Friday, November 21, 2008

How Ananthu won my heart

- by KParthasarathi 21 Nov 2008
Category: OthersThis story has been read 54 times. I was a teacher in a Matriculation school in a small town. As a teacher I strived hard to inculcate in the children that the values are best measured not by the degrees held, the riches owned or the positions acquired but by the moments spent in wiping tears and touching hearts, in helping the aged and needy, in sharing the knowledge and in making the world a better place to live in. Yes, I taught them their lessons too spending more time on the slow, admonishing the laggards and encouraging the bright. I tried to ensure that the gap between the best and the weak boy was abridged by raising the level of the latter.
In one particular class I had the challenge in the form of Ananthu.A well built boy, pleasant in disposition, endowed with high stamina, he excelled as much in sports as he failed in his studies. All my special attention on this young boy was unsuccessful as he continued to get poor grades. I used all methods in vain to kindle his interest in studies by cajoling, threatening and punishing. His father, I learnt, was an alcoholic and mother an illiterate woman. There were daily fights in the presence of the boy. There were no other children in the family. When I knew the uncongenial atmosphere at home, I sympathised with the boy and doubled my efforts to make him a better student. But no matter how much I struggled, he stood at the bottom of the class.
It was recess time. There was a sense of defeat in me. I was cursing myself for my inadequacy in motivating him to succeed and felt that I too along with his parents should share the responsibility if he failed to come up in life. It was then I heard a commotion outside in the verandah by the side of staircase. When I came out I saw a crowd of students around someone on the ground. One boy came running to me and said “Vignesh fell down while he was walking on the parapet wall and has broken his leg and arm. He is writhing in pain “ Even as he was narrating what happened, I saw Ananthu rushing towards the crowd and coming out with the boy who had hurt himself in his strong arms and walking towards the gate. He had run to hail an auto before he came to lift the boy. That he took the boy to the nearest clinic is not so important for me to relate as the singular point that amongst all the brighter boys who stood curiously watching Vignesh in pain, it was only Ananthu who came to his succour on his own and acted as a leader with compassion. It struck me that he may not be a leader in studies but he excelled himself as a compassionate and helping person in times of need unlike the other boys.
There was another instance about Ananthu that I came to know very soon. There was a big school function where all the parents and students participated. The dais was a little away from the gate and involved walking two hundred feet. There was the big crowd as was expected. Some of the boys chosen to help the invitees as volunteers in white uniform with a big coloured ribbon to distinguish them were seen standing at the gate guiding the visitors. One frail and old lady past eighty with a hunch back came in a rickshaw with her grandson. With a walker in hand she struggled to move even a short distance and was seen pleading with her grandson that they better return home. The boy was reluctant and refused to go back even as the uniformed boys in ribbons were watching them with amusement. I learnt Ananthu appeared from nowhere asked her to get into the rickshaw and had it pulled on the side close to the dais. He lifted her bodily and made her sit in a comfortable seat. This was beyond the call of his duty as he was not one of the uniformed boys. What impelled him to act as he did was his compassion. From that day onwards, I stopped worrying about the poor grades of Ananthu.He may not become a graduate and may not even be the type of boy that school would expect of its students to come up with high marks in the final board examination. But he stood tall in comparison to others in his compassion and kind ways. None of my teaching the prescribed lessons would have given him these god endowed gifts. No university degree would announce these sterling qualities that Anantu had in immense measure. He might not have scored a centum in mathematics or high marks in physics but he had scored an A plus from my heart.

1 comment:

  1. Your story gets A+ too. Beautiful theme, rendered wonderfully. Thanks KP. Best wishes from AP.