I just completed watching “Taare Zameen Par”(TZP). Ishaan is a dyslexic kid who is not good in studies but is an amazing painter… His brush strokes convey what words fail to convey, the use of bold colors and the confident strokes, all tell a story on the canvas. He is not an achiever in studies and so is discarded by his parents and teachers only to be discovered by Amir Khan who tells his parents and teachers about his problem and works hard with the kid to reach a respectable level in studies and an amazing level in painting.
I cried so much while I watched the movie. There was a pang of guilt in me, guilt that I even scolded Nawab once for not performing well in Mathematics. At Salaam Baalak Trust (an NGO for street children) as a Mathematics teacher I tried my best to teach Mathematics to Nawab, Sharafat, Tabrej and Satinder. Sharafat and Satinder were really good, Tabrej was good too but was not consistent while Nawab was the one who felt himself out of place amongst this group. He was not quick at picking up concepts though never showed that he was struggling to understand. He would portray himself to be a bad boy not willing to study than confess that he is not able to understand. I scolded him once for he would not do any of the homeworks I would ask him to do and he never showed up after that. Today while watching the movie, I cried, cried really hard, cried for not having understood Nawab.
I remember once while teaching him, I said “Nawab, if you don’t like doing mathematics then tell me honestly, I am here to help you, we can do something else. You like literature, so we can do that instead.” And he was so elated at that only to see his friends reject the idea as they wanted to do maths. I now wish I had more time to have sat with him after the class to discuss literature. The day I scolded him was because he was not doing anything that I asked him to, I gave him simpler problems than the others but he still would not do them.
I did try to explain him enough though. I explained him that it was not essential for him to top in this race where everybody is running after something or the other, I always encouraged him to do what he was good at and enjoyed the best, but then also explained him the need to just do a little bit so that he manages to be there where he wants to be. He did understand that but I could not devote enough time to help him with it. I wish I could help him find out the meaning in his life. I wish he himself finds out the meaning in his life. He is a bright kid, only needs some guidance and the confidence that he can do what he believes in. Aah! I just remembered, he asked me one day what it needs to be a Radio Jockey… I said no Maths for sure 🙂 good speaking ability and a great sense of humor and you have both… but yes you would need some educational qualification and so you see it’s important that you manage to pass these tenth boards.
His tenth board exams are coming now. Its mid Jan and they start in March, not much time left and I am not there to see his progress. Nawab, this post is for you. To tell you that YOU CAN DO IT. Just do the chapters from your maths book which you feel you are comfortable with, do them well. Attempt all the questions that come from your done chapters, solve a few practice papers and see if you score pass marks by attempting those questions. Ask Rajan sir and Maths sir to take some maths tests for you before real exams. And don’t panic, you wont need maths in Radio Jockeying 🙂
Sharafat and Satinder, revise well all the chapters. Revising means working out problems and not reading them like you read literature. Work out more and more back year question papers as that will give you a lot of practice and confidence. Tabrej same goes for you, but with extra caution of staying calm so that you don’t go blank and make mistakes.
My best wishes are with you guys! May you rock always. May God bless you.