In a heart-warming tribute to his beloved alma mater, St. Augustine’s High School, Pravin Pillai embarked on a remarkable journey of dedication and love. What’s more, this heartfelt tribute took the form of a unique 50-kilometre cycle ride. On a rainy Sunday morning, the 24th of September, at 6 am, Pravin set off on a journey that not only celebrated his cherished school’s 50th anniversary but also conveyed a powerful message to the community.
Upon successfully completing the cycle ride, Pravin shared his thoughts:
“Just being in Vasai is a blessing in itself. Having visited some of most scenic locations, both domestic and international, only made me appreciate the beauty we have here.
Being part of the newly formed alumni association for the school I went to, was an additional task I had taken onto myself since a year. This year marked the Golden Jubilee of St. Augustine’s High School which was a milestone for the school that marked many firsts.
In retrospect, I guess that was playing on my mind during one of my cycling rides when I thought of doing a 50 km ride to commemorate the 50th year of the school. I shared this with my alumni team, classmates and also with other friends who love cycling.
I had made up my mind to do a solo if need be, as both, the school and cycling, were things close to my heart. Having crossed 50 this year lent an additional charm to the magic number.
Many expressed their interest, but expressed their inability, physical and otherwise. Having less than a week to prepare did not help matters much. We set the ride date for Sunday, 24th Sept, to coincide with the closing ceremony for the Golden Jubilee celebrations to be held in the evening.
A friend volunteered and I expected the numbers to go up. But the number stayed a solid 2 till the day of the ride. The silver lining being that the logistics and planning were non-existent.
Saurabh and I met outside the school at 6am. After fixing the AVA flags we started off, 15min later than scheduled. Our route was through Naigaon, Vasai Fort, Suruchi beach, Rangaon – Bhuigaon beach, Rajodi, Arnala and back to School via Ghas Road and Chulne.
We met rains at Arnala which gave us company to the very end of the ride which was a good 55kms, as we overcompensated for any errors on the tracking app.
It was a very satisfying ride to say the least. It was my tribute to both the school and the place where I grew up. I pray that more people explore, discover and experience the magic that the human mind and body can do.
So what next? 50 AVA riders for 50km. 75kms for 26th Jan. Who knows?“
Pravin’s words resonate with the sentiments of many who share a profound connection with their alma mater and community. His cycle ride transcended the physical challenge, symbolizing dedication and love, while also emphasizing our collective responsibility to contribute positively to the environment and society.
As we commemorate the completion of 50 golden years for St. Augustine’s High School, this extraordinary journey serves as a compelling reminder that our journey forward should be marked not only by reflection on the past but also by a commitment to a brighter, eco-conscious, and more inclusive future. Such inspiring initiatives sets an example for us all – to pursue our passions, nurture our environment, and hold dear the institutions that have played pivotal roles in our lives.