“Little sparks”

One fine afternoon, my colleague and friend Shubhra ran into Joy of Science (JOS) Laboratory where basic science experiments are carried out. She was accompanying an average looking boy, must be in his teens. Shubhra approached me and started whispering.

She said “Hey Bhagyesh! Do you have time?” and I replied, “Yes, tell me what’s the matter?”

Pointing to the boy, she continued: “This boy is slow-learner; his classmates were teasing him while I was disseminating coach content in the train. So I brought him to the JOS lab, I thought you can explain him with personal attention here. We may be able to boost his confident. If needed, we can encourage him with the participation certificate of our JOS Lab.”

Being supportive, I reassured, “Sure, don’t worry. As it is there are not a lot of students at this time, we can create some spark here!”

I called the boy further inside to where we were standing. He came to the table where basic physics experiments had been set up to be displayed. We started conversation with him in order to judge how to best convey the message. I realized the boy was not even able to speak his name properly and I requested that he write his name in the notebook he was carrying. Very slowly, he spelled his name in block English letters and that’s the moment when I thought to myself how I will explain the experiments because it isn’t that easy to break technical terms and concepts down. I feared that if I was unable to make my explanation simple, the boy may become demotivated.

1-C360_2014-12-27-10-57-39-846Slowly, I started explaining him the model of a Lens camera.  It took some time but the boy interacted and he clearly understood. Not wanting to burden him with too much information, we decided to give him a participation certificate.

We asked him to sit on the sofa and started filling in the school name, class, station name. He was probably confused about the events happening before him. We finished filling the certificate and handed it over to him with a sense of fulfilment. He jumped with joy and asked, “Are the other boys going to get it?” We said in unison, “No” and I added, “We only give this certificate to students who have the potential to perform extraordinarily”. We wished him all the best for his career and gave him a little pep talk to boost his confidence so that he would believe in himself. He left feeling very happy and satisfied.

It has been more than 150 days since that incident. Today, when I look back, sometimes I feel that may be I lied about that certificate to him because often we distribute it for active participation to all the students. At the same time, I believe that the lie was negligible when it comes to the amount of happiness he felt. It is possible that other kids may tease him on any ordinary day but that particular day would have been different for him. It is such little things in life that make me satisfied.

– Bhagyesh Pathak, as enthusiastically shared with the SEBS blog team: Nitin, Ishan and Jigu : )

1-IMG_20141207_165242(Bhagyesh is our Gujju communicator, filled with ideas and mad about gadgets! He could be seen scouting for good restaurants with dear friend, Shubra and giving directions for the best tea in the area. Inside the train, his favourite place is behind the first panel at the entrance of each coach, well hidden from the view of the camera, clicking through his smart phone and first to call for “Attention” of a group. A simple straightforward guy, he is a very understanding individual who is always ready to lend an ear to a friend and active in informing visitors when closing time is nearing. A tea lover, a great listener, a good sport, a very sane guy to have around, his friends can tell you how much time they have spent trying to correct his pronunciation of ‘f’s!)

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