On Sunday, when my wife and I had gone to watch ‘Premium Rush’, we met our friends Sunil and Komal in the theatre. 

I said ‘friends’… Yes, they are. However, about twenty-five years ago, they both were my students. Both were keen to do Chartered Accountancy after their graduation. Doing Chartered Accountancy had always been tough… very competitive… With tight results, even the brightest kids had to repeat the exams, very often. 

But, I do not remember seeing either Sunil or Komal approaching their dream with any sort of over-anxiety… They weren’t neurotic, panic-stricken, at all, as far as my memory goes back.  Yet, both of them achieved their coveted goals smoothly… Yes, with appropriate amount of passion, commitment and focus. 

Today, both of them are well-placed in their field.

Yash is the only child of Sunil and Komal, who, now, is doing his eleventh standard Science. Incidentally, Yash had been under me in our grooming sessions held during this summer. He was clear about what he wanted to get into: Computer Science. So, every time he would share with us from the podium, he would talk about his passion, and, I, for one, always believed that he would achieve his dream.

“When you are clear about your destination, you have already completed half of your journey!”… I had loved this line, the moment I sighted it, when I myself was young and dreaming. 

So, this Sunday, when I asked Sunil and Komal as to why Yash wasn’t there with them for the movie, they began to describe to us about the kind of schedule the kids have these days. “Sunday, incidentally, is the most grueling day,” they told us, “Yash will be giving his tests right from the morning to late in the evening, today!”

As parents, Sunil and Komal had their own anxieties about the kind of pressure it put on their young son… It was not whether they agreed with the system or not, it was 'the system' before them… They had to take it or leave it!

“Just be by his side… Yash will do it,” I encouraged Sunil and Komal. 

The world has enough place for all of us… 

If not ‘here’, it is ‘there’… 

and, if not ‘there’… it is ‘somewhere’. 

But, world is big enough to accommodate all of us. 

The guy with passion, dream, focus 

and commitment – has to find his place 

under the canopy of God’s sky! He has to! He will!

I kept saying this in my mind as I bid them goodbye…

“Ask, and it shall be given unto you; Knock, and the door shall be opened unto you…Search, and it shall be revealed unto you!”… The world hasn’t changed – in this regard – even after two thousand years since Jesus Christ!

“Yash beta, knock, and the door shall be opened unto you… Ask, and it shall be given unto you… Search, it shall be revealed unto you!”… I kept telling in my heart…

It was on Sunday, the day before yesterday.

Last night, while I was teaching, an unknown number flashed on my mobile. After my class, I got back to the caller. A lady spoke to me with an exceptionally sweet voice and polished English. As I spoke to her, I realized that she had come to live in our housing complex lately. She was tall and pretty and had a small baby, barely some months old. 

The festival committee - The Youth Association – had organized, in our complex, the 7-day Ganeshotsav in a brilliant way. Every day, they had organized activates, fun-filled events, DJ, Mata ki Chowki, Fashion show and competitions for every one – right from a little baby to old ones. It was sheer fun… and, our residents always showed a large heart in sponsoring the gifts for not only the winners but for all the participants… As always, some of our own members would be requested to judge these competitions… and, it would make all of us happy. All seven days, our generous members would ensure that ladies took a break from cooking: we had seven days of food, that is ‘Mahaprasad’!

Now, why am I saying all this, here?

Incidentally, I am the Hon. Chairman of our Society. This young lady had a question to me, last night: “Sir,  sorry for bothering you with this,” she said, “I am a bit upset after the ‘Fancy-dress’ competition during Ganpati.”

“Why, what happened ma’am?” I asked, showing my concern.

“Sir, can you tell me what was the ‘criterion’ given to the judges, that evening,” she wanted to know, “I really feel the judging was unfair!”

I almost fainted!

First thing first: the lady had called a wrong person… 

Second: for a wrong reason!

I sweetly, in my own ‘polished-and-diplomatic English’, let the ‘disturbed lady’ know as to who she had to approach for an answer. I did not know her well… So, I did not want to ‘counsel’ or ‘console’ her over the phone… I kept it polite and brief. Short and sweet.

The matter ended!

“Ma’am, come on! It is a ‘baby’… The bundle of your joy… our joy!”… I kept telling in my heart, “This innocent angel doesn’t even know what has happened… For God’s sake, spare her from this harsh punishment… For God’s sake!”

“Lord Ganesh, please bless and protect this little baby,” I also prayed to the Vigneshwara, “Help the young-mother overcome her fears, insecurity and anxiety. Amen.”


Pics.: Shaila D'Costa


Shobha Naik said…
Was speechless sir! With dry tears in my eyes! Thank you for touching!... Shobha
Harish Reddy said…
Brilliant post... Inspiring! Thanks. Harish Reddy
Anonymous said…
Moved by this power of it! Neeraja
I recall the scene from 3 idiots!
As you are born, your fate is decided.
You become a engineer, doctor lawyer and in this case, a Jeniffer Lopez!
Ha Ha Ha!
I feel more sorry for the Mum. She must have been under so much pressure!
Her entire family, Mom i law Father in law Dad and who knows even maids would have been preparing our cute model for the grand Fashion show!
And they expected a trophy in the childs hand...her Mom giving a briefing to the 'Media' abiut how grueling and pain staking it was to prepare for this day!
Alas! It didnt happened
How Shameful!
What will I say to my family friends relatives etc etc..
That is what it is.
We are caged from the very day in womb.
The freed to decide ourselves still seems be a far fetched option.
Not being a hypocrite, I think I am doing the same.
Telling my son to do what and not what.
May be this is a alarm..
Thanks Gerry! :)
Gerald D'Cunha said…
Thanks, Shobha, Harish, Neeraja, Ashish... all of you.

I am glad the stories here touch the chord in all of us...

In fact, we all are into it, in one way or the other...

Ashish, you have been very sincere in admitting it, as I too relate to ur feelings...

Perhaps, a bit of that young mother is there in all of us...

Thanks again...

Do help with ur feedback, often.

Vinita Mehra said…
Absolutely mind-blowing!!! Vinita Mehra
viraj modi said…
very useful to all of us. well-written. thank you. viraj
Vivek said…
Awesome post sir! I like the logic - "This work has enough place for all of us"

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