I had been to a b school the other day to give a gyan workshop on measurement science and media basics. I had to travel from dadar to mira road (around 50 Km), change a train at bandra, to eventually reach the place. After having a specially made south indian lunch at a colleagues place that included cabbage, sambhar, papad, a paneer preparation, sweets, butter milk and the like, I proceeded to the 4 hour session. I was nervous and sleepy. Especially after a lunch like that, you really don’t want to be talking to some b schoolers who can throw jargons at will and give that business-like look, which I fail to read.
After some smiley talk with the Hod, I entered the session, 54 students applauded in unison and one chap held the microphone as he gave a clichéd “we have distinguished personality with us bit" and gave me bouquet. I was chuckling inwardly, “Wait dude, am not distinguished, I came here because my company people asked me to and maybe there was no one else available” but the inflated ego dint blurt it out, I just told them don’t call me sir and started the session without giving any introduction about myself. Not even my full name. ‘You guys think, am some big shot, so be it’ I reflected, as I spoke of things that they might want to hear.
As the session rambled, I could notice a bunch of the last benchers in the world of their own, with no interest in whatsoever I was telling them. They somehow figured out ‘this guy is bull shitting’ and got back to their own world of chits and comments about how my nose looked maybe. The nice looking girls and the spectacled guys in the first 2 rows were all enthu and bombared me with questions. I had no complaints. I found my audience.
The colleague of mine, who accompanied, started asking questions to the last benchers based on what I was teaching. He was class monitor like. I felt uncomfortable. I told him in the loo to not torture the poor kids. I was a last bencher always, or atleast the one who never focused in the class. Whenever someone was trying hard to teach to me, I only felt the teacher was acting as a hindrance to my cause. If someone asked questions, one had to focus to avoid embarrassment, hated it! If someone isn’t interested in your session, it isn’t your fault. It’s just that the other person has better interests or better things to think of.
After a nice talk with some really worried, recession-hit students after the session got over, I told one girl who wanted to be a brand manager in a travel based company “Don’t put any pictures up there with respect to your career, be shallow, something will work out”, It wasn’t what she wanted to hear. She gave a helpless look. But I was right. I spoke of an intuitive wisdom. Who the hell knows whats in store. That girl might turn out to become my boss one day. I proceeded to another colleagues place to have some snack, play with his nieces and take the 2 hour journey back home.
Although the ego massage of being called a "Sir" was definitely good, there was an inward sense of troubled pleasure. I felt bad for all the teachers to whom I had given gross/funny nicknames. I went back home, met an old friend who had come from kolkota, and a couple of creative guys from advertising, went to a pub in bandra, nice beer, and slept like 2 AM placing the bouquet in one corner of the bed.