Lighting the torch !!!
Me : Hey, are you Rajat from civil?
Rajat : Yeah.
Me : Remember, we talked earlier before you joined IIT.
Rajat : No. (Some interruptions)
Me : Hmm. You asked me about Civil batch, when I probably replied to you that perhaps if you join civil Engineering you would have a strong contendership to drink much earlier than others.
Rajat : Ohh, yeah.
We are too good at criticism. We can teach Sachin Tendulkar how to bat, Soniya Gandhi how to run Manmohan Singh, Anna Hazare how to have fast. But what about those whom we can really teach things, but we don’t. Perhaps we don’t have time, perhaps we don’t care. Even if we have what would we do? There are so many out there who need our help and guidance sometimes, but how many of them can we help? Perhaps one or two. What difference would that make? Even if it can, I have better things to do. I am yet to finish the last season of FRIENDS.
Here is a short story (and which by no chance is fictitious). I had a friend, facebook friend. Ankur wanted to be in IIT, but couldn’t make to it. Maybe he know well in advance that IIT is really far from his reach. But wait, this ain’t his story.
One day, he asked me to talk to his brother Rajat regarding JEE counseling. In general, I don’t like to talk to strangers over the phone but I gave him my number. I talked to Rajat for few minutes. He got a really good rank in JEE but soon realized that he could get only Civil Engineering with the marks that he is having. He was ambitious, he wanted more. He wanted to work hard in the first year and get to Computer Science which would have required him to get a CG of around 9.8 or even greater.
There was something about this guy, but that didn’t surprise me because most of us are like him before JEE. Overly ambitious and enthusiastic about things. I calmly replied you need to work hard, otherwise you would end up being the first guy in your hostel to drink ( I somehow had this highly biased notion in my mind that Civil Engineers are the first ones to break rules like these).
A Year passed. I didn’t met him or heard about him ever. But I knew he was in my hostel. Once Ankur pinged me on facebook after a really long time and suddenly we were talking about Rajat. So Rajat was really the first one to drink, and smoke too. Now he is an active smoker.
I didn’t feel surprised. I assured myself that I knew that this was going to happen anyway. I told Ankur the same, who felt bad at my overly carefree attitude. But he knew I wasn’t responsible for this. Was I?
He was there in front of me today. But those ambitions were missing. I didn’t talk to him much. I just stared at the guy. And at instant realized who was responsible. Of course it was me. I never thought of meeting him again, for I was busy with my stuff. I never had time to check out how he his doing. But isn’t he big enough to take care of himself.
I just realized I am doing nothing else in the post itself. I am criticizing myself. But I wish this serves as a reminder for me in the future. Now, I am a mentor to six mentees (you can be mentor of your mentees only for obvious reasons). When I talk to them for long they usually ask me why do I spend so much time with them despite being so busy. The answer perhaps lies in this post. It is not guilt at all. But it is a different emotion from guilt. A bit weaker than it, but nonetheless good enough to be a big force to influence my life further.
Ironically, the day I wrote the first draft of this post one student (fresher) committed suicide in my hostel by hanging himself.
Cheers to IIT Delhi Mentorship. I owe a lot to my mentors Saurabh Gupta and Nitesh Mor. Though Mor would say that he was mentor for only for few hours, but I know what my mentors meant for me. And I hope I am able to contribute even a part of it to my mentees.
I wrote this post in a very random fashion because I am going really busy but I wanted to write and publish something today. But details of what I actually want to say are missing and maybe we can have once we have the sister site on Fundae up. (We are only missing a good name for the site. We tried fundae.thelazy.info and mentor.thelazy.info but we are looking for even better names.) Probably, you will see this post on our sister blog soon.