WHO KNOWS MY STORY BEST?
I have just returned from my session with the BMS kids in the Mumbai College which I spoke about in my today’s morning post.
Anupam had invited me to conduct it, and I had agreed, without even my second thought.
Anupam wanted me to make these kids ponder over the questions: How I chose what I did? Have I chosen BMS by a conscious choice or by default? Is BMS my choice or my parents’? Am I happy doing it… or, do I regret? Am I giving my best… Or, is my heart somewhere else?
Anupam is a young, dymamic trainer. In fact, he is a fresh BMS kid himself. But, unlike any other BMS kid, in Anupam’s case, it was training and mentoring that was crystal as a summer-day sky… He would invest his energies to achieve this goal. His, uncle Uday, had sown the initial seeds in Anupam… His late grandpa had inspired him with his volcanic energy… His aunts and sister had propelled him to go the extra-mile… And, so, here was our Anupam, at a very young age, in the ‘business of moulding lives’. The young lives, to be precise.
In the morning post, I had written why I had agreed to join this kid’s bandwagon!
Now, just after returning from there, I truly feel that I did a great thing being there with those young kids.
As Anupam wanted, I asked these kids to share with me this: Why did you choose BMS? And, as I always do, I made them tear their hearts and tell…
The process of choosing our field is very fascinating. Hardly one of them, perhaps, was absolutely clear about BMS. The rest chose it through the process of usual churning… confusion, lack of information, poor marks or good marks, parental pressure, pier pressure, society pressure, the influence of our role models… or our own stupid stubbornness. Whatever it is, there IS a method to this madness called ‘choosing our fields’.
I am, always, fascinated by this process, this method to madness!
How did I choose what I do today? Was I a bright kid? Did my parents know enough to guide me through? Did my role models in school or college come on the scene?
I shared with them my story. Now, my story is best known to me… and who else can best tell it?
I love what I do today… including this second blog of the day. I would love to do it even on my hungry stomach… with my empty pockets… and without caring for my next meal, too. They say what we do without being told… without being concerned about time, money or adulation… is your ‘Vocation’ in life.
If that is so, I am a blessed soul.
A young girl said, she was very fat when she was in school. So, she took extra-ordinary interest in knowing how people remain lean and fit. She not only shed her weight, she wanted to be a Dietician. But then, now she is here. Any regrets? No. Can she see the dots getting connected? She does.
A young man wrote beautiful lyrics right from class 3. All his friends sent out their feelings in the air… I knew, from that, he wrote well. Does he still write? He does. Does he see the connection? He does.
Another good-looking girl said, it was modeling that she wanted to pursue. Parents put their feet down. Is she enjoying BMS? Oh yes, she is. Is she able to see the connection? She is.
A Gujrati boy said, I was least interested in studies. My father wanted me to study…but not B’Com…. BMS was the best to develop my all-round personality… Hence, I went by my dad’s decision. Any regret? No. Does he see the connection? He does.
Another soft-spoken girl wanted to pursue fine arts. Her dad was a business man and told her this: “You create art that sells! Be practical in life.” This girl hopes to create art work and with the marketing skills she now hones now, she hopes to promote it, one day. “Any way, doing BMS requires a great deal of creativity,” she muses.
Everyone had a story to share. Some interesting, some funny, some inspiring… and some heart-wrenching.
I shared mine. I was a Mr. Nobody from Nowhere. I had this ghost of inferiority complex thrusted in me due to my vernacular medium, my killing stage-fear… and financial constraints at home. I told them how that consumed my mind day in and day out, how it crippled me with fear and anxiety when I was young like them. But then, when my idol, Prof. Raman came to teach me, how I began to dream silently… and, how I decided to become a passionate teacher like him. How, I turned my three massive handicaps into my greatest blessings.
“Today, I write, speak, teach and train in English,” I told them. “I believe, I do a decent job in it.”
“I founded an institute to help guys like you to speak well, express their potential fully in life,” I told them, “How else could I have done it?”
“In the process, I have done decently well for myself, financially,” I told them, “What is enough for me… So much.”
I saw many could relate to what I was saying.
The under-dog story always inspires. You always connect to the guy who tears his heart and speaks. I could see many faces very pensive, and hearts stirred-up to bring about this mood.
A young girl, whose face wore such a pensive front, asked me:
“Sir, can you tell me how did you come out of your Inferiority Complex?” She was almost choked when she asked me this. “I have the same problem… I want to come out of it.”
Many had the same question to ask… The silent agreement did tell me that.
I paused for a while… till that question sank well on the parching hearts. Then, in a gentle tone, I asked this earnest soul:
“Beti, how do you know that I am ‘out’ of my Inferiority Complex’?”
For a while she and others were taken aback!
“Which means, you are talking to us now, helping us now, inspiring us now… still being ‘inside’ your problem?”… Well that was the unasked question.
“Why do you desire, Beti, to come out of your problem… in order to feel good about yourself… to become confident… to feel happy?” I prodded gently. “Why can’t you focus on the process of dealing with your handicap… collect your courage and speak what you want to… trust your heart and do what you want to… believe in your soul and dream about your future… Why can’t you keep doing all this and leave the ‘Complex’ alone? Why can’t you focus on what you love and leave alone what you do not?”
they did not expect this from me.
They must have expected
me to give them
some easy ‘mantras’
some easy ‘mantras’
to chase away their ugly ghosts.
But, I am sure,
when I tried to
chase away this myth,
chase away this myth,
they must have felt a lot relieved.
On our way back, Anupam did tell me this: “Sir, I was shaken to my roots when you asked that girl: Why do you desire, Beti, do ‘come out’ of your Inferiority Complex?”
“I am a work-in progress, my dear young ones,” I had assured them, “I am authentic about what I am doing now because, I am still working on it… still putting all those bits and pieces together… I am still preparing, still planning, and still dreaming about life.” I had added, “Life is what you experience when you are busy preparing and planning for it… It is the process and not the end.”
“Sir I realized beautifully from your presentation this,” Anupam said, “We teach best what we want to learn the most.”
“Oh yes, my boy… Who else knows what I wanted to learn the most? Who knows my story best? Who can tell it best?” I thought aloud.
These kids are vibrant, full of zest. I have full faith in the process of living with our open heart… Passion oozes out only when our hearts are open, thirsty… when they long, when they thank… when they wonder.
Life is in living itself. BMS is not the end… the process of learning with an open heart is. So, kids, don’t lose your sense of wonder… Write the lyrics that you always wanted to write… Draw those sketches, bake those cakes, walk those ramps, design those clothes, sing those songs, and walk those long, solitary miles… Be the child that you always wanted to be… and not the MAN… not the WOMAN.
When you have been the child you always wanted to be, you have already become the MAN or WOMAN that the child in you always wanted to be!
In life, the best way to become confident is to befriend this child. The child in you and me!
Pics.: Vivek D’Cunha