The Eye Opener

“The change doesn’t come when you realize you’re right or wrong. The change comes when you start rectifying the wrongs you have done.”

The boring Chemistry class got over, and it ended with a dull conversation with my best friend about life. I jumped over the desk as soon as the teacher (sir) left and decided to go visit my friends in the next class.

But no sooner had I stepped out, than I saw this teacher (ma’am) scolding a few of my class mates at the far end of the corridor, and another Chemistry teacher (sir) walking towards our class. When I asked him if we had Computers instead in the last period, he replied with fearful eyes that it didn’t matter and the best move for me right now is to go back to my class. I sensed something strong in his eyes, and looked over that far end of the corridor. I instantly judged her character and went running inside the class shouting “Damn she’s strict!” and sat in my place and had my Walkman and earphones hidden deep inside my backpack and myself comfortably placed before she walked in with utmost confidence.

As soon as she walked in, she started demanding the girls to sit in the center row and the guys to occupy the either rows left. We all were shocked and confused as we didn’t even know this teacher and she’s acting like she’s the boss. The first impression, or rather first thought in my head was “Who is this?” and mind you, it was “Who is this?” and not “What the hell is she thinking of herself?”. I wish I had that thought. But I didn’t.

Then, as we settled she began addressing us. As the lecture on life progressed, I started growing my respect towards her. She told things which I had known before and nothing new, but it was the way she told it. It was her confidence. It was her orating skills. It was her attitude. That attitude a person develops over a long period of time by doing good things all the time that they have nothing to lose and are living their life with pride. And she told it. She’s living her life with pride and has all the success she needs.

As soon as she left, it was the voice she took with her, but it was the words that stood there echoing in the walls of the class in few of our friends’ minds. It was her sayings. While coming back to my home, I was dull and hadn’t spoken a word to my bus mate. He waited for fifteen minutes but soon got worried and was tempted to ask me what exactly had my mind so engrossed that I’ve been staring at the chair in front of me for good fifteen minutes. And then it started. Welcome to this “kind of personal” diary entry probably for the first time in my life. This is a lesson I learnt, and thought it might make someone else’s life easy too. Welcome to “The Eye Opener”.

*** Consider the below as my reply to the question my friend asked because in the whole one hour trip, it was only me who was talking, and all he did was listen and then later said bye and got down ***

I don’t know. I feel like everything I have done in my life so far, is wrong. I don’t know what makes me feel this way. I don’t want to be this. I want to change. But I don’t know how. There’s this teacher who came today. And she told some pretty good stuff and it influenced me. I knew it all along, but had no one to tell it to me.

I’m not the person you think I am. I’ll tell you how I was in school. I was disciplined. I was aware of my culture, my ethics, and my rules, and my limits. I was in control. Everyone had respect for me and that is how I always wanted to live my life. I have always believed that at the end it’s not how many people you met, it’s about how many lives you changed for the good. And I was on my way. I was this guy who cared too much about his own set of rules.

Yes, I always had a few set of rules for living my life. I always followed them. I was this guy who enthusiastically wanted to do something for the society. I was the one who started the Save Environment Group on Facebook and made sure everyone of my friends knew the importance of saving the nature. With the hard work of my friends, and my own, we grew our reach from 3 members to over 350 members today. I was this guy who never took a leave on any National Celebration especially Republic Day, and the Independence Day, because I felt even if I can’t do a lot for the country at the moment, I can show my devotion to the country by doing or performing at least something on those days to make a small change. Not a big one, a small tiny one.

I was this guy who used to eat chips packets and used to keep the wrappers of my chips, and my friends’ who threw it on the street in my pocket and carried it all the way to my home to dispose them well. Not to litter. I was this guy who respected teachers for their position and for their person. Never in my life had I even thought ill about any teacher both consciously and unconsciously. I was this guy who believed in ideals and believed in Gandhi’s words that “Be the change you want to see in this world.”

