Monday, 30 December 2013

“My Memorable Experience at the Ticket Booking Office – A Short Story” - Professor M.S.Rao

“Simplicity in character, in manners, in style; in all things the supreme excellence is simplicity.” - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I did not enjoy my vacation with family for the last eight years as I was always busy with continuous learning and my vision to build one million students as global leaders. I mostly spend my time with students to shape and groom them as healthy citizens and global leaders.  I decided to go on tour to Rajasthan with my wife and two sons. I lived in Jodhpur which is in the State of Rajasthan in India from 1986 to 1991. I earned three degrees - MA, PGDBM and PGDCLL during this period and fast-tracked my career.  I earned my PGDCLL by studying in evening college in Jodhpur by working during the day time.  Throughout my life, I followed the concept of ‘earning and learning’. I also loved and married a woman of my choice, and started my first family life there. Hence, Jodhpur is the place I love very much apart from other places in Rajasthan where I travelled widely during the period including Jaisalmeer, Bikaner, Jaipur, Ajmer, Pali, Udaipur, Ranakpur and Abu Road to name a few.

My wife, two sons and I brainstormed for hours, and finally prepared a blueprint to visit the places in Rajasthan within nine days. I went to a local office to book tickets by a train.  A woman approximately 24 years of age was in the office. I could see her face only from the place where I stood. She was looking at the computer screen doing her work. I was unable to have the physical view of her computer screen and activities.  I told her the names of my wife, two sons and my name as Professor M.S.Rao to book the tickets to Jaisalmeer.  She asked me, “Are you Professor M.S.Rao?”  I said, “Yes. Kindly book the tickets to Jaisalmeer.”  She looked at my face with disbelief and started doing something with her computer screen which I was unable to see. I felt that she was taking more time to give tickets. I reminded her to give me tickets as I had other tasks to do. She said curtly, “Please wait. I am doing your task only.”  I waited for sometime by standing. She was busy with computer screen but not giving me tickets. I asked her assertively, “Why are you taking a lot of time to give me tickets?”  She changed her tone and replied politely, “Sir, I am doing your task only.” I waited for some more time. Finally, I got annoyed and enquired her, “How much time will you take to give me tickets? I have to go elsewhere. You are taking a lot of time. Are you giving me tickets or playing games in your computer?”  She shouted with ectacy, “I got you sir. You are Professor M.S.Rao! My guess is right!” She shouted as if she invented something in her life. Here face was filled with lots of excitement!  I was confused with her craziness. I asked her, “I don’t understand what you got me.”  She stood up and said with great respect, “When you said your name as Professor M.S.Rao I was checking in the Google whether you are the same ‘Professor M.S.Rao, Born for the Students’. When I was in college one year ago, I was regularly reading your blog containing posts on students, career, interview and leadership. I regularly read your posts and acquired immense knowledge. I also followed your interview questions that helped me grab employment offer. When I saw your face asking for tickets I was thinking that somewhere I saw your face. When you said your name as Professor M.S.Rao I was thinking about your blogs. In order to confirm whether you are the same person, I took a little longer time to check your blog containing your photo instead of giving you tickets. I apologize for the delay. But I am excited to meet you in person.” 

Initially I was annoyed with her delay but later I realized that she had acquired knowledge something from my blog. I was very much excited that my knowledge gets spread, and is useful to many. And I was more excited to hear it from an unknown person.

I congratulated her for getting the employment. I asked her to find out the ways to improve the posts in the blog as I believed two things in my life – continuous learning and constant feedback.  She felt that she was quite happy with my blog posts and said that she was my follower and many of her friends in the college read my blog posts.

She said, “I was under the impression that you live in New Delhi.”  Then I replied that I travel around widely to conduct training programs on leadership, and currently stay in the same city and locality. She was surprised, “I thought you might be a great personality with international travel, but you appear like a common man. You seem to believe in simplicity and humility!”  I said that I believe in simplicity, and I rarely reveal my identity to others and about my blogs with others. I love to associate with common people like a common man. I also added, “I am not a great personality. I rose from humble origins and I rarely forget my roots.  I want to die as a common man rather than as a great personality.”

She was excited with my conversation, and she not willing to leave me. She added that she gained lots of knowledge. She said that she would not charge the commission for booking the tickets. I told her to charge as they have overheads. She refused to take the commission for booking tickets. Finally, I requested her to take minimum commission. She took minimum charges and gave me tickets physically. I was a memorable day in my life as I was happy that my knowledge was useful to many people thus making a difference to the society.

"The fullest and best ears of corn hang lowest toward the ground."— Bishop Reynolds

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