June 17, 2008
i thought it would end at that. but i was wrong. i was in for a reprise. and a rather elaborate one.
start of the class. someone asks a question about the syllabus. and the prof says 'it's very clear. as this gentleman read out clearly yesterday.' would have been fine. if he had not gone to repeat that 'gentleman read out clearly' phrase about five times.
okki. okki. i could hear it the first time, you know.
and then almost near the end of the class - a 90 minute class -i get a slight headache. must be the number of times i've got wet today. reason doesn't matter. i take off my specs, close my eyes and massage my temples a bit. prof facing the board during this time. turns around to find me with my eyes closed. launches into a lengthy narrative. i'll try to give a gist.
as a kid, he lived in rajasthan. where people are religious. coz they have nothing else to do. he's been to the pravachan of every guru you can think of. the programs would start at about nine. but his mother would drag him to the venue as early as five in the morning. they had to get the front row, you know. now in this place, there's a gender division - women and girls one side, men the other. the former side gigantic in proportions because even among the people who have nothing to do, it's the ladies who are especially jobless. he got to sit on the ladies' side. because his mother would insist that he was just a kid. some time into the pravachan people would get so moved that they would start dancing to the bhajans. he'd watch all the women dancing. all this fervour would last till about ten or eleven. and then almost everyone he could see would have his/her eyes closed while gently swaying. he'd argue with his mother and ask her why she insisted on bringing him to this place when all these devotees did was to doze off. and his mother used to give him a lesson. when you learn with your eyes open, you use your brain. but if you want to get something imbibed in your heart, you have to close your eyes.
moral of the story: whenever the prof finds a student with his eyes closed, he likes to think that the student is trying to learn from the heart.
okki. everyone had a good laugh. smiles all around.
and i was thinking. in the college i come from, when you listen to bhajans, you can't possibly have your eyes closed. even though you'll probably be dancing a special dance.
but of course, i couldn't say any of this.