Being in India, it was never easy for me to strike a balance between my sports activities and academics. It had always been the most difficult task of my life during those teen years. Thanks to my mother’s support, I could make it through.
Looking back in the past, there is an incident that I could never forget. That day I had seen a ray of hope that I could excel in sports and academics. There is a person apart from my mother that I would want to thank today for helping me cope up with those stressful days and guiding me when ever I went astray… My Hindi & music teacher from school, Ila Ma’am.
I still remember during school days I used to get scolded by every teacher for not performing well in the class tests and term exams. They had never considered the fact that I spend 6 hours in school and the remaining 6 hours I used to be at the stadium working out to make a name in the world of sports. While other students studied in the evening and slept at night, I used to swim in the evening and study throughout the night. I used to just sleep for 3 hours a day. I felt belessed for at least those few hours of sleep that I used to have. No one else but my mom had seen me going through those struggling times of my life.
One unfortunate day, when I was in my 9th grade, I found out that I didn’t fare well in my Hindi exam. I was broken because I had given it my best shot. I didn’t fear failure, but I feared letting my teachers, coaches and my mother down. I didn’t know how to face Ila Ma’am when I had gone to collect my answer sheet and score card.
To my surprise she had welcomed me with a smile. I remember silently crying looking down at my score card. My teacher being an understanding one, patted my back and told me something that motivated me to work harder and to not give up.
“Harshita, it’s alright. Sometimes we all fail at something or the other. I know that you have been very busy and completely occupied with your swimming competitions and I am very proud of you for winning a medal at the national level at this young age. But I also know that if you for once concentrate a little more on your studies, you will perform way better. Next term exam, try a little harder and score well.”
Those encouraging words still keep me going. When everybody else had lost faith in me, my mother and Ila Ma’am had tried showing me the right path and instilled confidence in me. That day onward, I had started working harder to balance academics & sports.
Do you think my hard work would have paid off? Yes, it did. Till date my school teachers and my school principal remember me for it. They do give my example to other students and encourage them to work hard and achieve what they want in life. Nothing is impossible.
Believe it or not, now that I am a lecturer, I do the same with my students. I try to motivate them and encourage them to work harder and not give up. I show faith in them because sometimes that’s all that a student needs to once again stand up and get back into the race.
I am blessed to have had a teacher like Ila Ma’am during my school days. And I hope that my faith in my students help them become someone in life too. 🙂