There is this famous quote from one of the most famous personalities to be born, the legendary physicist Albert Einstein, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”. I couldn’t understand the meaning of this little quote completely until a few days back, when like every year, the birth of Lord Krishna is celebrated. But this year’s Janmashtami turned out to be something much more than the Lord’s birthday. It was my first workshop at the Door Step School Science Lab at Cuffe Parade, Colaba. Things hadn’t started off very great as we were already running late by a few hours. As soon as we entered the building the first thing that caught my eyes was the décor with balloons hung across the walls, and the next thing I remember is the children cheering and running towards our car, a sight I had only seen in the movies.
I can still feel the chill in my spine a few moments before it was announced that I was going to take a workshop explaining internal combustion engines and explain each component of the huge SUV by opening up the bonnet to the curious cats of Cuffe Parade. But just as when this announcement was done, I felt a tiny ice-cold hand touch my warm hands. I turned around to look at who this was and saw a little girl [with a blue hairband, I can’t recall her little face] holding my hands so that she could be among the first batch of kids to see the car.
And then began the plethora of doubts, the constant chit-chats amongst the kids which came out in small bursts that kept me thinking of the simplest experiences and examples to relate it with topic of the day’s workshop. My desperate attempts at explaining the working of individuals components did have a few setbacks every now and then, but the curious faces of the children, teachers and some other on lookers kept me going for I was certain about one thing, I was giving something to the society which I myself never got a chance to receive. The workshop was not just about teaching the kids what an engine was, but to open their minds to new possibilities. I am not sure about the children, but I definitely learnt something during that workshop. I learnt the art of learning without fear with these kids. We often restrict ourselves by overthinking, practicality, measuring the odds and many other ways. But an open mind, a mind without any fear of gaining nor losing something,will always find a way. This may sound a bit far-fetched but how would one know until one has experienced?
So this is how the ‘nerdfighters’ [as I like to call them] of Cuff Parade taught me something about Perseverance.
- written by VINAYAK SHARMA