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A moving leave-taking letter from a teacher considered an institution within Loyola. We shall miss you, Tr. D’Souza.

Source: The Loyolean, Chp 6, Vol II, 2006 

In a little while I will be ending the longest chapter of my life, spanning over a period of over twenty-six years... the best years of my life, and I feel this compulsion to address these lines to that section of the Loyola Family who have made these years so rich and fulfilling for me.

I have always considered the teenage Loyoleans I met in my classes and out, as precious gems- rough, unpolished yet unique and rare. Some glittering even before your hand has touched them, some seemingly dull, waiting to be noticed and treated in such a way that they can glow radiantly, some that may escape your view, so that you must look out for them and help them set themselves in such a surrounding that compliments their beauty and finally those many that give out the brilliant lights, if you are willing to handle them correctly, so that you may perceive the light in them.

This, in short, has been the essence of my twenty-six years of interaction with you and the experience has been richly rewarding.

As I write these words... a myriad of faces- chiefly eyes and smiles race through my mind’s eye... way back in 1979-80: brilliant, challenging eyes; shy, hesitant looks; wise old eyes in young faces; pained sad eyes waiting to light up if you nod at them or murmur a word of encouragement. I see the same expressions in 2006. The Loyolean will always be a Loyolean! One can never be permanently separated from him or her, as my long years of experience have shown. This is why I feel the word “Farewell” is meaningless to me. I am in touch with Loyoleans of the 1980 batch and down the years; I hope this will continue through the rest of the years allotted to me by Him.

An added joy to me is that I leave Loyola along with a batch of students who have been real trumps, with whom I have enjoyed some of the best moments of my teaching English Literature. I can never forget how amazed I was at the innovative manner in which you presented the play Julius Caesar in St. Joseph’s Hall. You have made my last year at Loyola truly happy.

I also express my gratitude to the thousands of boys and girls whom I have taught or interacted with, for causing me to enjoy every moment of my career, even some of the tedious History classes!! Your ready wit, your open, frank discussions, your courage to disagree with my point of view, your affection and above all your openheartedness in accepting all my reprimands, are landmarks in my teaching career at Loyola.

Finally, I hope and pray that each and every one of you will live your life as a good human being. No doubt, fame, wealth, and titles are important, and many of you have achieved them, but what about the brave Loyolean who has given up all this to serve his community.

I might cite here the example of a Loyolean of the 1967 batch of ICSE- an lIT architect who has spent his life in building business in Goa, not amassing wealth, but saving innocent people from being swindled by greedy contractors. He is well known as the most honest architect in Goa. Cheers Loyola!!

I might also mention a student of mine, 1995 ISC Arts and a product of IIM Ahmedabad who refused a lucrative offer in a multinational company to take up a less paying job in a company that served the community. These are our unsung heroes! Good, compassionate human beings.

Let me end on this note, that for me each and every Loyolean I have known is dear and precious. May you glow and shine in your own life spreading the beautiful message of Loyola- “Men and Women for Others.” God bless you.

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