Shyaali Dreams of Extracting Wisdom Teeth
At 6.30 AM, the sun shines bright through the window; it is time for Shyaali to wake up. What would you expect a 13-year-old girl to do? Freshen up, get ready, eat breakfast and go to school; right? But, this is not what Shyaali’s routine is. She wakes up at 6.30 in the morning, freshens up and heads straight into the kitchen. She cleans up the mess from previous night, cooks breakfast for her father, puts on her uniform and heads straight to Ekaathmanagar School, Nagpur where she is an 8th Standard student.
Shyaali is a much-disciplined girl who likes to follow a time table that she maintains for herself. She says that only if she follows her schedule, she will be able to excel in life. After coming back from school, she spends time with her neighbour’s dog and starts revising what was taught in every subject. Her almost-photographic memory helps her in remembering the portions without having to put any effort.
Her memory power has become sharper since she lost her mother at 11-years-old. She did not have anyone to tell her where her school uniform, her books or her socks were; she was all on her own. She could not depend on her father as he was an alcohol addict and would hardly come home. He would come home drunk and it would repel her. This is why she prefers going to her neighbour’s house to study.
Don’t think of her as an ordinary child, she is one of the toppers of her class. No number of obstacles can weigh her down or distract her from achieving her dream of becoming a dentist. Her experience at such a young age has taught her how to balance her studies and house. Her neighbours say, “She is a perfect blend of her dreams and responsibilities.”
At school, she is a silent child, one can seldom see her wiling away her time. In her free time, you can find her in the staff room, getting her doubts cleared from her subject teachers. Her biology teacher says, “Shyaali is a very inquisitive child. She accepts knowledge in every form; she is very quick in memorising topics covered in class.”
Information is what brings her to school every day. Apart from which, mid-day meals served in her school is a major contributing factor for her mental strength and capability. She says, “I don’t make breakfast for myself. If I eat breakfast, I will not be able to savour the school lunch and do justice to the food. My next meal is only dinner at times. Sometimes I skip even that to prepare myself for lunch the next day. I am grateful to God that I get to eat such delicious food every day.”
Her favourite dishes are vegetable pulav and aloo matar. Apart from the food, she is especially fond of eating fruits that are served along with lunch. She says that eating crunchy and citrus fruits are good for oral health as it stimulates the flow of saliva and scrubs the surfaces of teeth.
She flashes her teeth and says, “I want to be one amongst the dentists who perform 3.5 million extractions of wisdom teeth. I want to make lots of money by doing so.”
The Akshaya Patra Foundation © 2021