Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Boy Who Refused to Copy

When the teacher said, "fold your hands and sit quiet", Rayyan obeyed
no matter what the children around him did.
I trust my son without a single strand of doubt bothering me ever. How did I develop such trust in my boy? It goes to the school days when he was in First standard. When I sent him school, I had told him few guidelines he has follow before he begins to learn and score marks in tests or exams.
1.       Do not lie
2.       Do not cheat
3.       Do not trouble your friends
4.       Don’t call anyone by nickname even if others do
5.       Do not take things that belong to others
6.       Respect everyone
7.       Write what you know
8.       Follow school rules
9.       Be nice to all, especially the lesser gifted children
10.   Be regular with your work
These were the few morals along with others which I would tell him to follow. Scoring marks or topping the class did not matter much to me because not all children are made to stand first in the class. If he had it in him he would do it on his own. But the good behavior and principles can be adopted by every child.
On most of the days we would walk to school and on way he would ask me questions I would answer him patiently no matter what topic he picked up.
I am not sure whether it is the morals we taught him, or there was something absolutely good inside Rayyan, he turned out to be a gem of person. There is not a single person he has come to know who can tell that he has hurt them in any way or said hurtful things to them. In every school and college he attended, though not the topper, he was loved by his teachers for his good behavior and respect he showed for them.
Some incidences stand out in my memory and make me feel proud as a mom.
Once Rayyan was down with fever and could not attend class for few days. The monthly test was round the corner. The tired boy could not study much but I let him write the test. I told him not to bother about the marks. The class teacher who saw the tired child, who was her pet in the class, she decided to help a bit. She told him the answers and spellings of the “Fill in the blanks”. To her amazement Rayyan refused to write what she told him and told her that he will write what he knows because his Mom had told him to do so. He said she had assured him that marks do not matter much. The teacher was both shocked and impressed at the same time.
With his favorite teacher
I summoned to the school the next day. The teacher told me exactly what happened and how much she felt touched by not only Rayyan’s honesty but his trust in his mother’s words. She was worried that it would be difficult for the child to compete and survive in the world that did not follow those morals or principles anymore. She asked me to make him a bit of rough and tough for his own good. I felt proud of my child and it was really touching that his teacher had tears in her eyes when she was talking to me. I could understand her concern because there was some truth in what she said. I also realized that children need to be assured that you will accept them for what they are, so that they will not be under pressure to reach the goal by hook or crook methods. The single event had taught me more lessons about bringing up a child than hundreds of books I read on parenting. Rayyan could not pass the monthly test that term, but I knew my boy had done the right thing. For me he was the winner.
For the trust Rayyan placed in my words, I promised myself that I am going to accept him for whatever he is forever in my life without forcing him live my dreams for me. With the unquestioning trust children place on you, there comes a great responsibility where you cannot fail them. 16 years down the lane, I have kept that promise. It has also helped me in accepting my special needs daughter for what she is. With acceptance of our children for what they are comes a great joy of parenthood.
The perfect student!
Rayyan followed the rules of school and respected his teachers throughout his school days. Rayyan had always followed rules on road, school and office without fail. I realized the impact it has on others when I had to visit his school to pick him up for an emergency. My mom was sick and we had to travel to Mangalore from Byndoor. Rayyan was in school and we decided to pick him from there on our way to hospital. As I entered the school, I was in shock to see all students getting ready to enter the playground. It would take us some time to find him I worried as I entered the campus. Mr. Khan was standing and keeping a strict eye on the students.
As I approached him and mentioned our problem and dilemma of finding Rayyan quickly, he smiled and said, give me a moment I will tell you where he is. He scanned the students and immediately identified Rayyan on the third floor. Surprised I asked him how he did it, when all looked so alike in the uniform. He answered proudly, “I can identify Rayyan anytime anywhere because we have a rule for children to walk in the corridors holding their hands behind their back and Rayyan is the one person who follows that rule even when no is watching. If a student is walking with hands held behind even during the play period, it is definitely Rayyan”. I felt great pride that day, more than what my parents would have felt when I topped my class. Though Rayyan was mildly dyslexic and had trouble with his languages and spellings, he was always loved by his teachers for what he was.
Today, a young man of 21, Rayyan still follows the rules. He has found his career in animation and has been doing great with his new found passion. The short movies, his comics and other work reflect his personality and his way of life. Honesty, Kindness, Compassion, Respect and Integrity have blended into his everyday life naturally.

Being a good and obedient student was just the first step he took. He went to be a very helpful and lovable son, an adorable brother, a loving nephew, a very attentive grandson and trustworthy friends. He has been a blessing in life as without him it would have been tough to manage my special needs daughter and also my own cancer. He is my proud achievement and Medal of Honor!

I am sharing my Do RIght Stories at in association with Tata Capital.


  1. Hats off to you for bringing up Rayyan up so well. You are right when you say that scoring marks is not so much as good behaviour

  2. Indeed, anyone would be proud to have a son and a friend like that!! Wonderful, Farida!

  3. awesome !! with morals you live your life......marks are just numbers

  4. What a lovely post Farida! You have every right to be proud of Rayyan. He does sound like an admirable young man. Kudos to you too for your parenting. You never burdened him with the pointless demands people dump on their kids while forgetting what is truly important.

    You've endorsed my own values with this post. Feeling so pleased. :D


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