Bawa-n-Dinesh

‘Acceptance’ is the Key

 

 

Many years ago, I was a student of the very prestigious IIT Bombay pursuing my Master’s degree in Mathematics. I would love to say that everything was great and I was doing well, but that was not the case… I had big expectations from an institute like IIT, hardly any of them were met! It was still the same old copy what the professor writes on the board and vomits it out on the answer sheet during exam time… Get good grades for accurate vomiting!

I was fed up with it… There are 4 professors in IIT who made me stick through it: They were true teachers, giving a chance to the most uninterested students, giving their best at teaching, and knowing that they can spark off a love for the subject even where there was no hope according to all the other teachers in the Math Department… Their names are Dr D.V. Pai (he deserves a full entry on this blog and i will write about him later), Dr. M.C. Joshi, Dr. Amiya K. Pani (my guide for my MS thesis along with Dr. Joshi) and Dr. Rajni Joshi. There was also Prof. Murali Subramanian who was a brilliant brilliant teacher… It’s so amazing that I can remember all their names and their classes as if it happened last week!

I would say almost all the other profs of the Maths dept totally sucked at teaching… they may have been geniuses and scholars in their own right, but i don’t think they ever learned or cared to impart that passion for their subjects to their students…

In any case, I was about to give up on IITB, and had actually stopped attending lectures, when a wing mate (Kedar Sohoni) called me and said "look I don’t care if you are flunking, we need you for PAF!"

PAF = Performing Arts Festival … the HIGH point of extracurricular activities in IITB! Hostels are paired up with each other randomly and they have to put up an extravagant show! Music, Dancing, Dramatics, Sets, Lights, Acting… anything and everything that anyone knew how to do was showcased around a story… Hostel 5 needed me that year for music… I went back, and that was the turning point… The four professors who I mentioned above saw me perform, decided that anyone who could play the piano that well, HAD to be interested and great at what he did and lectured me and cajoled me into giving my best shot… and I did! and in that semester I flunked 5 subjects out of 6  *deep gloom*

At the same time I was getting deeper and deeper into Art of Living… When I got back from my first Advance course, I couldn’t stop talking about the Ashram, Guruji, Bangalore… and pretty soon had managed to get a few of my wing mates from IIT onto the next basic course… for the record, Ramnik Bansal was the first person to do the course after me…

I don’t think I have desired anything more than becoming a teacher of The Art of Living, and the more I listened to Guruji’s Knowledge tapes and the more I did my Kriya, the more I was falling (oops.. no rising) in love with everything around me… and hating IITB.  By and by I was made a teacher (another story for another time) and it became even more difficult to do academic work during the day and teach the fantastic Knowledge in the evenings…

One day (after the disastrous semester) I went up to Guruji and asked Him if I could “give up ” my degree in IITB. I figured I could simply tell everyone that I went to IIT and omit to mention that I actually did not pass out of the institute…

He laughed uproariously for almost a minute… I was wondering about what the joke was… and then very gently He said to me, Bawa, in order to “give up” something, you first need to have it, otherwise how will you give it up? He said I want you to go from success to success, not from failure to failure! Go and study for me!

And somehow I started to get better and even excel at my academics, and cleared IIT with very good grades! I got one of the highest grades for my MS thesis and huge amounts of appreciation from a lot of professors… even the ones who used to groan inside if I was in their class and would pass me simply so that they wouldn’t have to see my face while I repeated the subject in the summer or the next semester.

Once I had accepted IIT the way it was, I had a rip roaring time there… made lots of friends, did well in academics, did brilliantly in extracurricular activities… and taught hundreds of students the Art of Living course…

I never applied for a job at the placement office of IITB… I already had the Best Boss in the World!!!!

 

 

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AARAMBH 2012
 
 
 

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