The phone rang and an unknown number sprung on the screen. I am normally wary of unknown numbers but did answer the incoming call. A warm Good morning Maa'm greeted me with a quickly added don't you recognise me? The voice did seem vaguely familiar but I could not place it. Before I could voice a reply I heard It's R, your old student. I was still slightly nonplussed but then it all came back. It was indeed R one of our first students way back in 2000. I want to come and see you he added, I have a proposal for pwhy I would like to share. We fixed a time for the next day and he ended the communication. I sat for a long time, phone in hand and memories rushing in my mind.
R was indeed one of the first boys to join our spoken English classes. He was in class X then and a bright lad. I remember the day when he came to class with welts on his arm. He had been beaten at school for not having worn the right shoes. I was needless to say, horrified. He was also one of the motley crew of boys that stood in the grim office of the school Principal whilst I spouted my take on corporal punishment to a group of teachers wielding sticks and who looked at me as if Ihad landed from another planet. He was also one of the band who was called gutter snipe by the same Principal who cockily stated that he and his pals would never be able to pass their Boards exams and was also the first one to state loud and clear that he would when I threw my cheeky challenge to the Principal and told him that ALL the boys would indeed pass. He was one of the 10 odd boys that came every winter morning at 7 am and sat on the roadside where we held the famed remedial classes. He was also part of our first batch of class XII students. After class XII he joined an evening college.
This was when a wily MLM company spread its tentacles in our slum and R was the obvious choice to lead the team. He even went on to own a car for a few months. I prayed to all the Gods in heaven that my boys not be hurt when Humpty Dumpty had his great fall. R lost his car but thank God came out with just a few bruises. I then lost touch with him till yesterday's call.
R cames on the appointed day. He looked well and was brimming with confidence. He revaled that he was now assistant manager in an Events Management Company and earning a whopping 15 K a month! His company had just organised a very successful concert and R wanted to help organise a fund raising event for pwhy! Wow. I was floored and moved at the same time. This was awesome. Life had come full circle. Here was one of our very own students extending a helping hand. What a lovely story to tell. I must admit that I was thrilled.
I do not know whether the event will see the light of day. I hope it does as it will be a proud moment for us all. To be continued....