Scribe

“Hello, Where are you, sir?”
“I’m in front of the school building, Shekar, where are you?”
“Even I’m in front of the building, sir…”
I raised a hand, and moving it so as to catch attention, I did a full 360 degrees, looking around for someone talking on the phone. I registered no one.
Still waving, I said, “Shekar, do you see me…?”
“Uh, umm…”
And almost as soon as I’d said it, I wished I could eat those words.
Of course Shekar didn’t see me.
That was because Shekar couldn’t see. If he could, there was no need for me to be there.
He was one of the students of the Special School for whom a group of us from Samvedana were acting as ‘scribes’, for their intermediate AP Board examinations.

Lost for words, I raced my mind for another plausible question which he could answer to reveal his location to me.
“Uh, okay, what colour shirt are you wearing, Shekar?”
“Umm, black sir, it’s black.”
I was out of the school campus now. Looking around, I saw at some distance what appeared to me to be a group of visually impaired kids. One of them was talking animatedly on his cellphone. I went to him.
“Hey, are you Shekar?”
The voice recognition was instant. “Ohh, Aniket sir.”
“Yes, Shekar, how are you?”
I held out a hand, only to keep staring at it for about ten seconds. Finally, I extended the arm and patted him on the shoulder.

He was wearing a maroon-colored T Shirt.

The exam was Hindi, and by conventional standards, Shekar wasn’t very good at it. Neither had I expected him to be. After all, hailing from a village in Andhra, he isn’t supposed to know Hindi in the first place. But far above anything else, he doesn’t read, and he doesn’t write. Whatever he knew was what he had remembered from what a dedicated teacher had read to him.

He knew the Antonyms and Synonyms very well. But when it came to doing sentence correction, he simply fluttered his blank eyes with all the more fervor. And had all of them wrong. I had anticipated this situation, and had planned to write as much as I could for him. Also, I had resolved to let this be his knowledge that I was writing whatever he was telling me to. But now I was mired in dilemma. Didn’t Shekar deserve to know the exact place he had carved out for himself in this world full of kids more advantaged than himself? Should the chance of this one humble, but true pride be denied to him? Or should it be the case that given his condition, he should be allowed to use as much luck as came his way? Will it be luck at all to get more marks than what he actually deserved? Or did he deserve more than what he actually would have got under a neutral scribe, and thus a partial scribe was only a fair thing to have?

What will be better for him? Knowing exactly where he stood in the world, or the confidence boost that inevitably comes after a good score in the exams, howsoever may it have been acquired?

The exam got over, we gave them chocolates and packed their bags, and Sushant, my co-scribe for another kid and I asked them who was coming to take them home. There was some confusion at first, but a few phone calls here and there (the kids kept some important phone numbers to memory) confirmed that they were going on their own.

Sushant and I were worried, and asked them whether we could walk them to the nearest bus stop at least. But they insisted on going by themselves. Concerned, we kept watching as they walked down the road for some distance, and then stopped. Sushant and I, convinced that they were in trouble, went to them to offer help, but we needn’t have worried; as soon as we came within earshot, we realized that they had stopped only to do some BC and to discuss about the paper.

We, the eyed ones entered a nearby shop to have a pepsi. The three and a half hour exam had been tiring for us, too. As we came out of the shop, we saw the kids at the far end of the road, barely visible now.

While on the way to IIIT, Sushant revealed to me that Sujaykar, the kid he had been writing for, had solved almost the entire Sanskrit paper, and could easily expect 95+ marks. Sushant had assured him that his paper had been written in a very legible hand, and that he could expect excellent marks from the paper. At this, Sujaykar had told him that he wasn’t worried about passing or failing. That the results were all up to God.

Indeed it must be this faith which keeps their hopes and sincerity up in these times when people with everything provided for are giving up. As the picture of the kids, walking down the far end of the road and farther away from us came to my mind, I wondered how far would I have gone.


Thanks, Samvedana,
for providing me with this wonderful experience. Let’s go some distance along the steps we have taken.

Categories: IIIT, Incidences, Relationships | 39 Comments

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39 thoughts on “Scribe

  1. prateekgv

    touched!

  2. Wonderfully written!! I am so glad that you liked the experience. Let sky be the only limit for Samvedana🙂

  3. Namrata

    Its a really nice thing you guys did. Hope the good work continues and Samvedana achieves greater heights.

