Shekhar Sir, was a disciplinarian par excellence. Yes, when we were in school, we used to quiver when he used to do the rounds in the corridors but there was another side of him. He maintained a beautiful balance of what Indu Ma’am wasn’t, and this beautiful balance was so symbiotic and reciprocal of two natures that made The Mother’s International grow as one of the best schools in India. Whereas Indu Ma’am was very soft-spoken and gentle, even while dealing with the notorious naughty kids, Shekhar Sir carried a strong presence which ensured that the unspoken discipline which the school expected was maintained.
Though I was never taught any subject by Shekhar Sir but I remember one incident which proved so appropriately that he was very caring at heart and his strict rules of discipline had a deeper sense to them. Once we were compelled to miss the morning assembly for completing an important assignment and the respective teacher had given us the permission to do so. While doing rounds to check if anyone was missing the morning assembly, Shekhar Sir found us sitting in the class and inquired us for the reason of absenteeism from the assembly. His anger was quite palpable, but one of us went up to him and explained the predicament, he calmed down instantly and didn’t reprimand any of us. He called for the respective teacher and explained to all of us that nothing can be more important than the morning assembly – not even the toughest and the most important subject in a class. He explained to all of us – how the morning assembly – helps us develop the right attitude, positive mindset, concentration which would stay with us for the entire day and help in absorbing the subjects better. He pointed out that – even sitting quietly for the duration in the assembly will change us to be a better, more receptive and compassionate person. We listened to him quietly, formed a queue, and left for the assembly while he waited in the corridor. No, it wasn’t out of terror, it was out of a newly found meaning of the morning assembly. Shekhar Sir ingrained in us the right spirit that day – the fact that the daily responsibilities of studies and work will happen with perfection if we start the day positively with some chanting, meditation, singing of songs from Arpan Gaan.
This small incident has remained etched in my mind and I vividly remember him waiting in the corridor, it was like a guardian angel ensuring his kids are shown the right path. No doubt, today during the most demanding situations at work, in busy traffic or in personal life I hum the songs that were sung in the morning assembly, to keep myself calm and focussed. I owe a lot to Shekhar sir for imbibing and etching this subconscious habit deep inside me which has helped me a lot to take tough situations in my stride, with positivity. All because of that single incident in school.