Listen with Ears Open

     When my results for 12th and CET were out, I was little worried. Because those weren’t very great marks to celebrate for. I even doubt whether those will fall around average line. But that was it. And I knew I’ll have to live with those two facts rest of my life. Sooner I started with application process and also received admit from an engineering college. It sounds very simple but it wasn’t. Scoring marks, applying to Institutes/universities and getting admit, isn’t the only thing. I got so called suggestions and guidance along the way, let alone judgments of others. When I received the score and was thinking about what to do next, my dad’s friend called and said to seek guidance from his nephew who was in the USA. Let me tell you truly that I was fantasized about the idea of being abroad in those days. I thought good about it and so we decided to visit his Indian home. When we went there, his mom welcomed us. Skipping to the point, she made a phone call. When I took the phone, he, the USA guy,  without asking me anything, anything at all, said to me following: ‘Don’t go for engineering. That’s really very tough. You will be a failure. Forget about getting an engineering degree, you won’t even be able to pass your first year. Don’t go for any science courses, computer courses as well. Because you will fail there too! Basically go for the arts. Repeat your 11th and 12th from arts and see what happens. Wish you all the best’.
And he hung up the phone. Well, I couldn’t recall, but I think I must have felt low and demoralized after hearing something like that.
     Later, irrespective of whatever that US guy thought of me, I started the application process to the engineering programs. Somehow I received admit from nearby college for Production Engineering course. Even at that stage, there were people who said ‘what kind of degree program is this’. They insisted my father to get me admitted in Mechanical Engineering, which would have cost a heavy sum of donations. I disagreed and took the admission to the Production course anyway.
     Of course it was tough in the beginning. The engineering, I mean. But then somehow I got my hands on it. And on the contrary to whatever that US guy said about my failure, I scored a rank in Engineering, sufficient enough to let me receive my degree certificate through Padma Vibhushan Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar in the Graduation Ceremony. Now when I look back today, I feel good about not listening to that guy. Though I was little worried about the outcome, I really enjoyed my course and never regretted the decision.
     Definitely I’m not the only one around who goes through experiences & turnarounds like these. 8 Years ago, Rohan, my childhood friend, said to me that he wanted to join coaching class to improve his academics (He thought he was poor in it). So, he visited my coaching center for further help. What happened next was horrible for me. The head of coaching denied admission and humiliated him because of his handwriting. He judged him based on his handwriting and said to him that a student with such poor handwriting should not waste time in my coaching and blah blah blah. The head of coaching also called me and said that ‘he is not intelligent enough and won’t be able to do anything in his life. Suggest him to do something simple, so that he will at least earn some money for living’. Now from a teacher, that’s really not a kind of guidance. I do not call him teacher anymore. He is nobody for me. But what happened to Rohan? What is he doing now? Is he a failure based on that nobody’s judgment? Has he failed because somebody thought his handwriting was no good? HELL NO! He did his course in animation and is now working with one of the best animation companies. He also won a campaign in that company recently and went on to the Europe tour as a winning prize! Yet there is a long way to go! And what about that coaching institute and the overconfident smart-as*? His ship sank long ago.
     Like above, there are many such examples in our society where overconfident people think of themselves as in the authority to decide what others should do. These people think that they have achieved ‘enough greatness’ which [they assume] puts them in the position to mentor or judge others. Basically these are the toxic daydreamers who have created their own world around them and are thinking of themselves none less to Gods into it, instead of accepting the reality that they are nothing but the bunch of as*holes roaming around. In their world, the natural law ‘Anyone can achieve anything with perseverance and other such key elements’ does not exist. The point I’m trying to make is that just because s/he has achieved ‘something’ and now living in some XYZ country doesn’t qualifies him/her to determine what I should do. Besides, letting such self-proclaimed achievers decide the path of your life, itself is a blunder. Now, had I believed in that fool because he was seating (read it as shit*ing) in some other country and acted upon, I might have never understood my capacity.
     ‘Listening to others and taking guidance’ is not bad thing, but ‘to whom to listen and seek guidance from’ remains of importance. It is necessary to differentiate between an as*hole and an authentic mentor for ones own good. As per my experience, there is always a difference between the way these two animal kingdoms communicate. A true leader will not question your ability, nor will tell you if you are going to fail or succeed. S/he might not comment on your decision about being right or wrong. Spoon feeding is avoided and s/he will never say to you which path to choose. Instead s/he will inspire you to analyse and decide it by yourself. S/he will ask you to find your strengths and weaknesses. S/he will insist you to work on ‘that particular skill’ required to achieve the goal. Particularly, a real mentor may never jump to conclusions and judgments for your goals based on your current situation. Unlike our so called successful neighbor who thinks s/he knows what is right for you, and keeps on talking in the form of statements and conclusions, a real mentor will not only say things, but will also ask you to pour your actions into the process. S/He will insist you to do your homework so that you can come to a conclusion by yourself to decide what’s better. Basically, these leaders will help you so that you can help yourself. And that’s what I call a real guidance and support.
     Least, it is always better to fail in the path you chose rather than crushing your dream because of the naysayers. Nobody can know the outcome. So, for God’s sake just try and see it yourself.  And if you are listening to anybody around you, by all means, make sure to listen with your ears wide open.
©Gaurav Sutar

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