Sunday, September 22, 2013

Teacher and Student

There was Hindi Diwas (Hindi Day) related programs last week at IIT Kharagpur. Attended one Kabi Sammelan (congregation of poets) briefly. The anchor-organizer told why arranging such a sammelan is difficult. He was told by an experienced person that it is like walking of a clay doll along a path which passes through a river. The creative self of Kabi (poet) can throw up surprises with satire on current time, anti-establishment lines or something which may not be palatable for everyone in the audience.

Stumbling upon a social networking place where young students converse is not easy either for teachers as it may embarrass. It could be one of those 'Confession' pages of facebook or questions posed in Quora. But it is a good opportunity if he enters those pages as students and not as a teacher, as one who wants to be educated. He may get some feedback for himself which may not be available in usual channel. If it is good, his confidence increases. If not, he should humbly introspect. Of course, he should be able to separate signal from noise. He should not get carried away either way as this social networking space is dominated by certain fraction of the student community having strong likes or dislikes and / or specific traits!

Not every teacher may be as lucky :-) to be a part of student conversation, being loved or hated (love me, hate me, but you cannot ignore me :-)) !! In fact, most of them are not. Still if one does not feel uncomfortable with the way young students converse, it is worth going through their experience, the issues that occupy them. And one may be sweetly surprised to see that even if baser stuffs usually purge the space, it is the occasional gems that get most 'like's, the ones that exhibits the higher self of one - the struggle, the sacrifice.

Before I paste two such 'Confessions' verbatim here, for which I would also like to say respect _/\_ like student friends, I remember one lecture of young Ramakrishna Mission monk of a US centre. I first heard it in 2006 during my one semester association with USC. But every time I hear it, it is a humbling experience. The title of the talk is 'Teacher and Student'. I made a youtube version of it with our young students taking the role of teachers in village schools which is available here (Link).

---- verbatim from students' public post ----

[The following is about the range of difficulties a student can face and how he fights them and emerges as winner. We perhaps do not teach this to students. Rather we are taught by them when we read this aspect of their life.]

This one is the best among confessions, i have read till now._/\_ here it goes:

#I see a lot of my juniors confessing about love , sex , make outs, awesum college life. i want to confess something else .

1. I joined heritage in its initial batches. i was very introvert and was a ragged a hell lot . A belt was tied around neck i was made to roam around the college in my first day. When i complained to my dad he thrashed me saying that i was a loser and wasting his hard earned money.( he hoped that i was in IIT) I felt liked being raped that day, not by my college seniors but by my dad.

2. I got a very low grade in my first semester because i was pressurized by my dad to appear for IIT again. I Got a severe thrashing from him again. my mom somehow rescued me.

3. In second semester i mustered up enough courage to propose to my best friend but she rejected me because in her words ""she didnt wanted to be ridiculed by her friends "". she stopped talking to me after that. I was heart broken as she and my mom were the only people i shared everything with.

4.during the 4th semester break , while i was returning home after teaching a student . i got a phone call informing me that my mom had expired. my world came crashing that day. I cried for for days on end and somehow picked myself up as i had no other alternative 

5. My attendance fell very low that semester and i was summoned by the principal . when i told him about my mothers death he replied "I hear this lie everyday .please bring me the death certificate if u have one." Then while i was leaving he told me "no need to bring death certificate , useless guys like u can even fake that .call your dad"

6. my frnds always ridiculed me because i was loser .i dint laugh at their jokes .to mix with them i started drinking .i dint like the taste but liked the high . i often used to act drunk to appear more cool. i learned to call girls "magi "" but never knew its real meaning . that helped me survive college 

7. it was the campussing day , i got rejected that day again .hoped to make it to the next company. but was unsucessfull till the and of campussing . i had tried a lot . attended English speaking classes (my English was horrible) , brought new pair of shirt . when my dad heard this he told me not to call again and this time i didnt feel remorse or regret for him . for the ntire night i contemplated suicide but couldn't as i had promised my mom that i will shine one day .

8 . i started doing private tutiions and preparing for CAT. i gave my everything. I got 99.87 percentile but couldnt make it again to a big IIM because of my low grades. What had i done now to deserve this ? i felt. I finally got admitted into decent college and a helpful bank manger arranged for loan .

