I have stood before this elite group of audience at least hundred times before – may be for a prayer, a song, and a dance or for giving a message or felicitating someone on retirement, but never ever for introducing a resource person so close to me. When I was requested by Sr.Lissy John, to introduce Dr T P Sasikumar, I accepted the duty without the slightest hesitation, for I consider it a pleasant responsibility of all of us to appreciate the good qualities in others, whenever we get a chance. Praise is the nourishment to the soul. If, even the Gods need our praise, what about us humans? Why be stingy when it can bring out goodness in the other and it costs you nothing?
Dr T P Sasikumar is very close to a few of us, familiar to some and totally unfamiliar to the majority of us. Being a multi-faceted personality, I fear that no amount of effort of my part would bring into light all aspects of this vibrant and dynamic personality. Yet let me try my best to give you glimpses of the same.
Ø There is a proverb which says that ‘the one who wants to sing will always find a song’. Yet you imagine a person who left his coveted post of the deputy Director in the cabinet Secretariat of Government of India, for pursuing his dream job of becoming a teacher?
Ø Can you name a person who addressed one day seminar for 3000 participants?
Ø Have you ever heard of a resource person who started a class in the morning and continued it to the next day morning, non-stop?
Ø Can you show me a person who had been the resource person for more than 3000 classes, seminars & workshops in India and abroad over a span of ten years?
Ø Can you think of a person who, though not a teacher by profession claims with due pride to have taught more number of students over the past few years than I have, within the thirty two years of my teaching profession?
Ø Do you think there can exist a person who holds an MSc degree, an MPhil degree, A Doctorate degree, an LLB degree and MBA and an MS degree in Psychotherapy and Counseling and still whose thirst for knowledge could not be quenched?
Ø Have you ever come across a person who even at this age of mid 40s, is a student of Vasthu, Yoga, Ayurveda, Thanthra, Astrology … any subject you name it?
Ø Have you ever seen the odd combination of a poet and a space scientist co-existing in one person? But.. yes, DrTPS, the space scientist has authored two books – Life made Simple and Life of Love.
Ø Have you ever come across a person who replies over a 100 emails daily?
Yes .. I can go on, on and on… my dear friends, now you know the one and probably the only one person on earth who fulfils all the above – Dr T P Sasikumar.
My dear Sr. Lissy John, during my coordinatorship of the career guidance cell over the past six years, I have amassed huge wealth. The wealth of friendship, of love, of affection, of strong bond and lasting relationship with many and Dr T P Sasikumar bears a testimony on the same.
Dear friends, the arts and science colleges are facing insurmountable challenges, which they had never experienced before. Quality of the students seeking admission to these colleges has deteriorated in the near future. Science streams are the worst hit due to the preference for professional courses. Universities do not exist for providing jobs to teachers; managements cannot be expected to retain us, if students do not join the courses. If you have only pea nuts to offer, you can attract only monkeys. To attract lions, you have to offer meat, nothing less. It is high time to demolish the out dated curriculum, methodology and courses. No doubt, earning a livelihood is also is an aim of education. Are we producing the right type of employable graduates with good communication skills, interpersonal skills and technical skills and students with qualities like punctuality, reliability, commitment, pleasing manners and high EQ? Reduction in the number of students seeking admission to conventional BA, BSc, BCom degree courses gives us a warning signal. A smoke is sufficient indicator of fire. It is time to change or else we will perish.
Let us take lessons from eagles. The eagle has the longest life span among birds – of 70 years. When it gets about 40 years, its long and flexible talons cannot grab its prey. Its sharp beak becomes bent. Its heavy wings, due to the thick feathers, stick to its chest make flying difficult. It has two options – die or go through a painful process of change, which lasts about five months. The eagle files to the mountain top and knocks its beak against a rock till it is plucked out. It has to wait till new one grows. Then it plucks out its talons. After they grow back, it starts plucking old aged feathers. When they grow, the eagle takes its flight of rebirth. Afterwards it can live for another 30 years of healthy life.
A Buddhist proverb runs like this “If a lettuce will not grow, do not blame the lettuce, the fault lies with us for not having nourished the seed properly”. I think it is relevant to all of us, teachers to assume the responsibility of modifying our teaching methodology so that learning becomes a pleasant and enjoyable process for all the students. Dr T P Sasikumar with his ocean of knowledge and years of experience will help us in this regard with his seminar on Effective teaching.
My dear friends, today, we reserve our role from teachers to students. Students fall into four main groups – the lock type – who do not allow any new idea to enter the brain, the revenge type – who challenges the teachers’ ability to influence him, by resistance until convinced, the picnic type – who come to the class with the same mind set of going for a picnic – to enjoy and finally the open type – who are willing to accept any good thing who ever may be the giver. Let us be of the forth and the best, who bring out the best in the teacher. For, we have a wonderful teacher today.
Sasi, a good teacher teaches from his heart not from his books. He brings out the best in the students, inspires the students, he has two qualities – love and commitment, love towards the subject and students and commitment to his profession. I have observed all these qualities of a great teacher in you. As you conquer the heights of achievements, may god bless you with adorable qualities of humility, spirit of self-less service and untiring enthusiasm to march forward.
Prof. Maya, Vimala College, Trichur, Kerala
Introduction on the Lecture on 101007