Encouragement Inspiring stories The Red Carpet

Inspiring Stories – She Did It!

Vidya Sury Inspiring Stories 9

When I wrote “Inspiring Stories. You Are Stronger Than You Think” I invited you to share your story about a situation you did not want to be in, but emerged wiser, stronger and victorious. I was thrilled when Richa Singh emailed me her story right away. I am honored to share it with you today.

First, a word about Richa.

Vidya Sury inspiring stories richa 2She is a prolific blogger. She is an accomplished writer and weaves words with ease across different genres. In her own words she is a “Writer, Photographer, Wife, Design Engineer, Blogger, Trained classical singer, Kathak Dancer, Sister, Daughter, Human- all stumbled into in reverse order.” Please visit her blog “The Philospher’s Stone” Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter

Welcome, Richa!

Please tell your story, while I get the coffee, snacks, music and bean chair ready for later!

Inspiring Stories – She Did It!

Though many untoward incidents dotted my life, some to make way for better things and some to make way for a better me, one incident that surely becomes the highlight of my life is the one I will narrate today.

I was six when I joined school. My final school. It was one of the most prestigious institutions in the country and my parents had high hopes. But for the first time in a long while, I felt like a misfit in a group. I am and was a gregarious kid and getting along with people was one of my favorite things. But here, I was all of six and could hardly connect to a single child around me.

One may want to know why? My parents were like any other North Indian family, primarily Hindi speakers. And in my school, conversing in English was compulsory. Also, most children groomed there from the age of four already had a good command over the language.

But not me. And so, no matter how people-friendly you are, if they don’t accept your sign language as an appropriate form of communication, how can one figure out a way to talk?

Slowly but surely, I climbed through the years. I was a good student and though initially English was a big roadblock, I managed. I was brilliant in Science and Math, so always featured in the top three of my class.

But then the impossible happened. Till class five (I was ten years old) I managed to scrape through all English papers with the minimum passing marks.
Then one day, it happened.

My teacher wanted to speak to my Mother.

They met. They talked.

“What?!” said my Mother, surprised.

“Yes Mrs. Singh, there is nothing more to say. She has failed in English this time. How can I take the report card to the Principal and show her that a student who is ranked second in the class has failed in one subject? A red mark in report card!” the teacher exclaimed.

My head hung in shame. I loved my Mother. Seeing her look so devastated did something to me.

* * *

Luckily, my teacher gave me grace marks and I did not get a red mark – thankfully.

But yes, I watched my Mother sport that look of disappointment and something inside me broke.

“I will do whatever you ask me to,” I said solemnly, to her.

“Anything?” she repeated.

I nodded, eagerly.

Vidya Sury inspiring stories richa

Each day she brought me a novel. I had to finish reading the book in a day, read out the story to her, point out the difficult words and find the meanings.

Naturally, I hated it. It took away my play time. I felt like throwing away all of those storybooks.

And then — I have no idea when they started to grow on me. Before I knew it, I was reading books in between classes and slowly during them, too. When examinations would arrive, my parents had to shift my entire book rack to the store-room and lock it up.

No amount of television or even friends tempting me to play outside could make me put down my book.

In Class 6, the year after the exams I had failed, I got the highest marks in English. I also won a second prize in English impromptu speaking. Something that remained with me all through my school years.

I now look back, a girl who couldn’t string few words of English like “What is your name” without stuttering (true story) found so much confidence that she started to champion the cause of impromptu speech on stage.

My love for writing is of course in front of you. But it is my love for reading which has topped everything.

If it had not been for those thirty eight (yes exact!) marks in English in class 5, none of this would have happened. I would have probably scraped through the years and ended up an average student.

I re-read the last para, and a chill ran down my spine. I cannot imagine my life without books, reading or writing. And finally blogging.

When things don’t fall in place, it is because there are not enough things really. We need the other pieces of the puzzle to complete the picture. Stories that never go as planned often turn out to be the better ones.

My Mother always said this, “If things happen your way then its good, but if don’t happen your way, then better. Because then they happen as per God’s will.”

And ever since I have believed in this. There’s truth in the cliché quote of all time:

“Everything happens for our own good”

Vidya Sury Inspiring stories 2

Thank you, Richa!

