The best part of Indian education system is that it is so competitive out there, it makes you strive harder and harder, to be the best each and every time. The worst part about the system is that it measures everything in numbers and nothing in absolute value of human intelligence. Hence, when it comes to the ‘Board’ classes, every single mark counts so much so that you actually start to feel happy when your best friend scores less than you.
It was somewhere in January 2006, the Pre-Board results were out and she had managed to perform quite well in almost all the subjects especially English in which she had scored the highest. It was a whopping 93 on 100, and for her generation scoring that kind of marks especially in pre-boards was a big deal. When the answer sheets were distributed that’s when she realized that she had been awarded some 10 marks extra, her teacher had graded the same question twice. She was in a dilemma, telling the truth would mean getting 10 marks reduced off that grand total and so would the overall percentage and so would the rank in the class. The easy way at that time seemed to just let it go, for it was the last day and nobody was ever going to notice these papers in the school. Amidst the pandemonium going in her head, she talked to several friends, was wished luck by a couple of teachers; they all said they had high hopes for her. In that moment, she took a decision, she went to her teacher and told her about the error in her paper, the just teacher smiled and said,
“You are going to go a long, really long way in life.”
That’s the moment she learnt that truth howsoever bitter it maybe and honesty howsoever difficulties it may render her with, still remained without even the single trace of doubt, the best virtues. It was a small really small thing , but it is only moments like these which truly define our character. H. Jackson Brown, Jr. famously remarked,
Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.
It is moments like these, when it comes down to choosing between the right and the wrong, which even the adults falter at. It is moments like these which make us who we are, and even after we grow up these are the memories, that live with us sublimely forever and each time, it comes down to a choice, we invariably take the right path howsoever hard it may be. It’s early experiences like these which really matter in our life, because ultimately it is what we think subconsciously that defines the society. In a previous post, I had remarked that to get a real picture of the society, all one needs to do is talk to a child or in the words of William Wordsworth,
The Child is the father of the man!
**Years later, she attended a cousin’s PTA meeting, who was a little weak in studies but when the teacher remarked that even though the child had an average academics, he an an outstanding moral character, which will help him sail safely in life and emerge as a winner!, she really felt elated, for that day , that six year old kid had done her proud!**