9 .What is the Subject
“The Time Calls You Now…!”
-Author by :D. Ramachandra Raju.”
-Cell : 98499 04513, 99083 24214
The company of great men and women is itself an education “My dear Venkatesam! Talking to me is, education,” says Gireesam in the famous play Kanyasulkam. True, we learn a lot from incidents and individuals. “Talk to your servants to know what is happening in your kingdom,” Antony tells Cleopatra. 50 years ago, a poet was invited to a function. He was invited to be felicitated amid 5000 poets, thinkers and intellectuals. When asked to speak, he said: “I was sent an invitation, which said I would be felicitated. It never said that I have to speak. Tell me! What should I speak?” It was courageous of him to ask that. Several persons from the audience asked several questions. One of them rose and asked: “It is said that you are an expert in 14 languages. Prove it to us.”The poet accepted the challenge and spoke for six hours elucidating on one kavya after another in Tamil, Kannada, Oriya, Sanskrit, Telugu and ten other languages. He was given a standing ovation. That evening, he was taken in a procession on an elephant and was offered a gold anklet.
He is none other than Puttaparthi Narayanacharya. A lecturer asked his students: “Those who wish to answer me stand up.” None of the students stood up. Some students tried to hide their heads behind other classmates. “What a shame. Don’t you ever tell anyone that you are my students.” He is M Venkata Narayana, the founder of Gowtham Model Schools which has over 100 branches. He is the president of the Corporate Schools correspondents association. “My question is very simple,” he continued. Some students grew confident enough to lift their heads.He continued with a smile. “Who is your favourite teacher or lecturer?” The class fell silent for sometime before murmers and animated discussion in hushed tone filled the air. “Rajesh… Tell me…” “You are my favourite teacher.” He laughed loudly and asked” “So, till I met you, were all your studies pursued without any interest?” Then he proceeded to ask Raju “Sir, my favourite teacher is my maths teacher in Class X, Mr Kondareddy.” “Why do you like him? “He never misses a class.” “What more” “He explains maths very well.
” Then the teacher posed the same question to Venkateswalu.
“Sir, I like Subba Rao sir in High School.”
“He never gets angry. He explains very well and explains as many times as needed. He also teaches things other than the lessons.”
“What are they?”
“He tells us about movies, about patriots, about novels, stories and all other things.”
“Good. How does he know so many things?”
The students fell silent. They waited in anticipation for the teacher to respond.
“It boils down to subject…. his knowledge of the subject and his yearning to tell this to the students. His idea is to go beyond the text books. Some teachers teach Telugu, some English, some science and some teach Mathematics. But, those who know everything can teach anything.
“Yes sir,” they said. They understood a new thing that day.
The poet accepted the challenge and spoke for six hours elucidating on one kavya after another in Tamil, Kannada, Oriya, Sanskrit, Telugu and ten other languages. He was given a standing ovation. That evening, he was taken in a procession on an elephant and was offered a gold anklet. He is none other than Puttaparthi Narayanacharya.
A lecturer asked his students:
“Those who wish to answer me stand up.”
None of the students stood up. Some students tried to hide their heads behind other classmates.
“What a shame. Don’t you ever tell anyone that you are my students.”
He is M Venkata Narayana, the founder of Gowtham Model Schools which has over 100 branches. He is the president of the Corporate Schools correspondents association.
“My question is very simple,” he continued. Some students grew confident enough to lift their heads.
He continued with a smile. “Who is your favourite teacher or lecturer?”
The class fell silent for sometime before murmers and animated discussion in hushed tone filled the air.
“Rajesh… Tell me…” “You are my favourite teacher.”
He laughed loudly and asked” “So, till I met you, were all your studies pursued without any interest?”
Then he proceeded to ask Raju The teacher continued. “Now tell me. Which is right putting a period before or after inverted commas?”
Some students tried some answers. But, he said “No.”
“Who wrote Devdas?”
“Gopichand” someone shouted.
“Who is the author of Julius Caesar ?”
The answer was right. But, the teacher said “no” The students then asked him to tell the correct answer. “Search for answers and come with them tomorrow.” The teacher walked away. That was his way of rousing inquisitiveness. His teaching method was great. The students used to love him. Everything he spoke was a teaching. Even 40 years after, I still remember his teachings. It is as if yesterday. He prodded me to read many a novel. It is rightly said that:
“ An ordinary teacher tells. A good teacher explains The best teacher demonstrates But, an excellent teacher inspires.” Subject. and the knowledge of it is the key. If one has subject knowledge, he can begin and end anywhere one wants.
When the student knows the subject, he goes into the examination hall with great confidence. A candidate can face the interview with confidence. A farmer can raise a crop better. A mechanic can repair a vehicle in a jiffy. A writer can write better and a poet can pen better poetry if only they know the subject.