Do read Richa’s latest post: Five things I believe in – You’ll love it!

Just one more thing!

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Happy Thanksgiving, dear Friends!

Happy-Thanksgiving Vidya Sury

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54 Comments

  • Reply
    Sandra Pawula
    November 29, 2013 at 2:41 am

    What an amazing story! I feel this willingness to really try would be missing in many cultures of entitlement.
    Sandra Pawula recently posted…What To Do If You Don’t Feel GratefulMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      November 29, 2013 at 8:31 am

      Isn’t it, Sandra? You’re perfectly right about the entitlement part. So many things we take for granted. It really irks me when people laugh at someone’s accent even if they speak perfectly, never for once stopping to think that the laughter works both ways 😀 Hugs! Happy Thanksgiving to you. Your last post made me think and I couldn’t comment right way. Will be over today!

    • Reply
      Richa Singh
      November 29, 2013 at 9:32 pm

      Hi Sandra, thanks for the appreciation. And yes what Vidya has already stated I will only reinforce. What is an accent for one can be regular for another and vice versa. So the humour goes both ways.. 🙂
      Richa Singh recently posted…Inspiring Stories- She did it!My Profile

  • Reply
    Jairam Mohan
    November 29, 2013 at 4:33 am

    Wow, that was quite a story and having read Richa’s blog for around 4 odd months now, find it extremely hard to believe that she used to struggle with English at one point in time. Truly highlights the fact that anybody can come back from any bad situation provided the motivation and the right effort is there. Thanks for sharing this story Richa and Vidya.
    Jairam Mohan recently posted…Bhakta KanakadasaMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      November 29, 2013 at 8:29 am

      🙂 Thank you, Jairam! I love to read about experiences like these. Truly, almost every situation can be overcome…only takes a mindset!

    • Reply
      Richa Singh
      November 29, 2013 at 9:37 pm

      Thanks Jairam. I often use this story to inspire people when they say, “I cannot do this”. I was trying to figure out a way to put it up on blog and I am so glad Vidya’s post happened 🙂 It couldn’t have been a better way to express it to the world 🙂
      Richa Singh recently posted…Inspiring Stories- She did it!My Profile

  • Reply
    Sid
    November 29, 2013 at 7:31 am

    Vidya – First of all, I love the fact that you’ve encouraged others to share their inspiring stories and the fact that you’ve managed to blend them into your already beautiful blog. So thank you:) And yes, I do get my regular (almost daily) dose of happiness courtesy you. So a big thank you for that too.

    Richa, Richa, Richa – I’m not even sure where to start. I’ve only been reading your blogs for about a month now, but then I’m relatively new to the blog-o-sphere 🙂 I would have never ever guessed in a million years that you had ever struggled with English. You know I love your posts, (as per my comments) and now I’ve also additionally got some extra new found respect for you. Overcoming obstacles and turning weaknesses to strengths are the two true signs of a super-hero(ine) and you, my girl, are an inspiration! Loved your story! And of course kudos to your mom for having inspired you to read and of course, subsequently write.

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      November 29, 2013 at 8:28 am

      Welcome, Sid! You’re making it a habit of making my day! 🙂 Thank you. Richa’s story is amazing and I am honored to share it. I have a cousin who studied in a Tamil medium school until the 8th Std and then, they moved to Madras and he had to switch to English medium. I remember how hard he worked and through pure grit and determination, was speaking fluently in English by the next year. As he was in High School, it was quite a struggle. To listen to him today, nobody would believe that story. How inspiring it is, no? Thank you for your lovely comment!

    • Reply
      Richa Singh
      November 29, 2013 at 9:43 pm

      Thank you so much Sid 🙂 you have already made my day by sending me that most wonderful post 🙂 Somehow I feel that like me many people have overcome such small things in life, you me and others included. Such stories need to be brought out more. And that is why I loved Vidya’s initiative 🙂
      Richa Singh recently posted…Inspiring Stories- She did it!My Profile

  • Reply
    Seeta
    November 29, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Vidya, that is a beautiful theme indeed.. one of the best that I have come across 🙂

    Richa, that sure was a big shock! Anyone who knows you now wouldnt have believed it hadnt come from the horse’s mouth! Def. a perfect example of how when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Sure is inspiring 🙂
    Seeta recently posted…Rising from the AshesMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      November 29, 2013 at 1:06 pm

      Seeta, thank you!

