I hit upon this brilliant idea, that I too should write. I felt that sudden urge to make it big; Booker Prize, New York Best Sellers List, Money, Fame and a Rendevouz with Simi Grewal.
At the breakfast table, one rainy morning, I said to my wife Ann, 'I'm going to write'! I was immediately checked for signs of fever - I had been delirious with a temperature of 104 degrees when I was down with Malaria. Hence the quick check up!
I also hit upon the title - BTW Dude! (By the way dude! - for those of you who have come in late). The audience was definitely identified as the typical 20 something with a 'BTW' attitude. But then I wondered....How could a forty plus 'dude' communicate with 20 something 'dudes'. Easier said than done? Just that - when my target audience was on a breast milk diet, I was graduating from College! Tough!
I was introduced to Orkut. Was sucked in. And have got deeply entrenched there. By popular demand I am continuing - as the Schumacher of Orkut. Then came suggestions that my 'gems'should appear in a web-log or Blog! Took advice from my 'usual suspects'; the friends on Orkut. Unanimously I was goaded to write a blog. That's why I am writing this blog! BTW Dude has been dammed!
I just finished 16 years of teaching on October 2nd 2006. How did I fare in these 16 years? I took stock. Sat back and did some thinking. Concluded that I had done a reasonably good job. You can't please all. But, most importantly, I had pleased myself! I am one happy 'dude', particularly when I see my students doing well in life!
I attended the Annual Homecoming of TAPMI, Manipal. I spent quality time with students of the 2004-06 batch. I had first met them, a motley bunch of curious youngsters, on June 16th 2004. They were putty in my hands. I tried pushing through some 'fundas of life' alongwith the staple diet of Financial Accounting and Financial Management. In the process, I spent nearly 80 hours of my life, with them, inside the confines of the class; and God Alone Knows, many more in the canteen. I attended their convocation, the first one that I had attended, and a few did cry on my shoulder when the time came to part. It was at that time that I wondered - What will become of them? I fretted; like a parent would.
Time went by. And I met them at the homecoming. I was surprised. This time I met, a disciplined bouquet of determined young men and women. In the course of the day, the opium of truth hit me. I had stagnated, they had moved ahead in life. That night I slept, contended. They, a 'motley bunch of curious youngsters' were already on their way. My chest swelled with pride and I slept the sleep of God's.
Do teachers all over have the same feeling? I wonder! Haven't been able to communicate this thought to many amongst my colleagues.
What was the reaction of these young people when they met me? I did not ask. One of them had hauled a shirt for me, all the way from Kolkata. Why me? I was overwhelmed! Could I take it as a reaction?
Every day of these last 16 years, I too have been taught. Lessons by young people. By my colleagues. By friends. Subjects too diverse to mention. I have matured too as wine would if permitted. I have learnt to be a co-student. I have concluded that students are my clients; just as they are clients of the institute to which they have come.
I raise a toast, not to myself, but to all the people who I have come in contact in the last 16 years. They who left an impression on me. May their tribe increase and prosper! Amen!