Saturday, June 29, 2013

THE BEST, ALWAYS, IS YET TO COME



















We never know our true potentials unless we are challenged by something beyond us… Mostly an unexpected crisis in life…



We fight the best when we are driven to the wall…

We try to earn the most, when shame of financial crunch doesn’t allow us to sleep…

We learn the most when our ego and arrogance bring us to the isolation of emotional turmoil…

We run the fastest when we run for our lives…

We love the most when our loved ones are lost…

Yes, something has to happen in our soul – some great churning, some emotional upheaval… something has to threaten us, shame us, mock us… humble us…


Our best, always, lies dormant within our souls… 

The best strength…

The best talent…

The most-earning capacity…

The best-learning capacity…

The best speed…

The best loving, caring and giving heart…

Each one of them needs to be tapped, awakened… 

And, it, invariably, takes a massive crisis to do that…

Yes, to awaken the giant with us, as it is said.

Therefore, there is a lot I can give… And, a lot I can receive...

A lot to be awakened...

A lot to be tapped, explored...

Yes, the giant is sleeping!



GERALD D’CUNHA

Pic.: Neetu Sharma Sachdeva



Friday, June 28, 2013

WHAT GOOD WILL YOUR 90% SERVE YOU?











Some days back, one of my students came to see me with her mother. Her twelfth-standard (HSC) results were just out and they had come to show me the result.

It was 86% overall and in the subject I had taught, i.e. Accountancy, she had scored 96.

“Very good,” I said looking at her face.

The face did not glow… girl’s and mother’s, both.

“Why, not happy?” I asked.

“No sir,” the girl said in a sad voice, “I was expecting more.”

“How much were you expecting?” I probed.

“Around 90%,” came the answer.

My colleague - a lady teacher, who, too, had taught this young-one - quietly got up and went to the next room, where she had to teach the waiting students.

I knew the reason for her abrupt exit, though…

We had taught this girl for a year and we knew where she stood. 90% was pure fantasy!

Beta, for a commerce student, 86% is a very good performance,” I gently assured her, hiding my annoyance or, even, mild anger, “Just enjoy the happy experience, ok?”

There was no response, from both the girl and the mother.

“Ma’am, are you not happy, too?” I asked the mother.

“She could have done better,” was the answer.

I lost my cool… “Ma’am, I have taught commerce students for over three decades, now. Please, understand, that, we need to be grateful and graceful both in our achievements.” Then, I added, “I am sure, your daughter is sad because you are sad… It is a strain on her.”

Well, I was direct, I knew… I did not want them to go back with wild fantasies… even if it meant, they were angry at what I had said.

Fortunately, there was no backlash…

Instead, a meek question was in store: “Sir, what she has to do, now?”

I froze!

“Madam, you wanted your daughter to score 90% in HSC, you claim,” I wondered in my mind, “but, for what?”

I took a few moments to answer to the lady’s question…

“Ma’am, what would have been the choice had she scored 90%?” I asked courteously.

“We hadn’t decided about that,” she replied.

“Ma’am, I am just a teacher… I have just taught her one subject. It is difficult for me to decide for her in a fraction of a second, here, now,” I explained to the lady without offending her. I also told them to spend a couple of days contemplating on the issue and, assured, my help if they needed. But, they had to take a call on it… just the way they had taken a call on the ‘score’… 90%!

I have no idea, what call has been taken, now…




I still wonder what good will your 90% serve you, 

if you do not have a clue as to 

what you want to do with it!




Can someone help, please?



GERALD D’CUNHA

Pic.: Vivek D'Cunha


Thursday, June 27, 2013

MY JUDGING IS A SPOILSPORT




Honestly, judging others is a huge human weakness. An utter waste of time and energy. It is, also, a self-destructive habit.

If this Post has to be an honest attempt from my end, then, I must tell it from my own perspective… So, here I go…

I am human; I fail… I fall…

I judge… and, I spoil.

I am talking about my tendency to judge someone as he is talking to me… Yes, as he is talking, I am busy judging him… See him through my own colored glasses… taking in his words with my own prejudiced filter…

Then, where is the room for listening to him, really?

Where is the room for acceptance, love?

Even before he has completed his sentence, I am ready with what I have to say… And, I say that just because, I get a thrill from disagreeing with him, snubbing him, making him sound like a fool…

It, normally, doesn’t happen when I speak to a new acquaintance… a new friend, a new neighbor, a stranger I meet during my travel etc. But, when it comes to my routine acquaintances – my students, my colleagues, my subordinates, bosses, parents, siblings, spouse or child… yes, when I speak to them, I have this tendency to be judgmental… screen everything they say just for the sake of it… disagree, pass provoking or cold comments, be sarcastic or critical… and, either end up arguing or just sulking.

