Saturday, December 12, 2015

AT THEIR AGE, WE WERE WORSE






Pic.: Aruna Anand


What I like the most about this world is that it is imperfect!

There is a lot of hope and peace in this truth!

Every time I yell at my young students - over their bunking, late-coming, homework-skipping and, above all, over their casual, don’t-care attitude towards studies, yes, every time I lose my head over all this… right in the midst of my agony comes this thought: “Relax my friend… Relax. At their age, you were worse!”

Yes, I was…

And, this truth is enough to bring forth peace in my turmoil-stricken heart…


Most of us forget how bad we were, once… How imperfect!

Treating the other person as a learning, growing and an evolving human being, just as I am, is a very important understanding, which I need to reinforce in me time and again. What actually happens is, that, as we learn, grow and evolve in life, we coolly forget that people around us, too, do… So, we look at our subordinates, children, students and the rest… and yell at them: “Why aren’t you like me?”

The fact is: They can’t. For, at their age, we were worse!

Two days ago, at 11 in the night, I received a call from the mother of one of my twelfth-standard students (ISC). The girl had failed in her school exams for the second time… and, being a working mother, and my student being her only child, the mother had been distressed, anxious. “Sir, I am worried about her,” the mother said, almost choked, “What can we do?”

“The best thing we can do, at time of the night, ma’am,” I felt like telling the anxious mother, “is to go to sleep!”

But, no, that would have been sacrilegious to do, I knew. So, I heard her out… let her empty the entire stock of anxiety she had contained in her heart…

Then, slowly, I made her realize, that, we – she and I – too, had passed through the same dark -tunnel in our lives… that, our parents and teachers, too, had worried about us, yelled at us… even discarded and damned us… “Akshata* is a head-strong girl, ma’am… She is very intelligent,” I assured the mother. And, trust me, I wasn’t trying to fool her. My student Akshata was a head-strong and intelligent girl. I knew, that, she would gear-up and make it up. I had seen that happen to majority of the student fraternity… that, after getting a couple of wake-up calls like this, they did become serious… “Relax ma’am… She will do well in her finals,” I comforted my student’s worried mother.

Will Akshata fail?

If her mother and her teacher – who were worse at her age – haven’t, sleep assured, Akshata will not!

* Name changed

GERALD D’CUNHA

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