they spoke about the ongoing football matches everyone can’t seem to get enough of. Sharing a love for Messi with everyone and even teasing Mr. Keith about England losing, they kept the audience engaged and entertained through it all. After this light banter, Mr. Keith took the stage with his orchestra. Although they baited us by performing a singular note before pretending to make an exit, the piece that they performed was hopeful, carefree, and truly lifted our spirits.
Soon enough, this was followed by a skit that featured a diverse range of acts. Scene 1 took off as “adults” began to flood in at a reunion 25 years after they had graduated. Our DP2s were reenacting adults of different personalities and characterizations and had done so in a manner that made the scenes appear all the more realistic to the audience. Through smaller details and comedic lines, our stars represented the joys (good grades!), frustrations (bad grades!), fears (children going away), and even anger (bad grades, again!) that they believed their parents have felt throughout their childhood. The amphitheater was flushed with laughter when a character, although speaking so very confidently to his friend about his plans to travel to Goa, could not actually manage to speak the words to his father. Through reenactments of PTMs, dramatic expressions, and taking jives at modern social media, these young actors truly captured it all.
Whilst reminiscing about PTMs and academic conversations, they had not forgotten to acknowledge the diverse talent at Pathways amongst the students. And thus, began the flashback to the exciting talent show. To start off, a slam poem had been performed by Zenia, where she courageously showed a vulnerable side of herself to both her parents and the audience in poetic verse. This was followed by a music performance where Hussain sang an Arabic ballad that was a splash of culture in our celebrations and showcased wonderful talent. When Ananya and Tanshee danced, it was both very graceful and yet powerful— this, accompanied by Samaah’s narration, pulled the dance and the backing track together in a meaningful and calming way. The next musical performance with Aryaveer on lead mic, was a glorious combination of instrumentals and vocals that heightened the energy in the amphitheater as everyone clapped along to the beat.
To answer all ‘what-if’s, our stars acted out parallel universes. The first appealed to the parents in the audience as they painted a world where their children got into every college they could ever imagine, where their children woke up by 7 on a Sunday, or where their children actually helped out around the house! The second, in contrast, appealed to the children as the mother insisted her child quit studying and plays video games with his friends; the fact that a child playing video games was the thing a parent could brag about was the real reminder that this was, in fact, a parallel universe.
To conclude their skit, and as a display of gratitude towards their parents, the main characters of the production directly addressed their parents by breaking the fourth wall. They shared sentiments they may not have done before and, as a surprise to us all, brought their parents on stage with them— for those whose parents or family members weren’t present, Ms. Sangeeta stepped in and danced with them. “Hey Jude”, a somber yet hopeful song by The Beatles seemed incredibly appropriate to be the final musical performance of the afternoon. Our aspiring musicians took us back to the 60’s as they performed. Their excited voices sending a wave of energy through the whole audience; the lead singers, Sarah and Suhani, could not keep the smiles off their faces.
It seemed like time had flown by so very quickly when our emcees announced that the next performance would be the last— last but not least, of course. In a series of dance performances, our DP2s had somewhat of a dance battle, if only a lot more exciting than they usually are, between new and old styles of music and dances. With each Bollywood reference, there were joyous laughs amongst the crowd at the sheer brilliance and joy that was being shared with us all. The grand finale which transcended from the students’ dance into a collective performance by the entire DP2 only heightened spirits when our teachers began dancing. There had been “whoops!” from every corner of the amphitheater as our teachers put on a show for the parents, dancing in a carefree manner before they made way for Captain Bajaj and Ms. Sangeeta Nag to join them, center-stage. The whole event was tied together as the students joined them towards the end for one last hoorah.
Pathways Has Stars was a way for children to express themselves to their parents in a way they may not have before; it allowed them to show gratitude towards them for everything through a fun and lighthearted occasion.
Bhoomi Kaur Narula