I happened to listen to the experience shared by a friend of mine who very recently became an art of living teacher , his experience was full of gratitude for the people with whom his journey began and who helped him grow to be what he is right now . Also it is said that twice in a year you should review your past and see how you have grown. Once on Guru poornima and second time on Makar Sankranti. My review report mainly starts with 7 people ( Harsha , Ashok ji , Vini , sudeshna , Nivedita , Gireeshma , Rohit ) and is mainly filled with them more or less with few additions here and there . So I thought of writing about them here today 🙂
Vini had freshly graduated from the teachers training course and used to stay 60 Kms away from Manipal . The first time I met her was for professional reasons 😉 ( she came to take a follow up and I went to receive her ) . Little did I know that this one professional meeting was the beginnign to one of the most personal relationships of my life 🙂 Like all the Yes!+ teachers she was beautifully dressed ( in white and blue ) , I went in a dirty blue short , yellow shirt and holding three big bags in my hand . I thought she would disapprove of me at the first sight , but her smile made me feel very much at home. She took the follow up and then bonded with all of us ( we were excatly 5 people at that time ). We were planning how to start the Yes!+ workshop in manipal , most of us had no idea about volunteering ( only 1 out of the 5 people had done some volunteering in their hometown ) . We were a bunch of 5 people who had very deep love for guruji and somehow wanted to spread his knowledge in manipal . With this intention we had the first Yes!+ meeting in manipal . All of us were very new to each other but we bonded very well . That one meeting I will never forget 🙂 Thank god we took a picture that day. Memorable times !!!
We decided on the dates for the course and informed Vini . Since then began the Yes!+ manipal . While working for this course I used to bug Vini daily asking her every little detail about the course and how to do it. We had literally started it from the scratch and being the only boy in the group all the running around was obviously done by me 🙂 None of us gave any intro talks for this course ( we did not know how to give them either ) . We just stuck posters and waited for people to come. Vini was very patient specially with me , there have been times when I have called her more than 15 times in 30 minutes . She would patiently cater to all my questions. I was such a feverish bee , I just wanted everything to be perfect. The day of the course arrived , 18 people registered . Till the day before the course we had no venue. The teacher Ashok ji was supposed to arrive the next day and we had no idea where we would be arranging for the course to happen. Then magically through some contact we got a big hall for 300 rs per day !!! everything was done for the course. Ashok ji had to arrrive one hour before the course and Vini was going to come from mangalore . All the five of us were very excited , except for Sudeshna none of us had any idea about what to do as a volunteer on the course. It was the first time Vini was taking the course and she was to assist ashok ji . Then one hour before the course Ashok ji says that his bus is late and Vini is going to take the first day of the course . I had full confidence in her and when she arrived for the course she had the same excitement that we had , we were volunteering for the first time and she was teaching for the first time 🙂 The first day went on very very well. Vini was on top of the world after the course that day. Most of the time she was on the phone sharing her experience , getting feedback from her close friends . I could say that it was really a special day for her . So it was for me also as I got to meet Ashok Ji ( he deserves a full fleged post which is on the way , will come out sometime in feb ) . The next 7 days of the course were the best ones in my life , organising that course was so much fun, more than anything all the 5 of us volunteers became very very close and that continues till date . the last two days we went to Goa . In the mean time we had found one more hard core Guru fan Rohit . He came just before the course started. By the end of the course he too became one of a very close companion to all of us 🙂 Some of the many memorable moments of my journey in manipal are as follows :
1. Meeting Sudeshna at KC ( Kamath Circle ) , light drizzle , sweet , scared girl waiting for me on the road .
2. Everyday I would call Harsha and ask her ” Where are you ? Are you busy ? ” and everyday she will pick my call and tell me ” I am in the hospital Kulpreeth , BYE !!! ” No one … NO ONE has irritated her as much as I did in the 6-7 months that we were together in manipal. The best part is that she remembers it as a happy memory 🙂
3. My bossy attitude adding flavours and chillies to the volunteer gang. ( I had become dominant and bossy as a volunteer for some time and hence few people had fights , tears etc etc ) – life is incomplete without emotional drama I say !!!
4. The dinners with harsha in parota point, where she sat exhausted after her hospital work and I sat exhausted with my engineering work , we both just ate, talked a little and left but it was so refreshing to just be there for someone and to know that someone is there for you and will help you when needed 🙂
5. My foreign friends Ch Sai Kalyan Chakravarti and Tarun Reddy Who helped me from outside the country to go about working for the course.
