Thank you Auntie V Raghavan Sauda for making a difference in my life. 

I was 16 and had many regular teenage issues. But one matter went out of hand. I wasn’t at fault and everyone knows that but no one wanted to acknowledge that. 

It was painful to see all the teachers, friends and relatives giving you the cold shoulder. I was very upset with life. I saw my family members get insulted and stared at angrily by society. To top it off, my school teacher called all the Indian students’ parents and warned them to strictly not allow their children to mix around with me as I was trouble and I could get them into trouble as well.  The teacher stressed that I was a very bad influence on their children. 

Even my best friend moved away and he was the only person who had known exactly what had happened and that I was not in the wrong. I was suddenly made all alone in this huge crowded world.

The teacher’s calls came to a stop when he called my classmate Shabnam’s mother- the one and only person who stood up for me. She told off the teacher very very harshly. She scolded him for isolating me and for damaging my morale. She asked him why he was venting his anger on me as he had known very well that I hadn’t been at fault. She, in fact, told the teacher that her daughter Shabnam would continue to talk to me and that nothing could stop her. The trust and confidence that she had in me eventfully lead to Shabnam being ‘marked’ by the teachers as well but that didn’t stop her. Both Shabnam and her mother managed the situation without giving up on me. 

Today after 22 years, I saw Shabnam’s mother again. She has the same love for me that she had 22 years ago. When I saw her, I saw a hero…someone who went against all odds to make a difference for me. When the whole world was against me, she was there with a smiling face.
She is a true superhero- someone who just doesn’t walk away because it’s not their problem. 
Thank you Aunty….. today I am who I am because of kind hearted people like you. 

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