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My Guru

I am sure everyone has one Guru, who changes our lives for something better. 

There are different definitions of a guru according to different people.

My Guru – Father James.

Who was my vice principal in Saint Mary’s School, Rajkot. I joined Saint Mary’s School in the 7th Standard. I was very terrible at the Gujarati Language, where reading and writing was concerned. I could converse in Gujarati but that too in the intonation we Parsi’s converse. He came to know that I was new to the language and required to brush up on my skill. He was taking the Gujarati subject in school. To my surprise, he did not belong to Gujarat yet he learnt Gujarati and was a PHD in it. He gave me a book of Gujarati alphabets to trace and learn how to write the alphabets prior to I could go ahead and write it in the fair copy. This was the first stride of help he gave me and I sooner or later learnt how to read and write Gujarati. slowly but surely I leant how to write it properly.

All my friends made fun of my language because of the Parsi Guajarati influence. I made it a point to learn the language and there came a time I could speak Kathiyawadi Gujarati superior then the people who already knew the language and I made myself proud and this led me to lose the Parsi intonation with the Gujju Friends. But mind well I still converse the Parsi enunciation.

Before I came back to my city, I was studying in Barnes High School, Devlali. It was a boarding school. Last days of my life in School I saw a movie called - The 6th Men. This was a motion picture on two young kids playing basket ball and dream to make it big one day by reaching the NCAA championship.  And this motivated me to play basketball and when I came to Saint Mary’s I joined the basketball coaching in the evening from the very next week. I was surprised to know that it was Fr. James who was going to teach me Basketball and he will coach me. This is the 2nd incident where he became my guru.

On the first day of coaching he was making us become skilled at how to do a chest pass and he threw the ball to me and it directly hit my right thumb and for three days I could not play with the pain. Even today if something hits the thumb badly I remember the pain the basketball gave me. He taught me how to play basketball and made me reach to the district level almost 5 times. I will never overlook that he made me a sportsman and I loved being a part of him. When he plays basket ball it’s difficult to seize the ball from his hand.

The third instance is about my occupation. I was on a summer vacation to Pune the same house where I and my parents are going to live now. I was listening to music on the balcony and unexpectedly I got a call from him and I thought it was for mom because my mom is a teacher in school and thought he had some work with her. And he said I need to talk to you. I said yes father tell me. He asked me if I was interested in teaching in Saint Paul’s School. And I asked him teaching but why me. He said we need someone who can teach computers to the Gujarati medium students. And in fun I asked him will I be paid for it. He laughed and whispered yes young man you will be paid for the sense of duty you do at school. And I could not leave this opportunity and told him yes I would like to join the school. He asked me when I was coming back to Rajkot. And he said come and meet me when you come. I was pretty energized to go back home and meet him. I went to meet him and he told me what my duty would be. He gave me some text books to refer before I could come to school and initiate the work. It was quite  interesting to read computer books in Gujarati. It was a challenge for me. And I told him Father, this is in Gujarati do you think I will be able to educate the children and he said young man I have taught you Gujarati and I know you will be the best person to teach them.

I went to school and it was my first experience to go and teach. Met the students and my work began. For the complete primary year I took only two theory class and all the other practical class (English and Gujarati). And end of the year the results were much better than before. And father was impressed by my work. End of the year he asked me if I was interested in continuing for the next year and my answer was yes why not. Next year I was given the English medium classes to teach as well. I slowly and steadily became popular in school amongst the students as I was a fun loving teacher as I never liked my teachers to be serious how could I be serious while teaching . Yes the teaching was serious but with a bit of humor and laughter too.

This year one of my colleague resigned from school and it was the last terminal exams and I was horrified as I had to go ahead and handle the whole school because his classes also were taken by me. And every students paper that year for the last term was checked by me. It was a tough time for me but I did it.

The third year in school was the best one as I was made the Head of the department (Computers) and finally I could feel the authority of the post and the conscientiousness and I did a great job with that too. The fourth year also I was at the same post and with more responsibilities.  It was just because of my Guru that I reached to this place and he had the trust that I will be good enough to handle this post at such a young age. Probably I was the youngest HOD in any department. I could achieve all things at work at a young age.

I was called the Principal’s Right hand. Because every little work of him was done by me and I could never tell him no for any work. We used the Saint Mary’s Premises before the School was built at Munjka, which is outside the city. That time I had lots of work which was assigned to me by him and everyday at least thrice he called me for doing things for tomorrow.

My friends told me why was I working so hard for him when I was not being paid anything extra. But they did not know that what I am getting by working for him was the respect I have from my guru and the disappearance which hurts him now when I am not there. He is one person who respected me for what I am and the trust he had on me was everything for me. There are times when we don’t have to look about money gains but for emotional gains too.

When I left school that time my guru told me that I will be coming to Pune in November and we will meet up there. And when he came in November I was so happy that he remembered me and we had dinner together along with another Father. He is the most humble person I met in life. We almost shared a 14 years of relationship and it was not at all a waste.

I will never forget what he did for me. The last thing I would love to jot down here is when I went to meet him in the office that I wanted leave for 6 months as I wanted to go to Bombay to go and see if I could be a part of the glamour world. He agreed and said I would love to see you prosper and you can certainly go. Thou there was some pain in his voice by telling me yes you can go because I was the one who would manage things for him and he would lose a helping hand and a good teacher but he did not stop me. Finally in December when my dad told him that Farhad has sent his resignation and please relieve him from the services he was upset but was happy too for my progress in the IT field.



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