Friday, 5 September 2014

Sunta hai Guru Gyaani!

Every year on Teacher’s Day, people ask me what is the meaning of teacher (Guru) to me.

My understanding of what is a guru or teacher stems from experiences extremely personal. "Teacher" word has a vast meaning for me . Life itself is a teacher and we are, all of us, Learners.

However,  There are no greater teachers than our choices. The choices we make, make us who we are. 

I went to school in a harsh hearted village on the outskirts of Delhi. What most students and parents in the cities take for granted is the kindness and considerate nature of teachers; something astoundingly rare in the villages. Thus, to find a kind teacher, inspiring enough to deserve to be called a guru was not only surprising, like heavy rains on a scorching day, but also extremely life changing.

I was in the 6th standard of my god forsaken school. We were on a 3 day scouts and guides trip to the CITY! I was floating with joy. A child who has grown up in a city can never know the fascination a city holds for a village kid. We were all asked to dress up in our scouts and guides uniform. I was absolutely amazed to see girls and boys together in one place, with no sense of discomfort or awkwardness. I was in seventh heaven. Could it be? All of this was truly happening? There was a skip in my walk. Lots of students from various schools were attending. There were a number of contests being run.

One of those days we were asked to assemble for a cultural function. I was sitting in the audience when suddenly my name was called out by the speaker. I was stunned. I was only a young child. I wasn’t at all prepared. I had never been on stage in front of thousands of strangers. I walked on to the stage and bewildered and harrowed with stage fright I broke into sobs on the mike. And said “ Nobody told us anything about where n why we are going". I felt as though everyone was treating me and other children from my school as cattle. My Outburst touched few organizing committee members in a right way. They reprimanded the teachers from my school for such behavior. As one of them had also witnessed a horrible teacher humiliating me for the outburst.

As I sat backstage sobbing silently, a kind figure walked towards me. He said “Arre beta, rone ki kya baat hai? Itne pyaare ho tum. Koi baat nahi, ho jaata hai aisa.” His words immediately soothed my broken heart. Then he said something that changed my life and stayed with me ever since.  He said with the most penetrating reassurance, “Whatever happened to you today will make you better aware n skilled boy.. Provided you take it in a positive learning... Life does not end here “ "Beta Ab tum Itna Toh Samajh Jana Duniya Bahut Badi hai Aur Bade Kaam Karne Wale Bahut Kam.. Aur Jo Hain unme Bahut se vo log Bhi hain jinko Naa proper guidance aur Naa paryapt Saadhan milein hain…” “Whatever the odds are, try to bring positive n productive end result as that is what matters.”

 He was "HariOm Sharma", a PhD in Economics. Though he was not our teacher but he left impression on my life as the greatest teacher who taught me the greatest Lesson..

    We all encounter failure in our life but our teacher gives us direction. A guru, shall reveal itself in various forms, be it a book, a situation a child, a parent or mostly an enemy… GURU in its most core and basic form is KNOWLEDGE.