The recess bell rang in St. Anne's high school. As Mili, Smit and Soham, the seventh standard students, were passing through; something on the notice board caught their attention.
Good news for students of std. 5th to 8th! We are going to celebrate the Republic day with a special contest this year. Portray one positive side of India in model form. Students interested in participating, kindly give your names as a team of four to five members to Mrs. Sandhya by today evening.
Date of submitting projects - 26th January 2014
1. Topic selection
3. Team work
Mili sprang up in excitement, "Wow, it appears that Mrs. Sandhya has again come up with a nice concept. Guys I want to participate in this."
"Yeah, sure! This appears really exciting. I am sure Rahul and Yash will love to join us," said Soham in excitement.
"So it's done then. Let's meet up at my place today evening for brainstorming," Smit smiled.
"Done!!" They all shared a high five.
On the other side, Class 8th smarties - Ronit, Sonika, Tina and Dainik met up during recess in the school canteen.
"Yash, we have to win this competition. It's about the prestige of standard 8th," Dainik exclaimed as he stuffed fries in his mouth.
"We will, Danny. We are all meeting up tonight at my place for that," Ronit winked.
So this is how everyone geared up to participate, create, and win!!!
Friends, lets sneak into Smit's house and find out what happened there…
Mili started, "Let's do something on unity in diversity."
"Hey, that's too common," Soham shook his head. "Instead let's show India's scenic beauty."
"That will be too much greenery," Yash interrupted
"I agree," Mili nodded.
"How about showing India's smart armed forces?" Smit sprang up, lifted a pillow and placed it on his lap.
No one responded to his idea so he got a quick hint that it was not a good idea after all. He realized Rahul was not speaking up.
"Rahul what's in your mind? Why aren't you saying anything? Come on, share your views!"
He very well knew Rahul was shy and needed a little encouragement to speak up.
Rahul finally broke his silence. "Uhm, well I just thought what if we showed the impeccable Dabbawallas of Mumbai, whose error rate is only 1 in 16 million." "Well it's a good idea indeed. But it will be challenging," Soham said with skepticism.
"Not really. We can make clay models of them. My father's friend is a potter he can help us in making human figures," Smit declared.
"Cool guys, done then. We are making the dabbawallas," Yash affirmed.
Smit's team finalized their idea. Now let's have a look at what happened at Ronit's place…
"Guys, you will be happy to know that I have already decided what we will be presenting. So this meeting is practically a waste of time." Ronit declared.
"Why, what happened?" Dainik was a little taken aback.
"I have already decided what we will be making. We will present India's recent satellite that was launched. My father is into interior designing and is an expert in making models. So I am quite sure that we will win."
All team members got a small set back. Not because the idea was not good, but because Ronit didn't even ask for their views. However, everyone knew Ronit was the smartest kid in class, and no one would get a better idea. So, they decided to help him in his plan.
The next day in school…
During recess time, Ronit and his team mates were in the cafeteria discussing their project.
"Ronit, your uncle is really fab! The spacecraft that he's made looks so authentic." exclaimed Sonika.
"This is just the beginning guys. Aage aage dekho hota hai kya (just wait and watch what happens next)."
Mili, who was sitting on the neighboring table, overheard the conversation. The same evening when she met her team mates…
"Guys, I just heard what Dainik was saying to Ronit. Let me tell you, those guys are really doing well. As for us, Smit's uncle --our only ray of hope, is also out of town."
"Smit, I think we should change our idea. I don't think we'll be able to go ahead like this," said Soham dejectedly.
Smit sensed the jealousy and negativity penetrating his group. He quickly thought of a plan.
"Friends, today let's just leave our project thoughts and plans aside."
The three were amazed at this remark of Smit, but they knew their friend. Whenever he came up with such suggestions, he always had something brilliant coming up.
"What are you up to this time, Smit?" Yash questioned.
Smit went to his room and quickly brought some bright colored kids magazines.
"AkramExpress??!! What's this??" they cried in unison.
"Yes. These books are the guardian angels of my life. They have offered me invaluable keys that have helped me solve so many of my day to day problems. Check this out."
"Comparison results in jealousy" they all read. As they opened the book and started reading 'Dadaji says' they got a beautiful understanding about jealousy.
"Wow, this is simply amazing. I am suddenly feeling relaxed," said Yash in a positive tone.
Mili suddenly realized that Smit had seen the seed of jealousy sprouting within the team members.
"Okay Smit, now I know why you shared this with us." Mili expressed in a tone of remorse.
"Yes guys, I sensed the filth of jealousy. I somehow feel that this kind of filth shouldn't be a part of our team. Winning is not that important. So now I guess we can start afresh."
"Alright! But will we be able to continue with the idea in such a state?" said Yash.
"Here this is for you." Mili handed him an Akram Express on 'From negativity to positivity.' Everyone laughed out loud.
Thus both teams worked up their sweat on their respective projects. However, both the team members faced challenges differently. On one side, Ronit's team was often bullied by him, which resulted in his team members developing for him. On the other hand, Smit's team would face obstacles but would discover solutions instead of finding faults. Smit's innovative idea of using Akram Express to uproot specific weak points in the team, helped the team to not only progress positively in their project work, but also to gain the right understanding to overcome those negative points. Come what may, they maintained oneness with each other, and whenever there was a problem they would discover solutions instead of finding faults. They even "Google searched" the art of clay modeling and made it the human clay models all by themselves.
A day before the model submission, Smit's team project didn't turn out to be that great. The clay models were fragile and deformed. However, they were happy they had worked hard on it and had learnt the art of clay model making. Ronit's two group members left out of frustration and Ronit completed the project all by himself with his father's help. But his project was worth all the praises.
The day of the results arrived. All the models were put on display. The results were actually predictable. Ronit's excellent spacecraft model was the most prominent amongst all the other submissions.
Mrs. Sandhya came on stage and announced, "All of you have done splendid art work. But along with presentation, one other important judging criterion was team work. So, the winner is… …the dabbawalla project!"
All were shocked. How could a broken clay model be declared a winner when there were such splendid art works?
Mrs. Sandhya continued, "Let me reveal a fact. I had secretly kept both the teams' conduct under observation. On the occasion of Republic day, the main intention behind holding this competition was that you would all learn to work in teams and maintain oneness with each other come what may, immaterial of how the project turned out to be. More than a good project, good team work is what we were looking for. We wanted to convey the message of unity and oneness which Smit's team has successfully understood. Thereby Smit's team gets the prize."
Smit and his teammates rejoiced and stood up to receive the prize. They shared their hardships and challenges and how they overcame them with the help of right understanding obtained from Akram Express.
Someone from the crowd shouted, "Hey, what is this 'Akram Express'?"
"We have brought one for all of you all!!" Saying this, Smit, Mili, Soham and Rahul removed bundles of Akram Express and distributed them to the crowd.
"There's one for everyone!!" they echoed.
And this is how St. Anne's high school began their walk down the path of right understanding…
Moral: Most of the time, out of craze of winning and proving one's own superiority, we tend to forget about how many people around us we are actually hurting. According to the law of nature, there is no record of how much we win or lose; but there is surely a record of how many people have we actually made happy or sad…
Therefore, wouldn't it be a good idea to resolve to never hurt anyone through our mind, speech or action and live this life in such a way that we only spread happiness!!
Related Links :-
Article on Jealousy
Story on The fire of jealousy