"You cannot have a great car and a potholed road, nor can you have an excellent road with a lousy battered old moped. The idea is to have both - and yes, it is possible"
Today is a special day for two reasons - The Indian Independence day, and also the PESIT Alumni meet. PESIT is a brilliant college, but unfortunately, it has a reputation of that of a school - It's not at all as bad as it has been made out to be. I actually got so annoyed at one point of time, with all the comments from my friends from other colleges, that I decided to go around asking people from my college if they really did find it so hard to live in.
Believe it or not, not a single person said that they hated the college, or had any major issues. Everyone had some small complaints, like security guards bothering us... But hey, no system is perfect. I know everyone has atleast one issue with everything. So, we all love our college, and we have had so much fun. I was actually telling one of my friends that among all the colleges and people I know from other colleges, I don't recall anyone saying that they bunked a day, and went to Wonder La :P Well, we did... So there, nyah! For all who think we are nerds, or live in some kind of a concentration camp, beat that (Ok, fine, some of you may have done bigger things, but my point is, we are still in the game :P)
Our alumni meet today was preceeded by a flag hoisting ceremony, and a very nice talk by the Vice Chancellor of Bangalore university. After having breakfast (served by the new canteen at PESIT, for those who know not, food point no longer exists) we all met at the OAT, with the usual discussions about random things, exchanging juicy titbits and gossip scoops, and the all new swine flu, we all walked towards the seminar hall, which was jam packed. We had heard that earlier, alumni meets were hardly attended. But this time was a lot different. We had people from 1996 and 1998 batches as well. That is really something.
So, after the usual descriptions of every departments, there were several prizes given away. This was followed by a speech by Professor D Jawahar. Perhaps one of my favourite orators... You should listen to him speak. He will blow you off your feet. You will begin to realise that an institution will become successful not just because it has a great management, or because you have a bunch of great students. Everything works like that - You should always have the best of both. You cannot have a great car, and a road full of potholes. You can never drive at full speed, and its full potential is never realised. Nor can you have an excellent road laid out, while you ride a lousy battered old moped. Again, what is the point? Similarly, students who are very good, will go up, no matter what kind of infrastructure is given to them. However, the extent up to which they realise their potential is limited. And an institute can never go anywhere if it doesn't have good students. I say this, because all the great infrastructure that they provide, is like pearls before swine.
However, I would like to mention one thing at this point. The structure of our college, is like a corporation. The management is like the management of the company. However, the students are like the clients, who take from the college, as well as workers, who give to the college. Efficiency can truly be achieved, if the middle management can effectively deliver - It is they, who should bridge the gap, providing to the students, what they need... Although the college is spending so many lakhs and crores of rupees, the electronics department was sometimes left wanting, when it came to lab equipment, or components. These are trivial things, but unless they are quickly and efficiently tackled, we won't reach the heights that we should - Inspite of having a great management, and a great set of students.
The management is not foolish, and has provided complaint boxes, which should be used by the students, who hesitate to do so, some times perhaps because of their fear of rubbing their immediate superiors on the wrong side for bypassing them. But then, I am sure students would not want to do it, if their wants were satisfied at their immediate level. This is not about a particular college anymore. The discussion simply can be used anywhere. Generally, the immediate reaction to a mistake being pointed out is to become defensive, and start pointing out the mistakes of the person who has pointed out yours. Isn't it better to correct your mistakes, and once you are perfect (which may never happen) start pointing out others' mistakes if you still want to have a grudge (which should never happen if you are perfect, as holdig grudges is not perfection by definition :P) This is not applicable only if it is a deadlock, where each one cannot progress without the other resolving their issue. A discussion with an open mind is very important under these circumstances.
Yes, there is truth when you say that we must be the change first, and then you can point out others' mistakes as everyone and everything is lacking in something. But it cannot be used as a weapon all the time, for, I can still point out your mistakes, while I am correcting mine. As we are aware of the quote:
Swami Gulagulaananda said:
"If I am a chain smoker and you are one, and I ask you to quit smoking saying that smoking causes cancer, you should be verifying if what I said is true or false, and then if true, quit smoking for your own good instead of telling me to mind my business as I smoke myself. The advice is for your own good, and you are the one who will suffer, irrespective of whether I suffer or not. We should be looking into the truth of the matter. "