Top post on, the community of Indian Bloggers

Monday, June 9, 2014

Understanding the Power of One

The class exercise sheet looked easy,too easy. I mentally calculated the time the 40 odd questions would take - half an hour; another 30 minutes on discussion and revisiting concepts ; it would still leave me with a full one hour to creatively kill time in front of 30 students.Not too happy with the thought, I mulled through some 'fillers',settling on two ,if the need arose.

Putting on the smile I reserve for the class ( have you noticed we all have different smiles for different occasions and people-an over bright one when  meeting someone not in our list of favorites; a tender one for a beloved; a nostalgic smile when thinking of happy times gone by; a naughty smile; an anticipatory one- hey, the list is endless but let me get back to my above mentioned 'teacher' smile. The smile says-I am happy to be with you but no fooling around allowed.) I entered the room and looked at the students, and groaned inwardly - they didn’t even look very bright . It was a new batch and I had not interacted with them earlier. It promised  to be a dull session !

Thirty minutes later the questions were done . It was time to discuss the answers .I suppressed a yawn and with practiced ease started the discussion .We were on the fifth question when a voice piped up from the back ," I have a doubt regarding the previous answer ". I looked at the student and said ," tell me" . Fifteen minutes later we were still on the same question. All my ennui had vamoosed, leaving me wide awake and on my toes. The sleepy looking student had asked me a question which was so unexpectedly intelligent that it took me a full minute to understand it and another minute to frame the answer. Now, we were in the midst of an extremely engrossing discussion -about whether the given premises were leading to the conclusion the author wanted us to conclude or not. I was ( of course) on the author's side; the student on his own .The rest of the students, who had till now been in a semi-comatose mould, started sitting up straight. They understood that they had ringside seats to a historic event- the taught taking on the teacher.

When I next looked at my watch it was 15 minutes past the two hours allotted for the class. The time had flown .The  student had , with his observations , level of insight and thinking  mind ; made it an extremely interesting class for me . I had, by dredging up all my knowledge and by delving de e e e ep  into my subject expertise, been able to solve his doubts. I gathered my stuff and prepared to sail out of the room- all guns blazing-when , almost involuntarily, my glance fell on him. This time it was his turn to smile. And the smile said it all. It said   that he had asked all those questions because he had read my mind and had wanted me to revise my opinion about the 'dull' class'!

I realized that this one class had taught me a whole lot of things, the main being   the folly, and the pitfalls, of underestimation. It also made me realize that for the most part I had been teaching a single student . And it also set me thinking about the power of one. Till now I had always looked at  ' one' as a lonely number but I now realized what  a  powerful number it is. I spent the rest of the drive back home thinking of the power of One.
.A single student had enlivened the class; a  single word can send our spirits spiraling downwards; a single smile can bring us to bliss ; a single Mahatma can move a nation to freedom; a single line on facebook can send Mubarak out of Egypt ; a single dish can salvage a meal ; the best diamond ? a solitaire ; a single line( Vande Mataram )-a nations anthem .

That night I watched, and heard, Shahrukh Khan on KJo's show. He was looking as if he had seen a ghost- a shadow of his earlier self.  SRK has hammed and overacted in many of his movies ,but at that point in time there was only one thing I wanted to tell him -" you don’t have to apologize for anything. You have 'Chak de India ' to speak for you- always".

The power of One movie.


  1. Wowww..the power of one...hmmm....yehhh

  2. A powerful Post! I love the second last para :)
    Very nicely put!

    1. Thanks , Anita. I truly appreciate your comments:)

  3. Nice post, especially as you said that "we all have different smiles for different occasions and people" it is very much true...

  4. The power of one can set many things right! Beautiful experience! Nice post Anju :)

  5. Yes, Vinay- so true ! Thanks for your lovely comment:)

  6. We tend to forget the power of one. Well written.

  7. Very well written..esp. the experience in the classroom.
    Impressions sure can be deceiving!

  8. Inspiring post. Everything starts from one and you rightly said. Krishna also said the same in Bhagawat Gita also. He himself proved that.