Top post on, the community of Indian Bloggers

Monday, January 9, 2012

the high and the low

Standing there, in the middle of a dull January afternoon, facing a window which had been shut to keep out the rain, cynosure of thirty odd pairs of eyes-the only words going through my mind were Charles Dickens lines from A tale of two cities: ' It was the best of times It was the worst of times'. I looked abstractedly at the class .My head felt as if it was full of nothingness- all woolly headed. I knew there were a barrage of questions to be answered -the expectancy on those faces showed that they were waiting for me to say something. The patter of the rain seemed to mix with the rhythm of the lines ,'...the worst of times, the worst of times,the..' A  voice from somewhere  inside the nothingness of my head mockingly whispered-"serves you right for being so chuffed up about yesterday's session. Pride always comes before a fall, dear anju". Yesterday ! it seemed to belong to another age , to another person .

Yesterday was an early morning session. I just about made it in time and rushed inside the classroom , convinced that there would be only a handful of students braving the chilly westerly winds to attend an introductory session for their newly launched  batch. I scampered to the front of the classroom and turned to face the class. Surprise, surprise!the room was packed. And then the door opened and some more came in.They kept coming and suddenly it dawned that this was going to be the largest group I had ever taught-about sixty bright eyed, confident youngsters. I said something and it drew appreciative laughter. Encouraged, I carried on , ad libbing, involving them - telling them what needed to be told  and, miraculously ,making sense to all of them .After sometime it sank in that they were eagerly hanging on to my words, hugely enjoying the process of induction. And I ? -I was shamelessly playing to the gallery,  speech full of witticisms, fielding queries effortlessly. Did I notice a touch of hero worship on a few faces? Maybe .Anything seemed possible that morning. My face flushed with the exaltation that comes with  success, I ended the session and left.

A titter from  the group sitting at the back brought me back to the rain drenched noon. I opened my mouth and said something. It seemed to open a floodgate of more questions-" how ? why not option a?  and why not option c?" And with the questions came the realization that somewhere, like Anna Hazare, I was losing the plot .That I was , again like Anna, allowing myself to drift. Was I going to let it happen? Nah, certainly not. Not I.
I looked at the tittering group at the back and asked them to repeat their question. One of them did so .Making the question a take off point I launched into a lengthy ,elaborate and technical explanation of the concept behind it. Twenty minutes later I stopped and said ,' ask me".Most of them by now had a glazed and glassy look in their eyes.The group at the back was quiet. A couple of queries were raised and  duly answered.
And then I announced- o.k,since all the concepts have been revised and queries answered let us get into test mould. There were no titters to be heard after that.
I had managed to salvage the situation. Will Anna be able to do so?