Headmaster without a school
After working for two years in an inter-college in UP and three years in a Residential School in Nepal, patronized by King Tribhuvan, I
thought of settling down in Delhi and procured a job in a government- aided school in Kashmere Gate after a lot of competitive interviews and demonstrations. At this time I met Mr. Trilochan Singh, an official of the Delhi Ashram who told me about an upcoming school. He told me honestly that there was virtually no school as yet but he wondered if I would accept the offer to join this school. “But do go there and have a look,” he advised.
I visited the place on a Sunday and attended the Ashram satsang and meditation. Something about the place and the concept of the school gripped me and a thought crossed my mind; so what if I will have to make the school too?
I took a postcard from Mr. Pearson and wrote to the Principal of Kashmere Gate School, “I have found my place. Please call the next person short-listed”. That was the Mother pulling me in.
First year in school
“I had to take 17 children to Pondicherry for the Mother’s Darshan. 15 children traveled by train but two of them —Shivaji and Chintamani were to accompany me in a car that Chachaji had asked me to take to Pondicherry. I had no clue about the route from Delhi to Pondicherry.
Chachaji reassuringly told me to go to Paharganj and meet Anilji and that “everything will be taken care of“. Anilji handed me a packet containing the Automobile Association of India road maps from Delhi to Pondicherry. The detailed route was mapped out on different slips of paper that moved across several cities and states.
We started the journey with two students, the driver and Mr. Dileep Singh who had been sent with us to help us on the way. Soon, Shivaji and Chintamani took over giving the directions and guided the driver through various landmarks.
At Agra, the children took permission to go to the market for ten minutes. We restarted the journey on their return. Surprisingly, they both insisted that I sit in the middle while they sat on either side of me. Suddenly I realized that they both had knives in their hands. When I asked them to explain the meaning of this, they said, “We are now entering Chambal Valley and we are going to protect you”.
Mother in Pondicherry
On reaching Pondicherry I wanted an interview with the Mother so I urgently sent a message to Her but a very strange reply was sent back to me. The Mother said, “Tell Madan, if he wants to meet me he has to catch me on the way from one room to another.”
The Mother used to finish her French class at 6 o’clock in the evening and retire to her room next to the playground. I was all prepared to catch her then but that evening I decided to visit the sea-beach and admire the waves. Soon I was lost in my idle thoughts and completely forgot about my interview with the Mother. Something jolted me out of my trance and I ran back to the Ashram. It was already 6:10pm. As I approached the class I was surprised to see that for the first time ever Mother was late by 10 minutes. She finished her discourse just as I reached there. I had thought of a million questions that I would ask her but on meeting Her, I could not remember one!
About P K Madan Sir
Mr. Prem Kumar Madan was the first Headmaster of Sri Aurobindo Ashram School, Delhi Branch in 1956. He recalled that the name of the school was changed to The Mother’s School and finally to The Mother’s International School. He went on to become the Vice-Principal and later the Principal in 1971. His association with the School lasted for 21 long years.
He was one of the few persons present at the inception of Sri Aurobindo’s Shrine at the Delhi Ashram in 1957 and who also came all the way from Mumbai to participate in the Golden Jubilee Celebrations from 5th to 10th December,2007. We had the occasion to talk to him when he addressed the school Assembly on 10th December. Mr. Madan was an unassuming man, devoid of ego and he attributed all his achievements to the Divine Mother and Her Grace.
Madan Sir passed away peacefully on 18th March, 2021.
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