Sruthy Sudhakaran



Sruthy Sudhakaran


Beacon Of Light

Beacon Of Light

6 mins

“I am so proud of you, son”, my dad compliment, my elder brother Suhan. Suhan was an exact copy of Dad, with his thick hair and square face. But the only difference between them was that Suhan was more in shape than Dad. Stress has already gotten his hair to fall off.

Moments like this I wish I was normal but I was not. Ever since my parents realized that I was mentally retarded, my whole life change. My father never spoke to me but my mom, she showered me with love and care. My elder brother, Suhan was a blessing. He helped me in every way and tried to make me feel normal. But I wanted to be like my brother, bringing home 'The student of the year', just once, so that my father would look at me the same way he looks at Suhan.

Mom smiled at my big brother, wrapping him in a hug. Her eyes brimmed with tears of Joy.

"If you cry every time he brings home a trophy, Ria", Dad said laughing, "You are going to have to cry a river."

They all laughed at my father's joke and at moments like this I felt like I didn't belong to this family. I was the dumb kid of the family of Doctors and engineers, I am never going to fit in.

The school was a nightmare. Kids teased me by calling me 'the dumb brother' and some even whispered that I was a disgrace to my family. Since I failed in almost all my subjects, I had to stay back in the same grade. The teachers did everything they could but their efforts were in vain.

Today was the second day of school. Everyone was chattering with their friends as the teacher was late. I sat silently as I had no friend to talk to. To our surprise, a new math teacher walked in. He was tall, with brown skin and a well-shaven face. He had brown eyes and a warm smile.

" I am your new math teacher. My name is Arun.", he said," Today is my first class. So, how about we do a self-introduction?"

We did our self-introduction in a blink of an eye. After that, Arun Sir looked at his watch and then turned towards the board, writing down a math problem, I had no idea how to solve.

"You", he said pointing at me with the chalk, as my heart hammered in my chest, "Solve it."

The entire class burst into giggles. I hung my head down with shame. This was my worst nightmare.

"What is so funny?", Arun Sir asked looking perplexed.

"He is an idiot.", a boy in the front row said.

"Can you solve it?", he asked me, looking me in the eye.

"No", I said, feeling more ashamed than ever.

"Sit down", he said, still smiling, "Meet me after lunch."

The lunch period came too soon. My heart was running a marathon inside my chest as I prepared myself to be even more humiliated than ever.

Arun Sir sat at his table, reading a textbook as I approached him. "Sir", I said.

"Sit down", Arun said smiling brightly at me, "What is wrong with you?"

"I am mentally retarded, Sir", I replied," I can't do the things that other kids my age do easily. I can't even think like them, I struggle with everything."

"Give me your mother number", he said.

I wrote down my mom's no and handed it over to Sir.

I went back to an empty home. Suhan had already left tuition. My parents arrived home late, as they were both engineers at a well-reputed company. My brother was helping me with my homework.

"Sanjay", my mother said, "Your math sir had agreed to take tuition for you starting tomorrow evening", my mother said happily.

"Who is going to take him there?", Dad asked, grumpily.

"I will", my brother volunteered.

The next day after school, Suhan dropped me at Arun Sir's house and left for his tuition.

Nervously I rang the doorbell of Arun Sir's house. His wife opened the door.

"He is waiting for you at the study room.", She said leading me to the room.

The room was filled with books, a table, and two chairs kept at the center of the room. Arun Sir sat on the other chair working on his laptop.

"Your student is here.", Arun Sirs's wife said. He looked up from his laptop and smiled.

"Sit down, Sanjay", he said as I sat down on the chair next to him.

"What are we going to learn today?",I asked.

"I am going to teach you a very important lesson.", he said and showed his laptop.

He told me inspirational stories of people who were handicapped who had no arms but turned out to extraordinary painters with their feet, of a great physicist who sat in a wheelchair and still became a bestselling author among many of his achievements. He taught me that all disabilities arise from within us, and by will power, we can overcome any disabilities. We just have to work on removing them. If we can't do something the normal way, we will find another way to do it.

My tuition with Arun Sir continued. He taught me with patience and helped me find my mistakes and correct them. Weeks passed into months and finally, our final exam had come. This time I was able to attend the exam with confidence and self-belief.

Even after the exam Arun Sir still continued taking tuition forme.

On the day of our results my dad, mom, me, and my brother went to school to collect our Report card.

"Let's go to Suhan's class first", My Dad said, angrily, "I don't want to be embarrassed as soon as I get here." 

We went to my brother's class and as expected he had topped his class. 

"Let's get this over with", my Dad said, grumbling on the way to my class," Rita, you buy the card. I don't want to see it. He must have failed again."

My mom glared at my father and went to see my class teacher. She was smiling happily once she saw my grade and handed it to my Das.

"I am proud of you my sweet Boy", my mom said, ruffling my hair affectionately.

"Its a miracle!", my dad exclaimed, "He passed."

"The miracle is his new teacher.", my mom said smiling at Dad.

My brother lapped me on the back saying, "My little brother is a genius."

Later that day, I went to Arun Sir's house and gave him sweets and thanked him for helping me.

When school reopened I won the Student of the year award, not because I was the smartest but because I had the guts to transform my life from The Dumb kid to the Confident kid who was not going to let any obstacles bring him down. I will always be grateful to Arun Sir, the teacher, who lit up my life.

On teacher's day, our whole class wrote, 'Thank you, teacher. Happy Teachers Day', on the board, to celebrate but I knew that we could never pay back the debt to our teachers. Thank you for shaping up our life.



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