Saturday, 16 August 2014

Nowhere Man


He's real nowhere man....starts a chorus in Beatles' Album "The rubber soul". There songs that one likes are those that defines you, influences you or one that relates to your life. Nowhere man was one that had very powerful lyrics in a subtle way. It was a song that showed how not to live a life. That was exactly how my life was heading while studying and later while working in a company.

I was taking a road whose destination was not known for the traveller. But this road was an easy road, taken by many around me, a safe road with no potholes and gave the dweller the aesthetic pleasure which was heard but not seen. All the trees were green, no leaves different from other, plethora of human being walking, pushing, lost in their world and only time we looked up, we saw fountains perfectly painted with water that quenched the thirst of no one. Everyone looked up to this fountain. A beguiling fountain, which kept on moving further as the we came ever so closer. Funny as it may sound, everyone knew this but no one changed their path for their time was busy rationalizing their excuses.

Teach For India(TFI) gave an opportunity to change lives of kids and provided me a glimpse into the lives of the have-nots who are residing in this blue planet.

It was not a selfless act/social service: This is the most selfish endeavor I have ever taken as this is what I wanted to do. Selfless act is a series of actions with the intention of bringing 100% joy to other but 0% happiness to yourself. Selfless activity never gives one a joy because you are doing something that you might dislike. It is a exaggerated term which often fools people into doing things and expecting goodness to happen in return which may not be the case. If Mother Teresa didn't like helping poor, she wouldn't have continued doing it.
I wanted to change the lives the students. I strive to make them better not only because they can lead a better life but gives me a pleasure in knowing that I have a wand whose incantation I can create to do this magic. It was with a selfish act.

(Intermediate) Goal: Reality struck me hard when I saw the class. TFI use a two words repeatedly to define what they are doing: Truth and Hope.
"Truth without hope is failure, hope without truth is fantasy"- Mike Johnston
Truth: Understanding the two brothers was essential in taking on the Goliath that stood before me. After students gave repeated assessments, I gauged the Truth. I realized that I needed to cater to extremities ranging from 0 level in RC to level 5. Keeping higher level students from boredom while fighting the odds to keep the lower level students interested was the biggest task and my initials days even in the eyes of the most optimistic person could be termed as a Colossal Failure.



Hope: "Who wants me to take extra class" spoke the teacher with a hint of hesitation. The hesitation was due to the nostalgic days of the teacher when he hated going to school on holidays.
"I want to" echoed the walls, embarrassing the inquisitor. Upon reflecting(another word that TFI uses a lot) on this incident, he realized that education was a luxury for him not for the students in his class. If the students were ready, how could the teacher disappear.

Knows not where he's going to: Now i know where to go, next logical question was How to go. Taking help from mountain of resources available at my disposal, ideas and experiences of my co-fellows and an inspiring talk given by Rafe Esquith showed the light to path that needed to be built before walking. I will share some of the ideas that i will implement in the classroom in my next article. 

Till then, sit back, relax and listen to wonderful song that tells about Nowhere man ( Isn't he a bit like you and me?)


Nowhere Man
He's a real nowhere man
Sitting in his nowhere land
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody

Doesn't have a point of view
Knows not where he's going to
Isn't he a bit like you and me?

Nowhere Man, please listen
You don't know what you're missing
Nowhere Man, the world is at your command

He's as blind as he can be
Just sees what he wants to see
Nowhere Man can you see me at all?

Nowhere Man, don't worry
Take your time, don't hurry
Leave it all till somebody else lends you a hand

Doesn't have a point of view
Knows not where he's going to
Isn't he a bit like you and me?

Nowhere Man, please listen
You don't know what you're missing
Nowhere Man, the world is at your command

He's a real Nowhere Man
Sitting in his nowhere land
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody
Making all his nowhere plans for nobody

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