A reckless mind, restless spirit, a daydreamer but always a helping hand : this was I, during my graduation days. It was my final year of engineering and in accordance with the syllabus I had to prepare a project, a group project. It was supposed to be informative, innovative and intelligent. It was a tedious work to dedicate the entire time and labour in one work and achieve all these qualities in one out of it, and when the student is like me, the work starts a day before the deadline. I am yet thankful to my project mates who forced time and again to start the work before time. I applied the shortest way and started looking for the project ideas online, instead of my own. At the end of the day my small research was fruitful and I projected the modified version of a few. Our group agreed upon one of them and we divided the work amongst us. I had the laid back attitude because it was just the synopsis presentation and project outline demonstration. We somehow worked over the topic and preperared our presentation. We presented it first to our guide, with some modifications he flagged it fine. No questions asked, we were happy. And I was thinking, how easy it was to steal someone’s idea and present it as own with some sugar coating. I will convince the project panel too.
The next day we were waiting for our turn. When the names were called, I felt a chill through my spine, what if they catch me, I am unable to convince them. But then I boosted myself and entered with a smile. We explained everything we had prepared but in the questionnaire session, we failed, miserably. The panel rejected our project. It was a fiasco, disheartening. We came outside disappointed, then a professor called me and told me, “I saw you looking for the project topics online, I would have straight away returned you and told everyone about this plagiarism. But I wanted you to realize that short cut is no way to success.”. His words still makes my palm sweat and I precipitate like being exposed while stealing something. My head sank to my neck, yeah I was shameful. Red faced when I joined my group, those eyes were piercing me down for the defamation brought.
Nobody knew about this project stealing idea yet I was thinking that every pair of eyes were saying, “hey you are being watched“. Trust me, it was a horrible feeling. My best friend tried her best to pull me off this gloomy affair.
Days passed by, we resumed our project work. I was not getting inspired to work ahead and fell down to my laid back attitude.
Amongst these, it was my friend’s birthday ahead. I along with our roomies went to bring the cake. While buying our calculative things, I saw a very young girl crying at the stairs of the shop and two others hovering over her. They were frightened, yet consoling the girl sitting there. I bent to look over and was horrified with what I saw. Her knees was badly injured and blood was oozing out of it. I looked around but no one seemed to bother. Her wound was peeping the innermost flesh and she was in pain. I turned back and thought not to involve myself in these and I heard myself, “Coward“.
I turned back, held out my hand, and with the help of her friends I took her to a nearby hospital. I asked the doctor to attend her and waited till the treatment was finished. The bill costed me my savings of half a year. It was multiple fracture with a deep cut. There were some 16 stitches on her leg. Her friend told me that she was practicing for her badminton match and lost her balance. I wondered can such a fall injure this badly. Next whatever her friend told me was shocking for me. She was from a low income class family and was admitted to school through sports quota. She was practicing on an open road, hit a stone nearby and tumbled down through its slope. In the meanwhile a lady came shouting in the hospital and enquired about the injured girl. The nurse pointed her towards me and she furiously followed her pointed direction. Before she could speak anything, the girl with me explained her the entire situation. She calmed down a little and started murmuring, “I tell her to stop playing around, help me in house work, learn some stitching work but no, she wants to play badminton, represent her district in the match. Now see what you have done.”
She turned towards me and started cribbing about her not so well financial situation. I tried to convince her to let her daughter play but she resisted with a frown. I silenced myself, waited to see the girl all fine. When she came out on the stretcher in stitches and bandage, I sympathized with her and her mother was ranting at her. I paid the bill gave her my best wishes and walked off. I forgot to ask her name.
Days passed by, I was trying hard to work on my project but was getting no success. I went to the temple one day and was sitting right the corner alone and was thinking, “Will I be able to achieve anything“. “Didi”, this voice broke my chain of silence and brought me back to this harsh world. I asked if she was calling me and she said, “Yes, didi. How are you? And thank you so much for everything.”. She kept saying such nice things and I was wondering what the hell is she thanking me for and who is she! And then she introduced herself as the girl whom I took for Medicare when she broke her leg. I sparkled a smile to see her running on her legs. She told me her name and how she managed to win the game for her school and district. The feminist and human in me felt very proud. She was telling every detail of the incidents happened post the accident. I talked to her for nearly an hour. Then she waved me good bye and planted a peck on my cheeks and whispered, “You are a strong head didi, I wish to be like you”.
I inspired somebody, I! It triggered something in me and I never looked back from that day. Projects, studies and research…now it is my passion.