Friday, October 14, 2011

JUST THE TOUCH OF THAT SHADOW...



I just wound up teaching Priyanka. She too is preparing for her CPT. She is good in studies, particularly the key subject – Accountancy. Just before she left, I said, “Priyanka, there are two requisites for your real success in this field: your aptitude and your attitude.” I continued, “I have been teaching you Accountancy for almost four years now. So, I know you have a great flair for it. Yes, your aptitude is in place. All that I remind you is that - let your attitude be in place, too.”


Priyanka was old enough to understand the meaning of that word – ‘Attitude’. Still, I found myself talking about it. 


I told Priyanka, “The very first thing when it comes to attitude is that you should be doing what you do for the ‘right reasons’… You should do it out of your own ‘conscious choice’ and not out of any compulsions such as peer or parents pressure. In other words, you must feel deep within you, ‘I do it for myself… It is my life. It is about making my own life worthwhile… It is about feeling good about myself.’” 


I told Priyanka, “Next, you should be driven by the force of inspiration.” I knew, she would find it a little difficult to grasp this. So, I added, “Where does passion come from? Where do you find the motivation to work really hard, to commit and dedicate yourself fully to your cause? What teaches you to set your priorities in life… to say ‘No’ to things which hinder you along your path?”

Priyanka seemed intrigued. I continued, “It is Life around you that provides you the inspiration… the people, the events, the drama of the Universe.” It is there happening all the time… You just need to watch it… make yourself ‘available’. When you are touched by all these, it means you are ‘inspired’.”


I really hope, Priyanka was able to understand the meaning of whatever I told her just a while ago. I always believe, the heart sees better than the eyes… and the eyes listen better than the ears. The mind is irrelevant.

The other day, early in the morning, Joe, my college buddy who lives in my home town, Mangalore, called up to tell me that he had met Prof. B.S.Raman. Joe knew how much I worshipped this man. How much inspired I have been… and what a miracle he has caused in my life. “Now, listen to me, you idiot,” Joe yelled from the other end, “You better come down to Mangalore before April and meet Sir. He said, they are permanently moving to Ooty after that.”


“Okay, my idiot buddy,” I responded. 


We were all the quintessential idiots during our college days… and every time we are on phone or when we meet, believe me, we just can’t be anybody else other than being those idiots!


I was a Mr. Nobody from Nowhere. The school and the early part of my college life were extremely uneventful. Filled with fears and self-doubts… I was completely clueless about what I wanted to do in my life. I had never heard about the word ‘Success’, and so, there was no question of I thinking about it… leave alone working towards it! There was this killing strain of inferiority complex. It was chronic. You need to suffer from it to understand how killing it can be… What it can do to a young man’s spirit, zest and outlook towards life. Yes, it can really kill him! To me, it almost did!


It was in my F.Y.B’Com., that this simple-looking soul called Prof. B.S.Raman came to teach our 150-odd-all-boys packed classroom. And, my life was destined to change.


My Hero, Prof. Raman, had written almost all the text books that we were using in the college – right from 11th std to T.Y. B’Com. His text books were very popular all through our State. He wrote with simplicity and even the dumbest could understand it. I was one of those dumbest! A great text-book author often is a lousy teacher. Many of them are miserable on stage. Prof. Raman was electrifying the moment he would mount the platform. Other teachers envied him; the Principal never ever interfered in what Prof. Raman did. The students had to follow the unique code of conduct set by this man. You love it or hate it… but, you had to accept it. Those who, occasionally tried to rebel, had to regret about it. Prof. Raman was God, and that was it.


You may be a great teacher and a great author. But, can you remain so committed and devoted to what you did for so long as Prof. Raman did? His passion was contagious. His commitment was soul-stirring. His hard work was back-breaking… sometimes, so painful for us to see. Most of the students adored him as I did. Many felt suffocated and craved to break free. 


For me, it was a break-through. I saw my messiah in him, the one who came to redeem me from the shackles of my anxieties about life. The one who brought me hope. I liked the subject he taught us… so much that I started teaching it to my friends (Now, you can imagine, how dumb they were!). When my friends started telling me that I taught well, I felt good. They told about me to their friends from other colleges, who wanted me to teach them. Then, came some pretty girls with the request. I felt I was ‘Somebody from Somewhere’! All of them began calling me the ‘Jr. Raman’. I felt I was on the top of the mountain! By the time I was giving my T.Y exams, I had spent all my time teaching others in my village. When the results were out, my students scored much better than I did. But, I had no regrets. I had found my ‘Vocation’ – teaching. I had destroyed the demons of self-doubt and fear about my life. I had come out with ‘distinction’… and, no one else could understand the bliss of that victory.


And, you won’t believe me, if I tell you this: For all those three years of ‘renaissance’ – my Golden Era’ – I had never ever spoken a word with my Hero. All that I did was: I sat somewhere in the middle of the crowd, lost and faceless, and just observed and admired this soul like an obsessed lover. I had no guts to face him, leave alone raise my hand in the class to ask him a question or answer one. I had the right answers very often, but my stage fear would leave me crippled. I used to feel so bad, so desperate, so often at my plight. To make the things worse, I had hailed from a vernacular medium (Kannada). Konkani was my mother tongue and English was a ghost for me. So, all this made a lethal combination… and, to become a man like my Hero was either a foolish fantasy or dare-devil dream.


