THE FINISHING SCHOOLS AND THEIR UNFINISHED BUSINESS
Pic.: Chetna Shetty
In the eighties and the early nineties, we had Doordarshan as our
only TV channel. We had, also, the one-and-only Sabira Merchant with her
popular programme ‘What’s The Good Word’. My wife, for one, was a huge fan of Sabira
Merchant and her programme.
Those were the days, one never heard so much (as one does these days)
about Grooming, Etiquette, Finishing Schools. The term called – ‘Image
Consultancy’ was not yet born. Just today, I saw a two front-pages (full) of
Bombay Times with aesthetically designed advertisement by an Image Consultancy
organization inviting women to be entrepreneurs (Free Workshop). It shows how
the idea has caught-up with the masses, these days!
Well, I am talking about all this, in this Post, today, because, one of
my dear friends and trainers at The Dawn Club, Mrs. Satinder Oberoi, had a
long-cherished dream: to get trained under the legend and the ‘original guru’ –
Sabira Merchant. So, some days ago, she attended a two-day programme conducted
by the doyenne of what is called ‘Allure’ aka image consultancy or whatever that
In her mid seventies, Sabira Merchant is still graceful and inspiring.
Satinder came out with that feeling ‘I can peacefully die now’!
We all have these kinds of long-cherished dreams… I have mine and you
have yours. And, Dilip Vasu had his…
Now, who is this Dilip Vasu?
Some twenty-five years ago, I had taught this young boy when he was in
his TY B’Com. Those were the initial days of Dawn Club. We had an amazing
library. Dilip would spend hours and hours going through the inspirational books.
He would attend almost all our Workshops and PD programmes.
What I remember about Dilip, now, is that he was so ordinary, so simple
that one would hardly take him as a serious candidate for anything challenging
in life. He was too soft-spoken, almost sounding unassertive, I can say. But,
he was one of the most sincere, eager, and dedicated young men that I had come across.
A year or two later, I lost touch with Dilip… and, that was it…
Last evening, I received a call. It was Dilip from Indore. He told me
that he is presently the Principal of Choitram IB School in Indore. I took some
time to comprehend that – not because of any bias… but, because I was really
glad for him. A simple boy, who hailed from our local area, who went to normal
school and college, who had nothing exemplary to exhibit or boast of – but, had
the guts and gumption to take himself up all the way to head an IB School,
which is ranked 5th in India!
Apparently, for this IB School Principal, the self-learning has not
stopped, and it will not. As a strange co-incidence, Dilip had come down, all
the way from Indore to Mumbai, to attend the same Sabira Merchant programme
which Satinder had attended. Satinder had picked some of our books to gift away
to Sabira ma’am. She, also, gave away, randomly, some DC business cards to
other participants. Dilip told me yesterday, that he took the card from
Satinder and saw it only last afternoon… When he saw my name on it, he had called
We spoke for over thirty minutes... Particularly on those early days of
DC… Dilip was profusely grateful for those days and assured me, that he would
invite me and our team to his school soon…
I had blogged yesterday about the modern obsession with parents for
enrolling their children with ‘great’ schools and colleges. I had titled the
Post as - ‘YES, YOUR COLLEGE IS 'THE BEST'… BUT, WHAT ABOUT YOU?’
Thinking about ‘our boy’, Dilip Vasu, brings a big smile on my face. It
fills my heart with pride!