      I admire Richa’s strength to persist and emerge successful. Indeed, inspiring!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Blissed Out With HappinessMy Profile

    • Reply
      Richa Singh
      November 29, 2013 at 9:46 pm

      Thanks Seeta 🙂 the fact that none of you believe something like that happened with me makes this incident all the more worthwhile. It in fact is inspiring me to try more of such things which I consider as weaknesses. I am pathetic at sports and it is my resolution to excel in one at least by forty. Your comments are making me resolve to start this journey too 🙂
      Richa Singh recently posted…Inspiring Stories- She did it!My Profile

  • Reply
    Nischala
    November 29, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Vidya – Love your blog, and the guests posts. Your posts bring sunshine to many lives 🙂

    Richa – What can I say? I was speechless when I read it. Wow.. Simply Wow! I have seen people struggle with language issues.. In school, college, and even at work. It is so DAMN hard..Many give up formal studies, and go back to their comfort zones. But those who do learn – I truly admire and respect them. The need to ‘fit in’ is so powerful, especially in school, And if one does not ‘fit in’ it can blow your self confidence & change your life. You rock girl. Many hugs and best wishes for continued success.. Your mom will always be with you through the world of books & blogs. Stay blessed

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      November 29, 2013 at 1:07 pm

      Thank you, Nischala!

      Stepping out of the comfort zone is a challenge most people prefer to ignore and carry on. I am glad Richa didn’t do that – and I am glad we’re connected with her!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Stop Complaining. Now.My Profile

    • Reply
      Richa Singh
      November 29, 2013 at 10:44 pm

      Nischala you have brought a very valid point. Yes people at times (or many a times) give up on things in general and that is why I wanted to narrate this incident. To perhaps help them remember that nothing is impossible…

  • Reply
    Shilpa Garg
    November 29, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Wow! This is truly an inspiring story! Like they say, you may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. Liked your persistence, grit and determination. Proud of you, Richa!!
    Shilpa Garg recently posted…Together We Will…My Profile

  • Reply
    Aditi
    November 29, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Wow Richa…who could have imagined!! Thanks to your Mom for pushing you and you for listening to her that we are today able to enjoy your fantastic writings!

    Thank you Vidya for sharing this. True one is stronger than one thinks! Sometimes they need a little reminder and you do a wonderful job in lighting up so many lives with your words of encouragement, hope and faith!

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      November 29, 2013 at 10:23 pm

      Thank you, Aditi! The best way to be inspired is to listen to another person’s story. If we know that someone, then it is even more inspiring! 🙂 I am glad Richa decided to share her story and honored for the privilege of hosting her!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Touched By LoveMy Profile

    • Reply
      Richa Singh
      November 29, 2013 at 11:45 pm

      Yes Aditi a lot of Vidya’s initiatives I love and enjoy immensely and being a part of it has been an even better experience 🙂
      Richa Singh recently posted…Inspiring Stories- She did it!My Profile

  • Reply
    Rainbow Hues
    November 29, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    This is lovely Richa. I could imagine how you must’ve scaled all those years with your grit and determination and most of all the little push from your mother. Thanks to her positivity and belief in you that we have you here 🙂 <3

    *Hugs*

    Thanks Vidya, for bringing this story. 🙂
    Rainbow Hues recently posted…You Are My HopeMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      November 29, 2013 at 10:24 pm

      Thank you, Kajal! It is so wonderful that Richa’s Mom encouraged her, and that Richa responded to the encouragement in the best way she could! She’s a champ!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Counting My Blessings Each DayMy Profile

    • Reply
      Richa Singh
      November 29, 2013 at 11:47 pm

      *hugs* Kajal I wonder what my life would be if it hadn’t been for that failure. And sometimes in life we all need to see roadblocks as ways to proceed further in our endeavors..
      Richa Singh recently posted…Inspiring Stories- She did it!My Profile

  • Reply
    Jeff Bridges
    November 29, 2013 at 10:40 pm

    A dream becomes a goal when action is taken toward its achievement.
    Bo Bennett

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      November 29, 2013 at 10:44 pm

      How true, Jeff.
      Thanks for your comment.