Yeah, you might be thinking what a boring guy I used to be. Well, apparently you’re wrong on this one, pal. I used to have the same amount of fun that my other “funky” friends had. I too had a girlfriend, I too used to watch many movies with my friends, I too used to go out for dinner, and used to attend every field trip and flirt a lot and everything that makes you look cool.

But I used to also be the one begging around for clothes and some money so that the next time our school took us on the Orphanage Trips, I wouldn’t have to see the sad “lost-hope” faces of the old women and men when I say, “I’m sorry, I’ve run out of supplies.”

But I used to also be the first one to stand up and contribute. I also use to be the one to sacrifice everything I am doing right now just to help my friend. I used to fight with my parents just to make sure my friend sleeps a peaceful night.

But I used to also be the one sacrificing my seat in the city bus just to make sure that old tired man from his work at least helps his leg carry him home. But I used to also be the one to make sure I respect everyone – women and men equally, and that one day, there will be a change in the country and there will, trust me, be a better world.

Now what has happened? Until my school life, I was exactly how I described above. Now in college life, everything changed. And if you honestly ask me, it changed for the worse. Everyday the same routine – get up in the morning, send your close friends a good morning message and if time permits, chat a little too, then get ready, face the college for eight hours and come back home and chat again, then think about studying, but never study, and then it’s too late, and I go back to sleep. No learning, no fun, no knowledge, just stress. What life is this?

Are you still listening? I’m sorry I’m boring you. But I need to talk. Honestly, what life is this? I don’t belong here. I know I keep talking about prioritizing stuff and working accordingly, and not that in my life I have never learnt to prioritize – I had. And it was only my discipline and my passion to do something big that I managed to get the marks I got in my tenth.

And that’s what is lacking. The discipline. Do you know when my mom used to tell me in tenth that you aren’t studying, I used to take it up seriously. Even if I didn’t make a timetable on the paper, I used to mentally calculate my time and always stick by it. It was my discipline. I honestly don’t recall any fights with either of my parents regarding my studies during my tenth grade, They knew I was studying, I knew I had what it takes.

And now? Not even a single day passes without my mom scolding me for not studying, for stop chatting, and not a single day in which I don’t shout, or scream, or throw and break stuff in the house. Somewhere, something is going wrong. I know it.

And I’ll tell you something interesting. In Bhagvat Geeta, there is a reference to a Mahabharata incident. When Krishna asks Duryodhana that what he’s doing is wrong, Duryodhana gives a very interesting reply.

He says, “Don’t tell me what’s wrong or what’s right. I know what’s wrong or what’s right. Tell me why I can’t stop doing wrong even when I know I’m wrong.”

Even though Krishna came up with a rather psychological answer, it was worth a thought. We all know what’s wrong or what’s right, and yet we fail to stop ourselves. One of my chemistry teachers in Deeksha, popularly called TVS Sir was shouting at us for not paying attention in the class and randomly gives this mind blowing quote.

He said, “To reach another level, we will first have to leave the level we currently are in.”

It struck my mind, actually, you know, knowledge is like air. It’s everywhere. And I’m not shameful from soaking knowledge wherever I get it – maybe it’s from my seniors, maybe my batch mates, or even juniors for that matter. Knowledge can be taken from anywhere.

I really don’t understand what’s happening. Something must have changed right? How did a guy who was so good suddenly turn like this to something messed up? And all of my close friends reading this blog post, don’t think it is because of me falling in love.

I’ll proudly tell you that I have fallen in love before too, but I didn’t let it affect me. Yes, this time it’s more serious than ever, but it still is love, right? Then what’s wrong? I’ll tell you. It’s prioritising stuff. That’s where all the planning fails. We do wrong things at the so called right times. And then wonder our whole lives what went wrong.

And honestly, me thinking about my life so deeply and this teacher’s lecture on me will not change anything much. Anybody knows of  Sandeep Maheshwari? In one of his seminars, he is seen quoting something really powerful.

