Bhau (Class XI, 2018-19) explains why he joined Path 1.
Look at these three bananas.
I bought the first one from a fruitseller near the municipality office in Suri. I took a photo of it before having it.
I bought the second one from the newly opened More supermarket at Suri. I took a photo of it too and then ate it. I must say, that taking the photo of the second one was more pleasurable than eating it.
The first one didn’t look as good as the second one, but tasted far superior. The second banana which looked healthier, had a more pleasing colour, and had fewer wrinkles, tested bland and powder-y.
I downloaded the photo of the third one from the web. They say it is from a supermarket from a developed country. It does look far better than our first and second banana. Longer, more perfect in shape. But going by the trend, maybe it will be even more tasteless than the second banana!
Things that look good may not always taste good.
Things that sound good may not always give you a good experience.
For example, ‘Stanford University’ sounds good, but who knows whether it is going to be the best for you? ‘Investment banking’ sounds good, but have you actually talked to an investment banker to know how his job is? Come on, even IIT sounded quite good before Sir explained why it may not be great.
To judge what might give you a good experience, you need to actually experience it, or at least you need to think deeply about it.
When it came to choosing the ‘path’, I was not lured by what sounds good. I knew I already experienced the best place in the world.
To tell you the truth, I did not always know this is the best place in the world. I liked it here, sure, but I thought surely the world outside must be full of such places like our school, even better ones.
Wisdom came suddenly, when I visited Delhi with Sir to attend a conference. A high-level educational conference, attended by many principals, even senior members from the ministry. There were many speeches, panel discussions. There were many informal conversations I had with people.
During the whole of that time, I did not meet even as many sensible, intelligent people as I have inside my tiny, 12-student classroom.
I understood that the world outside may not be as advanced as we thought.
But I am happy to report I met one interesting person. Well, he would fit right in here at our school. A senior journalist from the Economic Times, we had a great dinner together. Many interesting conversations, almost as good as our class discussions. But one thing that he told Sir stuck with me.
He said, “Your boys will find it very difficult to adjust to the world outside. After Levelfield, everything else will seem a compromise, second-rate.”
Sir said, “No, no, they will not go to such second-rate places — my students will go to top universities abroad — Harvard, Princeton, Yale etc.”
He replied with a smile, “Yes, even those places will be unsatisfactory for them.”
That comment suddenly put everything into perspective. I understood why I found the conference so unsatisfactory. I also understood the look of utter admiration that I see from some of the visitors that we meet at the school.
I must talk a bit about the visitors.
Me and Motu are often entrusted to talk to the visitors, show them around. There are many school principals who come. There are some who wants to build a school. Some are journalists who are sent to cover the school. Regardless of their motive, their background, almost all of them are awed by what they see here.
They cannot believe that such a place exists. They cannot talk enough about it. There is invariably a look of utter admiration on their faces, looking at what has been achieved here in less than ten years.
Given the pace of progress, I know even more will be achieved in the next ten years, and I am absolutely sure that I want to part of that creation.
Why would I like to go out in the imperfect world when I can be a part of building perfection?