9.After passing out i got into volvo eicher as a junior manager . i dint last for 3 months because i couldnt lick my boss s boot properly .My service was terminated because of being inefficient .

10. i started making iPhone apps in my leisure time while i was applying to a few companies . Slowly i took it up as a more serious start up. got hold of 2 more friends like me who were from cs background and were unable to find a job .

11. in 2011 i made a small office. by the end of 2011 i had a small group of 8 engineers working with me. In 2012 we bagged several contracts from companies like mobiquity, exxon mobile and the workforce increased to 80 developers. In march 2013 i will be applying for turnover of over 5 crores .

I dont know how to thank god for his blessings . i thank that senior who ragged me in my first day at college, that girl who dumped me , my professors who ridiculed me, the numerous friend who though i was a loser . it is you who gave me the courage , the fire , the anger to succeed against all odds . seriously no hard feelings guys , u made me what i am. i dont stay with my dad but i send him enough so that he can lead a comfortable life .
My advise to all juniors. shine in life .When a loser like me can why cant u? never let people say u cant do it . many people might have faced similar or more lows in college life but NEVER EVER give up. Let not a broken relationship , failed grade,lost job opportunity or "status" among friends define you . And never lose faith in humanity in goodness. there are few bad people but there are a lot more good people around here . I met a lot of good people,professo­rs in my college .and believe me heritage taught me a lot Lastly MA, hope u could read this. I love u a lot.

[This is about how much sacrifice a young student can make, beyond the manual of a teacher like us.]

If you are one to go by likes, as of now, in 24 hours, this got 21000+ likes!

#884 24th may 2013 was the day which changed my views about life... my room mate at iit had fallen in love in the 3rd year of our college to one of the most chirpy, flamboyant girl of our batch. i had no particular reservations for their relationship other than the fact that they were quite opposites my buddy was shy, intro and she altogether was different and i actually felt that she did not love my friend as much as he did. actually becoz of her nature i thought she took their relationship very lightly. but whatever be my notion both got along well then i got placed in the usa and left while my friend got placed in an mnc in india . we kept in touch for a few months but like it happens usually we got busy in our lives and could not interact much. i took my parents to usa and my links with india got completely cut. now 9 years later i am on an business trip to india i thot of meeting my college friends and contacted many thru fb and likewise. i tried contacting my roomie but met with no responses.when 7, 8 of us met i got this news that my roomie died 5 years ago in the delhi blast at karol bagh. i was shocked and cudnt sink in the fact he was his parents only son and that troubled me more about how those people wud be surviving. so i took his address and went to meet them. when i entered the place(a simple yet utterly beautiful one) i found a group of four 2 old men and 2 old women were having their evening snacks and were smiling, laughing and talking i went on and introduced myself to them they all greeted me with a lot of love and asked me to join in and served me some tea. i took it and was left with no words on how to ask them about how things have been over the years. so i decided to leave and as i was about to rise the gates opened and my friend's gf entered (i thot so these two finally married). she was surprised to see me and welcomed me and asked me to stay over the dinner. after a lot of pestering i agreed and later mustering a lot of courage i asked her so how's life ? to which she smiled and replied good. after a moment silence she continued" we were happy very happy together and were about to get married when it all happened i was devastated but then i looked at these 4 people (his and her parents) and decided that i wud have to move on. i bought a new place brought in all four together and are now living happily." she said when i do sumthing for them i know shubhu smiles and its his happiness that i always want. i asked her how is she managing she said love is not only about his physical presence in my life it is about celebrating togetherness and that we do each day with our parents and i know somewhere he is also around here watching our every move keeping us protected. and then she added wish i had his child. after listening to all this i realised the strenghth of their love and coudnt help envying my friend on how lucky he was to have found this girl who is selflessly busy playing her role in their relation without the society bound order of marriage etc. i cudnt help feeling small at the girl's immense strength and pure love that their relation stands on. i relised how wrong i was in those days. she said she has enough memories to last for a lifetime and said. " log aksar humse humari khushmijaji ka karan pucha karte hai to hum bh palat kat kar kahte hai, huzoor apki aindagi mein yaadein hai par humari to har ek yaad hi jindagi hai" a huge salute to you girl and lots of respect to you. indeed life is beautiful its just the matter of ones view to take the challenges.

Salute to the girl! It is with the hope you get after reading such stories, that the world goes on!

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