Vanaja is a student of a degree course. She has just come from the college and her mother asks her to make some Sambaar. Vanaja is angry. “Me and cooking? That too cooking sambaar? Never….I have a lot of work to do,” she shouts back even as she is glued to the TV. The neighbourhood lady who was talking to Vanaja’s mother says: “What’s the big deal about it. Making Sambaar is nothing. I used to cook when I was a kid.” Vanaja is upset that her mother asked her to cook. She adamantly keeps on watching the TV. Mother calmly walks into the kitchen and makes Sambaar. Vanaja is now filled with remorse. She thinks she should have cooked instead. Then her mother would have been all praise for her. This is a small thing. But, the character is made of such small things. The lazy ones say “I can’t, I don’t know or I have no time.” But an 80 year old man says: “I shall do all by myself all those things I am capable of. ” People should not seek escape routes. They should strive with dogged determination and achieve what they want to. There is this story of a disciple called Vishnu Sharma. He was an extremely slow-learner. After five years of teaching, his teacher became exasperated and told him that it was no use studying any further. He told Vishnu Sharma to go back and help his father in his farm work. Vishnu Sharma felt sad. He packed his bags and began the trek back to his village.
En route, he saw a sculptor chiselling out beautiful idols out of granite stones. “Are you the one, who made these beautiful sculptures?” “Yes. They were shapeless boulders. After sculpting, they have become such beautiful idols,” the sculptor replied. “Did this skill come to you from your birth?” “No. It took long years of practice and hard work. I hurt my fingers countless times while working. It is only after gruelling training that I could become a sculptor.” There was a glow on Vishnu Sharma ‘s face. He went back to his Guru.
“What made you to come back?” the Guru asked. “When hard stones can be chiselled into beautiful sculptures, your teaching can very well make me a wise man.” Soon, he worked the hard way and went on to best his own preceptor. Subramanyam, the cook, is an expert chef. His recipes are gastronomic delights. While many persons do not know how to cook,Subramanyam, a diehard vegetarian, can make deliciously mouth-watering chicken curry.
Cooking is an art of knowing what to add, how much to add and when to add. Men like Bheema and Nala could make delicious preparations. They could do it because they knew how to do it.
A farmer knows when to till the land, when to plough, when to sow, when to transplant, when to apply fertilisers, when to harvest and when to sell the produce. Then alone can he make profits. So knowing is power. A lecturer asked his male students. “How should a boy live?” The students had no answer. Slowly, one student said: “A boy should live like a hero.” The teacher said:” Writer Yandamoori Veerendranath said one should be like a hero who is happy unmindful of the challenges that he is carrying on his back.” Then the teacher turned to the girls and asked them: “How should a girl’s life be?” The students began to discuss animatedly. The teacher asked: “Have you any idea?” “No idea,” the girls said in a chorus. The teacher said: “The girls’ life should be like an electromagnetic shock.” The girls and boys began debating on what the teacher said. Knowing what is useful in life and remembering it is important for everyone. How you learn is immaterial. What is important is whether you know it or not.
The worthless says: “I don’t know. Nobody told me how to do it.” The capable says “I learnt how to do it. I learnt it all by myself.” We find the reporters cornering the politician with their tricky questioning. He who knows can excel in any interview. He can achieve anything. Recently I read a story. An East Godavari native settled in New Zealand as a software engineer visits his village. To save himself from the rain, he goes into a boatman’s hut. Finding the boatman’s son playing by his side, he asks: “Does your son go to school? In which class is he studying? Can he speak English? Does he read newspapers daily?” The boatman replies in the negative. The software engineer then derisively tells him that his son can do all these things and knows the names of the countries and their capital cities.
The boatman calmly replies: “My son does not know all those things. He knows how to swim in Godavari river when it is in a spate. He identifies various types of fishes. He knows how to cast a net and catch fish.” This tells us who needs to know what The lecturer asked the boys: “Who is the most beautiful woman in the world?” “Aishwaraya, Samantha,” yelled a student. “Hansika” those are all famous heroines from films. “Anushka”
The lecturer then asked the girls:
“Who is the most handsome man?”
“Sriram, Ramcharan, Ameer Khan…” “Maheshbabu” “Nagarjuna” “Salman Khan”… the names of film heros list was endless.
Someone from behind shouted: “it’s me.”
Another guy stood up and queried: “Which beauty are you talking of?”
“How many types of beauties are there?”
“My lady love represents external beauty, while my mom is epitome of internal beauty.”
“This is not a correct answer,” said the teacher. “This is a simple question. Girls! Ask your father about it. And boys should ask their mothers.”
The students know the answer. They all smile and shout almost in unison: “It’s us. Each one of us is beautiful.”
“Yes. You are the most beautiful.”
In Alex Hailey’s magnum opus novel“ The Roots”, a black girl gives birth to a girl. The newborn too is jet black. But, the mother holds up the baby happily, kisses her and says: “My baby…. my beautiful baby.”
That’s why I tell you “You are the most beautiful.” Never be overawed by the feeling that you are short, black or ugly. Never feel down and low. You are one of a kind. You are unique,” said the lecturer. He knew his onions. The students concurred. They were surprised that they did not know this elementary truth. What is important is knowing. If you know the truth, you will become confident. Your self confidence grows when you realise that you are the most beautiful in the world. You, yourself is the specialised person in the whole universe.
What’s the subject matter?
If you do not know how to retrieve self, you are gone.
Hence you must know what you should know.
You shall be happy if you know.
If boys and girls realise who they are they shall be happy