Long ago, while I was a kid studying in the 7th grade, I completed my mid term exams and waited for the results. I was confident that I would outperform a lot of people in mathematics and I was confident enough that I would get more than 85 percentile marks. I was so confident that I came back home and felt at ease. The traditional 10 day break was over and the school reopened and my results were due the 3rd day after the school reopened. It was a Wednesday afternoon and the climate was perfect with gentle breeze and there came our mathematics teacher with the corrected answer papers of the mid term exams.
She called out each person’s name and gave us the mark sheet and then came my turn. I received the mark sheet and to my horror, I was shocked to see that I got 65 percentile. I was broken. I cried, I felt hopeless and feared to go home and tell my parents. I was sure of 2 two things. My mom wouldn’t leave me alone and my dad would feel pretty upset after the effort he had put in to teach me algebra and geometry. I checked the answer paper and found out that my teacher hasn’t given me marks for a couple of questions. Either she forgot to correct them or she wanted me to show it to her… I felt a sigh of relief and went to her with the answers corrected and marks attested. I was confident then something stupid happened. She saw the mark sheet and assumed that I had falsely written the answers now and they weren’t there when she was correcting the mark sheet. She insulted me in front of the class and I felt dejected. I took the mark sheet home and showed it to my parents. My mom was upset but she said, she would come to school and discuss with the teacher the next day. That night, I was crying in front of my dad and explained him, what went wrong for no mistake of mine….
He took me out for a walk after dinner and told me a story, which I can never forget in my life… Here goes the story…
Lord Rama was getting ready to be crowned in front of a huge gathering after coming back to Ayodhya defeating Ravana and winning Sita back. The cities were lit, the people were happy, the kingdom was celebrating the return of the God King and there was so much excitement and the crowning hall was filled with mantras, chatters, laughter and a never ending discussion of how beautiful the couple looked and what great brothers Lord Rama had. Then when the crown was placed on the head of Lord Rama, Laxmana the brother of Lord Rama was standing behind him looking the grand proceedings and for a second, he smiled gently and shook his head.
Since he was standing next to Lord Rama, his smile was noticed by almost everyone in the great hall of crowning and each person took to their own meaning for the smile…
Bharat & Shatrughna, the two youngest brothers of Lord Rama, stared at each other and sensed that Laxmana was feeling bad that after serving all the while he didn’t get his due and all is taken away by their brother Rama.
Hanuman, assumed that Laxmana was feeling jealous of the fact that after being all along together with Lord Rama during those tiring and pressing times, Hanuman was getting all the attention while he was getting none.
All the people in the great hall thought Laxmana was feeling bad that he is not being noticed for his service.
Sita, thought that after saving and working tirelessly to guard them, he is left standing behind them and they are being given all the due attention.
And finally Lord Rama thought that his brother Laxamana, hasn’t got the due recognition he deserved. He assumed that he was feeling awkward and painfully trying to take this huge gathering with a pinch of salt.
Now my dad turned and asked me,
“Now you tell me, Why did Laxmana smile and shook his head when Lord Rama was being crowned as the King?”
I told him that “might be… He was feeling bad that he wasn’t given a chair to sit or even an equal position like his brother Lord Rama and Sita to sit and get all the splendor while he worked tirelessly…”
To that my dad smiled and said, you are right in the way you think because, you just assumed the reason for which Laxamana smiled and shook his head. So your reasoning might be true to you but the fact can be given with 2 reasons…
Though everyone assumed so many incidents and situations in their own way, none went ahead or even dared to ask Laxmana why he smiled when his brother was being crowned which was wrong.
The real reason behind why he smiled goes like this…
When Lord Rama and Sita were banished from the kingdom into the deep jungles for 14 years, Laxmana followed them. But before following them to the jungles, Laxmana prayed for Nidradevi to give me a boon which would not allow me to sleep for 14 years and stay awake to guard my brother and sister in law, Sita. Now that the 14 years have ended, Nidradevi whispered into the ears of Laxmana, that you have served your 14 years without sleep and its time for you to sleep now. Hearing this, he gave a gentle smile and shook his head in disbelief while his brother was being crowned and this led to so many people assume so many things about Laxmanagrin…
So my dad continued,
“The moral of the story is, people assume a 100 things about us and you might assume a 1000 things about others but the truth can never be heard until you listen to it from the person whom you wanted to listen from and similarly, in case if you have a doubt over something, get it cleared instead of keeping it in your head and feeling the trouble over and over again.
You did a right thing by pointing your teacher that she hasn’t corrected your answer sheet but she assumed that you were cheating her without even asking you or even thinking over that why it wasn’t corrected on the first hand. What I would suggest you is, prove that you are not the boy who cheated on her by securing more marks than usual and this will certainly change her opinion over you.”
I thought over the story again and again before going to sleep and it was kind of fascinating for me. I started the next day confidently and not carrying over the same doubt or my mind clouded with what happened yesterday but something good happened. My teacher called me into her staff room and asked me gently in a soft tone whether I copied or not. I swore her I didn’t and promised her that even if she asks me to solve those problems again without help, I would do it right away and show it to her.
The rest was history… I solved the problems in front of her in 5 minutes and proved her that I wasn’t wrong and she was convinced. She added the remaining marks to the total I deserved. But this little incident and this little story that my dad told me when he took me out on a walk, I will never ever forget that for my life…
It was a great lesson for me to learn not to judge on someone until I knew the real facts…
I would have done numerous mistakes in my life but I take great pride in knowing and being the person what I am today…