The message on Whatsapp appeared innocuously while I sat at the dinner table in a happy state of mind. I quickly glanced at the name of the sender, the genre of the forward and to decide if I wanted to open it right then or not. It was a forwarded text and I was in no tearing hurry to learn of the content. But something about how the text began piqued my curiosity and I excused myself to check the message.
‘ Needed Scribes at QMC ’ was how the text began.
Writers? I felt an immediate pang of guilt. I had ignored my Medium blog for the last four months and had abandoned an attempt at completing the #The100DayWritingProject. A week earlier I had chanced upon an email in my inbox which cheerfully screamed at me that the “100 day project was back” .
Were the grand forces of nature conspiring together to get me to write again?
As it turned out, the text announced that they were looking for volunteers to write semester exams for their visually challenged students. There were a series of dates of the exam schedule and also a contact number at the end of the message. I told of the opportunity to my mom and she got super excited at the thought of sitting in a classroom to write exams. She immediately offered to sign up as a volunteer. Her childlike enthusiasm rubbed off on me as well and even though, I was convinced that they had already heard back from hundreds of people who had offered to sign up, I decided to call to find out details.
An employee of a technology company answered the phone and apprised me that he was doing this as part of his company’s CSR activities. He offered to connect me to the Professor who was coordinating the drive, while profusely thanking me for our ‘ kind and highly valuable support’.
I instantly felt small, insignificant and guilty
Small and insignificant because all we had offered was to write, which was an activity that we both enjoyed, came naturally to us, did not need any preparation, investment or a grand plan for execution; guilty because, I selfishly wanted my mom to have this opportunity to do something exciting.
Within the next half an hour, we had connected with the Professor and we had been allotted a student each. He had sent me the coordinates of where we had to be and whom we had to contact, the next morning.
After we had committed our time, my 72 year old mom began to have doubts if she would be able to write a 3 hr exam paper, without her fingers cramping up. She had a million doubts which I had no answers for because it was my first time too.
The next morning, mom woke up earlier than usual, said her prayers with gusto and was all set to leave at the scheduled hour. She confessed that she had had a sleepless night, wondering what subject we were going to be ‘tested’ on and felt unprepared as we left for the big task.
What happened next, appears here
#Day 67 ( Attempting to finish 100 posts, albeit the delay)