Last Sunday, our village team at Karma Yoga* had organized a special science session for kids. We reached the village and as usual kids came running towards us. They assembled in the church, waiting for us to start the session. But I was waiting for Gautam, who was absent that day.
Gautam is a 12 year old kid who stays in the village with his family. His father is a farmer in the village. He has got 2 younger sisters. I have been teaching around 12 children including Gautam for the last 6 consecutive Sundays. There is something unique about this kid, which got me interested in him. There is a particular spark on his face with bright eyes. He listens carefully to every word that I speak, understands things, and shows his eagerness to learn. He seems more mature than his age. He is quite versatile in his interests – studies, games, general knowledge, and cartoons. He is a bright child and can go a long way in life.
After the studies, I used to take him for a daily stroll on the village streets. We spoke all kinds of things. I inquired of him on what’s happening at school and how the usual things are at home. His English is weak and can hardly talk. It is more of telepathy that works between us. As the weeks went by, seeing his enthusiastic nature for learning, I started thinking of more new things and ways to teach him in particular. It brought out the teacher in me and I started giving him challenging homework. He used to take it very seriously and it has never happened that he hasn’t done a thing that I have asked him to do. I didn’t realize that our bond became so strong until that day when he didn’t turn up for class.
My eyes were fixed at the door and I wanted to defer the session till he came. Eventually we had to start the session without him. There were 11 other usual children who were eagerly listening to what we were telling and trying to absorb the tacit knowledge. 15 min later Gautam came with his bag. He was limping and I could see his right leg injured. I left the book that I had in my hand, ran towards him, and picked him on my arms. All students and children stared at me with the confusion to see my outpour of feelings towards Gautam. I myself didn’t realize how much I missed him that day. He told me that he got hurt while playing at school.
On my ride back to college I was looking out of the window and sinking the moments that had happened. Holding the little boy gave me immense satisfaction – something words fail to describe. I just got another reason to continue my village visits. It was amazing to see how much I got attached to the kid whom I met just 6 times. I realized that I want to do something more for Gautam. I don’t know to what extent I can empower him or whether I can help him in a substantial way. All I know is that I want to see that kid break the shackles of his present, and find success in future. I know he has talent and I seriously hope destiny is with him.
*Karma Yoga - Karma Yoga is a leadership experiential project which is part of our MBA program in which, we the students visit the villages in order to empower the villagers so that they can lead a better life.