By Anurag Cool:
Internship is the first step towards learning the milieu of a profession. It is an enriching experience and bluntly speaking, a great way to kill time during summer vacations when your mom is not allowing you to party with your friends in Goa.
Internships make for the first professional experience and achievement of a ‘fucha’ (fresher) and is a great friend with benefits; it comes with a stipend AND a certificate! The idea of doing an internship was ingrained in my mind in the very first semester but owing to my ‘Ramjasian’ genes, I am pursuing it rather late – in the middle of the exam break of my last semester.
You might be contemplating the reason for my derangement, but I must earnestly tell you that the desire was not born out of impulse but remorse. When I looked back at my college life (soon to be over), I could not find a single achievement to be proud of. Yes, it is quite untimely but I am notorious for submitting all my assignments at the very last minute (despite getting three extensions) and I often appear for exams without an admit card. Arey bhai yeh Ramjas hai! (Afterall it’s Ramjas brother!)
I was scrounging for an internship which would require minimal effort (remember my genes) and maximum gains. After submitting my CV for content writing and some NGO gigs, I crossed my fingers.
Owing to my lack of exposure (Karma, you bitch) and inadequate skills, I was waitlisted for major internships. But God took pity on the young lazy brat, and I tasted success having been shortlisted for an NGO Internship.
Reach Out and Pass It On is an initiative to help underprivileged school going children in their studies. Focussing on students from class seventh to twelfth, ROPIO not only caters to the standard curriculum but also the weaknesses of those students who find it difficult to cope with academics.
When I first visited Ramesh Nagar, I felt fear grip me and saw my steps faltering. Being a socially handicapped person, I lacked confidence, presentation skills and above all the art of expression. Thousands of questions (much like mosquitoes) were constantly sucking blood from my brain cells. Nevertheless, I increased my pace and saw myself standing on the entrance of the house from where the NGO functions. As I entered, the crackling and chirping of children welcomed me. Immediately I felt like I was home and saw my fears disappear.
Murphy, the President of the NGO greeted me and his aura generated confidence. We chatted for a while, and he gave me a briefing. I was to give a demo class and my first batch comprised of seventh standard students. They were four in total; cute, cheerful and brimming with innocence. I asked their names and was soon teaching them a short story titled “Dum Dum Doom Doom” (Or something like that.) The tiny tots were energetic, playful and full of questions, which transformed my teaching into fun. Nearby, I could hear the happy din of other students and teachers. I was truly at home.
Alas! The clock had struck six and it was time for me to depart. The smell of homemade food (something I was to eat a few days later) infused with my sorrow. My new students waved saying “Bye Bhaiya!” and Murphy shook my hand. I stole a quick last glance at my first ‘corporate’ day. It was not business like, it was not serious. It was not about a transaction but selfless teaching; it was not centered around a stipend but on inner happiness. Like everyone else, I too someday would lose myself in the ruthless labyrinth of finding success but no matter what, I will always remember the faces of Neeraj, Sourav, Vikas and Heena, bidding me farewell!