Wednesday, 7 August 2013

The Little Girl Who Stopped

  It was a trial for the second grade students' race in the school. There were seven of them lined up at the starting line. All of them were instructed to look forward and run when the signal was given. Some were tensed and some took it easy. After all they were kids waiting to do what they loved best - run and play. As the teacher shouted "Go!", all took off like a bunch of hare. Happy smiling faces, running with their friends. On the way one of them tripped and fell. The others sprinted on. One girl, who was in the leading two, stopped when she saw her fall. She helped her to get up and asked her if she was alright. And then both continued with the race. By then others were at the finishing line and two of them were already chosen for the next round. The  little girl who stopped to help came back home and told her mother about it. Her mother was exasperated.

"Oh! You shouldn't have looked back, Pakhi, I told you not to look back!"
"But mamma, I thought I tripped her and she was looking sad and hurt."
"Pakhi, you could have won the race! You are a good runner."

Pakhi looked sad and with large brown eyes looked at her mother and said,"But mamma, you said we should help others. You also told me the story of that poem about those nine runners."
The mother was taken aback. She stopped herself. What was she doing? Yes, she did tell the story to her younger daughter. With a lump in her throat and misty eyed she said," You are a winner for me today."

Pakhi is my younger daughter. I forgot about the poem but she remembered the story. She taught me once again not only the right things to do but also the right things to say. And most of all she showed that compassion is still alive. 

And this is the poem by David Roth, "Nine Gold Medals" which I found on the internet to share with all of you.

NINE GOLD MEDALS © 1988 David Roth

The athletes had come from all over the country
To run for the gold, for the silver and bronze
Many the weeks and the months of their training
And all coming down to these games
The spectators gathered around the old field
For cheering on all the young women and men
The final event of the day was approaching
Excitement grew high to begin
The blocks were all lined up for those who would use them
The hundred yard dash was the race to be run
There were nine resolved athletes in back of the starting line
Poised for the sound of the gun
The signal was given, the pistol exploded
And so did the runners all charging ahead
But the smallest among them, he stumbled and staggered
And fell to the asphalt instead
He gave out a cry in frustration and anguish
His dreams and his efforts all dashed in the dirt
But as sure as I’m standing here telling this story
The same goes for what next occurred
The eight other runners pulled up on their heels
The ones who had trained for so long to compete
One by one they all turned around and went back to help him
And brought the young boy to his feet
Then all the nine runners joined hands and continued
The hundred yard dash now reduced to a walk
And a banner above that said “Special Olympics”
Could not have been more on the mark
For that’s how the race ended, with nine gold medals
They came to the finish line holding hands still
And a standing ovation and nine beaming faces
Said more than these words ever will
That’s how the race ended, with nine gold medals
They came to the finish line holding hands still
And a banner above that said “Special Olympics”
Said more than these words ever will
So much more than these words ever will

This is a post for the Do It Right initiative of Blogadda

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


  1. A beautiful lesson learned.

  2. A beautiful poem. And sometimes, kids reassures that we don't forget what we learnt.

  3. That was a very special olmpics, Ilakshee - and a wonderful girl you have who lives that special life. Cooperation and humanity is worth far more than competition. "Survival of the fittest" is the slogan of mindless beasts.

  4. @Indrani I hope she remembers it forever.

    @ Saru, I've loved the poem too. I find it very touching.

    @Suresh Thank you Suresh, my girls are brats most of the times but they give glimpses that make me feel good :)Sometimes I'm not too sure what is it that we should believe for the world goes by "survival of the fittest"

  5. She is a winner, indeed!

    loved the poem as well.

  6. Wow, Your daughter is such a sweetheart Ilakshee :)


Your words keep me going :)