Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Thing I Am Most Ashamed Of !

The softness of the falling snow was as gentle as the hand of a new born child. The chillness of the cruelly cold but fresh as dew wind blowing into my eyes brought tears to the same. My IPOD was humming the "Yeh tumhari meri baatein" song from ROCK ON. As I was waiting for the bus, through the foggy environment and the falling snow, my university campus looked like heaven on earth.

Amidst all this, my mind was filled with a strange sense of pride. “Sai, you are living one of the best lives on the planet”, thought my mind egoistically.

“Thank you God, Thank you for everything you have given me”, Said my heart humbly.

Listening to the words of my heart, my mind had obtained a teasing thought.

“Hey heart, I want you to ask something today !”, Said my mind.
“And what is that my dear ?”, asked my heart.
“What is that one thing you are most ashamed of yourself ?”, asked my mind to the heart.

On hearing it, my heart was silent for a few minutes.

“Why don’t you answer ? Is it that there is nothing that you are ashamed of ? If that is the case, do tell me the same too !”, demanded my mind proudly and quickly.

“Hmm, naa dear. There is something that I am very ashamed of. But I’m wondering if you’ll be able to face it when I say it !”

“Well, I have put up with you for 23 years my heart and so you know I can face anything and everything. Whatever it is, come out with it ! I want to know what is that you are most ashamed of !”, replied my mind.

“Hmm, if that is the case, then know it. The thing that I am most ashamed of is unfortunately the thing that you are the most proud of at the moment. And that thing is – YOUR EDUCATION !”

“ What ! Are you in your senses ? You say that my education is what you are ashamed of ! I know you are crazy and know no sense but then this is just too much ! You are crossing your limits. How did you even dare to say something about my education ! Can’t you feel the happiness we both got out of education ? We are in one of the best universities in the world ! Education is what got us friends, Education is what got us name in the society, Education is what brought mom and dad here to the U.S., Education is the reason Preethi proudly tells her friends I am her brother, Education and classes is what people ask about me whenever they see me. Education is what brought us comforts and everything. My Education is the reason our stomach is full and has strength to withstand this snow. And you say that it is the thing you are most ashamed of. You are a Namak Halal ”, shot back my mind.

“ Hmm, I may be one. But my dearest educated mind, did you ever think that all your education gave you was a method to earn a living but not a method to live life ? ”, asked my heart.

“What ? What do you mean ?”, demanded my mind.
“Dear, I mean what I say. Your education has taught you to earn a living but not live a life. It has taught you the fear of failure but not the joy in learning. Jealousy drives you more than passion. Happiness for you is only your success. And worse success for you is only and only your success. The thing that you are the most proud of is the thing that would not let you sleep in the nights. The thing that you are the most proud of is also the thing you are the most uncomfortable doing. On a beautiful, lovely day of your life when you should be jumping out of the bed to live and love, you are worried that it has dawned and hate it putting the pillow over your head.”, replied my heart.

“That’s a lie. Prove it !”, said my mind.

“Dear, you know too that it isn’t a lie. But anyways, fear of failure, Jealousy over others’ success, tiredness over done work, Worry about the coming future, laziness about the impending work, hatred while doing the same are all feelings, and feelings my dear, belong to my department”, Said my heart.

“Hmm, well its cut throat competition out there and I’m doing what only everyone does !”, defended my mind.

“Ya, I know dear. I know its cut throat competition and that is why I am very ashamed of it. Because something as sacred as education has been turned into a battle field. And today when you were boasting your success in it, I felt you are nothing but successful murderer in this battle and felt ashamed of the same !”, said my heart as it continued.

“In our place, 7 I.I.Ts and 6 I.I.Ms are considered the elite places to be. About a million students compete for the same every year. Those who get there are considered THE BEST. The others are left to live with the stigma of failing to get there ! They are forced to underrate their own abilities by people around them. That means year after year, year after year out of a million students, 5000 students are branded as the best and the others are made to feel as B-Grade movies and forced to run a marathon race for life. That again means, we are undermining and killing the potential of 99 % of the country’s youngest and most talented potential !"

"My dear, I do not understand how can failing to get into one particular college within limited time/age make a person less in interest, enthusiasm and passion than others ? Did he/she not have the interest to study and put in the effort ? Just because our country could not provide more number of I.I.T and I.I.M type quality institutes does not mean people who do not get there aren’t as worthy as those who get there ! And thus when 95 % of our country’s youth is not happy with the quality of education they get and are left to feel jealous & unworthy because of the rest 5 %, how do you think that youth will make a difference ? As i said, all this education has managed to do separate people as unique and different rather than actually encouraging them to create any difference ! And even those unique and different, all they manage to do is to earn the highest amount of money in the shortest possible time for the greatest respect of people around them ! And that is why I said, this education that you have, is one that has created a battle field and a race to earn a living than create a desire to have life and fight for the betterment of it ! And your success in it is like a soldier succeeding in killing a fellow person and in this case your own brother/sister so that you can have a greater comfortable and respectable life. As i keep saying you have an education that has taught you a method to earn living than method to live life”

“So, what do think education teaching us a way of life can do ?”, asked my mind.

“I need not answer the same. You know it too ! Dear, such an education will teach people to make a difference rather than just being different.”

“And what do you mean by making a difference and being different ?”, asked my mind.

“Hmm.. Dear, imagine you have an important examination tomorrow morning. You have worked hard for it for about a month. You know and have a thorough knowledge of the subject and will definitely do great in the exam as well as work related to it. And yet on the on the way to the exam, if you see someone lying in a pool of blood on a road due to a serious accident and have no one to help around, will you go to the exam or will you help the person out ?”, asked my heart.

My mind was silent in response to the question.

“That is why I am most ashamed of your education !”, replied my heart.