A letter to my student

‘ Dream is not that you see in sleep. Dream is something that does not let you sleep.’ 

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Dear Nagma,
I cant think of anybody else who lives this quote every single day the way you do. I still remember the first memory I have of you, the first time I noticed you. It was my  6th day  in the classroom- weekly assessment day. You sat in the school courtyard, crying. I walked up to you and to be honest I hadn’t remembered your name till that day- you were not a kid who was easily noticeable. 

‘ I have not studied for the test didi. I could not understand a word in history book’ you said in broken English.
‘ Umm.. That is okay. I will ask one of the kids to explain it to you quickly.’ I assured and called one of the  kids to help you out.
From that day to today.. You have  come a long way. From the shy under confident girl who was afraid to suddenly come to an English Medium classroom to somebody who reads Christmas Carols and Abdul Kalam. From  having no friends in the new section to somebody who is loved and appreciated by all the classmates- you have truly come a long way.
I am dewy eyed as  I recall a time I was crying in an empty class, you suddenly walked inside and seeing me cry sat besides me.

‘ Didi, you don’t like nice when you cry.’
‘I am not crying. I have some eye infection’
At this you looked at me, smiled and walked away, as if telling me to stop lying to myself. And I did.

Nagma, I will be honest with you. It is a tough job- teaching. Sometimes all you want to do is give up and not care anymore. Sometime all you feel is a sense of failure, of incompetence.  And a teacher looks for hope all the time. To me you are that hope. The hope who refuses to miss even  a single day of school, who treats all the worksheets and papers sacredly,  the hope who keeps on trying the toughest coding-decoding questions not ready to give up, the hope who is courageous enough to  try any challenge thrown, the hope who smiles through everything,  the hope who is kind and caring and compassionate.
You inspire me, Nagma. You really do. You teach me how a person with a dream, an indomitable will and dedication can do anything she or he wants.  The way you opened up and shared your story with me reminds me of how important my job is, it shows me how a person has the power to create one’s reality regardless of life circumstances.
Thank you for being the beautiful presence you are, the silent courage you exuberate, for being a lifelong learner, a considerate friend, a fierce doer and most importantly a fantastic person. You push me to be become a better teacher every single day. You have taught me more than I could ever teach you. 🙂

Keep working hard the way you do and one day  I will proudly boast to everybody how Nagma Khan is my student.
And listen? You are extraordinary, don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.
Lots of love,
Ankita Didi

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