Pic.: Anima D'Cunha
On Sunday, we had the certification programme of our 2016-batch of P.D. students. During this programme, we had released our latest book – ‘What Makes Me Confident’. The book contained the impromptu speeches made by our students, both little-ones and young-ones. I had referred them as ‘Saplings’ and ‘Young Trees’ respectively. The book also contained articles from some successful individuals, who I had referred as ‘Mature Trees’. A copy of the new book was given to all present.
Towards the end of the programme, 11-year-old Sumeet came to me and said, “Sir, my speech is not there in the book.”
Sumeet had been a very restless – high-energy kind – kid all along. I had repeatedly asked students to hand over both the hard copies and the soft copies of their write-ups; I had taken utmost care while putting together the book. So, when the boy pointed to me the lapse, I not only got a lot surprised, but I, also, felt a little bad for this boy… Somehow, I managed to pacify him saying, “Don’t worry dear, we have many more books coming up… Keep writing… I will publish your article in one of those books.”
But, the boy wasn’t convinced… Nor was I.
At night, around 10, I received a phone call. It was Sumeet’s father. My immediate thought wasn’t a pleasant one… I really thought, that the man had called to complain about the missing speech of his son in our book. So, I was all geared up to defend myself.
“Sir, sorry for calling this late,” Sumeet’s father said gently, “I read the entire book… and, let me tell you, all kids have written beautifully. I was inspired by your own story. Sir, please continue doing your good work.”
My defenses dissolved, instantly. “But, sir, I feel bad about Sumeet’s speech,” I found myself confessing to the parent, “I don’t know how it happened.”
“Don’t worry about it sir,” the gentleman calmed me down, “All are my children.”
Incidentally, that was the only phone call I have received so far about thanking me for giving an opportunity, either by a student or by a parent. And, it had to be from a parent whose son’s article I had bungled up… and, he wasn’t complaining about it. He was truly rejoicing in the glory of other children, whom he treated as his own!
And, let me confess this: I am not writing this here to complain about my students and their parents being thankless, either.
You see, complaining spoils the party… the happiness party!