Follow by Email

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Rewards Galore

Today begins as just another routine day. Walking into the lab to the chorus of a cheery “Good Morning, Ma’am.” Explaining the principle and procedure of the day’s experiment. Supervising the students and ensuring they do things right. Sitting down to correct test papers.

A student comes up to my table to hesitatingly say, “Ma’am..that thing you told us in class the other day..” I brace myself to give an answer to some question about intellectual property rights in relation to natural products because that is what last class has been about. As usual, I have given some extra, out of syllabus information about the ethics of patent battles over gene technology, and told the students to read up about Angelina Jolie’s double mastectomy, the BRCA1 gene and Myriad Genetics (see- the teacher in me just won’t give up…now, I’m hoping someone else who reads this article will also have enough leads in case they want to also read up on this topic!)

Coming back to my student…she is saying, “Ma’am, remember you told us that if we get angry or irritated with our parents, we should not say anything immediately but keep quiet for few minutes and then, after cooling down, analyze if they are correct or not? Ma’am, I followed your advice ever since that day and my mother got very surprised and asked if something is wrong with me.....I told her that one of my teachers advised this and so, I’m trying to follow it. You know Ma’am, she was so happy … and she told me to go and fall at your feet.”

And, suddenly, just like that, a mundane day gets transformed into a beautiful, anything-but-routine day.

Now, it’s VERY obvious that besides out-of-syllabus-but-still-in-subject topics, I also push the boundaries on what’s really not in any subject of what the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences of Karnataka deems fit for Pharmacy students to study ;-)

Quite a few times, I find the monster of self-doubt raising its ugly head when I give out such gyaan in class. I wonder if these things that I spend time and energy on are of any use to anyone and examine my motives in continuing to do so. But every once in a while, a student comes up like this, when I least expect it, and says something that decimates that ugly monster and leaves me with a strangely fulfilling sense of quiet content at having gone with my instinct.

I have recently completed a 2-year M. S. in Counseling and Psychotherapy course by distance education. The results have been declared in February itself and I have obtained 62% - a score that seems very low to my “academic-conditioned” brain. But out of a conviction born out of observing the life circumstances of my passed-out students, I have not fretted too much over it because frankly, marks do not quantify the expertise or skill a person has – more so in a subject like counseling.

About 6 hours after that conversation with my student, I reach home to find a letter delivered from the institution through which I had done my counseling course. It congratulates me for having got the 10th Rank in the University and asks me to fill out a form and send copies of my marks cards and photos at the earliest.

I’m elated at this turn of events and rush with the letter into my pooja room to bow at His feet. After all, isn’t it His Grace that has blessed me to have the best of both worlds!

And then, I hurry - uncharacteristically - to announce this latter event to all my family, friends and well-wishers - after all, it's their blessings, goodwill and wishes too that are my biggest strength !!


  1. Once again hearty congrats Anu..for the accomplishment which you truly deserve!

  2. Congratulations! Completing the distance education with all your online and offline commitments is quite a feat. Considering the university ranking achieved, obviously you have done very well.

    And enjoyed the piece about your student. And these are moments when you put your pen down, reflect and derive satisfaction.


Do share your thoughts on this through the comment section. All you need to do is click on the hyperlinked word "comments" at the end of the blog and then enter your message in the box that opens up. If you so wish, you may also get in touch with me through email: