The weekend thats about to end in few hours, marked two very memorable events. Apart from the launch of Balaji Seva Samiti website, there was one more event which was very special and unique in its occurence - the convocation ceremony at NMIMS University, where my first batch of students passed out. Around 140 in all across three classes - all decked up in their convocation gowns.
Its been three years since i got the wonderful opportunity as a visiting faculty at the prestigious institution, adding a new facet to my life (read weekend life) at large. The greater privilege was being given a chance to address students who were no less than a panel of experienced professionals from various reputed organizations, who sweated out their evenings and weekends to get their masters degree. Being a part-time MBA myself, makes me totally empathize with the amount of sacrifice and tight-rope balancing needed during the course through a bermuda triangle of - Family, Profession, and Studies.
I was at work when i got a call from Mr. Dharmendra Kumar, my student and a seasoned professional from the Pharma industry. He informed me about the convocation ceremony and asked me if i could be a part of the event by invoking Saraswati Vandana - a Prayer to the Goddess of learning. He was entrusted the task of getting someone with a classical music background, and it was kind of him to remember me. I pounced at the offer and readily agreed for the event that was scheduled in two days time.
At The Venue
Bhaidas Hall was abuzz with activity of the post graduates passing out, but what surprised me further was familiar faces at the entrance.. These were students of my first batch! "Its been 3 years already!" I thought with glee to myself. My students and i had pleasant exchanges. Was totally humbled when some of them introduced me as their prof to their family members. One of the elders even blessed me with a caring hand over my head.
I told them that i was giving them a surprise .. as i left for the backstage :)
Backstage -- Frontstage
I was introduced to the compere of the evening who briefed me about the flow of the event and my entry and exit. The curtains opened and the crowds cheered to the young and beautiful compere, in many more decibels than the applause to any other guest for the evening.. ahemm!
The convocation parade comprising of senior faculty and distinguished guests marched to a ceremonial tune of bagpipes and lit the ceremonial lamp. I was called upon the stage where i sang the Saraswati Vandana i had learnt in my college. I was humbled when my name was mentioned in the vote of thanks for the tiny participation in the prestigious event marked by its achievers.
My students got their degrees and felicitations... and i Got mine when they reciprocated my surprise stage appearance for them .. and Goddess Saraswati :)
Felt like i was convocated 140 times for each of my students passing out... ..A feeling that had never hit me before. My students got their degrees and i got mine in my joy filled heart.
Icing on the cake
When i was having my dinner (actually high tea) with my students, a senior visiting faculty walked up to us, congratulated me for the 'degree' and wished me all the best for the future.... He thought i was a student :-D. I was reminded:
" Life is a university that admits you in the Womb, and graduates you in the Tomb"
Many Smiles ... scaling... Many Miles