Yesterday, a young boy had come, accompanied by his parents, to get
himself enrolled in my class. He had got online admission in one of the best
Commerce colleges in Mumbai through a special quota (Caste). He had scored 72% in SSC. A dear friend of
his, who had scored 85%, was unlucky. Forget the ‘best’ college in the city,
and forget the online, this girl with her 85%, had landed in one of the remotest
colleges, whose name I myself had not heard of!
So, this young-man, on the one hand, was ecstatic about his own ‘good
luck’ and, on the other, was feeling sad for his best friend.
Over decades of teaching these young boys and girls – who went to the ‘best’
and the ‘worst’ colleges in our city – I have formed my firm views over this
issue. I have noticed, that the ‘brand mentality’, invariably, came from the ‘herd
mentality’… The great name – the brand - of the college made no difference at
all to the young student, unless the student believed in his own ‘greatness potential’…
unless he believed in his own brand. I have been pointing this to everyone –
including parents… I have been cautioning them not to get carried away by the
fad, the glamour, the social image… I keep reminding them, that we need to help
our young boys and girls to believe in their untapped potential, their talents
and strengths… we need to inspire them to dream big, and follow those dreams…
And, not follow the crowd, the herd!
Thus, I told our young-man, yesterday this, once again: “You are one of
those privileged young-ones to get into this great institution… Feel grateful
for this privilege. But, nothing is going to happen unless and until you
believe in your own greatness.”
Instantly, both, the mother and the father, who did not have the
privilege of completing even their high school, leave alone going a ‘great
college’… looked at each other. “Sir, we have been telling our son the same
thing ever since he got into this college,” they said together, “If he works
hard, any college can be great!”
I hope, the young-man will pay heed to what has been told to him by both
his parents and teachers like me… That, everything is going to be great, if he
believed in himself… Yes, in that ‘special brand’!