S Sundar Raman
It is with a matter of pride (you may call arrogance as well) that I say this. I have great deal of zeal in taking up anything, any work (with or without a prefix or suffix). This zeal I consider my strength. Anything new offers certain scope for learning, which is quite an experience, as new things throw up a challenge before you, which helps you stay competitive. I believe, this competitive spirit is essential for us to progress.
But the biggest hurdle or challenge in the entire process is the sudden indifference I encounter, whereafter I end up being in a shell, without a pinch of thought for whatever happens around me. I don't have any reason for that. It just happens. I lose interest. I am not interested in staying competitive. Energy levels goes down. Efficiency goes down. Thinking gets extinct.
I just become some vegetable.
It was during one of those vegetable periods (unusually long that time around), that Sundar came about. Four Years younger than me, but forty times more energetic. After a very very very very very long time (since the days of Ranga), I saw that vibrant spirit in a person, which was contagious as well. It simply rubs on you, even if you are in deepest of slumbers.
My mind was completely switched off to any new things and any learning around that time. Sundar switched it on. He probably inspired me to switch it on.
Balaji (an ode to him is due) once told me about quality of working, out of his experience. You should go for the person who acts, and not just reciprocates. He drew parallels with what he read in a Tamil Weekly. Do your duty and a bit more. Person who knowingly or unknowingly practise this idea in their work, invariably throw out better results.
Among the breeds which does only when being told, and which complains more and contributes less, he did his duty without being told and also a bit more, cheerfully. He innovated and simplified in his own small little ways.
His level of interest (you may call it plain curiosity) and that vigour to explore was simply mercurial. You don't feel put off or get irritated. You simply comply. And comply happily. You also start exploring.
You once again find that competitor in you, who can go miles to accomplish whatever you want. Without that spirit wide awake inside you, you are just a corpse.
Sundar was more special among his peers. Probably because of that his exam results hurt me more. But that was once again a point to my belief that exam results never communicate your complete potential. People scoring lower marks than you are not lower to you. And people scoring greater, may not be that greater.
I also experienced one more thing. You need not always look upto your seniors to seek knowledge, guidance and inspiration. If you shed your ego, and look around, you might end up learning more from the kids around you, than you would have imagined. As Sri Sri Ravishankar (of Art of Living) once told in an interview in NDTV 24 X 7, as the key to happiness and peace "Look at the Child. Learn from it. Be like it. Find the child in you."
I don't feel shy in admititing this. Sundar is that child to me.