'Sanyam' began. Some days passed and I had this urge for change in the city I was staying. Bawa and Dinesh Da have always told me, 'true leadership lies in creating more leaders'. So Yours Truly thinks in terms of Volunteer Training Program (VTP) in the city. I had few friends in mind who will benefit leaps and bounds from the beautiful sessions. I meet Shalin Desai, Director of VTP outside the Dining Hall, Boone Ashram. He was chatting with someone and I was busy rehearsing the 'convincing conversation' we are about to have.
I had interacted with Shalin Bhaiya when he was the National Teachers Cordinator(NTC). The quality of his that struck me was his impeccable memory. He recollected my e-mail to him and details, when he met me in the half-constructed Canadian Ashram too. Leaving that aside, the next time we meet is in Chicago downtown, where I had decided to start teaching again. I thought I will begin by observing the new-format of the course that was being taught by Shalin Bhaiya and Kshama Di. Treading on the realms of infinity in a very light, witty manner, he shared the knowledge with so much ease. I enjoyed the 3-day session, and thought he should teach VTP here in Naperville. I go a lot by hunch. My friend Sharika knows that's how I am about people.
|Photo Courtesy: Prabu Vijayan|
Before Sanyam, organized a course for Kshama Di. We taught the course together and I realized what loss it was for me, that being given this seat of highest knowledge, I was letting it rot within. I knew how I was when I was teaching and what became of me. I was feeling 'lack' in many ways. This is the part of awareness that I am not a big fan of :)
So coming back to VTP, spoke to Bhaiya in Boone about coming to Naperville for VTP. He told me to contact him for dates.He must have thought I would not call him. But I called! He was booked and the only dates which opened up was April last two weekends. I had three months and around 7-8 people I would approach. So here is Shalin Bhaiya who made place in his busy schedule, so I wanted to make the best out of it. With the enthusiasm of a child began talking to all the above said people and somehow none of them seemed interested in this adventure. I had handful registrations and to add to the fire, personally/physically suffered a large setback in personal life. I had this high opinion about how strong I was from within. This tragedy literally removed the ground from beneath. I was completely lost and confused. I called up Bhaiya to cancel the VTP and we spoke about the setback and everything else not even remotely connected to the same, but I could not bring myself to tell him to cancel the Course. Though I did not have faith in myself, i did not want to fail :) But after the conversation I began working on this. This kept my mind and body busy. If on his own Bhaiya would have asked me to take a break, I would not have been so gratefully writing this post. I would still be brooding in the 'lack' which was never there! Somehow on D-day the VTP happened. Other than 3 people, rest of them were not in my assumed-list, but this was even better.
My BIL Rakesh, describes me as a sarcastic queen. There are times when he has messaged me for sarcastic replies to be sent to his friends. Shalin Bhaiya is the CEO of sarcasm. Somehow that works for me. I must say that worked with me. He never gives you a break to be lazy. I have got angry, felt happy, sad, upset and what not! but at the end for all the mistakes I made and things I overlooked (list is endless) he never even for a second made me feel guilty but made me realize where I went wrong, a quality I need to learn ASAP. Best form of service is to uplift someone's mind-Sri Sri. Have seen him follow this. I learnt to be independent. It strengthened the knowledge points which I knew theoretically. With all this polishing, I know there is some shine. Above all this I became awesome at preparing crispy dosas with Idli batter :P
Little did I know when I stepped into this country that I will be driving, on my own taking charge and organizing courses, giving talks and talking to Hotels, booking Halls, interacting with random people of various designations and most importantly little did I know Ratheesh will always have bhaiya's support even if Ratheesh is wrong. In 3 months I learnt the Masters of Business Administration and Management without even enrolling for one :) We as a team are organizing the biggest course in Illinois and it is because of him and his energy. Full time working- career wise, father of two beautiful children and traveling and teaching the Art of Living courses, he has not left a room for me to complain of no-time :P
I learnt a lot. I never had so much fun in life. We became a well-knit family. Vini whom I felt was missing from 2009ish days came back, in a better way. Every bit of this gratefulness belongs to my Guru. I have always noticed that He always sends right people at the right time and place. A friend recently asked me how I managed the 'setback' - I replied "With a smile from within' :)
(I am glad my blog post came out before your book "My fair-share of experiences working with Vini!")