The Turning Point

A boy from a middle class family got 96% marks in his 10th examination. His father happily shared this news with his wife and asked her to make a sweet porridge for the son. She came running from kitchen to see the marksheet.

The boy laughed out loud, “How can you read, mom? You are illiterate.”
She quietly left with tearful eyes to make the porridge.

His father then coolly replied,
“Yes, my son, your mom is illiterate, because she got pregnant within three months of marriage, and despite my insistence to visit various places in South India, as I had already got tickets booked, she declined because of you.

She didn’t like milk at all, but used to have milk every day for full nine months to make you healthy, because she is illiterate.

She used to wake up at five in the morning to make your favorite breakfast and tiffin box, because she is illiterate.

When you used to fall asleep while studying at night, she would come and safely place your copies and books in your satchel, cover you with a sheet and only then sleep.

She always insisted to get you branded clothes, while staying on the same set of sarees for years together, because she is illiterate.

She forgets to eat herself sometimes after cooking and serving food to us. That’s why I proudly say that your mother is illiterate.

And finally, you never bothered to know that she can read and write both in Hindi and English, as I have myself tutored her with the help of your books, but she doesn’t retort, because she is illiterate.”

The boy started crying and clung to his mother. We may or may not realise it, but for her kids, a mother is the first teacher.

This story is of a boy who was getting ready to be admitted to the 11th standard, when most of the students shift from school to college. This is the stage when both both boy or girl and parents should be a little more cautious.

This is the stage, when one is in the prime of one’s teens, full of energy and creativity, along with tempers and tantrums. Insulting parents and elderly people and getting angry for petty reasons are not uncommon.

This is the time when teenagers find a vast sky open for themselves to do and think a lot of things. First crush, infatuation and love pangs also start at this juncture .

This happened to me too. I started outing and wasting time and energy on so many worthless things. On a single day, I visited three theatres to watch three different movies.

My result of 12th standard was not as good as that of 10th standard. Then there was a topper of his previous school, who was admitted to my class, but passed 12th standard with third division. The same thing happened to my own son.

I can’t tell you what kinds of deceptive allurements and temptations I got during that critical phase. It’s by the grace of God, or may be due to my family’s Sanskar (early upbringing), that I came through unscathed, with necessary course correction in the nick of time.

But here is a disclaimer. What I have experienced in my life may not be true for most of the people. I have shared my experience here, just as a caution, nothing else.

–Kaushal Kishore

images: pixabay


  1. A Powerful story, sir! 3 movies in 3 different theatres on a single day 😂 My physics teacher told us a similar story. It’s the age of wanting to be nomadic.
    This message is indeed very important for all teenagers, sir. This is the last stage of our lives when we can still make major changes to reflect on our future selves. Very crucial yet confusing. Family’s Sanskar is also very important. What goes in during one’s formative years remains unscathed, even during one’s teens. Again, a post full of learnings and a powerful message. 🙂🙏

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hahaha, 3 movies a day! Only two days. But you have rightly pointed out, crucial yet confusing. It’s true. Thank you for reading and leaving such a thoughtful response. Much appreciated 😊💐


  2. 12th std is such a phase for almost all of us KK sir☺.. and you said it right this is the time when parents should be really cautious towards their children with their guidance and love.. That was a thoughtful post on young ones insulting their parents and elder ppl. Thank you for sharing KK sir🤗🌺🌺

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Parents should be more cautious, as they themselves have undergone this phase and experience. Teenagers have to grapple not only with physical changes, but also with emotional side. Thank you, Ananya for reading and sharing your beautiful reflections 😊💐💐

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This post, Kaushal, is one of the most moving and beautiful you have written! But not everyone is as lucky as you are. In this country ( UK ), there are many children in care, because some mothers
    want to “find themselves”.
    I thank you, Kaushal, for making my eyes wet with tears.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I myself got emotional while writing this post. Some of my childhood memories are not so good. I don’t want to recollect, but it’s better to tell, if a few find some meaning in it. Thank you so much, Joanna for your empathetic response.


  4. KK, I enjoyed the touching story, and I think the experiences you describe are representative of many at that age. I hope your young readers are paying attention. ❤

    I attended college in the summer before 12th grade. In 12th grade, I decided I was done with "busy work" and would direct my own learning. I drew sketches during my trigonometry class, refused to do English homework, and started a petition against the half-hearted US history teacher…I read vociferously and had a great knowledge base for a high school student, but of course, my GPA went down!

    At age 26, married, with a child and a job, I began night school part-time. I finished college with highest honors at 40 and became a teacher.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy to hear that you enjoyed the story. Thank you so much, Cheryl. 💖 I’m grateful to you for sharing your own experiences. It’s relatable that your GPA also came down. But a big salute to you for your big achievement at 40, which is really inspiring. I also did my MBA and Law part time after joining the service. Thanks a lot, once again 🙏💐

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Such a beautiful reminder to always respect each other < Love each other and allways care for each other . A beautiful beautiful way to appreciate each other s energy and appreciate all mums / parents do . They will pull out the stops for anything for their children and so too do our children and our children’s children when their time comes .. that’s when we truly appreciate gratitude for sharing such a beautiful and deep memory namaste 🧚🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I always found that schools should have 11th and 12th grades. Include the intermediate with the tenth. It saves lots of hassle. First, tension to pass tenth for admission. Secondly, when one is going through a change, it will not affect their studies. Friends from school are always helpful. The score will be higher because of regularity and discipline. I couldn’t understand why they had to tear us from a familiar setting to an alien one for two years that are crucial for scoring.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There are plus two schools/colleges too. I had studied in one of such colleges. I agree with your view, but despite remaining in the same institution, a lot changes with new entrants and new environs. There are so many other factors as well working on them.


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