    • Reply
      Richa Singh
      November 29, 2013 at 11:49 pm

      Amen Jeff. And so many times these actions not surface because we are ourselves negative about life and the chances it has to offer..
      Richa Singh recently posted…Inspiring Stories- She did it!My Profile

  • Reply
    Rekha
    November 30, 2013 at 12:39 am

    Richa, that was a great story. Replace English with Maths, 38 with 46 and class V with class VIII and you have my story. 🙂 Everything happens for a reason. Most of the times for a better reason. So true it is. 🙂
    Rekha recently posted…Surprises are Better Than PromisesMy Profile

  • Reply
    Galen Pearl
    November 30, 2013 at 5:22 am

    This story brought back memories of the summers I spent with my youngest daughter doing extra grammar work. She was not keen on taking time from her summer activities to conjugate verbs and diagram sentences, but he persevered. So thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    This was a wonderful story of how victory can be snatched from the jaws of defeat. And it is a touching mother daughter story. Thank you.

    And to Vidya, as you know I have posted my last blog post, so I want to say, well, I don’t even have the words to say a proper thank you. You are a bright star in my blog world, and I look forward to continuing our friendship beyond our blogs. Blessings to you always, my friend.
    Galen Pearl recently posted…It Is EnoughMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      November 30, 2013 at 9:53 am

      What can I say, Galen? My eyes and my heart are full ever since I read your post. So glad we’re connected and did not stop at just visiting our blogs. 🙂 The happiness and appreciation are mutual – our hearts speak, so no words required. Love you and thank you for coming by. Please look for my email! Love, Vidya
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Touched By LoveMy Profile

    • Reply
      Richa Singh
      November 30, 2013 at 12:41 pm

      Thanks Galen for connecting the story with your own daughter. As parents people often have to support and be a part of the struggle that kids undergo. And more importantly inspire them to overcome roadblocks..
      Richa Singh recently posted…Why believeMy Profile

  • Reply
    richmiraclefiles
    November 30, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Hi Richa,
    Thanks for posting such an inspiring story.
    It’s actually dramatic and elevating,because it proves the strength of an indomitable spirit.
    Firstly well done to that 5 th std girl,who,at age ten had the grit to turn herself around.And look what she is doing today.fabulous.
    Secondly thanks for inspiring so many of us.
    Inspirationis always welcome,because it is a universal energy which serves oils a our gritty toil in our own endeavours in life.
    Thanks vidya for this rareopportunity to glipmse graetness.
    thanks

    Mona
    richmiraclefiles recently posted…9 Reasons Why You Are Better Off Being HappyMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      November 30, 2013 at 7:18 pm

      Thank you Mona! I love that Richa had the determination at such a young age. That shows us what she’s made of! Love that girl you know!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Touched By LoveMy Profile

  • Reply
    Vishnu
    December 1, 2013 at 12:06 am

    Thanks for sharing this inspiring story, Vidya. Enjoyed reading about Richa’s adventure from barely speaking English to becoming well-versed and well-read in the language. Also, to now use that ability to become a story-teller herself. Failure indeed is our greatest teacher!

    Often though, we don’t treat failure as a welcome intruder but try avoidance, denial and attempt to do everything but accepting it. Only once we come to terms with failure and realize what didn’t work can we make the improvements to turn it into a success. As Richa so clearly has.
    Vishnu recently posted…How to Light a Candle of Hope in your Darkest HourMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      December 1, 2013 at 12:11 am

      You’re right, Vishnu! Resistance to improvement, that’s what my Mom would call it. 🙂 Failure is the stepping stone to success..however it takes a strong will to accept it, which Richa has and did. 🙂

      Thank you for coming by, Vishnu!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Blissed Out With HappinessMy Profile

  • Reply
    Suzy
    December 1, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Wow Richa. That is truly inspirational. So glad your mother didn’t give up on you. You are living proof that with determination one can achieve anything. Awesome.
    Suzy recently posted…Thankfulness – Gratitude List – Linkup 7My Profile

