Saturday, July 10, 2010

Lessons Learned in Intermediate

Almost everyone who has done Intermediate Education in A.P consider those 2 years as very strenuous and worst phase of education. Seeing the title of the blog, if you think that I am an exception and that I still remember the formulae of Physics, Chemistry, 1A, 1B, 2A or 2B (Mathematics), you would be totally wrong.

Apart from helping me secure a good rank in EAMCET and thus enabling me to pursue my engineering in a reputed institute, sometimes I wonder if those 2 years had any impact on my life. When I search the back end of my memory related to the times of my Intermediate, I realize that there was an impact on my attitude and thought process, the effect of which continues till date.

Our elders usually give us many messages on various occasions. Most of them enter through one ear and escape through the other, without making any difference. However, some messages are thought-provoking, inspiring and get embedded in our minds. Some of my Inter lecturers gave us a few such messages, which I still remember and follow with my own amendments.

My English lecturer, Koteshwar Rao Sir, was a wise, elderly man who used to say quotations or short stories to make the class interesting. In some context, he gave us this message. “It is important for you to be good and it is even more important that people believe that you are good. Build up a very good character in such a way that, one day, if someone falsely accuses you, none should believe that you could be wrong. It doesn’t mean that you should fool people into believing that you are good, though you aren’t.” I feel it’s very true. What will happen if you are very good, but people blame you to be very bad? You may even end up becoming bad, as you may get the attitude, “Anyway, people think that I am bad though I am good; then what is the use of being good?”

A spark is enough to ignite a fire. I didn’t know till then, that a spark of sarcastic comment could ignite the fire of patriotism in me. It was during my Sanskrit class that we once got an announcement regarding flag hoisting on the next day. Then my lecturer, Srinivas Sir said, “It is only twice a year that we get patriotism and tomorrow is one such day. So, attend the flag hoisting without fail.” I then learned, “Be patriotic always, not just on January 26 and August 15. As a sign of patriotism, attend flag hoisting on those days.”

Be it school or junior college or Engineering College, we have atleast one teacher/lecturer with whom we are very close. Our Maths (1B, 2B) lecturer, Ramnivas Sir was one such person. Bored of the hectic schedule, we asked him (just as a joke) on December 1st whether we all could take out a rally on the occasion of World AIDS Day. He then shared this experience of his.

“I once had to go to Bangalore and there I stayed in my friend’s room for few days. He was hospitable and close to me. I had a nice time there. Few days after I returned from Bangalore, I came to know that he was an AIDS patient. Had I known it before, I doubt whether I would have been as close as I was, during those few days of my stay in his room. What the AIDS patients need is not the rallies or the extra care and financial support. What they need is non-discrimination in the society.” I haven’t come across any AIDS patients till now (I hope I am right with this statement :D). In future, if I come across one, I will (try to) be normal and behave like I behave with anyone else.

In some context, out Maths (1A) lecturer, Kutumba Rao Sir compared the attitudes of Indians and Americans. “If an Indian earns 100 bucks, he tries to save 90 bucks and spend the remaining 10 bucks. If an American earns 100 bucks, he tries to spend 110 bucks by borrowing 10 more bucks. This small difference in attitude makes a big difference. We need to remember that our expenditure is income to someone else. If the rich are saving money without spending, the rich will be becoming richer and the poor the poorer. This is what happens in India.”

I wasn’t worried about the authenticity of his ‘facts’, but I came to this conclusion. Never be a miser. If you are saving money, let it be just to spend at one go, and not to pass on to the next generations. Spend as much as possible but do not waste money. (This statement might be quite confusing, but there is a difference between spending money and wasting money, isn’t it?)

Recollecting those wonderful messages and penning them down here, gives me an unknown excitement and happiness. These lessons learned in Intermediate turned out to become few of my principles of life. Each one of us learn something new even during our tough times and busy schedules, but we don’t recognize them as learning. Let us hope that we’ll be able to learn always and also realize that we have learned something new.