Crisp cotton saree, small golden studs, glasses

28-years old, a mom of 2

I sat in a small room

Waiting for my first student

We straightened up as my toddler cried,

“Someone’s here, someone’s here”

Then a stray dog walked in through the gate!

And we laughed

 

Prayers, books and slides

English, Tamil, Math and Science

Cooking and tuitions, laundry and uniforms

Drawing water, hoisting flags and teaching songs

Time has passed by in a blur

Hard work and no sleep always by my side.

 

I had always had high ambitions,

A government employee or a reputed intellectual

But it wasn’t meant to be

I had yearned to be all that and more

So what if I was a girl

My dad & husband were with me too.

 

Now when I go, at every turn

I wonder what have I done all these years

Have I done justice to my dreams?

My abilities and my ideals?

Aches and pains, toil and sweat

Is all I remember.

 

Just then someone breaks my reverie

It’s the bank manager wishing me well

I remember him just like it was yesterday

The little boy with his mom in rags,

who had followed the dog in,

Struggling to pay the fees at every term

I had kept him on because he studied well

I know many a story like his to tell

Of a girl or boy who came to learn

That’s what my life is about

An education for all.

 

This post is inspired by my mother-in-law, Mrs. Revathi Ramesh, who is running a primary school in Coimbatore called Sri Vidya Mandir for more than 31 years, which caters to predominantly the not so affluent population. I was going to go with Malala for this post till I realized there was a more real example so close to my home. Keep going Amma!

An Education for all: #AtoZChallenge

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