Image: Harini at Gandhinagar during DCC2008
This is a personal post based on my reflections over the past four years. I have had the good fortune and a rare opportunity of acquiring a glimpse both sides of the DCC coin- First as a student in 2004 and now, as assistant faculty in 2008. The journey has been tumultuous and exciting with each day bringing new learning and growth.
The methodology advocated by DCC has become a way of life and is being utilized by numerous people across various walks after having assimilated it into the order of every day things. Four years ago, groups converged in the studio spaces at NID to weave our ideas of the concepts and concerns of design around the theme of globalization and the new order of the world. At that time not many of us possessed the foresight that one small course at NID spread over the course of a few weeks would change and shape the way we would all reason from then on- both collectively and as thinking individuals. There is a clarity that emerges from all the confusion, which calls for a new kind of thinking, understanding, questioning and constantly revaluating opinions and beliefs.
Image: Harini discussing brainstorming and at the presentations with Gandhinagar students
A few days ago, soon after this new phase of my journey began; I rummaged around to rediscover the thoughts and feedback I had penned at the culmination of the course in 2004. This is what it had to say – “When I reflect back on the entire course and all the rapid exchanges and brainstorming sessions there were many thoughts that kept surfacing through my mind and striking home. Many of us grow up with an exaggerated sense of our own self-worth and intelligence. Our spectrum is narrow, our tolerance level non-existent and our motto in life ‘My way is the best way, if not the only way’. Eating humble pie (with unceasing regularity) is probably the best way of learning one of life’s bitter truths and what should have been the Eleventh Commandment-‘you are definitely not as smart as you think you are (or even as smart as others think you are!)’” In hindsight and with slightly more lucidity now than before, I believe that was the result of a first encounter from very close quarters of group dynamics in action.
I trust that each person we meet or come in contact with, whether at home, in the workplace or otherwise have a definite part to play in our overall education in the subject of life. We can never walk away empty-handed after any encounter with the feeling of not having learnt something new. To this end each person’s background and imbibed values areof relevance in enhancing the experience of others. One of the richest experiences that life has to offer is of meeting other people from different arenas of life and the reciprocal exchange that arise between them- it appears impossible that one should ever give without getting anything in return. There is something to be learnt, whether positive or not, from every interaction with another. It also helps us to realize that there are always people to help us out with our own deficiencies. Learning to work as a team, to work with a team- a very challenging, sometimes formidable task but always a gratifying one. A time to share your thoughts and experiences and a time to learn from others.
My impressions of my first day at DCC class is etched in my mind- a little nervous and apprehensive but very eager and enthusiastic –to learn, to make an impression and to meet and make friends and broaden my perspective of the world at large- a daunting task by any stretch of the imagination. Having heard a lot about the course from numerous friends and seniors I was geared up to face the storm. Upon reflection I now feel that the whole experience has been one of the most rewarding ones till date –the experience of rubbing shoulders with some very resourceful and enterprising people, the desperation in meeting last- minute deadlines, of debate and boisterous argument, the feeling of pride in a job well done, your own growing awareness of your increasing confidence in yourself, the feeling of being part of a team or making a presentation which you have slaved over for hours- these feelings to me are the essence of professional development.
Two invaluable lessons that I take back with me at the end of all this are-firstly, never to go into the battlefield without being fully prepared and doing your groundwork thoroughly and secondly, to be truthful while admitting your ignorance- it’s perfectly acceptable to utter the words ‘I don’t know, but I will find out’. The feeling of being cut down to size is very deflating, but it does serve its purpose-it teaches you a powerful lesson you are not apt to forget easily! The more dogmatic we are, we consciously close shut many doors of opportunities that we could experience, learn from, draw strength and courage to go on to be a better person. After than, can there actually be an individual who doesn’t require a second chance?