As a student in IIT Mumbai, when someone asked me to join a course on meditation, all I said was "Me! Meditate?" As a typical (or should that be atypical) IITian I was focused on getting good grades, yet being a cool guy - involved in lit and cult activites and generally being a lukkha.
Yet, after four years of doing nothing and everything - being the general secretary of the hostel, playing football, going on a month-long trek in the Andaman forests, enduring a grueling NCC camp, running a summer canteen during the vacations...I still felt there was something more to do with life. I finally felt that, MAYBE, just MAYBE, there is something in what my friends claim about meditation. And I signed up for the course on my 21st birthday.
As I started meditating, several things started to happen: my football improved, my relationships improved. I actually called up my parents and told them how much I loved them - my life improved!
Today as I look back on my years in The Art of Living Foundation as a disciple and a teacher, I am struck by the fact that, if it hadn't been for my 21st birthday gift, I would probably have been stuck running the rat race for all I was worth. Today I am in the enviable position where my classmates look up to me and say “Hey! You've done well in life, wish we could have done the same”.