Last evening, I was invited by a reputed management institute at Churchgate to hold a session on the basics of Book-keeping and Accountancy for its MBA students. There were over 180 students; almost all of them were from Engineering or some non-commerce background. Their Financial Accounting syllabus deals with the most fundamental process of Accountancy… In other words, it is what a Commerce student would learn in first year of his junior college (Eleventh standard). Here were students who had done stupendous work not only to become engineers but also to get into this prestigious MBA College on sheer merit. Yet, for a faculty, who comes to teach Accountancy even to the brightest kids like these, the job is not easy, unless he starts teaching them the subject from its a, b, c. And, if the faculty assumes, that these are bright kids and they should get the a, b, c on their own, and if he goes about building the skyscraper without the foundation, it will never stand!

So, someone had got this idea: call a Commerce teacher who respects the fundamentals… and, someone had suggested my name!

I have spent almost forty-one years doing it: Debit, Credit… Debit, Credit. My day starts with this and my day ends with this. My wife says, I do that in my sleep, too!

Well, jokes apart, I had an amazing time with this group in the auditorium where I held my session. I told them that I was a below-average student till I reached my F.Y.B.Com. My improvement started happening ever since Prof. B.S. Raman, my idol, had come to teach our class in F.Y.B.Com… He taught us in such a way, that even the slowest and the weakest – like me – could understand. And, despite being one of the slowest and weakest in the subject of Accountancy, I went about making teaching (that very subject) as my profession and stayed with it for over four decades! Yes, this proves, that, if a teacher can reach out to the weakest and slowest in the class, he is can be a fine teacher…

Last evening, I told the group, “You have to be sincere to learn this subject… You have to be humble… Starting on a clean slate, as if you know nothing, is the best way to start… Be receptive, be curious and be humble. That’s enough.”

By the end of the session, the young men and women had got the value for their money. “It is not a rocket science… It is a simple science, my dear friends,” I kept telling them during the session, “If you are sincere and eager, you will be able to do it on your own… Stop depending, stop blaming. Be an Eklavya… You will thrive!”

“I did not attend any coaching classes nor I did I study in a city like Mumbai,” I told the enthusiastic young men and women yesterday, “Moreover, I had no access to the kind of technology and online source of learning which you guys have… Be sincere, that is enough.”

I don’t know, what made me keep stressing on the words, ‘Be sincere’ during the two-hour session, last evening. But, today, when I reflect on what I said, I am only convinced, that, for anyone who is ‘sincere’, it is all given… As Jesus said, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

One of the students, who was present in the class last evening, had sent me this message, today:
“Gerry sir, my name is Sandeep… I attended your lecture yesterday… It was great. And, whatever you spoke apart from that was really moving. I’ll look forward to your lectures. Thank you.”

To ask, to seek and to knock, you need to be sincere… earnest. And, one who said that was a 'carpenter’s son'. Was He not?


Pic.: Anil Bedi


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