By Shruti Chheda | Opening Doorz Editorial | September 17, 2019
For a 14-year-old boy to say that it was a “holy feeling” when he first walked into his classroom at Don Bosco High School, Matunga, is indeed deep awareness of God’s hand in his life so far. “I felt pure, fresh and peaceful. Besides I was in a boy’s only school so it was comfortable for me to make friends easily,” says Tanish Vilas Bagade.
Tanish is not your ordinary student, whose parents have access to resources to put their children in the best of institutions. Tanish is extraordinary, in the sense that he knows he has to work hard to reach where he has to. And it is this sense of hard work and dedication, along with his talent with the soccer ball that got Fr Glenford Lowe to get him admission to the Don Bosco High School in STD X, this Academic Year.
Speaking about Tanish and his talent, Fr Glen says, “I spotted him while he was playing in our Oratory Team and then his mother and father requested if he could get admission in Don Bosco. Since he was of a very good character, good in games too I recommended him. He was lucky since there was a vacancy in STD IX and he also came from an English medium school.”
Tanish now represents Don Bosco School in the U-16 B team; he is the main striker of the Oratory Team in the Rustomjee YPL U16. Soccer is his life but then, being a strict disciplinarian, Fr Glen ensures that Tanish spends enough time with his books as well.
“I would not have been able to come so far without Fr Glen’s help,” says Tanish, sitting in Fr Glen’s office. He was earlier in Swami Vivekananda English High School, Kurla, and being part of the school team has made him proud, a joy he cannot express. At a loss for words, he explains, “I feel honoured to be a part of this team.” Throwing light on the atmosphere at school, he reveals, “I find it calm here. Students are helpful towards one another. In the previous school, there was less acquaintance with sports while here we have a good exposure to sports. All the students in Don Bosco are friendly and easy-going. Considering I come from a slum, they were very welcoming and it has been easy making new friends.”
Speaking about the discipline in school, Tanish is amazed: “Here in Don Bosco, our teachers are particular about things such as neatness, project submissions and other work. It feels good to have a strict staff in order to be particular. This imbibes discipline, spreads awareness and makes an individual responsible,” says the lad who lives in Chunabatti.
When queried as to what his goals are, he says, “Cricket has developed a lot in India. This is not the case with other sports such as football and hockey. My biggest dream is to represent India at the international level and make my country proud. I also want to develop the game of football in India.”
As we get ready to leave, Tanish’s mother who has been sitting quietly all this while, tells us that Tanish is a dedicated boy and he gives his 100 percent in everything he does. “‘Tanishq’ means diamond and a diamond shines brightly only after it goes through intense fire. When people tell me my son shines like a diamond, I feel proud,” she smiles.
A diamond indeed he is turning out to be on the soccer field. A few days ago, in the Rustomjee YPL U16 match, he bagged the ‘Star of the Match Award’. Don Bosco Oratory team won 5-0 with Tanish slamming in two goals in the second half.