Saturday, May 25, 2013

Story begins!

I learnt the art of story telling from my mom who is till today a very descriptive and animated life story teller. I grew up and am still leading my life listening to her stories of her own childhood, people and relationships in her life, struggles and victories of her life. Today I wanna share a story that humbled me the most.

There are kids coming from low income families to my class in summer school. One such kid is Mahesh and he is one of the most sincere and intelligent kids I have seen. He is a fast learner and a fantastic dancer who does locking, popping, rock and roll and many other forms of dancing. I had a chance to visit the community he lives in and the things I saw there amused me.

  • Mahesh had studied in a dilapidated Telugu medium school in a remote village of Andhra Pradesh. He has been in Pune English school for only an year. What's admirable is that he has learnt Hindi and English to conversational level in just less than an year.
  • Mahesh's parents are 100% illiterates and that hasn't stopped him from succeeding in academics. Mahesh bagged A2 grade, which corresponds to 81-90%  in 5th standard exams - this being without any kind of help with studies at his home.
  • Mahesh lives in servant quarters in a 10*10 square feet single room sharing the space with 3 other people of his family.
The above facts are just highlights of Mahesh's intellect while there are so many other things to be considered. He is a very curious child who is sincere and always ready to help his classmates. This boy displays tremendous amount of self-confidence and learns quickly. He draws inspiration from the successful people around him and aspires to become an army doctor.

I set out to teach him but now I realize he is already inspired from deep within his heart. I can learn from him and look back into my memories and fondly remember this kid from my first ever classroom. The world is too quick in forming biases about the low income communities but I believe they are no different from others, all they need is opportunities.

You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.
- Swami Vivekananda


  1. Appi i'd like to give u an account of my own experience of getting inspired.., i was in class 12 (2nd PU) and the competition was tremendous.., we were made to believe that whatever we have learned so far in life will be decided by the results of 2nd PU. The pressure at one point was such that i felt disgusted and found it hard to cope up.., i began to look for excuses for my sudden disinterest..,
    It was one such evening my mom asked me to buy flowers for puja, they sell some good quality flowers near canara bank, koramangala.., when i went there to buy.., i saw this girl who was assisting her mother in the flower business she attended to customers while her mother never stopped her work of making garlands of jasmine flowers.
    Nothing unusual??!!! Well.., the fact is that the girl was studying under direct view of street light which during those days (1993-1994) was a simple tube-light unlike sodium vapour lamps today... when she was free from customers and attended to her customers with same energy and with same cherubic smile.., once she was done she'd get herself engrossed deeply in her studies..,
    That was it.., i never cribbed about hardship in my studies.., i went back and increased my efforts in studies..., and i scored a decent 82 % in my PU which was a decent score 20 years back..,
    I wanted to thank that girl for inspiring me.., but i never found her.., i don't remember her face.., but i remember her personality.., i remember her confidence.., i'll remember the sense of inspiration she instilled in me through all walks of my life...
    I only wish that she also got an opportunity and is very well placed today.

    The so called pre-conceived notion about low income group is all rubbish.., it's because of her i have become what i'm today..
    Many thanks to her (Let me call her Anamika). And many your techings reach out to all Anamikas and Mahesh's in our beloved country.