Being Dropout 1

I shall tell you a story, if you permit. It’s my story. It’s story of me. The story which changed my life. The story which taught me life. The story which unveiled my vision. My story of myself being dropout. How all it begin?

This entry in my blog will be more personal and as-usual non-fictional write up in more Informal way, as always It used to be. I hope to present it in more colloquial and impromptu way. Let us begin.

It was my 95% higher secondary score which took me a seat in Tamilnadu’s well renowned Engineering Institution situated in Coimbatore, PSG Tech. I opted five years industrial training integrated sandwich bachelor’s degree in Production Engineering. Won’t say that my parents insisted me to opt so. It was solely my choice. I took with dreams in eyes. It was totally my option.

That was my first day in college. I never admired anything. Nothing seemed exiting to me. While others were on cloud nine ready to explore infrastructures and opposite human structures. I had no eyes. That might have been my determination. To immerse myself into studies. I got myself ready for the battle. To face engineering. To be a production engineer of great caliber. Everything is ready. Break on through to the other side.

Since that was first day students were compelled to attend orientation seminars. Everything in our society comes out of compulsion, not chosen. When I went inside the hall, there stood a person before screen on stage ready to present something. By his initial talk I was able to gather that he’s gonna orient students towards their course.

The session started with video clips. Some inspirational, some confident, some inspirational, some courageous.

After throwing handful of clips the presenter asked “How much of you are fearless? I mean really fearless. The fearless ones are asked to raise their hands up”

Each and every hand in the hall rose up in air roaring “We are fearless”

“Happy to see you fearless warriors. Let me move next. You all fearless are asked to come forward to the stage’ he grinned thinking great about his eloquence.

None stood. There was a wave of gossips running.

‘No one’ he added.

‘Really, no one?’

I stood up. And there were at least ten to accompany me to stage. We stood there on stage.

‘Yeah. Happy to see all you fearless hearts. These are real fearless. But before praising them I like to conduct another test. Let us see.’

Everybody was surprised. They were eager to see what happens next.

‘No great test. I want you to repeat whatever I do. Ok?’

Everybody nodded with mystery rays in their face. First, he clapped hands. Everybody followed. Then he rolled his eyes. It was followed. Then there were some actions resembling some exercises which everybody followed. Then came the shock.

The presenter suddenly jumped high from the stage towards floor with lengthy leap shouting enough like a castrated bull. Every dozing minds got out with cry as if had a mare. The crowd was totally shocked and interested to see what befalls next.

‘Can any one repeat’. There was a dead silence followed up by a roar higher to his pitch. I came back to the stage after repeating aptly his action with no reaction in face while the presenter stood there soaked in sweat nervous. There occurred a thunder of clap and huge crowd roar. The presenter got his mike.

‘I’m really moved. I’ve never witnessed this thing to happen. I had conducted more than 500 seminars before. But this one is absolutely different from them. No one had dared to repeat this attempt. But this man had. He had recovered from the attempt showing enigmatic countenance. I salute you. You shall return to the seat. I’m tired instead’.

After a minute’s break the presenter returned back. There were certain lectures on life, money, the importance of degree and so on. I don’t really remember what brought the talk of Gandhi in.

He questioned “Have you read anything about Gandhi?”.

Everyone nodded.

He added “Who’s he?”

“Father of our nation” answers came.

“Really?’

‘Yes”

“OK. Do you know what he was doing when his father was on his death bed?”

“He was with his wife” I replied as nobody gave.

“Yes. thanks gentleman for answering. He was with his wife. He was with his wife in bed leaving his father in death bed. Do he really qualified to be called father of our nation or Mahatma meaning Greatest Soul?”

He had made the crowd to think about that.

“I’m not saying this without proof. Gandhi writes about this in his own autobiography. Didn’t he?”  The question was pointed towards me.

I stood immediately. “Yes he does. And one more thing, is it wrong to do wrong?”

He laughed aloud saying “ Yeah that’s why its called wrong. Name signifies”

“Well. Can you assure me that you had never erred in your lifetime”

“Yes. I had. Many time. But I don’t say myself father of nation or Mahatma”

“Wait. So erring is no wrong?”

“Its wrong”

“Then you mean you are wrong”

“You are confusing me. I had wronged but I don’t say myself as father of nation or Mahatma”

“Patient professor. Answer my question alone. You have wronged right?”

“Yes. I had. But I don’t call myself father of nation or Mahatma”

“Well. Gandhi do never calls him as father of this nation or Mahatma. Do you accept”

“Im. Yes. It’s people after him”

“OK. To err is human. You accept. Right?”

“Yes”

“Have you done anything which you feel greatest err of your time? Please answer honestly sir, as I trust you more than you could imagine”

“Well. Yes”

“Can you narrate it to all of us”

“No. Why must I? I have repented and I felt shame of that already”

“You are not bold enough to narrate it public right?”

“You are changing the topic”

“Answer me. Then shall I enter the topic”

“Yes. It’s private. I can’t”

“By your response I conclude two things sir. To err is Human and to admit that err is heavenly. Right?”

“Yeah. Absolutely”

“There comes the answer”

“What answer?”

“To admit is heavenly. Gandhi had admitted his error in his auto biography. He writes that not out of Joy but of Shame. The quality of admittance knowing very well that there will be speakers like you in future slamming him for that action distinct us from him being Mahatma and Father of Nation.”

“…..”

“It has become fashion these days to slam Gandhi. If you soulfully read his life you’ll understand his mission and contribution. I conclude”

“Shall I say you a thing?”

“Sure sir”

“You don’t have quality to sit here in this room not even to stand here on stage. You’ll surely soar high up leaving this institution. All the best”  The presentation winded up.

(To be Continued)

Baba Pakurdheen A

Anthropologist, Writer, Traveler, Journalist and ultimately a Simplite.

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