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.
She 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
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.
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”
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!