For several years now, I’ve been moderating the egroup for KM’s class from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. The group calls itself COSTIIMA (Class Of Seventy-Three, IIM-A.) The class strength was 120. (I am NOT an alum…it’s just that when I realized that the children of the alums had already started an egroup for themselves, and these people hadn’t, I started one for them!)
Recently, there’s been talk of nominating an Alumnus/Alumna as a “Distinguished Alum” and names have been flying about.
So I wrote(there's not a single mailing list I belong to, where I can keep quiet!)
"I seriously do believe that ALL of you should be nominated on so many counts.....some of you might have public victories and achievments, some of you have private struggles that are still on, being faced with such courage, or private achievements that you don't even talk publicly about.
"Can you say, for example, that someone who's been close to death, and is still dealing with delicate health while holding down a job and dealing with the health issues of both parents as well as children...doing so, always, with a smile upon the face and cheerfulness in the heart.....is any less than someone who's set up a multimillion-dollar company? The fact that ALL of you let your children go their own ways, is evinced by the fact that only ONE of the children ever entered IIM-A, and that child, too, left in a while, in the pursuit of other goals.
"From EVERY one of you, I have learnt something immensely valuable. And most of all...the affection you all seem to have for each other, that is not connected to "worldly" success or otherwise....that's something truly wonderful that I see.
"So...thank goodness I don't have to nominate anyone....I would have to ask for 120 forms! :)"
As a response, I got this (treasured!) compliment from one of them:
"My Dear Deepa, I am touched by what you've said.I maintain there's something unique about the social glue that holds us together, because no other batch even comes close to the bonding that we Costiimates share! So, where's the magic?
"High in the list of the magicians is our own Deepa, who's blown life into the inanimate, and tirelessly breathed spirit into the so many hearts.Can I nominate you?
"p.s. Here are two little nuggets for you:
"Kuchh log the jo vakt ke sanche me dal gaye
Kuchh log the jo vakt ke sanche badal gaye"
“Khushi unhe nahi milti jo zindagi ko apni sharto par jite hai…,
Khushi unhe milti hai jo dusro ki khushi ke liye apni zindagi ke mayne badal dete hai…”
That set me thinking about ALL awards, and I replied:
"I am SO deeply touched, Vishu; I appreciate the compliment. What award can be of greater value than words like these?
"That encapsulates what I feel about awards.Recognition, In my opinion, is to be in the hearts and minds of those who appreciate one.
And also, I feel that for every person who wins an award...there are several others who merit it just as much! In fact, I hate watching "award shows" on TV just because of this.
"Those who truly merit an award are, often, already far beyond the recognition that such an award bestows. Start with the Bharat Ratna, or the Nobel Prize....to whose detriment is the fact that neither has been given to Gandhiji? His contribution of Satyagraha is beyond the awards.
"The standard internet joke, "Facebook joins Rajnikanth".... has a grain of deep sense in it. Who needs to be recognized by whom?"