THE WISDOM FROM THE 'DITCH'






Pic.: Vinod Krishnan


There are only two ways in which I can save myself from falling in a ditch: One, by heeding to the wise and well-meant advice of my well-wishers – parents, teachers, friends and such… Two, by ignoring their advice and falling in the ditch, itself!

“Sir, my son will never learn from my advice or your advice,” the mother of a 19-year-old told me, one day, over the phone, “he will learn only from falling in the ditch.”

The ‘ditch’ was young-man’s T.Y. B’Com exam!

The mother was right.

Both parents were highly qualified and worked very hard to give the best to their son… including the best of advice…

But, then, but then…

Here, in my class, I, too, did the same thing. Besides the best teaching in their subject, I would give him and others the best of advice, as well… Yes, wise, kind and well-meant advice...

“You guys are not doing well, not because you are weak,” I would remind my students, repeatedly, “It is because you do not know what you are capable of!” Then, looking straight into their eyes, which now seem to ‘listen’ and understand, I would conclude, “Just imagine, what a tragedy it is! It is enough to motivate you.”

The effect? Some would change; some wouldn't… The young-man - whose mother knew her son better than I did - failed in his T.Y. B’Com!

Sometimes, failing and learning – falling in the ditch and realizing one’s mistake - can be the most priceless-lesson one can ever learn in life…

Mercifully - and happily - the young-man is not the only student in this famed life-school; we all are there in it, too…

The only difference is: For our young-man, the ‘ditch’ was his T.Y. exams…. For us, it can be our own!

Most of us smile every time a ‘Dekh Bhai’ or Dekh Behn’ or ‘Dekh Beta’ troll pops up on our computer or mobile screens… The other day, I smiled when a young-girl was telling other girls (in my English translation):

“Look sister, in life, the wisdom you get from getting 'ditched', you will never get it from eating those almonds!”…

Badam ki akal… Dhoke ki akal!


And, today, in my morning batch, many of my eleventh-standard students had turned up, yet again, without doing their homework… Yes, not because they were weak, but because they did not know how capable they were. Instead of getting into a long sermon, I told them about this ‘Dekh Behn’ troll and, on the spot, created and presented before them my own:

“Dekh Bachchon, in life, what you learn from falling in the ditch, you will never learn from my sermons!”

The hell broke loose in my class…

They were happy; I was happy…

They knew it; I knew it!


GERALD D’CUNHA



Comments

Veena Shukla said…
I am smiling Gerry! --- Veena Shukla
NEETA KHANNA said…
Your post are always inspiring. Thank-you. NEETA KHANNA

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