Friday, April 23, 2010


Presently, THE DAWN CLUB Personality Development course is in progress. I spend my summer vacation with these teenagers, and find a great deal of joy by helping them, grooming them. During the sessions, we have blast of a time… Jokes, stories, skits apart from Workshops, Speeches, Debates and Group Discussions.

I tell all these teenagers to be alert and watchful… remain always thirsty and open-minded. “It is your readiness, your openness that will decide whether you will gain anything from this course or not,” I keep reminding them, almost in every session. “Each one of you holds a mirror for others,” I tell hem, “Be awake… A teacher appears when the student is ready.”

In the last session, the 16-year-old Janvi failed to understand the meaning of my lines. “Sir, what do you mean by ‘holding a mirror?” she asked me, with all her innocence. I told Janvi, that if we are eager to learn, we can learn from any one, any time and anywhere. “I may be your teacher, but I can learn so much from you, if I am open, thirsty,” I told her, “Thus, you become my teacher… You hold a mirror to me, so that I can see myself well, improve, grow.”

I told them about Dhanya, one of the students in the class. “I have never seen her missing a class or coming late,” I told the class. “If she can not come, she would call me up, discuss her problem, and seek my permission. If she is stuck in a traffic, she would call me up or send a message saying ‘Sir, I may be late by 5 minutes,” I informed them. Then, I asked them, “Why does Dhanya do that?”

Some one said, “Because, being regular and punctual is a ‘value’ for her.”

I agreed. “I may be her teacher, but, I have not ceased learning. I liked this quality about Dhanya… and I try to make that quality my own. I try to emulate her. “If a certain session is good, she would send a thank-you message, even before she would reach home,” I added. “These are things in life for me to appreciate and learn… No matter from whom.”

I told them one of the Zen stories.

One day, a very learned, very famous Scholar from the West visited a Zen master. During the course of their discussion, the Zen master served tea to the Scholar. What surprised the Western intellectual was: even though the cup was full to the brim and tea was overflowing, the Eastern master kept pouring it in the cup.

“Stop pouring,” the Scholar shouted, “there is no place, the cup is full.”

“Likewise, my friend, your mind is full with your own ideas and opinions,” the Zen master responded, “There is no place there.”

“A sound advice,” Natasha, another participant,  voiced instantly. It was clear, that she had liked the story. Such instant  flash of enlightenment, in Zen terminology, is called – ‘Satori’.

“Sir, I have something to share,” it was Ekta's turn to be enlightened.
“What is that?” I enquired.

“Sound advice,” she replied.

“Go ahead,” I gave the signal.

Ekta began. “When you are in big trouble, and go to your parents for a sound advice, what you get is: 99 percent sound and 1 percent advice.”

I saw me in the Ekta's innocent mirror. I was smiling.

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