The results for the Kerala State Board, Std XII, the regular HSE, and the VHSE, were announced today by the Education Minister, Shri M A Baby. It was around , perhaps, 11.30 am by the time he got to the nitty gritty, speaking of how it had gone down by about 4 percent, as against last year's performance, and that there was only one child in the VHSE who secured A+ grades in all of his subjects. A rare distinction indeed. (The Kerala State Board gives only grades to the SSLC, the 10th Std, and both grades and marks to the 12th std. )Before you jump to conclusions, no, this is not about him :)
Shri Baby also mentioned that the education department would look into and give special attention to those schools who have performed the worst, at least 4 schools, from the bottom of the list, and ensure that any shortcoming by way of academic or infrastructure requirements are attended to, so that the students may be brought up, on par.
While all this was inspiring, the atmosphere at home was a little tense, as we needed to know some childrens' results and the websites just refused to open. Finally, after more than an hour, relentlessly hounding all the browsers I have, IE, Firefox, and Google Chrome, one window on Firefox [yayyy! I love firefox!] opened with the result longed for!
The name was right, Revathy Narayanan, Roll No. was right... And she drew in a deep breath, proceeding to the marklist. English, 59, C+, (a sigh, quiet, but heavy!), GFC -General Foundation Course- better 76, B+, MLT -Medical Lab. Technician course- Practicals, a whopping 140 out of 150, and 48 out of 50, A+ in both, Chemistry and Physics, 78, B+, and Biology was 67, B grade.
Oh! Ok. That is an average performance, given the fact that papers would have been easy, and of course the fact that tuitions galore should have enhanced the performance in at least the science subjects? That would be one's normal reaction, in this day and age of competitive, fierce competitive examinations, and preparations!
But no, not this time. I sat back and looked at the screen, Revathy, chewing her nails, a bit unhappy, her mother not quite sure of how precisely the results had turned out; to say I felt proud of her at that moment was an understatement. Why so, you might ask, given this well, just above average performance?
Let me take you back a couple of years, for that. Revathy had just completed her 10th. Results time again. Grades only this time, and she managed A+ grades in most, with only an A grade, and a couple of B+ grades. So? Did she not perform less satisfactorily this time then? Absolutely not.
Let me explain. Revathy is the daughter, the elder daughter, of Chandrika who helps me at home (I do not like to mention domestic help, because for me she is and has always been, in these last 13 years, family :)). Chandrika works at our place, and two other houses, battling odds like opposition from her relatives, her husband who used to, till a few months ago, drink and abuse his family, and so called well-meaning neighbours who never forgot to take pot shots at her, esp. when she dressed well, and ensured her kids had education. Government schools, and travelling by public transport, but good education nonetheless. But, sadly no tuition. For she could not afford it. I did call Revathy, and told her to find a suitable place to go for tuitions in any subject, and that I would take care of it, but she simply said that it was Ok, and she would manage. She did. Awesomely!
So, you see, today, when she proved to me again, Revathy, ie, that believing in oneself, working towards an objective, no matter where you are, is the stuff inspiration is made of. She inspires. She shows me the way, as her mother has, several times, when I was down because of nastiness I have encountered here and there.
She shows me that impossible is really nothing. That being a girl, in an underprivileged background is nothing. That it is all there for the taking, only one has to reach out and take it with both hands. One has to want it, and one has to be it. And being a girl, who was supposed to be a domestic help like her mother had nothing to do with it.
Back to the moment of the results. As I had mentioned, she was unhappy about the C+, but I just glossed over it, congratulating her, and sending her off. A few minutes later her mother called to ask me to speak to her, as she felt she compared poorly, with her fellow classmates. What could I tell her?
So I asked her if anyone of them did not go for tuitions. The answer was No. All of them did.
Did they have a father who really was not bothered? No.
Did they have to learn each bit of their course, all on their own, with no outside help? No.
Then, I told her, my very dearest girl, why you're the best there is. I told her how proud I was, much more that my own children, whose results anyway could have been way better! And I told her that finally it was all within. See, I said, how that wanting to do the best you could has brought you here? Low grades in English don't mean a thing, it's just a number, a letter.
And please, I told her, please, let us look upward, and ahead, because what has happened has... and nothing can change that! But a positive, and strong outlook ahead will make even miracles seem like child's play! I thought I heard a tiny sigh at the other end. I hope it was one of relief :) I am sure though, that it must have been the fact that I was about to end the call, that made her sigh :) :)
Whatever be that, I know that I am so so proud of this young girl, who defies fate, and shows us, that being the best you can be is not about gender or circumstance. It is about who you are, and want to be!
Thank you, Revathy, and thank you Chandrika. Now, you're a wonderful mother, much more than you will ever know yourself to be :) And now you too are famous :) :)
God bless you, always :)
Post Script: Chandrika's younger child is a boy, who she wanted to have, so badly, because she faced endless jibes about having a daughter. The young man has just completed his 10th, a little rogue, is his mother's worry , in caps.. :), but an affectionate chap who really means well. His grades too were above average, but nothing to match his sister's performance in the 10th. But to have achieved that much is to his credit, though he did go for tuitions, in most subjects :)
This is an impromptu post, really, and as usual I have rambled :)
It's been a day of much upliftment, and joy, all around!
12 May, 2009