  • Reply
    Sheethal
    December 1, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    I could totally relate to this. Cos this was the way my Mom tried to teach me to read and write Malayalam, my mother tongue at the age of six when I first joined a school in Kerala. But i actually forgot about that… and Richa’s story made me remember those days. 🙂
    Sheethal recently posted…Will you…?My Profile

  • Reply
    Kathy
    December 1, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    It is truly the things that a person master that you never thought possible that become the greatest accomplishments. For me it is writing fiction of any kind and writing haiku. I never thought I could write anything like that…still I have now and that small feat encourages me to try to write more. I never thought I would return to creating art, still here I am dabbling with it again. Amazing post that has touched me profoundly with its message.
    Kathy recently posted…The Best ScentMy Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      December 1, 2013 at 9:52 pm

      You know, Kathy, after I read your comment I thought of your Zentangles. And all the writing commitment in your sidebar and – you rock, Kathy! I love how we’re all capable of far more than we do 😀 Hugs! Thank you for being here.
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Inspiring Stories – She Did It!My Profile

  • Reply
    Corinne Rodrigues
    December 1, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Richa, you know how I feel about you already – but this story moved you up several notches in my esteem. Your Mom surely was one remarkable lady and I’m certain she’s looking down on you with so much pride. Hugs..
    Vidya, I think this is the start of a great series…Looking forward to more.
    Corinne Rodrigues recently posted…More or Less in December 2013My Profile

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      December 1, 2013 at 10:40 pm

      So glad to share Richa’s story, Corinne. I am privileged she came forward to share it on my blog. Love her!

      Thank you! Hugs!
      Vidya Sury recently posted…Letting Go, A Sign of StrengthMy Profile

  • Reply
    Betsy/Zen Mama
    December 2, 2013 at 12:28 am

    Can’t wait to visit Richa’s blog after reading this post!!
    Thanks for sharing Vidya!
    Hugs!!
    Betsy/Zen Mama recently posted…An Attitude of Gratitude Can Change Your Life – 21 Quotes to Inspire You!My Profile

  • Reply
    Robert
    December 2, 2013 at 1:22 am

    Wow, Richa – what an amazing story. I’m really inspired by your determination. I also checked out your Philosopher’s Stone blog and I’m really impressed – keep up that great work and please continue enlightening people.
    Robert recently posted…The Magic And Power of Dreaming BigMy Profile

  • Reply
    My Inner Chick
    December 3, 2013 at 4:29 am

    FaAAAbulous, awe-inspiring, encouraging story.

    I LOVED this immensely)))!!

    Xx
    My Inner Chick recently posted…Keep Holding On. Footage of Kay’s Last Days.My Profile

  • Reply
    Sabyasachi Patra
    December 12, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    Great story. It is very true that when we struggle to overcome something we often put our best foot forward and we master it. Small small things have a big bearing on us later in our life. The foundation of our today had been laid some time back. And to make our tomorrow better, we have to lay the foundation today.

  • Reply
    Anita
    December 12, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    A really inspiring story! Loved reading it 🙂
    We are indeed stronger than we think.

    Thanks Vidya for the great initiative.
    Thanks Richa for sharing a part of you.

    Lovely to be in contact with lovely Bloggers!

    Even my mother said the same-
    “If things happen your way then its good, but if don’t happen your way, then better. Because then they happen as per God’s will.”
    &
    “Everything happens for our own good”

    May we all exceed even our expectations & keep rocking! 🙂

  • Reply
    Nikhil
    December 12, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    “Stories that never go as planned often turn out to be the better ones.”
    I second this thought.
    Richa , what can I say…your story not only amazes me but fills me with so much enthu. There’s nothing in this very Universe which can’t be achieved through strong will power & determination. Nothing can let us down ..it just makes us Stronger than we were.:)
    Nikhil recently posted…You shouldn’t :# Shouldn’t fake laugh on jokes that you don’t get. :pMy Profile

  • Reply
    Athenas Take
    December 13, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Your moms sad face pushed you to be the best. Really happy that you had a good teacher who encouraged you to read and gave you love for the language which I am sure helped you master it. I was punished as kid for reading anything other than school books. Really inspired after reading your post.

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