  4. Very absorbing!
    My eyes went misty when I read this:-
    “And almost as soon as I’d said it, I wished I could eat those words.”
    Keep up the good work.

  5. Pinky

    Touched srsly!

  6. Lovely experience!

  7. Praneeta

    Hi Aniket,

    Your experience has really moved me.
    I being a orphan I know the pain and joy when someone stands by us.

    Thank you so much for the help you done to those kids.
    God bless you for ever my dear

  8. That was some serious stuff after a long time. Some sentences almost had me🙂

    Best of luck you guys, its a fantastic initiative! Keep up

    ^:)^

  9. Shruti

    Misty-eyed..! and that says it all i guess
    Hope your team achieves greater heights🙂

  10. Suman Y

    That was a nice and an important narration Aniket. I am sharing this post with my friends.

  11. Awesome work dude! This is the kind of support that really builds their will to survive… and stay strong.

  12. Great Work dude!! We need more such touching narrations to get people to appreciate initiatives like Samvedana.

  13. Sundeep

    all the best to team samvedana….

  14. Praneeta, words fail me as I try to articulate a response to your comment. Whatever you have said, I accept it with all the humility that I am capable of. I pray to God to give me and others like me the strength and the good sense required to take this and other efforts to ever farther levels.

    Thank you everyone for giving so much respect to this humble effort.

  15. beautiful…
    great work on your part dude, keep it up!

  16. Great work Ani !

    way to go. bravo

  17. Lavanya

    Aniket,

    Your post is very touching and inspiring.

    All the best to your team – Samvedana.

  18. Srirang

    Touching story yaar …

    The way u narrated the story, I felt like we’re so lucky to have eyes but still we don’t read..

    srsly touched man !!

  19. thts a great initiative ….

    i donno wht happned to muskaan club …. ??

  20. @nks, Muskaan is up and running. It’s called Asha Kiran now🙂

    Thanks everyone for the wonderful response. Good intentions always need encouragement🙂

  21. shaheda

    Nice. touchy.
    great, good and laudable initiative.
    you don’t know me but felt like leaving a message after reading this one.
    read some of your posts, there is a kinda genuineness in your penning. Good work.

  22. padmini

    wonderful post…..i have had a similar experience today wen i scribed for a blind boy for sanskrit exam. applauds for their determination….
    thanks to samvedana for giving this oppurtunity

  23. very well written post..

  24. Wow!🙂

  25. Touching! Very well written🙂

  26. Chhaya

    Awesome! A very touching experience. I think the first half has been written very well, above your usual standards I believe, especially, the beginning. A very nice way to start.

  27. prashasti

    good Work🙂

  28. sashidhar

    awesome man! you hit the nail🙂

  29. wow! well written.
    good that you’ve shared your experience. this will be an inspiration to many.

  30. Meghna

    Keep up the good work :)….Well written post!!!

  31. Rp

    Hope you help more and more people and encourage everyone to do the same (with these posts, of course)

    A very nice read, btw🙂

  32. Pingback: Samvedana

  33. Beautifully written..🙂
    I think, we have a lot to learn from these special children – their will is invincible.
    Best wishes to Samvedana.

  34. rahul

    a synonym for “touched” required here

  35. I know it’d sound repetitive, but couldn’t help write the word “moving”. Many more posts like this are needed for all of us to see the “other” world, and more importantly, to find the determination to act upon it. Great job.

  36. jyothish

    Touched, best thing to have read or heard abt in weeks.

  37. Pingback: Samvedana

  38. Sneh Bhatt

    Ani..Sorry. I read this so late,You are doing such a wonderful job for the society specially for those who really need it,it becomes many time bigger in this context.I feel really proud of you.keep it up.God bless you.

    PS..Today I read in Rajasthan Patrika..the govt is going to close all the schools for challenged children(17 in all)They are their own.Can you believe this.It hurts.

  39. Sai Teja

    Seriously moving!! Actually Ive written a couple of exams as well but the thing that came staright to my mind was write whatever i could. Having that experience, I greatly appreciate the way in which u’ve put across the ‘dilemma’ that you faced!!.But to see those kids I must say its really more inspiring than touching.🙂

    p.s. – Curious to know, what did you do in the end. Made sure that he got the inevitable boost or let him have the chance to know where he stood among more advantaged people?!

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