The adult education programme was in progress. We government teachers were a part of it. We were to teach the adults to read and write. We were assigned particular areas. We were also provided with the list of adult students. Majority of them were women. Being a lady it was easy for me to interact with them. We were much younger than our adult students. I introduced myself to my adult students. Suddenly a woman got up and asked me. She introduced herself as Minaz. She said she had some doubts with regard to the adult education programme and she had some questions for me. Though illiterate she was extremely confident. “Can you draw a rangoli design like me?” She asked.
She drew a big and beautiful rangoli in front of me. Her fingers moved skillfully and fast. Indeed I was in awe of her drawing skills. By looking at her rangoli design I was speechless. She reiterated her question “Can anyone present here draw a rangoli design like this? If you can not draw like me, why you force me to read and write like you? You can read and write which I can not. But I can draw beautiful rangoli designs, which you can not draw.”
She did not stop at this. She took me to her house. The house had a sewing machine and an embroidery machine. She showed me many dresses stitched many dresses with beautiful embroidery patterns on it. “Now tell me what is the use of learning to read and write?” She asked me. I told her that it will help her to keep her accounts. Yet she was reluctant to learn.
Inspite of her reluctance, I went to her house daily and asked her to come for the adult education class. Some times she would deign to my invitation, some times she would say she was too busy in stitching. Then one day I asked her if she would teach me how to stitch. Her face was beaming with happiness. She was happy that a lady who had come to teach her was asking if she could learn from her. That made her very happy.
That day she taught me how to cut the cloth. Thereafter she happily came to the adult education class. Soon she was able to read and write and I was able to draw rangolis and stitch clothes.
This incident has had a deep impact upon me. First it taught me that every person has some or the other skill. We must respect that. Secondly it taught me that we should show genuine interest in the life of others. That will impact our relations positively. Indeed Minaz, her confidence and our give and take has had a great impact upon me.
This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.