Still in the hangover of ‘Super 30’ I could not help but write about a girl whom I met in class XI.
As my school was till X standard only so for XI and XII I joined Lady Keane College, Shillong.
Shyama had also joined in the same class. We noticed each other and started talking as both our homes were in the same direction in Laban after crossing a 10 minute stretch of pine grove in the Cantonment area.
In college I was busy with my convent group and Shyama was totally dedicated to the classes and lectures.It was during our after college walks that our special bond developed.
Shyama was from a very modest background. My father knew her father as he would build ‘Pandals’ during Durga Puja in our locality , for the rest of the year he worked as a daily wager. With a lot of hope and hard work he had managed primary education for all his four children but Shyama shined out and got admitted for secondary education in our college.
I had once asked her in our initial days — ‘so what have you opted for Medical or Engineering?’ Her answer always stays with me. With calm eyes she serenely replied — ‘My parents will not be able to afford the expense of 5 years of medical or 4 years of engineering fees and hostel even if I get through in one of the courses. I will pursue my B.Sc. with Botany honours and then try to secure a stable job so that I can be of some help to my family.’
Today I am in contact with Shyama through Facebook and Watsapp. She is a government school teacher in Shillong, happily married to one. And seeing her bright photos I can’t find traces of the self conscious reserved girl sitting on a corner bench.
Everyone can’t make it to the IITs or AIIMS , so where do the mediocres go? Shyama showed the way! We don’t have to always be a doctor or an engineer, as long as we are progressing in life, we are successful. As rightly concluded in the movie — an educated person changes the circumstances of his family and of his generations to come.
P.S. Kudos to the legendary teacher Anand Kumar who changed the lives of thousands at a time by creating geniuses 30 at a time.