Pic.: Vinod Krishnan
An hour ago, I had been to my friends’ - Sunil and Soniya’s - classes. They both love Christmas sweets, especially, the plum cake. So, without announcing, I just dropped by. When I showed up, they were in the midst of a lecture; the room was packed… So, not wanting to disturb the class, and yes, feeling a lot shy, too, I thought I would wish and pass on the parcel from outside…
“No sir, not before meeting these young-ones,” Soniya made it clear to me, “They have heard so much about you… You must meet them.”
Before I could gather my wits, the introduction was, already, done, “Here is Gerry sir!”
As the young boys and girls looked back, I felt so shy - as if a Shah Rukh Khan or Salman Khan was being ushered in - that I was trying desperately to hide somewhere in that room!
But, then, that’s how I had, always, been… Shy as a ‘touch-me-not’… ‘see-me-not’. And, that’s how it was – and it is – even after years and years of helping others to overcome their own shyness and show-up with self-confidence!
What’s mysterious about all this is: It all happens inside me so involuntarily, so quickly, that there is hardly anything I can do to stop it from happening…
And, mercifully, I don’t try to!
“So, you all want to meet me?” the next moment, it was this. “I would love to say something to you… May I?”
“I have spent all my professional life-time doing only what Sunil sir and Soniya ma’am have been doing – teaching young-ones like you,” I started, “So, after all these years of experience, I have only one thing to say strongly to you all… Let your heart be there in your work... and, let all of you be able to see the connection between what you do and where you want to be… Your work and your goal. If you cannot see the connection, it means that you are not clear about your goal, and you cannot put your heart in your work… So, that’s very, very fundamental for your success.”
I continued, “No matter how best your teachers are, unless you seek the best in you, nothing dramatic will ever happen… In fact, you don’t need a coaching class to bring the best out of you; you have been brain-washed to join us… and, you never know how dependent you all become slowly but surely… How your own precious initiative is being crushed… and, how creativity and self-trust get hijacked… All because, you never, ever have looked within you… never, ever have thought that you already have within you what it takes to succeed…”
And, I concluded, “So, now what? All lost? Too late? It is never too late to start a new chapter in life, my young-friends, “I put it as gently as I could, “Just bring in the self-trust and goal… everything will make sense to you, then… including teachers like us…. Wish you all the best, thank-you.”
Minutes before that, I was so shy, that I wanted to quietly disappear from their back… And, now, I had just delivered an impromptu, that I wondered who was the real me – the one who wanted to quietly bloom and disappear in the backyard… or the one who gloriously, and proudly, blossom in the front-yard?
“HE is Gerry sir?” I just heard a young-girl asking Soniya, softly, as I was leaving the class room, “So simple… Can’t believe!”
“Yes, dear I am Gerry sir,” I was smiling on my way back…
“Is he not our village carpenters’s son?” long, long time ago, many would ask about another teacher, who went about teaching things so sublime, that, I guess, a tiny, tiny spark from this mighty flame has ignited hearts of teachers like us…
Yesterday was Christmas…