Sharmila Barua, Head Girl Batch of 1981, and Captain of the school hockey team, did her graduation in Law but spent the initial years of her adult life as an Air Force wife, married to a fighter pilot, and mother of a daughter. During this time she experimented with the social development sector. Her life took an unfortunate turn when, in 1997, she lost her husband in an aircraft accident.
Having received this blow from life she got down to the task of sorting out life for herself and her fast growing child. She established an IPR law firm and a Knowledge Process Out sourcing Company in Delhi.
She shifted gears once again and today she is busy holding multi faceted portfolios, including Independent Directorship of a Public Ltd Company, consulting director of a charitable trust engaged in health care and medical education, as also Trustee on several other trusts engaged in vocational training and skill development. Besides this she finds time for running her home in Goa.
Born in November 1956, I was the youngest member of MGD’s 1971 batch—and to everyone’s surprise, especially my own, the topper that year, not only at MGD but in the state of Rajasthan. This outcome gave me the confidence to pursue my passion for literature in college, leading to an MA in English at Delhi University (1977). In 1976 I married Vinay Dharwadker (1971 batch, St. Xavier’s, Jaipur), and after teaching for four years at Hindu College, left for the US in 1981 for a PhD in English. Having taught at various US universities since 1987, I am currently Professor of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with British, postcolonial, and modern Indian theatre as my main areas of specialization. I have two children—Aneesha, an architect based in Chicago, and Sachin, a filmmaker based in Los Angeles—and two adorable grandsons, Kabir and Kieran O’Shea, the loves of my life!
Archana Singh (Candy) joined MGD in 1968 in Introductory, and passed out in in 1980 (Sarojini Naidu - Orange House). Daughter of late Th. Bhim Singhji Mandawa. Youngest of four sisters (all ex-MGDians). Masters in English Literature (University of Rajasthan, 1984). Married to an Indian Army officer Brig. Karan Singh Rathore (17 Poona Horse, Armoured Corps). In the span of the last 30 years, have been involved in various welfare and organizational activities of the Indian Army alongwith running our farmhouse Sri Niwas Countryhouse as a BNB for international visitors. Have also worked with an events company as a Destination Wedding Planner and organizing theatre and plays in Jaipur. Currently overseeing the production of my daughter’s brand TOKREE based at Jaipur. Also pursuing my passion of revival of old leheriya and bandhani designs of yester years.
Mrs Mankotia, Jane Jija, Members of the guild, Col Sangwan, Teachers,
MGD’ians and our dear Jijas of the Golden and Ruby batches.
Jijas, I hope we can be as young at heart as you all when we come back for
our Golden and Ruby reunion.
It’s an extremely emotional moment to be back in school and for us to see
our teachers who have taken out time to be here for this assembly. Thank you
so much, it means a lot to us. Your teaching, guidance and advice was
instrumental in making us the women we are today.
It makes our silver jubilee celebration even more special as it coincides with
the birth centenary of our dear founder Rajmata Saheba Gayatri Devi. We
were fortunate to have had the opportunity to interact very closely with her
during the school’s golden jubilee celebration in our final year.
MGD gave us great teachers and mentors. It also gave us a home, a place
where we were happy and comfortable, a place that did its best to point us in
the right direction on our journey to adulthood. The varied skills we learnt
here, through less-than-traditional means, have held us in good stead
throughout our lives. Brushing, bathing, and looking somewhat presentable,
in the two minutes between waking up and the bell ringing, taught us to
multitask; finishing prep in one hour and still doing well in our exams, taught
us time management; the delicate task of negotiating between seniors and
friends was a lesson in diplomacy and handling cheeky juniors, was where
most of our corporate bosses, got their first training in delegating work!
Just being here, brings back so many memories.. the crazy times we had, the
fun, the laughter, tears.. the more than occasional fights and making up. This
is a time for us to relive old memories, revive old friendships and
acknowledge afresh, how MGD lives on in each of us as we go on about our
lives. This reunion has been a wonderful opportunity for us to reconnect with
the girls who have shaped our world and held a special place in our hearts
,despite the distance of 25 years and many, many miles.
To mark this homecoming, we’d like to present a little something, as a sign
of our gratitude. We have contributed 5 lacs towards construction of
washrooms for the girls. We hope to continue being involved in the welfare
of the school, that we have received so much from.
I say it with great pride that my batchmates have been successful in a wide
range of careers from being in the corporate field in finance, HR, IT, media ..
to artists, designers, entrepreneurs; from published authors to making their
mark at the UN and world bank; from successful homemakers to teachers,
doctors, CA, lawyers .. they are bringing glory to the MGD name, in their
own unique way.
REUNION ASSEMBLY - HEAD GIRL 1969
Good morning Rani Sahiba , Our Principal Mrs Mankotia , Jane jija
and my fellow MGDians.
