Big people, small minds

V rants,

If there is something I enjoy the most a slice out of Indian culture, it is the guru-sishya relationship. The old adage "matha, pita, guru, theivyam" had been drilled into my mind, and yes I followed it. Respect to teachers come naturally, and it continues, miles away but nothing changes. And more than the regular classroom and syllabus-based learning, you learn a lot when you just are around the expert. And just when you think such teachers, motivators and such students are no more, think again. Most classical art forms of India are still taught the old-fashioned way. Guru is still Guru whether the class is in Chennai or in Chicago; the student still starts the class with a traditional namaskar and seeks the blessings of the Guru before the class begins. And the atmosphere is so conductive for the interested student and the ever creative teacher finds ways to motivate even the not-so-interested student. And that is how I learnt to love dance. Though I loved the concept of dance, it is my Gurus who motivated me, challenged me and continue to mold me into the dancer I hope to be. And believe me; I have light years to go!

So you ask me what I am ranting about. It is the role of Gurus as role models to students like me. I am truly blessed. As a Bharatnatyam student, I have had 2 amazing Gurus and who have made dance a part of who I am today. From my Gurus, I have just not nritta, nritya and abinaya, but much more. Dance teaches me about my culture, mythology, history and a deeper appreciation of other art forms. But dance has just not made me an art-knowledgeable person; it has made me a better human being. It has made me learn to challenge myself and dream for the ultimate. It has taught me all about hard work and its rewards, it has taught be about compromise and friendship It taught me to respect who I am and owe what I learnt to my Gurus. It taught to me what ethics are, what copyright issues are beyond any textbook. And most importantly it has taught me what no engineering class work taught me, it taught me that to be a Guru, you need to put Him above everything and put your art form with Him. It taught me, to be recognized as a Guru, more than your art skills, your PR skills, your performances, your awards, the number of years you have been teaching, the number of arangetrams and kutcheris you successfully complete, you need to be a magnanimous and good human being.

And some incidents over the weekend, brought be crash landing to earth. People whom I respected even without knowing them well as a Guru, whom I looked upon to disappointed me by behaving petty. Does success blind people so much? How can a Guru tell her student not to acknowledge the other Guru? Bigger the name, smaller the mind? Is this what Gurus are teaching their shisyas? I always felt India is amazing because people are so tolerant to each other. But I never expected this petty behavior from stalwarts. I really do not want to put forth names and details but it hurts. And it makes me see things clearer and I take home this lesson. Success is not measured by your awards, your rewards but by the way you carry yourself, by being open-minded, by facing your competition with a smile as winning is not everything in life.

Disappointed but wiser is my current state of mind and this when I really feel lucky for having the best Gurus to guide me and I officially learn Bharatnatyam but being the person you are, I have learnt much more lessons that I would have otherwise learnt the hard way.


rediff said...

Nice Post!

Pooh said...

thank you! I am surprised that it makes sense to u! most ppl could not understand what I was talking about