Thursday, September 5, 2013

A teacher is nothing if not a lover....


All I can say on the Teacher's Day is that making me a teacher was one of two greatest gifts life ever gave me. It was a romance, a life-long love affair of the dizziest kind. it was never about imparting instruction,information, knowledge or stuff like that: that was always secondary to my understanding of my principle task. Awakening my students to the glorious and priceless wealth of love was the primary task, a key to everything else that was and is of any value in education. Igniting a passion for life, a zest for joy, a guiltless pursuit of happiness of the highest kind - this to me defined my job.

And I deem myself perhaps the most fortunate person on the planet for how many are rewarded for their honest work as handsomely, spontaneously and unhesitatingly as I have always been! For me, rewards came rich and thick and fast. Every moment of my life as a teacher was packed with these rewards: the smiles on the joyous faces of students when they looked at flowers and at one another in the college, the glow on their cheeks when they blushed for being too right, the shine in their eyes when they discovered that they were in love with just about everyone around them, even though a little more at one or two particular places or with person or persons or the other in their lives, and my own shy blushes every time I discovered that a student was in love with me too -- all this to me was always far, far more important than anything that I was supposed to "teach" them, or to receive as my remuneration for my "job". I received pay checks by the hundreds every morning as students would chance to pass by me in a corridor, through a colonnade, in a verandah, in playground, in front of class rooms - anywhere any morning , in fact any time of the day. My days and nights were packed with students and their love. I was with them during the day: they were with me during the night, in my loneliest hours even.
I was convinced I would be able to teach them nothing if I was not able to learn from them. And neither of the two was possible without my first falling in love with any student who came across to me with innocent queries or with just that look in his or her eyes which sang , "Won't you help me, sir?"

My sole regret - if any - would be that it wasn't humanly possible always to be equal to or worthy of the love that my students always gave me - even those few who thought they did not like me. But as Robert Browning says, "God above is great to grant, as Mighty to make/ And creates love to reward love." Sooner or later , at some point, somewhere, some day, nature brought all my students back into my heart's lap, where I had always kept, nursed, caressed and indulged them, each one of them - individually and together. How I loved and still love their little concerns, their little worries, fears, suspicions, unreal hatred, superficial dislikes and genuine and very genuine love ! So unashamed was I in my pursuit of love with my students that some girls in the Basic Sciences College had nicknamed me "Professor Love". ( Incidentally, Professor Love - Professor Paul L. Love - was an American teacher, a truly Christian missionary, at Baring Union Christian College, Batala, and he will always remain an icon to me for some of the things I followed in my life as a teacher)

I sincerely believe that its perhaps the highest honour for man to be chosen by life for a career in teaching. There is only one phase of my life which I might put above my years in love as a teacher: my years as a student in love with my teachers.)

I was one of the luckiest few who received and gave limitless love both as a teacher and as a student. In the final balance, I guess I perhaps received far more love than I can ever adequately acknowledge, far less return. In humble and sincerest apology to my students, all I can say is: " I do not love my son the less, but my students more."

And to my teachers: "I do not love my mother the less, but my teachers more." I was lucky that I had teachers who made me aware of all that beats in my bosom resembling what others would call "romance" - for want of a word still better than this. And I was even luckier that I found students who resonated to all that my teachers had put in my loving heart. 

Miracles zones and eyes too weak

I am seeing the wondrous miracle zones I have always wanted to see in my life, and they seem just a few steps away. But now my legs refuse to carry me across those few steps, too weak , too tired, too unwilling. Has someone else been so close to what he wanted so badly in life, and yet not able to reach his hand out to touch it just when it seems so much within reach ? Let thy experience be my guide - and the energy in my legs.

Thoughts on life in a civilisation free from death

One of the characters in my never-to-be-written (( so it seems) book is wondering these days how humans would have shaped their civilisation had one of man's oldest wishes been granted: immortality, or , in simple words, a world in which everyone is born but  no one dies. All kinds of  possibilities, none of them complimentary to the character of mankind,  cross my character's mind. Some of these are truly frightening ; others  even blood curdling,  What would the young members of such a civilisation do with their old: would they - would they be able to - keep them with their children in joint families? The old would always heavily outnumber the young, for generations upon generations of them would heaped together in each succeeding generation. Or - Heavens be merciful !- would the young, who would obviously be in control of the civilisation,  - in order to preserve the race against inevitable food shortages -  evolve laws,  practices and conventions under which everyone who crosses a certain age , say 80 to 100 years, would be offered the option of either voluntary exit - poison or something - or face merciful execution? In the event of the second, woould the execution be described as "sacrifice" to the God of Survival. My character seems convinced that human would have invented religious or spiritual justifications for the inevitable cruelty through all kinds of esoteric or occultist stretches of imagination.

When I talked to my character last night, I was horrified at how coollly he considered all these -- and many other such possibilities. Frankly, I had no answer to his questions as to what place would virtues like mercy, pity, love, compassion hold in a civilisation created thus by nature.

I stopped writing , and thought I would toss the question to friends on Facebook, to see how the story - or the line of my character's thought processes - be guided from hereon. I am confronted with terrible possibilities, all of whom make nonsense of beliefs I have always held dearer than life ( Ah! here may be the answer! But wait !)

I throw the idea before you. Personally, I am horror struck at the questions the character in my book is posing with ghastly grin. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Sunnycaves: "There are no final goals in life. There are only steps you take towards them. Every step defines a goal,"..from Hazel

Sunnycaves: "There are no final goals in life. "..from Hazel

"There are no final goals in life. There are only steps you take towards them. Every step defines a goal,"..from Hazel

"You have run one fourth of your race well, are well on course for what you set out to do, and then suddenly get distracted towards something more immediately promising, alluring and rewarding , and achieve half of that too. And then , suddenly you look back to the exact point where you lost focus, got distracted. And you find that time has run our - almost - and you have gone in a direction that has taken you farther away from what you originally set out to reach......" In fact he had lost focus again. He had forgotten why he was saying what he was saying.

Then the forest spoke again:

" One fifth of the track is still ahead of you, inviting you to take it and try to re-route and finish as much of the race you originally started as you can because that was the race you were born to run. You may not reach the goal but you would be nearer it. Make sure that your goals are right. If you are running in the wrong direction, re-route - no matter how far you are gone. Once you do that, remember this, and only this: the important thing in life is not to reach your goals but to keep running and enjoy the distance covered. Every yard you cover towards the right goal - the goal after your heart -and every stride you take towards it, every step you put forward is a goal in itself, as enjoyable and as much worth reaching as what you thought was the final goal. There are no final goals in life. There are only steps you take towards them. Every step defines a goal, is a goal. If you do not enjoy the steps, you will not enjoy any goal you achieve. The important thing in life is not to breast the finishing tape;the important thing is running towards it. The goal in life is not the finishing line, but the track that takes you towards it. If you don't love the race, then the goal is not worth your reaching. Those who remember the goal and forget the race lose both."