From – Life is to run and fight it out, To – Life is to be experienced and not fought against, I have played a twenty- twenty match where my first twenty years was running and fighting it out and the next was a gradual shift towards experiencing, unlearning and deeper listening.
If looked at beyond its conventional boundaries, education forms the very essence of all our actions. How we think what we think along with the churn of converting those thoughts into buckets of needs and wants. Being a seventies child, I can say, things were different then. Childhood was with my red tricycle and daily play in the park with no mobiles. Landline, B&W television with DD1 & DD2 as the channels. From Hum Log to Junoon to Tamas to Street Hawk to Alif Laila to Chandrakanta to Swabhimaan …high quality family content.
Rough weather was an exciting flight up the terrace to calibrate the antenna with my dad while shouting ‘aaya?’ …’Ab? Ab?’ and once the picture was back, it was a supreme feeling to get the credit. Sleeping with no electricity with my dadi moving the hand fan on me, studying with candles in summers, sleeping on the terrace when too many guests at home has all been a part of my upbringing. I was not even aware of what an air-conditioner is at that time. Desert Cooler rocked. My folks introduced me to the tea-culture at an early stage, so Chai with Marie and Rusk biscuits (all in my family pronounced it as biscoot) was a recreation I looked forward to every day sitting with family.
Anyone who knows C.R Park in Delhi, would be aware about the late Doctor ‘Dhar’. He was our family doctor and a person who was looked up to by many people. A great soul who used to come with his stethoscope and doctor dabba on his Bajaj scooter at one phone call. What I learnt from him was service from the heart, rest everything will follow.
Schooling is such an important aspect and stage in our lives. I still recall, the first day at my school was going in a school bus, searching my way to the classroom and making a friend, I almost remember that day. Summer vacations meant – exchanging stamps with my friend, playing cricket and ‘chain-chain’ in the park, spending more time with my dadu, listening to music, going for my weekend ‘Tabla’ classes and my mom helping me with various crafts assigned for holiday homework. One vacation I can never forget is the summer vacation spent with my grand parents in Rajkot at my cousin’s house. The day we reached Rajkot; my cousin sister still had couple of days of school before vacation. That was the first time I saw a ‘Tanga’ (horse carriage) arrive early morning to pick up my sister. That to me was joy. This was also my first visit to the famous Gir Forest National Park.
And talking about school, sharing some interesting things school enlightened me about deeply and these I strongly believe led me into a seamless transition from text to environment.
- Good vs Bad vs Notorious – the first time I became aware of groups. A gang which will be the studios kinds, a gang which will be non-studious and into things we usually do not do in school and the third category who are neither good nor bad, they are just notorious and misuse their intelligence at times.
- Building Memory power – I believe I was in seventh or eighth grade when for our geography paper our class was expecting an essay type question on ‘The Golden Age’ in India. I clearly recall writing five exam sheet pages and everything in context. Today if you ask me to memorise that much content, I will give it a pass.
- No Lunch Time – There was a traditional ‘bell’ that the school bhaiya used to ring at the end of each subject period. But will we wait for the recess bell to go? At times by the second period itself we used to dive into our lunches with stealth.
- Importance of Pocket Money– If I remember correctly, I did not get any regular pocket money till the 10th grade. I realised that money is hard earned and should be spent wisely. Not that I spent it wisely each time!
- Discipline – punctuality and discipline are two attributes that every school endeavour to imbibe in students. These two learnings till date help me in every way.
- Personal Hygiene – after the morning assembly, there was one teacher who was assigned the task of checking nails, hair and uniform of students before reaching our classes. That one moment every day I feared, and that fear was good as it instilled in me a sense of hygiene and looking neat.
The gist of sharing some of these real-life experiences is how we make sense of our education and learnings from daily moments to approach life in text and in environment while seamlessly transitioning when required. This helps in the best utilisation of stimulus vs response in micro moments that form the DNA of our purpose and learning from the environment apart from text!