Wednesday, June 25, 2014

As I completed my twelfth standard in Science, I was adamant not to do what everyone was doing. This was 19 years back, when still Medical and Engineering were the only well accepted streams of advanced study. I didnt get through the colleges I was looking for, and so applied for BSc. Psychology. I was really attracted to this subject and had an intuition that I would do well there. In the mean time I wrote an entrance for BBA ( Bachelors in Business Administration), a first time course in University of Kerala. I faired pretty well and got through.
I weighed the two options and thought the BBA would definitely get me a job faster than a BSc degree. But I decided to check out the course first before I gave up my seat of Bsc. The course being a start up had a lot of infrastructure issues, but one of the first professors who walked into our class of 60 was Saji Sir. He treated us like a post graduate class and in the first week itself we were filled with interactive exercises, group discussions and challenges which were so out of the box, that  I gave up by BSc seat and decided my future then .
Saji Sir, was a thin framed, highly energetic individual who was contagiously positive and brimming with ideas and things to do. He was teaching us for a semester and frankly I remember most of what he made us go through in that one semester than any other professor/ teacher ever in my life. His big eyes would swell up with excitement when any one of us stepped up to his expectations. Having received that once, you always wanted to be there. Its no wonder that he has done so well for himself and taught over 8000 students all over the world. It was 'reciprocate' first for both of us. He was our first under grad teacher and we his first students.
Life moves on and so did we. Now after 20 years we decide to meet and some enthusiastic group members have planned a get together in this coming Dec 2014. I too agreed to go and also heard that Saji Sir would try to be there. I thought of how nice it would be to get in touch with him again and show our gratitude for having moulded us at a very important stage of our lives.
Our group came alive after we formed a whats app group and in whatever small form it helps us all keep in touch with one another. On 23rd of June, as any mundane day would be, we all were going through our chores when  we hear the news of Saji Sir passing away... I skipped a heart beat..
He probably was a maximum of 10 years older than us and was no age to be taken away from life. It was a shock gripped day and continues to haunt me even now. Now we get to know that it was cancer that took him away...
This is the second death this year of close people I know who had died due to cancer. My aunt passed away in April and now Saji Sir. We do not know the reason of this deadly disease and I sincerely hope with all the advancement in science someone is able to help find the answer to combat this disease.
In another way I feel I am connected to this disease because of the business line that I have chosen. My company O!Bhaji caters to organic food; which is chemical free produce. Chemical based vegetables and fruits which one buys easily, have found to be cancerous to a high extent. Though I may not make it very big financially in this business seeing how unorganized the whole sector is, my determination to spread awarness has now increased multifold.
We are all here with  number of days pre-detemined. With every breath we are going closer to that day.  But within those days, why not do something right? Why not be the change?

Saji Sir is no more and the loss is un-repairable. But the teachings the guidance the support has brought that batch of 60 of us to some level that we are all proud of. The remaining days that we are destined to live on this world, lets put all that we have on the plate every day and live life to the fullest. Make the right  choices, dont take things too seriously and look ahead with the brim of excitement everyday !


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

" I am not what I am, but what You want me to be!"

We are so in tune to this feeling that anything we do is with the basic feeling of what others will think of us. In this whole ball game, 'what i want and whom I am' is lost. 
Recently I was in Kerala for a holiday and went on the famous boat ride in Periyar Tiger Reserve. 
The ride is almost for an hour where you are taken into the river and if lucky you could spot animals that come down to the river to quench their thirst. We were all ready with our cameras to spot  any animals that would be anywhere close to the water. Whoever saw any of the animals- wild boar, elephants, bison would yell out "there...............", and everyone would zoom into that direction . One 12-13 year old boy was seated next to me and had the family camera with him. A girl ahead of us yelled out -" bison" and the boy zoomed... After 5 seconds he told his other i cant see anything... the mother replies " zoom kar photo mein aayega, atleast we will be able to show photos to others that we saw bisons"!
It was not important 'you' saw the bisons , but what was important was that once you went back and showed others the photos either on FB or whatsapp that some animals were seen - 'for others'.
When we were in the US, parents or relatives used to visit and always had an itenary to be seen. Evne if the schedule was too tight, they had to see all the highlights in the country, lest they would be asked how come they didnt see that one spot! And the answer to that question disturbs one to the effect that we have missed doing/ seeing something really nice which is much better than what we actually did.
It is an universal phenomenon that is ingrained in us from childhood. School, home, office, class, everywhere. Think about it. Even when you are doing something, how often is it SOLELY for yourself? Most of the time it is to outwit others, show someone how good you are or simply because someone else did it and you want to be 'as good' if not better.
I am trying to unlearn this universal phenomenon. I am consciously trying both on myself and my family. When my 5 year old daughter compares herself/ our household with others, I dissuade her and bring to light how its cool to be different :)
I want her to start thinking on her own and not live her life for 'others' reasons. I want her to search for that one innermost feeling of what makes her happy and life for that feeling. Will that be achieved only if we live all alone? I dont know..
Until answers are found, consciously try to live everyday with a search for that reason that makes  your self elated and happy!