He says, “After the end of this seminar, nobody will remember anything I said. It will just be a temporary change in all of you, and then from tomorrow you are back to living your life. Then is this seminar a waste of time? At the end of this seminar, if I ask the audience to raise hands all of them who are paying hundred percent concentration to what I’m speaking, I’ll get ninety percent of the people raising their hands. But if from that ninety percent I ask one of them to requote what I said just in the beginning, I’m pretty sure after one hour of the seminar nobody will remember my words. But if I ask the same crowd to briefly explain the meaning of this seminar, everybody will have their say.”

That’s interesting right? Why can’t we remember what he said? And to be honest, after the hour’s session, I actually wasn’t able to recollect what he said. But I knew what he meant to say. It’s definitely got to do something with his orating skills no doubt, but it also has something to do the way our minds works.

Anyone seen Inception? It’s the same thing. We see our favourite actor Leonardo DiCaprio tell this plane simple line, but it leaves a mark on the people who think about it deeply.

He says, “What’s the most resilient parasite? An idea. A single idea from the human mind can build cities. An idea can transform the world and rewrite all the rules.”

That’s what Sandeep wanted to convey too. And this was a little before the movie came out, so I actually respected what Sandeep said. It’s not what I say that matters, it’s the meaning that stays. Why am I writing all this? It’s because I want to find out where I am going wrong. Maybe the idea is not clear in my head. Maybe my brain hasn’t yet measured the damage I have done to my future by wasting one year of first PUC.

And as I continue to write, I remember another of my Deeksha teachers, known as AR Sir, quote something interesting too.

He said, “We do difficult things in our life with utmost care and perfection. Yet we fail to do simple things in our life.”

It had me wondering, and as my habit goes, I asked myself why we can’t perform the simple things? Is it because our mind is too tuned to complicated things that it makes a simple problem a complicated one? No. It’s simply because we take the simple things for granted. That’s right, We all know two plus three is five. But when we get our answer sheets, we hang our head in shame because we wrote two plus three is six. We multiplied instead of adding. It’s because we took that double line symbol in between the two numbers for granted. We did not care to see whether those two lines are straight (add) or diagonal (multiply).

I need to make a change. And I’ll tell you my New Year’s resolution.

“Make small commitments than big promises.”

And maybe that will help me. Maybe I should start small. Everyone knows one good speech and one good thought can not really change everything if we don’t build on that idea. Okay, let’s start small. Let me start by prioritising stuff. And of course, studies should be the main priority.

And then, how do we go about studying if we have a person running all over our head and so many problems and pressures? Let’s start small. Let’s start by a page. Yes, today, I’ll study a page. I’ll make sure I understand everything. And then tomorrow two pages, then five, then ten, and then a whole lesson! We need to keep growing. We can’t get stuck. At the end of the day, everyday we should learn something or do something productive that will change our life and that’s what is life all about.

I want to apologise to my dad. For all the times I have let him down. I want to be honest with him. I really don’t belong here. And I really don’t want to go where they want me to. I want to be something else.

You are seriously bored no? Let me talk, please?

I want to start small. Maybe a good start will be by not doing anything wrong consciously? Listen, the good habits aren’t gone. It’s just subdued. Know how it feels when you stand up and wish your teacher in the class and no one else does that and then they start laughing at you because you were singing that “Good Morneeeeeng Maaaaam” song all alone? Sometimes it’s the people around us.

Yes, one more point. Company does matter too. I have a lot of friends. But I have only few “good” friends. It’s true that the type of friend you make is most likely what you think you are. That’s how we connect right?

Remember? “We become best friends the moment I do something crazy and I don’t have to explain why I did that.”

Interesting. I hope this blog post helped you. In some way or the other. It’s never too late to start something good you know? And honestly, if you ask me why I want to earn money in life, I’ll reply:

“I want to earn money in life, so that I can give it.”

Help others. Be good. Be you. Lead a life with example. Know where you come from. Respect your country. Respect everyone. Keep your culture and ethics with you. Be in your limits. Stay fresh. And make small commitments than big promises, and I’m sure all of us will change one day.

***

“Dude, my stop is coming!” my bus mate tells.
“Sorry man. I must have bored you like crazy with this random stuff right?”
“No da, it actually made sense!”
“Oh, thanks.”
“Bye!”
“Take care.”

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