It matters not if it is the beginning of the day or the end. starting a new log or sitting for a test, whether we receive something or give something, whether we say goodbye or welcome, we pray at the beginning of each event. And if it’s a new venture then the prayer becomes ever more fervent.
So how can it be that we start a new endeavour (Tarusa) without saying our prayers! I would like to do so by sending my respects to all my teachers who loved me and supported me. They built me. Teachers who hated me (and believe me there were enough of those too) and broke me. They built me too. I would like to thank them all because in that making and unmaking, I found my World view.
As I begin a long un-chartered journey with Tarusa this year I will meet a lot of new challenges that will test my learning so far. But one learning that I hope never to let go of and which is the trigger of Tarusa is this:
Compete with self.
This is how it came to me: The first day at NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi) was a dream come true. Today so many years later the first day is clear as crystal in my head. We went to the class and the first course was “sketching” – My favourite. We were asked to sketch a few compositions, objects etc.
At the end of the day we were graded and I got a good 8/10. There were perhaps 1-2 more persons who were in that bracket and the rest were struggling with a 4, 5 maybe 6. I was enthralled.
Coming from a background of studying the way we did (boards, rankings, percentages, peaking over your shoulder to make sure others are lagging behind etc) it was an achievement that put me in the top bracket at the very beginning.
But, this is not where the lesson lies.
This continued for four weeks and we were graded again, now at the end of the course. I got an 8.5. “Not bad,” I thought to myself. I took a walk around and found that one person had got 9 but the quality of her sketches was still not as good as mine.
I was mystified and needless to say peeved. Not being a very people’s person I thought it reeked of favouritism. I marched up to the course coordinator and asked for an explanation.
In his true cryptic style (I realized later) he replied, “You have not progressed much.”
“From what,” I asked in angst.
“From your initial work” he said.
And that is it nub of it.
We can only truly compare to ourselves. We can only endeavor to better ourselves. The only measure can be the distance we cover within ourselves. The ceilings we break and the self created myths we crack. This is the only yardstick with which we can measure our success and our failure.
Fifteen years later as we (Team Tarusa) shape and work on Tarusa we hope to excel and better ourselves. And for this we seek the blessings of all our teachers.