Pic.: Alwyn Mathias
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
- Lao Tzu
Sometimes, when I meet some of my ex-students, after many years, I get amused by two of their familiar questions: “Sir, do you still teach?” And, this one: “Are you still ‘there’?”
I am so used to these questions from my ‘very successful’ ex-students, that I have my answers, too, kept ready for them…
To the first question, I ask them with a grin: “What else do you want me to do?”
To the second one, this: “Where else do you want me to go?”
I don’t think there is anything wrong with or surprising about the questions of my ex-students. They can’t believe that, after thirty-six years, I can still continue teaching the same way as I did then… They expect me to ‘grow’…. run my classes more professionally, the way others around me do… yes, like a good, profitable business… They want me to hire teachers and run it through them… wherein I should just focus my energies on expanding the business… “Why teach yourself after thirty-six years?” they ask me.
“Are you still there?”… Yes, they can’t believe, that I have chosen to remain ‘right there’…They want me to start branches, cash on my goodwill… They don’t want me to get holed-up in my little old place…
I genuinely think, my ex-students, who raise their eye-brows are right.
These young men and women belong to a very vibrant world – the world of start-ups, the world of smart phones and technology… where the results are instant, profits and net-worth are virtual, and salaries are astronomical…
If I tell them the significance of Ram’s 14-year ‘Vanvas’, they ask me, “Who Ram?”… “What vanvas?”
If I tell them, “I have only one wife and only one son and they are not at all interested in either teaching or my business empire,” they quip, “So what? You have earned your goodwill, sell it off at a high price?”
Well, who is stupid – the students who want the best for the teacher or the teacher who thinks what he is doing is the best thing he can do and where he is parked, is the best place to be? Yes, who is stupid?
If teaching and expressing myself was what gave me the greatest joy thirty-six years ago and if it still does, why should I give up teaching and expressing?
Have I made loads of money?
No, not at all… My loans still stare at me!
Am I happy?
Yes, I am.
Will my happiness clear off my loans?
I don’t know. But, this much I know… The bigger the business, the bigger will be my loans… The faster I run, the faster I will be running… My wife and son are not interested in what I leave behind – my legacy… howsoever I try to rationalize it… Then, what is the point in ‘accomplishing’ so much and then, one day, just go?
I am writing this Post right now… and, I bet, nothing else in my life can give me the simple joy this process of writing gives me…
It is okay, if I haven’t made a ‘big name’ or ‘big money’ through my ‘simple’ writings and teaching… Yes, it is okay.
“Nature does not hurry,” says Lao Tzu, “yes, everything is accomplished.”