Does it help?

Is it coming from my healthy self-esteem or low self-esteem?

Do I like others doing it to me?

Does it leave behind in my heart a happy feeling?

Is it a loving act?



Yes, I have only asked a few questions…



When others do it to me, it hurts, breaks my heart…

 I know it... It is a true experience.


When I do it to others, don’t I know it?

Is it not a true experience, too?

Yes sir, my judging is a spoilsport!



GERALD D’CUNHA

Pic.: Vimmi Batra




Wednesday, June 26, 2013

THANK YOU FOR MAKING MY DAY




















A gentleman called me the other day and wanted me to help his daughter in the Accountancy subject. Now, that’s nothing special to talk about, here. Let me tell you, in this Post, what makes this case special.

The girl had done exceptionally well in her latest twelfth-standard CBSE-Board-exams. They were planning to enroll her in one of the select engineering-colleges; and, if that would not happen, they would make her switch over to commerce and settle for nothing less than Chartered Accountancy!

When the call came to me, that night, from the father of this girl, I was a lot apprehensive. Switching over to commerce after twelfth, without any foundation of the core subject, Accountancy, is nothing uncommon. I do get to teach many such students, every year. But, directly jumping over to CA… Yes, I had to grill this gentleman. But, throughout the discussion, he sounded extremely confident of his young daughter. “Sir, we have done our enough home work,” he assured me, “It will not be a casual decision.”

All right, then, I thought in my mind, and invited both daughter and her father the next evening to enroll. When we met up, I was very convinced that she would do well in her newly chosen field. And, right there, I decided to provide her with the best foundation. Let me be frank, here: It is a great delight and a matter of pride to be a part of someone’s success story. I quickly sensed that I was now set to raise a winning horse in my stable…

Yesterday, I spent more than two hours with this young-one unfolding before her the very, very fundamental things about the subject, keeping in mind her ambition. Yes, she did not disappoint either her father or me. I was hugely impressed at the end of the session.

“Beta, I am extremely happy about the way you have picked up the subject, today,” I expressed my gladness without holding it back, “You are really brilliant!”

“Thank you sir,” the girl blushed as she left for the day…

“Thank you sir for making my day!”… Was she saying that?

Oh yes, yes… She was.

But, then, why didn’t I hear that?

I do not have to…

And, what about me… Were I dying to hear from this young-one the same: “Sir, I am extremely happy about the way you taught me, today… You are really brilliant!”?



I don’t want to lie. Yes, I was dying to hear that…

 For, I had put my all when I reached out to her!



Had my student said that to me, it would have, certainly, inspired me to tell her, “Thank you dear for making my day!”



The student might not be even 18… The teacher will be, soon, 55…

But, look, how, surprisingly, the two hearts thirst for such simple drink: “Thank you for making my day”!



GERALD D’CUNHA

Pic.: Vimmi Batra




Tuesday, June 25, 2013

OUR NEIGHBORS' DIRTY WINDOWS










A lady had this crazy habit. Every day morning, as soon as she was up from the bed, the first thing she did was to point at her neighbors’ windows to her husband and yell, “Darling, darling, look at their window-glasses; so dirty they are… I don’t know when the lady of the house cleaned them up last.”

Yes, this used to be our lady’s ritual, every morning…

Her husband, obviously, was fed up with his wife’s obsession with their neighbor’s windows. He had tried to dissuade from doing it, but in vain…And, so, the darling- darling ritual would continue for a long, long time.

Then, one fine morning, our lady excitedly was screaming at the top of her voice, again, “Darling, daring,” she pointed to the same windows, “look, at last, they found time to do the clean-up… Can you see the difference, Honey?”

And, the Honey smilingly let his sweetheart know this, “Yes, my love, I can see the difference, “but, you know what, this morning, I rose a lot earlier and cleaned up, very, very nicely, our own window-glasses!”

I have a good reason to believe, here, that… it was the last time the hubby had heard his darling wife calling him to show their neighbors’ windows!

I had first heard this story, some twenty-two years ago, in one of our public-speaking sessions. A young girl was speaking on the topic, “What is wrong with the world, today?”

She was the only one, who had proposed, that Sunday morning, to us, “Sweethearts, let’s get up from our beds, tomorrow morning,  a little earlier and clean-up, very, very nicely, our own window-glasses… before we find out as to what is wrong with the world - there outside!” 

GERALD D’CUNHA

Pic.: Neetu Sharma Sachdeva