Back to School

On the 30th of January 2004, I was invited as Chief Guest to an Investiture Ceremony at my school, ‘Queen Mary’ in Bombay. What is ‘Investiture’? I also had to look up the dictionary…Just a second while I do so again…Investiture means: a formal investing of a person with authority, power, right, office or dignity… In the school, it meant that the outgoing office bearers were handing the torch of ‘knowledge, courage and confidence to their successors. 

What a beautiful ceremony and the credit to make it so awesome goes to the Present Principal, Mrs I. Aarons. I was expected to give a short speech to the students. I was choked with emotion as I did. I told them about how, the then Principal, Ms Lambert was reluctant to grant me admission in the 8th Std, as my knowledge of English was of the ‘Noddy Book level’. (I was in Spain before that) I begged for a chance, and said that if I did not perform well, I would repeat the class then (but not to place me in a lower class now) I put in my best efforts, and came 5th in Hindi, a language, I barely knew. 

The point I wanted to make, was that everything is possible, if one works hard and perseveres… If at that time, someone would have told me, that I would author books and lecture, I would have dismissed the thought as ‘wishful thinking’ with a grimace. But I did…I have authored 6 books…

At a point in my life, I had so much to say, that I wanted a column in a magazine or leading newspaper…I did not get it…but I sat behind my computer and started typing what I thought, and sent it to a few friends. The notes were forwarded, and my widely read website: Dal-sabzi for the Aatman’ was born. About 20 years ago, I had wanted to spread spirituality to schools. I failed. The reason: Because India is a secular country and they did not want to speak about religions. I protested. Why can’t we speak about the what all religions teach, like love, compassion, brotherhood…My plea fell on deaf ears.

So many years later, my book ‘Dadi Nani ki Kahaani’ was released by the Deputy Prime Minister Shree L.K. Advani and has been approved for reading in the Prayer Assembly Meetings in Schools. Again my desire was fulfilled! I know that God says: Yes! Sometimes, He says: Wait! If I find it hard to have patience, I implore Him, to carry me! Like a child who has to walk a long distance and gets tired! 

To the new captains of school and Leaders of tomorrow’s world, I said:

Learn to agree to disagree

TRUTH PREVAILS If you are a true leader, your eyes will light up, when confronted with a challenge.

A person who doesn’t feel the thrill of challenge is not a potential leader.

A willingness to take responsibility

No one can lead without being criticized or without facing discouragement

It’s tough enough to succeed when everybody wants you to succeed. People who don’t want you to succeed are like weights in your running shoes. But practice to run anyway.

Those who like you will work for you, those who don’t will work against you.

It isn’t important that people like you. It’s important that they respect you. They may like you but not follow you. If they respect you, they’ll follow you, even if perhaps they don’t like you.” Apply to yourself, what you advise others to do. Even if you lose, do so graciously. Say sorry, It is saying that you are smarter today. YOU are the Leaders of tomorrow. Learn and teach to co-exist. Become co-leaders in the Movement for Peace and Prosperity.