Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Best Teacher in the world - KISKI Sir

It was during the 10th standard Board Exam season. Everyone from the newspaperman to the anxious parents to the school watchman (who actually wanted to lock the school grounds after we left) was saying the same thing : Its (Board Exams) the most important period in your life. If you toil hard now, you will reap its benefits for the rest of your life.

But for me it was a little different experience as I was suffering from Chicken pox, and by the sheer determination of my Mother , I had got a chance to write the Board Exams ( see a previous post for the whole story ). Although I was happy to have gotten the chance to write the exams, I felt sad and left out as during the study leave days while my friends were doing group study sessions and stress busting game sessions in between, I was stuck inside my house.

During this time someone came knocking on the front door one late night and my mom called out that someone was there to see me ! I was surprised and came out my room to see the smiling face of my tuition teacher Kiski (his pet name, real name Suresh Kumar). He sat with me and my family and spoke to us about how I was well prepared for the Exams already like all his students and the Chicken Pox at this stage of the Exams was a non issue. I told him that the condition given by the school was that I will enter the premises 15 min after the exam started and I will have to leave 15 min before the exam ended so that I don't mingle and infect other students.He told not to worry.  I don't remember what all we talked about that night but I remember that when he left we all felt a lot better, especially my parents.                    

When the results came, I found that I got 480/600 marks which was the distinction cut off. While my friends rejoiced / grumbled about the 520+ marks they got, I was thankful to God, my Parents, and especially to my Kiski Sir for filling me with confidence. The gentle soul also presented me with the best student of the year award at my tuition class that year and also extracted a promise from me that I will visit the tuition center frequently so that Sir could use my story to inspire other kids.Frankly I did nothing big at all and I felt very embarrassed when I heard my name being called (how I got down from the ladder during the presentation ceremony held on terrace of the tuition class, while wearing a dhoti for the first time, with many class mates standing below is yet another story).

I have seen many people in life who go with the tags of Teacher,Tutor,Master,Sir,Lecturer etc but I have seen very few who deserve the title of Teacher in its true meaning...And Suresh Sir was one of the those for sure !

                                                      (Image courtesy : http://thehindu.com )

The reason for this post is that today a friend shared a link that Suresh Sir got the national award for best teacher last year.


Now this News is the best New Year gift for his ever grateful student ! 

Friday, September 13, 2013

The only way you can 'teach' someone a lesson is by being kind

Munna bhai was right all along...The only way you can 'teach' someone a lesson is by being kind.

Scene 1 : I was driving and had come near a junction under a bridge which has traffic jams on most days. When there is a traffic jam, usually the traffic police guy allows two wheelers to cut the traffic island (one of pillars of the bridge) and move diagonally to the right instead of going around it. I had done this many times when the police were redirecting traffic like this...

So one day while returning from office , I saw the similar traffic block but no traffic police. So slowly I started to take the diagonal short cut. When I was mid way I saw a 40+ yr old traffic police man running at great speed towards me. Expecting the usual shouting and forceful taking of the key by him to collect the fine, I stopped on the road side. He came near by, a tad out of breath, and told me to take off my helmet and told "Even when we traffic guys tell you to take this short cut you should be very careful, please do not take this on your own." With that he left...I was surprised and embarrassed and have never taken that shortcut unless traffic police give the go ahead.

Scene 2 : I was taking a U turn on my bike and a car, 30 feet away, was slowly negotiating the speed breaker at the intersection. Since I had already turned to the right, I continue to take the U turn but the car speed up after the speed breaker and reached the same spot. Both braked hard with me hitting the front tire. Expecting the usual blame game and some kind of exaggerated damage assessment routine, I told him that lets move to the side and discuss as we were blocking traffic.

He told : "No issues, please drive safely..".

May be he knew he was at fault too , may be he was shaken with the sudden braking...But I like to think he was just a nice pleasant guy.

Needless to say turns are taken more carefully by me after that day, but more importantly I try to see fellow drivers also as someone like me , and try not to wear the most common crown we bestow to ourselves : I am a Above Average Driver !

So remember Munna Bhai and try to be nice to someone even if they are at fault. It will surely teach them a lesson they will never forget.   

Saturday, August 10, 2013

King of the Jungle : Ntwadumela (n-twy-du-may-la)

When I was young and had just started watching the Discovery channel (back then there was no NGC or the Animal Planet) , the one thing that I hated was the very rare and almost nil availability of footage of my favorite animal - The Tiger. Try as i might I could never see it on TV. All I got to see was the Lion time and again on TV, and after seeing the sorry sad specimens in the local zoo, I had no admiration for the Lion. The primary school lunch break arguments of Lion Vs Tiger, Wolf Vs Tiger etc were fiercely fought over, and I never fought for the Lion. I always wondered why the hell was it called King of the jungle when the Tiger was so beautiful and graceful.

But all of this changed one day....the day I saw Ntwadumela (n-twy-du-may-la), He who greets with fire...

That 1 hr tv program (Lions and Hyena - Eternal Enemies) changed my whole idea of Lions, and made me a big fan...

A fairly simple search brought me to a small clipping of Ntwadumela. I know I saw it on a old TV long ago when HD was not heard of. But when I walk back in memory, I feel as if I saw Ntwadumela on a 72 inch screen in full HD.

See the below youtube clip and imagine seeing it on a 72 inch screen in HD with surround sound. And then ask yourself who is the King of the Jungle ?

I still get goose bumps when I view this superb combination of great footage, good background voice and music , slow motion effect,  and one great King of the Jungle -  Ntwadumela !

Alas all good things come to an end. The google search for this clip also brought me to an article that told that Ntwadumela was no more...

"Mandevu and Ntchwaidumela, like most ousted lions in Savuti, wandered northward from one territory to next, through a network of territories that eventually requires these older lions to cross a government-sanctioned hunting ground.

Trophy hunters killed both of the long-reigning lions, from the safety of vehicles
, as they moved from one protected preserve to another in 1991."

"I know that wherever Ntchwaidumela’s skin hangs, on a wall somewhere in the U.S.A., perhaps, the new owners have no idea of the life that this lion lived. The daily heroics, the matings, the battles with elephants and buffalo, and, of course, his almost nightly vendettas against hyenas can never be seen on his fading skin." - Dereck Joubert, ‘Hunting with the Moon: The Lions of Savuti’

So the next time you see a old thin Lion in a zoo or circus (if they still have them), remember that he too is a brother of the majestic Ntwadumela - He who greets with Fire...He is the Hyena killer