Teachers’ Day

Sweet Solitude: A Special Teacher’s Day Message

Anjana Saha
Anjana Saha
Posted on 05 Sep 2022
10:15 AM
Ms Anjana Saha, Senior Principal of Mahadevi Birla World School

Ms Anjana Saha, Senior Principal of Mahadevi Birla World School Ms Anjana Saha

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Summary
The pressure cooker syndrome is your reality! The dread of abandonment by peers and the fear of missing out on experiences enhanced by virtual reality and social media makes you shun solitude with a vengeance!
Solitude is me-time, a time to do nothing but turn inwards to regale in the journeys undertaken so far, moments of soul searching and quietness that help find the missing links

In the midst of the hustle and bustle and discourses on technology that surround this first post-Covid Teacher’s Day, Ms Anjana Saha, Senior Principal of Mahadevi Birla World School brings students and teachers an entirely different perspective. Solitude, not to be confused with loneliness or boredom - is the fount of creativity, of being energised and of making yourself and your teachers proud.

As a young girl, I had been given the rare and ‘uncomfortable’ gift of solitude. My parents were preoccupied with the business of living and I was left to my devices being an only child growing up in Kanpur away from cousins and family. The years were precious indeed as they gave me the leisure to explore my solitude with my powerful imagination as a faithful genie by my side.

Joy in the ordinary transformed by my ‘crazy’ creativity was the by-product and it is something that has never left my side since then!

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I call solitude a gift as it is rare and almost impossible to find now in my grown-up years. When Wordsworth wrote about the ‘bliss of solitude” or when he ‘wandered lonely as a cloud’, he recalled a joyous moment that he had experienced when he was alone.

‘Bliss’ is a notch higher than joy and solitude is the essential premise upon which this joy rests.

The reason for me recalling the poet’s words is for us to reflect on the fast-fading bliss of solitude for we are forever lamenting our so-called loneliness and boredom.

You, my young students, are restless when not caught in the frenetic pace of life. These are demanding times that you live in with the constant need for achievement as a stressor. The pressure cooker syndrome is your reality! The dread of abandonment by peers and the fear of missing out on experiences enhanced by virtual reality and social media makes you shun solitude with a vengeance!

What then is the right amount of solitude, one may ask.

To borrow from the poet’s words:

“… solitude

more active even than ‘best society”

It grants us time alone to introspect and allows the creative juices to flow unhindered.

The mind must be recharged, just like the batteries of your phones and gadgets, to be creative, expressive and energized. The lens with which you look at the world and life’s experiences must be your own, with no filters and hacks borrowed from the latest apps.

Solitude is not abject loneliness or despair. In fact, it is quite the opposite: the celebration of companionship with music, poetry and the rhythm of life in its continuity.

Solitude is me-time, a time to do nothing but turn inwards to regale in the journeys undertaken so far. Moments of soul searching and quietness that help find the missing links that solve many a puzzle and clear the haze of confusion that often surrounds us.

Let go of gadgets and gizmos, steer clear of self-pity and defensive isolation and embrace solitude as a pre-requisite for the need to recognize the worth of family, friendship and enduring ties.

May we have the gift of solitude in our lives to offer gratitude for the blessings we have received thus far and experience joy in abundance. May you remain forever young with sweet solitude by your side.

‘Thanks to the human heart by which we live,

Thanks to its tenderness, its joys and fears,

To me, the meanest flower that blows can give

Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears’

-Ode: Intimations of Immortality

William Wordsworth

Last updated on 05 Sep 2022
10:15 AM
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