I come across scores of young boys and girls who pester their parents to enroll them for some of the ‘best’ Gyms. There are parents who will close their eyes and oblige… It’s a matter of pride and social status for them. Then, there are parents, who have trust in their young children; yet, they will make sure that the decision is not based on any fad or fancy. They will make their children wait, have patience, probe, enquire and, only after that, they may or may not oblige… Yes, they have the financial resources to do moot the bill, though. Then, there are some parents, who simply do not trust their children – because of their past track records… They say, point-blank – ‘NO’… whether the young-one has changed his old ways or not… it really doesn’t matter. “You are useless”… “We can’t trust you.” And, there is another category of parents… they have great confidence in their young-ones’ dreams and abilities… but, they have no financial means to support them. They want to support their children, but are helpless… I call these children ‘Eklavyas’… And, my experience tells me, that, these young boys and girls do it brilliantly well!
The best of the best basketball gear did not make Michael Jordan the legend that he is… Ditto for Usain Bolt and Muhammad Ali… Ditto for Sachin and Dhoni…
The best of the best acting schools did not make Amitabh Bachchan the legend that he is… Nor, the best of the best singing school made Lata and her sisters who they are…
Barack and Michelle Obama weren’t trained in great leadership schools… Ditto for Narendra Modi and ditto for Malala…
To do Yoga or Kung Fu, you do not need the best of the best gear… You need a strong desire and will to pursue it. Dance, singing and acting… painting, preaching and healing… yes, all these are born in your bosoms… not somewhere in a training camp. Training camps make sense only when there is thirst in you bosoms and hunger in your belly!
“Don’t abuse your privileges,” I was telling our young-ones in the P.D. class yesterday, “Be thankful for the privilege of being able to be here… Somebody has trusted you… paid your fees… Don’t let them down… Above all, don’t let yourself down… Your confidence goes up, when you keep our commitments… It goes down, when you break them.”
Mihir* was in the class. He is a well-brought-up, handsome young-man. He comes from quite an affluent family. I knew about his Gym fiasco… So, I teased him, yesterday, “Mihir beta, how much did you pay for the Gym membership?”
“Sir, twenty-five thousand,” Mihir turned shy.
“And, how long you went there?”
Mihir hid his face!!!
“Two months?” I prodded.
Mihir shook his head, indicating, “I feel guilty about it, sir.”
“Mihir, tell it sincerely, it helps… It will help all your friends, too here.”
“For one week sir!”
Mihir’s confession inspired young Lavina** to say something…
“Yes, Lavina, you want to say something?”
“Sir, I paid seventy-eight thousand rupees for the Gym (weight loss) and dropped it in less than a month!”
Mihir was relieved… the whole class had a good time listening to the live testimonies!
Before I could poke Lavina further, she said this: “Actually, I made my parents burn two lakhs on personal trainers for my weight loss… All went in smoke while I am still fat!”
We had fun!
But, Mihir and Lavina were not trying to be funny, yesterday. They were seriously feeling bad for letting their parents and themselves down… It had affected their self-confidence and, they were in the class, with a desire to make amends…
“In the larger scheme of things, two-lakhs is a small amount,” I explained to the class, “If you make amends, you can make a thousand-fold more in life. That’s the most honorable way of repaying your debt to parents… and, yes, that is also the most honorable way of redeeming yourself from your guilt.”
Frankly, nothing is a waste in life!
*/** Names changed
P.S.: As I was typing this Post, a very old student of mine, Amol, got in touch with me on FB. While chatting with him, he told me that he had completed, both, inter and final CA without joining any classes. “Sir, CA wasn’t a rocket science… I did it with the strong basics you had laid. As a professional, too, I am on my own now!”
“Amol, you are my proud Eklavya,” was my reply to him.