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My best selfie

2016-08-21         SHUKLAB

I have to confess that I have never been a great fan of the phenomena of selfies. In fact I didn’t understand the need of selfies at all. I took the liberty of dismissing the selfies I saw in Facebook and mails as trite and immature. I continued to hold on to this opinion even after our Prime Minister Modi took several selfies with decision makers of countries and corporations! I found it silly when I saw people crowd into one frame with disgusting pouts and gestures. I clubbed it all as ingenuous marketing strategies by smart phones to sell their products. It seems like people bought phones to take selfies rather than make calls. And the selfie songs were an icing on the gooey cake. But all this changed the night my student Diwakar invited me to dinner at his place of work the Hilton International. Diwakar came to Parikrma for 12 years and we sponsored him for a degree in hotel management. He has been working at Hilton for the last two years in the Food and Beverage department. He celebrated his 22nd birthday recently and wanted to take me out for dinner as his treat. He said, “Akka, enough is enough – you have fed me enough, it is now time for me to take you out for a treat.” He took permission from his boss to take me to the coffee shop and avail of the staff discount. Even so I squirmed when I saw the price tag for each of the items we ordered. I kept saying, “Why here Diwakar? We could go to another restaurant,” to which he replied, “Akka, you have worked for so many years in five star hotels but have given up everything when you started Parikrma. I wanted to give you a five star treat.” As the meal proceeded he called another Parikrma student Santosh who came running from the kitchen. He is the Chef there and has got a promotion once again. I was brimming with pride to see my little boys grown up as fine young men who will make a difference in the world. They have already started taking care of their families and removed them from the slums where they were born and I am sure there is more to follow. It was Diwakar’s idea to take a selfie and I did not cringe because it was important to capture the spirit of the moment. I know that each day in the lives of my students will bring change and every single moment needs to be captured. Now I understand why people take selfies!!

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