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Poojitha from National Public School Rajajinagar Missing!! These lines struck me. Since, NPS Rajajinagar is where my brother and I studied, and today my niece and nephew study there. Her photo was circulated in Facebook and whatsapp groups. I too did my part of forwarding and praying.
She was found after four days. She had travelled from Bangalore - Mysore - Arsikere - Ahmedabad - Mumbai and finally reached Hubali when she was caught. I was very glad that she was found but only till I heard her interview on BTv news. As I watched her over confident replies in the interview, I started pondering about lot of things.
She said she wanted a break, so she left her home with 600rs. She was careful and didn't venture out of railway stations during her journey. She being good painter made and sold a painting for 100rs. She taught English and earned 40rs. She had used her rough book to keep account of the money and her expenses and managed her journey. She always thought very high about herself, so getting few marks less in one test made her sad, and there was some stress and pressure at school too. So, she wanted a break. She wants to become IAS officer. She intends to continue her education, she just needed a break which she got now. She stated all this without any remorse or regret.
Nothing personal about whole thing. But, her callous attitude and statement "I wanted a break, so I left" was shocking. There was no real or pressing reason that she she should leave her house. She was extremely happy about how she used the 600 Rs that she had taken from the home. But, she didn't seem to understand, that if something had gone wrong she might never had returned home. She didn't seem to have realised that her parents and relatives would be dead worried. She is proud that she sold her painting for 100 Rs and made 40 Rs more by teaching English. Not an iota of remorse that she put her parents through trauma. She didn't thank or even have the gratitude that so many people helped so that she is safe at home today. She seemed matured and she very well knew what she was doing, no regret of what she had done.
What are our kids learning and imbibing from us these days? Can we do something? Can we use this incident as learning?
Her statement that she always thought very high and couldn't see herself get less marks (Not fail) in one of the test, is an alarm bell for all parents. We need to teach our kids that Life is always with ups and downs. If we go down even once, we run don't away from home. As parents we need to tell our kids that success is not the only thing they will see in life. And these tests and exams are little things which will prepare us for bigger tests in life. We need to tell them as students, they might get few less marks but it doesn't we will love them less, it doesn't mean life is unfair to them, it doesn't mean they will never see success in life, it doesn't mean their friends will think less of them. These marks in tests will be hardly recollected by them or anyone else later in life. We need to teach them that pressure and stress is part and parcel of life, we need to face it not run. We need to tell them stories of great people who saw success after many failures.
Most, importantly we should teach them to give one thought about people around them, not just think about themselves and take a break as needed. They shouldn't hurt others or themselves since their expectations weren't met. It is great to be courageous and take risks, we need to teach them to pick on the risks they take, tell them to keep parents and well wishers informed. As parents we should be their go to persons, they should be able to tell us what they are dealing with - ragging, low marks or any other issues.
We made her a celebrity for nothing. We have set a wrong example, hopefully other kids don't follow this, just to take a break or look cool and become a celebrity.