I still remember, when I was doing my Post graduate program I used to ask questions, mostly doubts. One day In my statistics class where I seldom listen, I asked a question to my professor.
He replied “Gokul!, If you ask questions, please ask sensible questions” everyone laughed at me. I felt ashamed. But I haven’t stopped asking questions, but the reply always remains the same :P.
After someday I realized, the reason why my friends won’t ask questions is nothing but fear. Afraid of the professor’s reply ;). While teachers take classes, some of my friends sitting near me would ask some questions, though I am a person who seldom concentrates on classes, I ask them to ask the teacher itself. But they won’t. Always their doubt remains as a question.
Let me give two examples which I had experienced recently.
1. Temple Visit
A couple of months back I visited a temple nearby my home. I was always surprised of the construction of the temples, the design, the idols, the Art etc. When I was a child I use to go to the same temple with my Grandfather. Our family use to donate a calf to the temple every year. During those visit’s I ask my grandfather questions regarding the designs, the Idols etc. he use to tell me "everything you see here has its own meanings. You will get to know more about this when you grow up. when time comes you will know everything”
After 15-18 years the same old questions came to my mind. I decided I wanted to know the answers this time. I went to the priest. I asked everything I want to know. He answered with enthusiasm, I felt a joy in his face, I had read somewhere that “the Knowledge is to be shared and the person who shares the knowledge seems so grateful for being given the opportunity to share”. I was able to experience the gratefulness in his speech. His speech continued for almost 30 minutes. While explaining, the priest seemed elated. I think in his lifetime it’s the first time someone has asked this. I felt so.
As he was busy with things in the temple he told me, ”There are more, but we have time limitation” I will explain the rest some other day. I replied “It’s ok, we will meet another day”
When I looked back I was totally surprised. There are lots of people who were listening to the speech. Everyone smiled at me. I felt like a hero walking in slow motion after a punch dialogue. I also found some village beauties smiling at me. That was a wonderful experience.
The point here is, until I asked the priest, the answer was unknown. if I didn’t take the step to ask, it always remains no. I think this is the reason why in this world there are more followers than leaders. The leaders should be aware of everything, whereas the followers need not be. They just obey or do whatever their leader ask to do.
Have you ever mingled with kids recently? We can learn many things from them. Once I visited a museum with my friend. We found a kid (5-6) years of age. The kid was asking plenty of question to the parents. I still remember my cousins (mentioned in my previous blog Anirudh and Ananthan), when we go for an outing, or at a beach, they used to ask questions. But now, when they grow up the number of questions also comes down.
2. Wedding functions
I was also fascinated by the wedding functions of Kerala. It differs from a district to district. 8-9 months back when I attend marriage functions I use to find a chair nearby the youngsters. When the function takes place I use to ask them, why? why it’s done like this, what is the significance, what is the logic behind that etc. but they also don’t know. The reply was “why we should aware of that. Then I realized I should find a better place to get answers. So I thought sometimes elderly people may aware of this. I decided, for next marriage function, I will find a chair near old people.
While attending another marriage function after someday, I was able a find a seat near an elder person. I asked him the same questions. “The old man replied it’s Tradition, we are following this for years”. The interesting part is he also don’t know the logic behind the things which have been followed for years”. After that again I had attended so many marriage functions, I asked so many people, found different answers but was not logical. The more I heard is “Tradition”
Here is what I learned or my definition of Tradition is, “Following something which is followed for years, without a clear knowledge why we are following this”. Another Important thing I found interesting is “If you stress more on your questions you will be considered as a rebel”.