Chapter 17: Take the Risk Wholesale
His sincerity was indubitable. Even his teachers felt ashamed. They had never come across such a student. The teacher, the ordinary teacher, always likes mediocre students because compared to them, he is a great teacher. And whenever - sometimes it happens - a great student, who towers higher than the teacher himself, comes to him, then the teacher feels angry, irritated, because the student continuously brings questions which the teacher cannot answer. Whatever he answers, the student is always able to refute it.
One of my teachers got tired of me because for eight months continuously, I would not let him move a single inch. We were stuck on a single point. He would bring all kinds of arguments and he was looking into books.. I was also working hard to refute him and all the other students enjoyed it - because the teacher was so much engaged with me, he had completely forgotten to give homework, or to teach anything else. There was no time, because the first lesson had not yet been learned so he could not move to the second.
The examination was coming near and then he became really mad at me. He started shouting at me. I said, “Listen, you are an old man. If you shout so much, you may have a heart attack. And I hope it is not heart failure.just a small attack. But don’t think that by shouting, you can shut me up. And if you think it is a match in shouting, I can also shout. And you are an old man - I will really enjoy shouting. So calm down.”
He understood the point, but he left the class and went to the principal and said, “Now it is absolutely certain that either I remain in the school, in the college, or this student remains. You can choose.” The principal said, “But what is the matter? Has he done anything wrong to you?”
He said, “He has not been allowing me to teach the students and the examination is coming close. All the students are going to fail, except for him. And he has a strange stamina. I have been working hard. I have never worked so hard, reading late into the night, finding new arguments, and the next day he simply refutes them. He is working harder than me. Of course he is young and it is very humiliating to get defeated every day. I resign. I will not come to the college again if you don’t expel him.” And he left for his home.
The principal called me. He knew me. I had brought so many trophies and so many cups from all over the country, from all the universities, for debating, for eloquence competitions. He was very happy that I had made his college famous nationwide.
He said, “I’m in a difficulty. Why are you irritating that old man? He is our oldest professor, well educated; he has two PhDs, has been conferred D.Litt. recently by the university. He is a well-known scholar and we cannot lose him.”