Live our dreams?

He came, he smiled, he talked, he enchanted!

At his very young age he had achieved significantly yet was very modest.

His smile that made his eyes flash was sincere.

His sparkling eyes had a story – maybe they had seen abundant reality in a very short time and now only wanted to dream.

His talk was selflessly ambitious. He wanted to bring opportunities to his people – wanted them to be as successful as he has been.

I sat there – spellbound- a very young man keen to give up his promising stable career and a comfortable lifestyle to help others achieve their dreams.

Age is cruel. I was out to caution him about something as immaterial as having the required cash flow. I do not recall his reaction but I do recall kicking myself for doing so post his reaction.

He wanted me to inspire him to achieve his dreams. I nodded. At my age we need young people to inspire us!

I met him on and off. Then 3 weeks back a red envelope came in the post. I opened it. He had achieved his dream. I was invited as the guest of honour at the opening of his education institute in Jaffna. I could not say no.

Little did I realize that this invitation would be my opportunity to become an intrepid explorer!

Colombo happened to have one of the heaviest rainfalls on that morning.  The flight was delayed.

There were only 7 or 8 people waiting for the flight! I thought will have two seats to myself.

When the time came for the plane to take off, the pilot came to the boarding area to say he was sorry about the delay! He joked with us.

Then the bus came to take us to the plane.

As I got out of the bus I looked around to find a Thumbelina like plane.

People started getting on to it. I got on too when I wanted to run away.

It was the most scenic air ride but my nerves got the better of me.








It was the heaviest sigh of relief I had when I got to Jaffna.

The city impressed me with the stunning simplicity of its very educated refined people and by the earnest eagerness of its young generation to learn. I found it so incredible that young and mature alike were driven by the relentless desire to do something for their people.








They had dreams.

I went there to celebrate the dream of an exceptional man. I came across so many exceptional people with dreams, keen to do something for their people when they could have had a secure career anywhere in the world that I was left thinking dreams still have a way of making people make a difference to others.

Something self-obsessed mortal like me do not have the conviction to do so!

Maybe someday we will live our dreams too?



Luck for Exams

  • June 9, 2012
  • Blogs

I recall when I was a student.

Life seemed so care free. The only storms in the tea cups were exams.

They would come to put me into disarray – I cannot say that. They however did cause some discomfort.

I have a mother who from day one insisted on disciplined fun-filled study. She had mathematics tables in multi colours with inspirational quotes glued all over walls in my bedroom. Essay writing came to me naturally as since a child her stories engaged me intensely. I grew up reading newspapers, autobiographies and classics.

I have a father who has made me dream super high. As a seven year old I wanted to be Indira Gandhi. My parents never questioned the achieving of my dreams and I was so absorbed in them that for me they were a reality that only time was preventing from achieving.

So why were exams storms?

The chalk still hurts. I was only explaining the question to my friends. Sir, they could not understand you and would have been lost in the class. You thought I was as usual talking. Did you ever think why I talked in your class-because my mother ensured I learn basic concepts before coming to the class. She had guessed that I was getting lost in the class. Instead of making you fall in my esteem, she made me do some work before the class.

The taunts still torment. You knew my mother’s written Urdu was poor so was mine. Pathans do struggle with Urdu grammar! Then why did you ask me to take my mother’s help? I did work extremely hard for those full marks in Urdu exams but you always thought I cheated? My mother told me you were joking but were you?  In retrospect I pity my English teacher. She was up against a student who whatever she did could not be excited by her teaching. Her frustration came out in exams when she would never let me have the highest marks.

Thus exams results rather than exams were a nightmare.

Teachers willingly or unwillingly have left a strong positive or negative footprint on my life. I still remember many teachers who contributed to my creativity, learning, development but importantly inspired my dreams.

I often wonder what makes a good teacher? Definitely knowledge but perhaps also willingness to facilitate learning through energetic engagement and inspiration to dream and face life beyond exams.

Good luck to all taking exams. Enjoy these exams which are taken with preparation. Many exams in future life are to be faced and excelled at without preparation!