Pic.: Chetna Shetty
Today is the twelfth-standard Accountancy (CBSE) Board-exam. An hour before the exam, the mother of one of my very committed and focused students called me up. “Sir, today is Varun’s* Accountancy exam,” she said with humility, “Please bless him.”
It was very unusual, at least for me. I have been teaching for more than thirty-five years. I don’t remember many students – leave alone their parents – calling me up on the exam day to seek my blessings…
I am not complaining. Just that it is not done by many… that’s all.
“Oh yes ma’am, certainly, I will,” I said to the mother, enthusiastically, “Please give the phone to Varun.”
When Varun came on line, I said, “Hi Varun, wish you all the best, beta.”
“Thank-you very much sir,” Varun replied.
“Varun beta, you have been one of my most committed and focused students,” I continued. “Remember, you have given your best; leave the rest to God… All will go well. God bless.”
Well, will all go well for Varun?
I do not know.
But, this much I know, that Varun, as a student, and I, as his teacher, had to give our best... We had to put all our heart and soul in our work... We had to be totally focused and committed… We had to work to succeed, to emerge as winners… to be on top. Yes, we did that. And, now? What else can we do, now, but trust the design of God… the divine plan of the Universe?
The work was within our control… The outcome is not.
And, this rule applies, universally, at all spheres of our lives… We have got to be champions and winners of our efforts… the work we perform, the games we play… We should be as competitive as we can… For, competition brings the best out of us… It makes us explore our strengths which we did not know we possessed… We need to work to succeed… we need to play the game to take home the cup… Varun had to work hard for the top slot… I had to coach him for that job…
And, there ends our side of the story…
The other side of the story will, always, be shrouded in mystery… And, that’s how it should be!
Many of us have heard - and been immensely impressed by – M. S. Dhoni’s cool and clever reply to an interviewer after the recent World-cup semi-final defeat. He had led India to an enviable success-spree… He had inspired his boys to win every match, including the quarter-final… And, now, his boys had lost against Australia in the semi-final. A lot of unfair mud-slinging and hate-campaign had, already, been meted out at him as a captain and his team as a whole. And, here, he was expected to handle some more nasty questions…
“And, what about the cup?” was the question…
“Well, it (Cup) is something that doesn't belong to any one,” Dhoni put it with poise of a sage, “We definitely took it from someone, and someone took it from us… It is as simple as that.” The room was filled with laughter, as the Indian skipper humbled everyone with his mature words. He wrapped-up his answer, “And, that’s how it is in any international sport. You have to be (at) your active best… If not, the even the cup gets shifted”
If anything can happen in a cricket match, anything can happen in a Board-exam, too. All that we need to do is: be at our active best…
The cup may come, and the cup may go!
* Name changed