Vivek thoroughly enjoyed Children’s Day Celebrations at school, every year. He had fun playing with his friends and chatting with them all day long.
Since the school always organised cultural programmes on this day, the whole
school buzzed with activities that started early morning.
But this year, the schools were shut in the wake of coronavirus and the children were stuck at home.
Vivek was upset as he would miss all the fun that he would have on Children’s Day.
“What is it, why are you upset?” asked Grandma.
“It is nothing, Grandma,” replied Vivek.
“Tell mem Vivek. I may be able to help you in some way,” suggested Grandma.
“Grandma, I was thinking about the celebrations in school for Children’s Day and how much fun we had every year. This year, it is so quiet and the schools are shut. Where is the fun in celebrating Children’s Day like this?” said Vivek sadly.
“Is that why you are upset? I think I may have a solution to your problem,” said Grandma.
“What is it, Grandma, tell me fast,” Vivek pleaded impatiently.
“My friend runs an institute called Child Development Institute and this year, they are organising an online Elocution Competition on the occasion of Children’s Day. The winner of this competition and all the participants will be awarded by the organisation. The speech has to be based on the life of Chacha Nehru,” explained Grandma.
As soon as Vivek heard about the Elocution Competition, he started sweating and became very nervous.
“What happened to you? Don’t you wish to participate? It is an excellent opportunity and you can showcase your talent to a huge audience,” Grandma encouraged Vivek.
“Grandma, it’s just that…,” Vivek wanted to say something but he couldn’t.
“Tell me what is it?” Grandma asked again.
“Grandma, I am scared of speaking in public. Whenever I try to speak in front of an audience, I start sweating, my hands and legs start shaking and my voice trembles,” Vivek explained his fear.
“Is that so? Don’t be scared. I will teach you how to speak in public,” Grandma offered.
“Are you sure, Grandma? You think I can learn to talk in front of an audience?” Vivek asked with excitement.
“Yes, why not! All you need to do is have confidence in yourself. Also, you will need to improve your knowledge of the subject you are going to talk about. Then, you have to practice speaking in front of a mirror and you need to look yourself in the eye and speak. If you do this, you will do really well,” Grandma explained.
This made Vivek very happy and he hugged Grandma.
He wrote his speech on the given topic with Grandma’s help. He then took the paper to his room and started practising in front of the mirror.
In the beginning, he found it difficult, but soon he realised that he could speak fluently without fear.
He continued to practice speaking in front of the mirror and soon he had no fear of speaking.
Grandma’s encouragement had helped him to raise his confidence.
On Children’s Day, Grandma video recorded Vivek’s speech for the competition.
Vivek spoke with great confidence. He narrated various interesting incidents related to Chacha Nehru’s life, “Chacha Nehru was fond of red roses and the children called him Chacha affectionately. He loved children a lot and it is on Jawaharlal Nehru’s Birthday that Children’s Day is celebrated. Chacha Nehru appreciated children who were brave, strong and full of confidence.”
After his speech, Grandma congratulated him saying, “Your speech was exceptional. You were scared for no reason at all. Look how you have overcome your fear of taking in front of an audience. I am sure you will win this competition.”
Then Grandma sent Vivek’s recording as a competition entry.
The same evening, she received a call from the institute and they informed her that Vivek had won the competition and that he had stood first.
When Grandma told Vivek about it he was extremely happy. He gave his Grandma the credit for his win and thanked her.
“I am sure this Children’s Day will be memorable for you always,” said Grandma.
“Yes, I will always remember this day. I was worried for no reason.”
“We should always look for opportunities and make efforts to learn new things. Hard work always brings success. Chacha Nehru always encouraged children to work hard,” said Grandma.
Vivek started honing his skills to give more public speeches and to make himself a better orator.
Gautam had a peculiar habit of never listening to any topic fully. One day, Mummy asked him to buy potato chips from the market. However, due to his habit, he did not hear her properly and bought potatoes instead of potato chips.
That day Mummy was fasting. In the evening, when she opened the shopping bag to take out the chips to break her fast, she was surprised to find potatoes instead.
“I had asked you to bring potato chips, not potatoes. How many times have I told you to listen carefully to what is being said?” Mummy scolded Gautam.
The market was closed now and it was impossible to get the potato chips.
In his class too, Gautam did the same. Whenever the teacher questioned him, he would start replying even before the teacher completed the question. The answer would be wrong and he would often get scolded.
The school decided to celebrate Children’s Day this year. The students were preparing diligently as the best performers would get an award.
“Gautam, have you started preparing for the Children’s Day?” his friend Tanmay asked.
“I have been preparing for it for many days, my friend. I am sure this year’s first prize would be bagged by me,” replied Gautam, confidently.
As the Children’s Day drew near, the children grew more excited.
“What happened, Gautam? You look very troubled,” asked Dr Sinha when he saw Gautam in his clinic. Gautam visited him for regular check-ups.
“Doctor, I am really very troubled. My whole head is itching. I do not know what has happened to me?” said Gautam as he sat on the stool in front of the Doctor.
“A terrible stench is coming from your body. Your hair also has grown too long. Don’t you go for your regular haircut?” Dr Sinha asked while examining him.
“I have not had a haircut in a long time, because I want to win the first prize in the Children’s Day celebrations this year. I am sure I will be declared the winner because of my long hair.”
Dr Sinha laughed heartily when he heard Gautam’s reason for not getting a haircut.
“What is the connection between Children’s Day and the hair on your head?” he asked.
“Children’s Day is a day dedicated to children. On this day activities are organised and it is not a competition of the longest hair.”
“It seems I did not hear the announcement properly about the Children’s Day celebration. And in the effort of growing my hair long, I have an itchy head.” Gautam was ashamed of himself.
Dr Sinha prescribed a few medicines and said, “First go and get a haircut. Then have a good bath and apply these medicines on your scalp.”
Gautam did as he was advised and soon his itchiness vanished. Since he didn’t want to tell Mummy about his stupidity, he spent all his pocket money on the medicines.
Children’s Day was now only two days away. All children were ready and prepared with poetry recitation, storytelling and more.
“What are you going to do for the Children’s Day, Gautam? Or are you going to just sit around?” Mummy asked.
He thought of lying to her but then he decided to tell her everything about how he had planned to grow his hair long and expected to win the first prize and how he had not prepared for anything else.
“I do not know what I can do? I have not prepared anything and don’t know anything,” he added.
Mummy thought for a while and then said, “You are a very good dancer. You can put up a dance performance and maybe you will enjoy your time and show off your talent. It is not necessary to win, but you will have fun.”
This encouraged Gautam. He knew he couldn’t do any last-minute practice so he decided to do whatever comes to mind as he was good at dancing.
He hurriedly dressed and rushed to school.
“Where were you, Gautam? We were all waiting for you,” his friends said as they were waiting at the registration table.
Since Gautam had registered his entry last, his turn to perform came at the very end. But he was motivated.
Finally, his name was announced and he gave a very thrilling dance performance.
The whole hall gave him loud applause and he was awarded the first prize. He was overjoyed.
He decided that henceforth he will pay attention to announcements or instructions and not jump to conclusions so that he does not make a fool of himself again