I published a book named Better Than All Happy Ever Afters to legitimate the celebration of Valentine’s Day. This happened on February of this year (2016). The book made me not very rich financially but it definitely made me wealthy in terms of relationships. Through the work on this book, I got to know many young voices, talented and certainly bearing the mark of genius in literary art. The underlying existential dilemma was palpable in the Editor’s Note that I wrote in that book. Love becomes a challenge. It obviously is; ask any sufi poet for better clarity on the supernatural aspects of love. For mortals, it certainly comes with its own qualms and worries. There was another underlying problem with Valentine’s Day. It was a day that celebrated open celebration of love and romance. When would someone commemorate an open celebration? When that particular aspect of existence is no longer present, right?
Celebrations have this odd reality around them: they always mean the departing of something or remind us of the transitory nature of something else. Take birthdays for example. We celebrate either in joy or in dejection, like author Khushwant Singh remarks in a short article titled “Celebrating Old Age” published in Me, The Jokerman.
Applying the same theory to the celebration of Teachers’ Day would clarify certain assumptions that exist among us. I am quite fortunate to have discovered some great teachers in my life. On some occasions, I was discovered by them too and that was beyond being mere fortunate. That was a miracle, manifested reality. A celebration of Teachers’ Day would only mean a reserved commemoration for a transitory personality that at some point in time touched our lives. The celebration itself, in other words, diminishes the significance of great teachers. The truth is, one must always cherish and celebrate teachers. All of the teachers, all the time.
Don’t look for good teachers. There is no such thing. Look for teachers who can help you grow mentally, spiritually, and as a person in the society. Entrepreneur Thai Lopez recently made this comment that one must, at any cost get a good mentor. Mentors are important study materials. Good mentors are those who we could study and learn from. It doesn’t matter what they teach us. What matters the most is what we learn from them.
What I did in order to ‘celebrate’ my teachers on a daily basis and not “just” on a particular day is something quite interesting to note here. I have seen people sending e-cards, making song dedications with phony FM radio jockeys, put a cliché add in B-grade newspapers, etc. I did something different.
I wrote a book and dedicated it to all my teachers.
I am talking about the book I published in 2014, Prabuddha: The Clear-sighted.
Prabuddha is dedicated to all my teachers. Many names came to my life in the form of many multidimensional personalities and gifted teachers. Many showed up in my life during my student days. Many other came into my life through their books. And some were not even human beings. My memory and other limitations that I carry within me as a human being may perhaps hinder my recollection of many a names that came across through my life as a Truth seeker. So I decided, instead of writing names, to dedicate Prabuddha to ‘all my teachers’.
I still go back to this book, one of the most successful of my books, to draw inspiration from as well as to improvise my own self that appeared in it. Every book carries a piece of its author’s soul. As a teacher presently, I cherish the memories of my teachers and the lessons I learnt from them. Prabuddha was my way of showing my gratitude. Perhaps, gratitude is the bridge that perfectly connects a teacher and student. Many readers commented that my books Wall of Colors and Prabuddha have teacher-student theme at the centre. This wasn’t intentional. But I consider this unintentional state the expression of the gratitude I feel on a subconscious level, toward all the teachers in my life.
Note: Prabuddha: TheClear-sighted is available for purchase online.