In the words of Langston Hughes
What happens to dream deferred?
Does it dry up?
Like a raisin in the sun
Or fester like a sore
And then run
Does it stink like a rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over
Like a syrupy sweet?
May be it just sags
Like a heavy load
Or does it explode?
I have dreams, I had dreams. From the moment we are born, we’ve been pushed and pulled. Pushed into the unknown and pulled out of the known. Later pushed into the known and pulled from the unknown. Predictability and uncertainty becomes something to fear. We are told what decisions are good and bad. We have no choice; our only path is to follow someone, try to avoid mistakes already made but in the end we will replace someone, we will sit where he sits, we will do what he did and we will be replaced just the way he was. And we believe that to change something is already too late; the only option left for us it to escape.
I did escape. My path so far hasn’t been any different yet it did make a difference. When I look back at the path, albeit short, I have traversed so far I realize that it was pathless. I had to carve for myself. Arrogant and optimistic then, I was told to embrace certainty. I felt heavy like the stone! I questioned its being. I weighed its pain and I escaped. I ran as far as I could only to realize that I didn’t move. Life is predictable just like the existence of this stone.
But I chose to take unknown turns and cross uncharted territories. You ask, wasn’t I petrified? Hell yes! I was scared. Afraid of the endless tunnel. Horrified of the bottomless spit. Yes, I was frustrated and I wanted to explode. I did explode. Not once but many times. I felt the heaviness.
My intuitions drove me. The meaning of ‘the call’ became clearer with time. It happened in 2011 when the opportunity to teach landed. I was apprehensive to accept the responsibility. Thirty pair of eyes staring at you! Gosh it was scary. There were instances when I broke down. Challenging, but it was an onset of a journey. Soon, there came a point where I felt the need to shed old feathers and grow new ones. The need to take a flight was felt by me. Just at that time ‘I AM A TEACHER’ happened. And even now my intuitions guided me.
Fearless, I took the flight to explore and discover. You ask what? There is a lot. You ask me when and how? It is happening now.
It isn’t that we don’t have a choice. We do. The choice isn’t between this that, either or, less more, fill pour. You ask who decides? You, I, We.
Pallavi Sharma, Alumnus, I Am A Teacher