What happened in life was exactly the opposite. Because I wanted to become like my Hero, I had to do something about English. I sat after the college hours in our massive college-library and started reading. I still read today to improve my English. And, I write in English, teach in English, train in English…. and, even think in English. I hope, I do a fairly decent job out there.


Then, to teach the way my Hero did, I had to beat my stage fear, learn to speak well… really, really well. When I came to Mumbai, about thirty years ago, I found on the roadside a book called ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill. “Whatever a man conceives and believes in his mind, he can achieve it,” the book was blaring at me this message. “Everything starts with your desire… Your definite-chief aim.”


Well, Dale Carnegie soon followed. Then, hundreds and hundreds of self-help came along. When I taught, I taught well… I taught from my heart, my soul. My passion spoke. My emotions spoke. My ideals spoke… and, before I knew it, I had already founded THE DAWN CLUB to empower the young ones who were haunted by the ghosts of fear of Public Speaking and who suffered from low self-esteem. I have been able to help thousands of such young souls over these years, and, I believe, I have done a fairly decent job out there.

Yes, all this happened because Prof. Raman, my Hero, touched my life. And, he touched me with out a single word. Inspiration doesn’t need words, sermons, discourses. A longing heart will do… a heart deeply moved by someone’s presence, some event or some qualities. I wanted to be like my Hero. That burning desire was the dynamite needed for the explosion in my being. What you deeply admire, you attract; your inmost becomes your outmost… You become the Hero you worship. This is the age-old Law of Attraction. It is like the prayer. They are answered by God who you speak to only through your heart. 


In the all-time-great movie, ‘BEN-HUR’, the mighty man Judah Ben-Hur, who never believed in a Messiah to save him, in the end, is shown touched by just the shadow of a passing man. His mother and sister, who were outcasts due to the curse of leprosy, are shown ‘healed’ of the disease by this very shadow. All that happens in one final scene, just the shadow does it… as the hearts on the wayside long to be healed… 

Jesus Christ touched lives like that!


I want to meet my Master this time, before he moves to Ooty for good. This time around, I will gather my courage to speak to him. To say what I, always, wanted to say for more than three long decades, “Sir, You have touched me. Thank you.”


Maybe, Priyanka will understand now, what I meant by ‘Inspiration’.


GERALD D’CUNHA

7 comments:

Girish Dhameja said...

Yes attitude do matter a lot. There are time when the attitude inside you drives you, rather let us drive our attitude.

Right Approach and luv to subject what you do can take you to heights but a small mistake and you are at ground. Not to stop after reaching to ground as ground is a launch pad to go to top.

Life itself is a big teacher and we often fail to understand what lesson we are experiencing and what we should learn from it. I really admire your way of catching those small moments and benchmarking it to a chapter.

Thank you to Professor Raman for teaching to Mr Gerald D’Cunha and Thank you Gerry sir for teaching us.

Gerald D'Cunha said...

Thanks Girish.

If Prof. Raman had not taught me, I do not know what I would have done in life. Perhaps, some khetiwadi in my village!

Good, that he came in life... and, I in yours!

Thank u sir, once again!

Love, Sir

Manjeet Singh said...

15-10-11
The Story goes on. SOMEBODY INSPIRES SOMEONE. Inspiration comes when you are no more. Mind stops. Feeling is intense. Words are weak. burdensome. incapable. Inspiration is the whisper of UNIVERSE. The other becomes the medium. A reflection. An echo. My salutation to you that you can freeze it in words. But how will you convey this divine experience to Prof Raman? I wonder. And what about his inspiration. Amazing Network.

Gerald D'Cunha said...

Hello Manjeet sir,

I really like the way you communicate in writing! a word can be a sentence... A word can be a world!

It makes us pause, slow down... come back again. And, there that 'satori'- 'Wow' -experience!

Yes, how will I communicate my experience to my Hero when I will meet him? Words are, in deed, weak... they are incapable, I know.

Looking forward to a long interaction thru this blog...

Thank you, once again...

Love, GERRY

Gerald D'Cunha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Sir...i must say that you have touched me! I was over confident about my CPT... But now, i feel that i do have enough 'aptitude' but somewhere i lack the 'attitude' which one should have to achieve success. If 'attitude' goes wrong, my 'aptitude' will surely go wrong somewhere... Thank you sir for teaching me an important lesson of life which i will preserve with me all my life... and I will, surely, teach others the same.

Thank u, once again sir.

PRIYANKA

Gerald D'Cunha said...

Thank u so much Priyanka for your comment. I am glad, this post, inspired by u, left a mark on u.

I do not think u have shown any over-confident attitude. Maybe a bit cool... yes, a bit casual at times. Well, u can always gear up... and now is the time.

Priyanka, the inspired work has a distinct beauty. The inspired life, too!

My best wishes and blessings to u always,

Love, sir.