Struggling under the weight of the books, Vedant came running into his class only to find that he was late again. The bell had rung and his teacher was in the classroom.
It had been this way since his parents had died in an accident two years back. Vedant clearly remembered that day. He was seven years old and he had gone out to the restaurant with his parents. On the way back, a truck had collided with the car killing his father on the spot. He and his mother were injured and were rushed to the hospital. Though he survived, his mother passed away after a few hours. He wandered about the streets, looking for food and shelter for the next few days.
On one of these days, he was wandering on the roads, his mind elsewhere, when he accidentally dashed into a bike. The couple on the bike were his father’s elder brother and his wife. Once they got to know about what had happened, they took pity on Vedant and promised to take good care of him. Vedant went home with them but knew that he was not going to live a peaceful life as his uncle and aunt had always been jealous of his father’s successful business.
For the next few months they pampered him and gave him many gifts. They took him out to the fair and to the malls and treated him like their own son. But this did not last for long. Very soon, things started changing. They started treating him like a servant and was made to do all the work at home. He hardly got any food and was told that if he needed anything from them, he had to contribute to the family’s income by doing some work. So Vedant took up a job at the local cafe as a waiter. In the morning, he would leave for school only after completing all his daily chores in the house, often getting late for school. After a hard day at school, he would go to the cafe and work from four in the evening till eight thirty. Hoping to get some rest, he would go home only to find a big pile of clothes and a sink full of vessels to wash. Despite all these hardships, he would never let it affect his studies.
After everyone in the house had slept, he would study for a few hours and complete his homework. Even at school, he would pay attention to what the teachers taught him and would stay back in class and study when everyone else was playing in the ground. His friends would tease him, calling him names like “nerd”, etc. But he never let it affect his focus and dedication. He knew what he was doing and why he was doing it.
Finally, his efforts were rewarded and he passed his exams with flying colors, much to the surprise of his aunt and his uncle. At the award ceremony to honor the toppers of the school, Vedant was called on stage to speak about his mantra for success. He said, “If there is anybody I would like to thank, it is my aunt and uncle. If not for them, I would never have been able to achieve this feat. They taught me a very important lesson of life- to never give up. They taught me to face the hardships that are thrown at me, to fall down, to stumble, but to always get up and continue walking. If I had lost hope after my parents’death, if I had decided that life would never go back to being how it was, I would have stopped studying and then, I would never have been able to come first in school.”
His aunt and uncle who were sitting in the audience were stunned. They hung their head in shame, unable to face their nephew. After all they had put him through, he still spoke of them so highly, he still gave them so much respect. They vowed to apologize to Vedant and stop treating him so cruelly. A simple act from Vedant led to a huge change in all of their lives.
His story is an inspiration to millions out there who consider themselves to be unlucky, just because they don’t have the things which most children their age have. Just like Vedant, we must try and turn every situation around in such a manner that it becomes our advantage.
– Sneha Ganesh 😊