6. Nivedita lamenting about her hectic schedules and we consoling her over food .
7. Rohit’s stone like face , he will smile only when you tell a guru story or tell Guruji’s name 😛
8. The every Sunday wait for Vini , if she will come to manipal to take the follow up or not.
9. The first satsang in manipal where I was made to sing with a sore throat ( I sounded like a toad who is trying to be a nightingale ).
10. Gireeshma and me having cold war with each other !!! Hillarious 😀
11. 11:30 pm , I am sitting with Harsha at an abandoned bus stop near her house , she sees a guy in the car and tells me to go and talk to him about the course . I ask why ? She says ” I have a crush on him , tell him about the course na ” . I ask her if she has even seen him properly , he looks so old . She says ” Who wants to marry him , its just a crush ” OM NAMAH SHIVAYA !!!
12. Sudeshna pouring her heart out about the one and more boys she has likely fallen in love with 😀
13. Rohit and sudeshna doing extra bonding and making me feel left out ( harsha had left manipal by this time , else I would fight back !!! )
14. 15 of us were supposed to go to bangalore ashram , we are standing at the bus stop in manipal and the bus is in front of us , I confuse it with another bus and tell everyone it is not our bus , The conductor is shouting his head out in kannada about 15 passengers who have not come . Then I go to show him the ticket , furious he just snatches the ticket out of my hand and leaves with all of us standing there. 15 of us race with him for 5 kms in 6 autos before he stops the bus and lets us in. Ha ha !!!
15. Priya di and Tanu di sweetly entering our family and making it grow phenominally 🙂
16. Tanu di fresh from her TTC , came with priya di (to take her first course in manipal) telling priya di ” Priya you take the long kriya , I don’t know what will happen ” . Priya di replies with all the motherly affection she can muster ” Tanu I will give the pranayam counts and will take bhastrika , you just have to press the play button ” .
17. Guruji visiting us every year giving us extra special attention and time in and around the Udupi Krishna temple 🙂
These are few of the many many things that I got to learn during my time in manipal . All of us have grown a lot with time. The progress report stands as follows :
Ashok ji has been made a TTC teacher ( means he makes teachers now ) , he now teaches yes!+ , basic course , TTC and is also the state co-ordinator for karnataka .
Vini is married and now lives thousands of kilometres away in America 😦 . She has done blessings course and Guru Pooja Phase 1 ( I have no idea why I am mentioning this ). 🙂
Priya Di continues to bring many many people into the knowledge , her aura has spread to VIT , BITS hyd , Chennai , Baroda and she might be sent to manipur and those east places to start Yes!+ there 🙂 Her growth is just beyond any boundary!!!
Tanu Di is incharge of Bawa’s kitchen most of the time , she takes care of Bawa and Dinesh bhaiya full time . She is going to get married to JD bhaiya ( anything about Yes!+ you want to do has to go through him , he heads the WAYE office ).
Ch Sai Kalyan Chakravarti runs a dance school where he teaches hip hop and bollywood dance in america , he also teaches martial arts . He has completed his TTC in america and teaches the Yes!+ course there .
Tarun Reddy has just graduated from the TTC and is now a facilitator for the Yes!+ and part 1 workshops of the art of living.
Harsha was the first one to leave and she worked for AIIMS in delhi for a year , now she is a Masters student in Harvard university , she also lives in america 😦 . She has applied for TTC but could not go because of her america plan . She has also done a blessings course.
Sudeshna has become a super hot journalist and works with the postnoon , daily grilling out hot hot stories for all of us to read 🙂
Nivedita works as a physio therapist in nanavati hospital in bombay and also pursuing her masters in the same hospital.
Gireeshma is still in manipal completing her education.
Rohit Shah now lives in america and is completing his engineering there. He plans to do the next TTC that is happening in Argentina 🙂
Kulpreeth Singh is awating his results of the CEED exam, after that he will decide the course of action for his life .
All of you who met me in manipal , now we live like very far apart , but the time spent with you all was truly memorable and you all played a very major role in my growth till now. The places where we live might have changed , the people we spend time with might have changed , we might not talk so much to each other so often now. But whenever I will be told to look back and see how I have grown and how my journey has been , without any doubt you all will come in my mind 🙂
DISCLAIMER : There are many many names who I have not mentioned in this post , pardon me for that , I had to keep my attention to the most important things/people , else the post would be very very long.
Lots of love