When I read the notice about a Panel Discussion, initially I just ignored it.
Then I saw that RB was going to chair it, I noted down the date and the time.
I respect RB though I do not know him personally. I had listened to him a couple of times and had liked his talks. So, I decided to go for it.
And I could make it as was planned.
Before the panel speakers started the presentation, RB announced that all questions would be taken up for discussion in the end. He appealed that all those who had questions to ask to panelists should write those on a piece of paper. the small pieces of paper were circulated.
I was amazed to see a number of people from the audience writing enthusiastically and handing over the piece of paper to the volunteers. I was wondering how people can have so many questions to ask. It was bit ridiculous of me to think so as I too keep on asking many questions. The only difference is I ask questions to myself and they were asking it to others. Maybe, I am too egoistic to admit my ignorance. RB was going through all those questions that kept on coming to him.
The panelists shared their ideas one by one. RB summarized the discussion. He was brilliant as usual and did a lot of value addition that the 'Chair' is supposed to do and by thanking everyone he declared 'end of the session'.
The audience was stunned. One of the volunteers rushed to him and spoke something to him. I was sure and everybody else was sure that the volunteer must have reminded him of the questions people had asked.
RB smiled. He nodded. He closed his eyes for a moment and seemed to lost in some kind of thoughts. Then the usual peace returned to him and he spoke calmly. He said, " Thanks .... (abc) for reminding me about those questions. I have read all those questions. None of those was a question. I invited questions and not comments, not your ideas. However, all those were comments. I kindly request you to learn to ask Right Questions. That is very important when we are seeking answers sincerely."
There was complete silence. Those who had written questions must have been hurt with the gross insult. But everybody kept quiet.
Asking the Right Questions!!
Well, that is what I need to learn.