My Biggest Achievement In My School Year
My Biggest Achievement In My School Year4 mins 655 4 mins 655
To measure a person’s achievement is different from different perspectives. When we were growing up, it was always the thought of getting good marks or winning trophies in competitions. However, as we reach adulthood we begin to understand a deeper sense of the term ‘achievement’.
I was raised by my Nana (Mom’s father) and Nani (Mom’s mother) in a small village of Dhondenling Tibetan Settlement in Kollegal (near the border of Karnataka-Tamil Nadu, India) and we made ends meet by basic farming and animal husbandry work. My Nana and Nani used to work hard (showed me the real meaning of dedication) so that I could study and I am very grateful to them.
I knew I had to make up for their sacrifices. I studied and studied. I got good marks in school which was quite a feat as academia was mainly a female dominated field in our society. I felt trapped in the four walls of my house. Long hours of study left me friendless and the only friend I could recollect was a green tennis ball that I would bounce off the wall (practicing with the ball as I loved cricket).
Our village used to receive only four hours of electricity. Our Tibetan Government provided us with a solar powered torch. My Nani used to charge it every day when the sun was out. During my board exams, she would wake me up at 5 am to study (as we considered early morning to be the most productive part of the day). She would leave the torch for me to study while she and Nana would walk outside in the pitch black dawn to draw milk from the cows. The worst part was that our village lies next to the forest and it was quite famous for sighting tigers. My grandparents were also in their mid-sixties.
The exams ended and I was the topper of the batch. In the same year, I was also declared as the Best Boy of the year. It felt like all the hard work paid off but I needed to work harder for my grandparents. For +2 studies I had to shift to another school which was quite far away from my native place, so I had to leave my grandparents which were quite hard. The darkest day of my life was when my Nani passed away after suffering from typhoid for nearly a year and a month later my Nana met with an accident and he left us too. This was during my 12th standard. They worked so hard for me right from the start when my father abandoned us and I would never get to repay them back then. It felt like the space shuttle left me on the dark side of the moon. The biggest question I had was- Did I ever make them proud? Did they think their hard work paid off? Were they happy to have a grandson like me?
I had given up. I somehow managed to pass 12th grade with a mere first class average and rushed back to my hometown, a place filled with memories of Nana and Nani, hoping to find some peace and solace. I decided to take a tour of the village for the last time.
Tour of the Village
While taking a tour of the village for the last time, I met one of my nana’s old friends. I greeted with a bow and we casually spoke to each other. As the conversation went on he told me something which I really needed to hear.
He said, “You are the luckiest kid in the village as you made your grand-dad proud”.
I was confused and asked, “Proud?”
He said, “Yes, proud”.
Still very confused, I asked him if he could explain why he said that.
He started with, “I was there! When you received the award for the best boy of the year, sitting next to your old man”. He continued, “I saw his face, confused between to cry or smile but one thing was very certain, he looked proud of you”.
I just smiled and bid goodbye as I left.
I was eighteen at the time and was confused with what to reply with. Now I’m 24, a graduate student and looking back at the talk, I can finally imagine how my Nana might have felt. It was like tears of joy for climbing the summit which he always dreamed of for his sons but accomplished in me. I was proud to have had made them proud.
Many people consider achievements as something which is only limited to materialistic things like medals or prizes, we tend to forget the values of our beloved ones' hard work and emotions. Just like my nana’s expression, which itself spoke a thousand words on the hardships that we had gone through. The smile on my Nana’s face that day I dare say has been my greatest achievement.