Student’s Article

What To Be, What Not To Be?

 

What to be what not to be

Is the big question this season you see

Asked by a hundred concerned family folks,

Every time all of us meet.

 

The opening line comes from my grandmother;

Says to me, Listen to me,

An MBA degree is all you need!”

It’s a high paying ‘in’ field indeed

 

My uncle comes up with architecture,

My sister suggest psychology,

Mom then says ‘’Acting is no bad’’

To make things worse, in comes Dad.

 

IAS, IFS, Veterinary, Dentistry, Engineering,

Law, Pharmacy & strangely even singing;

His list of fields goes on & on & on

He finally begs me to be a MAFIA DON

 

A cousin then comes to my rescue

Says, ‘’Let her do what she wants to.’’

They all then ask me in one voice,

‘’What is the field of your choice?’’

 

They get from me a clueless blank stare

Yet in their eyes I can see that they care

So I know; whatever I choose to be

They will always be there for me.

 

What to be, what not to be;

Still remains unanswered, you see!

 

                                                                                                Tanuja Gadgil

The Joy Of Giving

 

We live in an extremely indifferent society. So insensitive are we that sadism and corruption is the norm and inequality has seeped so deep into the system its almost impossible to eradicate. While some enjoy the perks of having their most unrealistic wishes granted some are denied even basic amenities. This is because the concept of giving is lost on our society.

 

Khalil Gibran once said, ‘I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and i saw that service is joy.’  Service to mankind can be in any form. If not to evolve then what is the purpose for us to work? What makes us any different from  a clowder of wild cats. Even they eventually fend for themselves and their family and find something to eat. The very reason that today we call ourselves evolved is because we can be of some use to each other, we can benefit from each others growth. To immerse oneself in the service of others is the most rewarding thing for a person. Some studies show that by helping others we activate those centres in our brain which would otherwise be activated by the pleasure of receiving something. Hence service to mankind is an extremely gratifying experience for the person doing it too.

 

For the longest time i was under the impression that one needs to be wealthy to make a worthwhile contribution to the society. However my recent visit to an old age home just a few weeks back altered my belief on the subject. I met various couples at the old age home and they were even more delighted to see me. I sat, and spoke to them and shared various experiences and heard their stories too. They were so ecstatic to have company, they just wouldn’t let me go. If old age is man’s second childhood, for that one hour and a half i was their object of joy, like a new toy. They were so elated that someone cared to visit, it almost hurt. I was so deeply saddened by the fact that although it took so little to make them happy no one ever took initiative. They were so parched for company and the pain and misery that lurked behind those doors was unfathomable.

 

Thats when it dawned on me, that one does not have to affluent or extremely altruistic to help someone, or to give. We can start small. Give time, give love, lend an ear to someone, spread happiness. These actions don’t cost you a thing but still to someone else this gesture of yours may make their day. And in return the complacency that you feel will make you feel better.

 

One of the many benefits of giving, is that the thing is not lost. It only comes back to you in more abundance. Like they say happiness is probably the only thing that multiplies after dividing. Furthermore, a teacher provides the gift of knowledge. Knowledge is THE most absolutely empowering thing a person can lend another. Providing knowledge is not like the filling of a bucket, it’s more like the lighting of a fire. Therefore the teacher holds a very powerful position in influencing young minds. The young minds of today are tomorrow’s future and inculcating in them the values of sharing and helping will help the society progress. Teachers are catalysts in nation-building. They must use this position carefully and wisely.

 

Giving is just an auxiliary to love. Everyone can contribute in making the world a happier place. As Charles dickens says ‘no one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another’. Start simple, start small and let the gift of love work its magic.

                                                                                               Neha Bhatia