The graduating batches of 50 th , 40 th and 25 th have assembled here today
to celebrate our shared history of this great institute and the birth
Centenary of our founder Maharani Gayatri Devi’s.
We the class of ‘69,remember with nostalgia our days spent here as we
roamed the corridors and hallways of this beloved school and learnt to
love it as our own.
Fifty years ago , we bid good bye to our classmates to venture out into
this world to find our destinies after receiving the most amazing
education from caring and qualified teachers led by a world class
founding principal. MGD molded us to who we are today. These
strengths have stayed with us and we have cherished them where ever
life has taken us .The fact that we are gathered here today to celebrate
for our reunions is a testimony to our love and gratitude for MGD.
Great institutes not only impart sound quality education they also build
character so that we go out into this world as responsible and good
human beings. Miss Lutter our founding principal used to say
“Ambassadors of our school and country ‘’
As we look back to our years since we finished from MGD we foundly
remember the days spent learning , singing, dancing and playing sports.
All of these envisaged in the dream of our beloved founder Maharani
Gayatri Devi to help meet the challenges life.
Some of us started our education here in 1 st or 2 nd Grades. This was the
only place we knew and it was our second home.
Between dormitories, classes, the Dining Hall and sports fields, we
learnt to absorb whatever came our way and we also made lifelong
Somewhere in between marching into assembly on Colonel Bogey
march , early morning PT and reciting our school prayers we grew up to
become M.G.Dians in the true sense of the word.
Many a times we remember the mischief we got into and the
punishments we were given. It was like the end of the world to us then,
but now it brings a smile to our lips and warmth in our hearts.
Today some of us has reached the peak of our careers as Doctors ,
Bureaucrats, Scientists, Teachers, Social Workers and successful
Entrepreneurs and of course the most important tasks of being
Mothers. MGD gave us direction and tools to meet our goals with
humility and grace.
You, the coming generation will face many challenges.
For our young MGDians,
As soldies of the climate crisis, you will lead your peers in bringing
much needed changes in attitude and life styles that will impact this
world at large. You will find innovative ways to solve this your
generation’s greatest challenges.
I conclude by wishing you all Good luck in whatever path you peruse
and to my dear class of 1969 I wish you all a wonderful and memorable
A word about Purna who will be doing the honors of introducing our
Purna , was one of the earliest hosteliers from our class. One could say
she is a total product of MGD in talent and sprit.
Dr.Purna Sharma is a well acclaimed Radiologist at an Atlanta Georgia
hospital specializing in breast imaging and intervention.
Very humble and down to earth she always had a sense of purpose
from the time we have known her . Her elephant memory and ability to
recall details are simply amazing. Would you believe it, she is able to
remember Kathak dance “bols’ sung by Mrs Aneja from the 1960s !
Saturday 31st August 2019
We had our Guild's AGM on 31st Aug 19.Our President Jane .H.SIngh Jija welcomed all the Mgdians and guests present and informed everyone about the guild activities which is going on and the forthcoming events.
The guilds directory is ready and is now visible on our website to only those who are the members of the guild and have logged in.
After Jane Jija ,our Principal Ms Archana S Mankotia also gave a short speech and informed about the excellent results of 10th and 12th classes.She also informed about lot of exciting and new extra caricullar activities introduced in the school.
Our Chief Guest was an Ex Mgdian AGM Dr Aruna Sharma( batch 1996).She is a junior scientific officer-Raj Pollution Control Board .She made us aware of the situation that might arise for the future generations if the pollution of gases ,plastics,household garbage etc is not controlled in time.She also gave us information on sustainable living with a presentation.
This informative meeting came to an end with the sumptuous MGD High Tea.Everyone parted to meet soon on 5th Oct 19 on Dandiya Night.
Hope to see you all too!!!!!!!
Our 25th Reunion
There was a sense of elation as I walked in my coral Leheriya saree through the path to the Quiet Corner. It had been a long journey to get there.
The excitement started building up a year before our 25th year reunion in MGD. It was going to be the 75th year at MGD, even more special! What will we wear for our felicitation assembly, where will we stay, what will we do when we meet? Hundreds of questions were asked and answered over Whatsapp groups across time zones and cities. Committees were formed, Excel sheets pored over, details discussed over months, as the days to the reunion drew near.
I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach for weeks, as I realised I might not be able to make it. A month before it had seemed even more unlikely because of work commitments. How can you not come? I was asked repeatedly. And I agreed. How could I not be there? Fast forward to a week before. Everyone from Delhi had booked their flight tickets. I was still on the fence. Four days before the D-day, I finally booked my ticket, although on a separate flight. I would wing it somehow, I decided.
