At the heart of sporting experience, competition and glory tend to rub shoulders. Amid gruelling athletics, drill displays have a niche for itself. The aesthetics of drill displays refuses to fall prey to the rugged charm of athletics. The theme of Iconic schools of Bhavans Middle East provoked a compelling preamble to Sports Day preparations and it propelled anticipation in spades of a visual treat. Obvious enough, the 11th Annual Article Meet of Indian Education School and Smart Indian School, Kuwait, held on 9th November at Kaifan stadium, lived up to its billing. The stadium shrugged off its cold morning embrace and woke up to a rousing sporting spectacle saturated with a riot of drill displays. A dignified silence enveloped the stands as the spectators were literally overawed by the gracious presence of the chief guest, Mr. Poshitha Perera, charge d’affaires, Embassy of Srilanka to Kuwait, in the hallowed company of Mr. N K Ramachandran Menon, Chairman of Bhavans Middle East, Ms. Hana Alenezi, Inspector, Social Services, Ministry of Private Education, Mr. Nabil Goma , Inspector, Educational activities, Ministry of Private Education, and Ms. Michelle Al Maaef, Inspector, English schools for Middle and Senior from the Ministry of Private Education. The chief guest and the guests of honour were escorted by Mr. T Premkumar, Principal of Indian Education School, Mr. Mahesh Iyer, Principal of Smart Indian School, Mr. Krishnadas Menon, Director, Bhavans Kuwait, Ms. Sheela Krishnadas, Ms. Anselma Tessy, Senior Vice Principal of IES, Ms. Jaemi Byju, Vice Principal, Middle Wing, IES, Ms. Meenakshi Nayyar, Vice Principal(CCA) of IES, Ms. Lalitha Premkumar, Vice Principal, KG & Primary, IES, Ms. Albin Daisy, Vice Principal of SIS, Ms. Rajni Menon, Supervisor, Kindergarten, SIS, Ms. Shaima Zaki, Administrative Manager, and Mr. Mohammad Khamiz, Manager- Owner’s Office.

The opening ceremony kicked off with its characteristic fanfare. After the recital of verses from the Holy Quran and the rendition of Kuwait National Anthem, the school choir invoked the blessings of the Almighty. The formal ceremony plunged ahead with the mellifluous rendering of ‘Vande Mataram’ ,the National Song of India, followed by Bhavans Anthem. Master Daniel Thomas Koleth, the school head boy, in his speech, rolled out a warm welcome to the dignitaries and the visitors. The four houses of the school- Sanskriti, Satya, Seva and Tapas – emerged from the periphery of the stadium and converged on the track for the march past. With shoulders squared up, chins up and heads held high, the athletes settled into their marching stride in a jiffy. As the drumbeats rolled in, the parade, spearheaded by BSS (Bhavans Service Scheme), strode with pride. The contingent of school council members, house captains and vice captains followed suit. As the promising athletes did the torch run, the flame that ignited the light of spirit, knowledge and life, refused to peter out in the stubborn gusts. The athletes took a solemn oath to uphold sportsmanship throughout the events. The chief guest, declared the meet open. As a token expression of gratitude, the chief guest and the guests of honour were honoured with mementos by Mr. N K Ramachandran Menon, Chairman of Bhavans Middle East.

The events took on the contours of a sporting jamboree with young sprinters who dashed to glory and the opulent drill displays that came in a torrent, relentless in their pursuit of the theme of iconic schools of Bhavans Middle East. Girls of IES put up Maypole display that spun an intricate web of colours. The girls tugged the ribbons with remarkable dexterity and their flawless coordination was an accomplishment in itself. As they turned the spokes of ribbons, their deft movements insulated the web from descending into chaos. As part of Honey bee drill, kiddies of Jack & Jill swooped down on the green strip like a swarm of buzzing bees. The ebullient kids erected a façade of a beehive with their waggle dance of sorts. Sunflower dance, dedicated to Private International English School, Abudhabi, was an absorbing spectacle. A broad swathe of golden yellow flower props cosseted the lithe arms of kids. As the kids swayed in sync with the rhythmic beat, the flower props tossed their heads as if theywere caressed by the breath of wind. For a while, the flower ensemble should have lulled the crowd into thinking that Spring had dawned on the stadium.

Boys’ Wands display, dedicated to Bahrain Indian School, had a riveting charm as the fascinating strands of their fluid movements unspooled gracefully, much to the delight of the crowd. Girls’ Sword display, dedicated to Al Saad Indian School, Alain, mustered up an awe-inspiring show as the spectators marvelled at the breadth of its visual charm. Dumbbell display by the students of Smart Indian School and Kiddies’ dance, dedicated to Wise Indian Academy, Ajman, stepped up the entertainment quotient of the riveting show. Kids did the body rolls that sent ripples through the crowd. The hallmark of Kungfu Display and Human Pyramid display was the bristling undercurrents of raw power, strength and grace. The displays were dedicated to Bhavans Pearl Wisdom School, Alain and Pearl Wisdom School, Dubai, respectively. With name placards of all schools of Bhavans Middle East, the athletes formed a huddle on the track as a celebration of the imposing edifice of Bhavans in the educational landscape of Middle East. With a rich haul of medals, Seva house of IES and Satya house of SIS lifted the coveted Championship trophies. Though Satya of IES fell short in the medal hunt and had to be contented with second place, the team spirit was remarkable. Sanskriti of SIS took credible shots at the victory stands but had to settle for the second place. The victory podium throbbed with cheers as the Chief guest gave away the prizes. Kammalikaa Mahendran, Sports captain, proposed a vote of thanks. The meet drew to a close with the National Anthem.

As dust settles down on Bhavans sporting spectacle, fond vignettes should emerge that can never be consigned to oblivion


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