If I remember right, we met on the cricket field. I was the striker, a nippy bowler with a suspect action was bowling his heart (& hand) out. I took a wild swing and the bat slipped from my hands, not for the first time though. The guy who got my bat back amidst howls and laughter and witty remarks from both the playing teams was my friend - Shankar.
We studied together, we dreamt together, we played together, we watched the same movies and we were fans of the same old movie stars – Dharam & Mithun. I, had at a certain point in time during my school days in late 80’s opened my home for anyone who wished to study in the evenings, irrespective of school, class, batch. That was my first brush with managing people, I had practically a bunch of 20-25 people coming to my place which my any means of exaggeration was just a 8’ X 7’ room in a chawl. Most of us who got together then bonded well, we went on to form lifelong friendships, if not all, some have definitely stood the test of time & relationships.
Life had different plans for us though. We sort of split after we went our separate ways into engineering and then further into our professional lives. Our first few years in the professional environment were tough given our modest backgrounds and the huge backlog we carried in terms of general knowledge. Most of us were able to overcome those initial tough times. Many of us lost touch with each other and were not able to speak with each other frequently.
One exception was my friend Shankar, who makes it a point to call and wish during Guru Poornima, this weekend was no different. His words, “Guru! Main bol raha hun” are as fresh in my mind as the first time, I allegedly gave a “pravachan” in the holy hills of Bhima Shankar. I am told it was an all night affair, complete with examples and admonishment!
I have no recollections, but the routine continues, I am a Guru without actually being one, I have no idea when I have shared anything significant with anyone that I became close with. I only did my job and never tried to teach.
Hopefully this expectation of many years of me being a Guru will someday lead me to do something worthwhile, befitting a real Guru! J Till that time let me enjoy life!