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Visa Oshwal Boarding

Visa Oshwal Boarding

He chose Visa Oshwal Boarding which is now known as Oshwal Jain Primary School. It has currently completed 75 years. He started there at the third term of Form 1 and stayed there for 4.5 years until he finished his Form 4. In between he also went to Meru for 1 term and came back to attend college to learn bookkeeping and typing for 1 term.
He chose this place as he had friends from Meru living there and the most important was his diet. They provided Indian food for breakfast, puri and tea one day and bread and jam the other day. Lunch was usually curry and chapati and for dinner it was Thepla and Bhakri every alternate day. The Bhakri was very famous, served with mung curry and on special occasions was served with onions and tomatoes. On the weekends the canteen also served Gathia and Bhajia. The boarding had accommodation of 6 -12 students in every dormitory.

They had open showers and shared toilets between 2 dormitories. At the age of 15, Sobhag went on a trip to India in a steamer train arranged by the boarding. It was for a group of 40 students. The trip covered many places such as Seychelles, Goa and Bombay. From Bombay their journey was in a steam train to Jamnagar, Srinagar, Delhi, Kolkata (Howrah) and Kanyakumari in the south and coming back to Mumbai. The steam train journey took 3 months, in the day they visited places and at night the train use to move from place to place. Sobhag’s father paid Rs. 600 for the whole trip.

In Delhi, the group was taken to meet Indira Gandhi (the daughter of the Prime Minister) and Dr Sarvapalli RadheKrishnan. He also visited the village where his family originates from – ‘Kajurda’ in Gujarat.

Visa Oshwal Boarding taught him many life lessons, out of one was management and organisation. His father gave him a notebook to log his daily expenses such as food, haircuts, etc. He had to take care of his belongings. He also picked up some bad habits, as the food was not free and enough, him and his friends stole food from other students’ lockers and sneaked out of the halls at night without getting caught by security for fun.

Every year the school organised an annual community gathering called ‘अधिवेशन’ where all the community was invited and various traditional dishes were served. The students were supposed to manage the whole programme. Lots of performances were conducted by students to display to the community such as acrobatics, long jumps, high jumps, triple jump (hop, step and jump). The students were trained to make pyramids creating tiers with 10 students on the base, one less person the immediately above tier and forming a triangular structure. They also had a sport where the student must jump through burning rings made with different shapes – round, square or triangles. The rings were made with metal covered with cotton and they were lit on fire. The sport also had difficulties when new rings were added to jump from. Sobhag has done these sports with ease.

During every holiday, his parents arranged a transport for him to come home.