At the security gate while boarding the flight to Jaipur, I noticed a group of smart ladies chatting excitedly. Of course they were MGDians! As I introduced myself and chatted with the Jijas, I felt better. I was feeling a bit miffed at being all alone, away from my batch mates. They were sending all these pictures on Whatsapp at the other airport, while I was going through a bout of FOMO. As we took our seats on the aircraft, I saw some more familiar faces and said hello. The MGDians had taken over! I didn’t feel alone anymore. The countdown to the reunion had truly begun.
I checked into the hotel where we were staying and walked to the floor where most of our rooms were. The corridor was reminiscent of the sounds of our hostel. Whoops of joy and excited chattering greeted me as I tried hard to talk to everyone all at once!
Our reunion kicked off with our very own Batch party that night. Some of us were meeting after 25 years but it seemed like only yesterday when we left school teary eyed with promises to be in touch forever. We laughed, sang along to favourite songs and danced the night away.
The next few days were like a rollercoaster as the events of the 75th celebration started. The Polo match brought back memories of the time when we attended Polo as schoolgirls when Prince Charles and Princess Diana had visited. We were in our traditional best at the Sundowner as we watched the graceful Ghoomar performance of the decades and danced to the tunes of the DJ.
We were a sea of coral and pink at our felicitation assembly in school. I was amazed at our batch turnout. Everywhere I looked I saw coral that day. The Golden girls (as we called them), the 50 year batch jijas, were the very picture of elegance in their gold and maroon outfits. It was wonderful to meet with our beloved teachers and catch up with them after the assembly.
The Gala dinner was the grand end to a memorable few days. For most of us it was bittersweet as we were leaving the next morning. We had revisited our childhood together and now we would be going back into the real world. After the dinner, we didn’t want it to end – chatting away till the early hours of the morning in one of the hotel rooms.
As all good things come to an end, so did the MGD 75th celebration. I brought back with me some wonderful memories- old stories that I had forgotten about, reconnected with old but never forgotten friends. What stood out for me, was the indomitable spirit and zest of the Jijas and my batch mates. Age is definitely just a number as far as Mgdians are concerned!
In the fateful year of 2001, I stepped on a stage for the first time and I was very nervous. I feared that I might stop in the middle or go blank etc. But the opposite happened- and that was the magic of the MGD stage.
Years passed, and I was on the stage almost every alternate day. But, after I passed out of school in 2013, I missed that feeling of being on that stage.
I was doing theatre, dance what not. But, somewhere the touch of that stage remained. I waited and hoped that someday soon I will be back with a bang.
And it happened this year -at the Guilds'Got Talent. I recited two hindustani poems back to back with the same confidence, enthusiasm, courage and boldness.
I could feel an Mgdian turned poetess saying aloud in her heart ' Our utmost for the highest'.
Thank you MGD Guild for making this possible. You have no idea how much this means to all of us. Standing and singing the school song once again, was literally 'Shout till the rafters ring...'.
I am honoured and blessed to have been a part of such a memorable evening. I look forward to many more jijas'.
The best part of it was the obsession for the diaries from alumni as well as the MGDians currently enrolled. I would receive personal messages expressing therein the love for Jija and me for designing and expressing our experiences in MGD in the form of a package!
Kudos to Jija's initiative and visions! Thanks to her for providing me an opportunity to assist her and be a part of her noble mission!
So, what happens when you visit school after a gap of a few years ?
The guard welcomes you, as he ushers you in, even though he may have never seen you, because for him, your being an #mgdian is enough.
The iconic, one-of-its-kind school building , beckons you to hurry up, she has not seen you in a while, you’ve been missed.
The old, tall trees, standing guard like silent sentinels, swish and sway , as the cool breeze caresses and welcomes you.
You feel it.
As you cross the Rose garden on your left and move up the pathway leading to the stadium, all that is familiar, all that warms the cockles of the heart, all that has the power to make you laugh and cry at the same time, emerges before your eyes, and you are a little girl again!
This is Home!
You are Home!
Stage and mike when I see these two things I can not stop myself from just using them with a lively performance and without any fear but this time when I was performing and hosting one of its kind event Guilds Got Talent in MGD I had butterflies in my stomach,a mixed feeling of excitement,happiness and nervousness as I was going to perform on the MGD stage after 25 years.As the moment approached and when I stood up on the stage of my MGD the happiness doubled and I started feeling it’s that stage which made me fearless,it’s that stage which made me confident,it’s that stage which made me ready to face the world.It was the stage of my School and all my fears and nervousness disappeared as the audience were my Jija’s and my juniors.It was a moment of joy and happiness and a moment which can not be described in words,it’s the moment which I will cherish all my life.While hosting I felt so proud and nostalgic and felt as it was yesterday when I used to perform for my house,I feel so lucky to be a part of this wonderful event. Thank you guild for Guilds Got Talent.Looking forward for more such events and performances.