Pragna and Her Talents
by Vaman Acharya
(Bengaluru, Karntaka, India)
A world map, which was published in a magazine, was torn into three pieces and given it to the students to arrange it in a proper manner with the help of a visible tape and paste it within one minute. Among the 50 students, only Pragna was able to match the torn pieces perfectly within the given time.
How was it possible for the 12 year old, to do this test so fast? Everyone wondered.
The talent test was given under the category 'Wisdom.' Out of sixty seconds, she took ten seconds for thinking, ten seconds for getting the required materials and finally forty seconds to finish it.
“How did you complete it within one minute?” asked Ramakrishna, a local industrialist and sponsor of the talent test.
“Sir, it is quite simple. There was a full page advertisement of a smiling baby on the reverse of the world map. This ad was also torn into three pieces. It is easy to match the baby picture of torn pieces than the world map into one. If this ad is arranged properly, automatically the world map will be ready without distortion. I have pasted neatly with the help of visible tape on the torn portion of the baby without disfiguring it.”
Every year Model Higher Primary School, Pavanpur conduct a talent test to the students. All the students irrespective of the class were eligible to participate in the test. One month before the conduct of the test, a notification containing the details like talent categories, duration and rules under the test was displayed on the notice board. The students were advised to see the notice board. There was a footnote on the notification that if any student finds it difficult to understand, may contact the teacher concerned, for clarification. Accordingly, ten categories of talents viz. telling jokes, dance, play on instrument, telling a story, read a poem, acrobats, puppet show, impersonation of known or famous persons, magic tricks and wisdom test were given. Each category was carrying 10 marks (total 10x10= 100). Students had to choose the category and perform it as per the instructions within the time allotted.
Different timings were fixed for each category. If one minute was allotted to ‘wisdom’, three minutes was given for telling story and two minutes was allotted for reading poem.
The venue was selected in the open area adjacent to Town Municipal Office, Pavanpur. There was a big baniyan tree and beneath of it there was a huge platform. People used to sit on the platform for relaxation and enjoyment of nature. There was no fear of rain, as it was arranged in the month of summer. The students, who were ready to perform, just raise their hands and proceed to the elevated platform, where the panel consisting of sponsor, government official and the Head Master of the School were seated on the chairs.
Out of 50 students, only 5 raised their hands. These students had undergone test of their choice of category. After some time remaining 45 students were also participated. But their performance was very poor.
In the process Pragna had performed very well in six categories.
“Panel member Ramakrishna asked, “Pragna, tell me two humorous jokes of kids.”
“A teacher once asked his students, write an essay on the topic,
‘A Poor Family.’ One student had scored lowest marks. The student happens to be a rich girl and essay goes on...
Teacher asked his students, ‘Why it is necessary to be quiet in the church?’
Student replied, “Not to disturb the people while sleeping.”
“Okay, tell me a story in three minutes?”
Pragna wasted no time in thinking of a story. Immediately, she responded,
“I have some good news, said Grandma ‘My husband is healthy and attending to all the activities. My son has got promotion and reached top position in the company. My daughter-in-law has obtained award as best housewife in the competition. My eldest grand son has secured highest marks in the post graduation. My eldest grand daughter has obtained best singer award. I appeal to you, don’t ask me anything about myself. I am feeling sad about present health condition. I will forget everything in the welfare of my family. This is the energy for me. I need strong spiritual power.’” She stopped, satisfied.
“What is the title of your story?” asked the teacher.
“Sir, the title of my story is ‘My Belief.'”
She happily answered.
“Pragna, Read a poem from your book.”
She took a nursery song book and started reading.
“This is my family,
Open the door, there you can see,
Mother, father, sister and me,
Mummy, papa are so much fun,
Grandpa and grandma are so jolly,
We are all happy little family.”
She was again quick in her response.
“Do you impersonate any body?” The teacher continued his list of questions.
Pragna performed very well in Impersonation. While performing this, she imitated the actions of the school head master. He had a habit to repeat the words only to stress to his point. The Head Master was surprised to see his own defect through this girl.
Pragna exhibited her talent in simple magic tricks. Ramani, another student, was well in dancing, playing instrument, reading a poem, telling a story and magic tricks. The remaining three students, who tried to perform well in three categories, but could not succeed and satisfy the teacher.
When the final result was out, Pragna had scored 60, Ramani had scored 40 and other three students had scored 30 each. Participation of the remaining 45 students was just show the cent percent involvement in the talent test.
It was a happy occasion for Amrita, a sweeper in the Model Higher Primary School, whose daughter Pragana stood first in the talent test. Tears were rolling down from her eyes as she was remembering her husband, who died four years back in a road accident. Ramani was a daughter of Ramakrishna, who sponsored the talent test. The panel members were proud that Pragna, who was born and brought up in a poor family, could achieve the award. The little girl Pragna was deprived from the basic needs of life like hygienic food, good clothes and better shelter. In spite of all these problems, Pragna was continuing her education and obtaining good marks in every examination.
Ramakrishna had assured Pragna to provide the entire financial assistance for her further education. The school management in their monthly meeting decided to recommend her name for scholarship and other benefits. She was exempted from paying any fees to the school.