The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm. When asked to describe old people, we often think of them as weak and frail, who have peacefully retired from their jobs with all their passions burned out and with no task in hand other than sharing stories with their grandchildren. But this is seldom the case. Many people who are in their advanced years are still figuring out what fascinates them, and now that they have fulfilled their worldly duties, they can chase their dreams with a free mind.
Something similar happened with 73 years old man named Lalringthara, who took admission in Class 5 of the Upper Middle School in New Hruaikawn, Champai, Mizoram to resume his studies after dropping out due to family issues.
He is obviously the oldest student of the school located on the Mizoram – Myanmar Border who is also the Church Chowkidar at New Hruaikawn.
On recounting the tense situations that compelled him to leave his studies, he told TOI that he only received formal education till class 2. His father died when he was just two, and the complete responsibility to raise him and his siblings fell on his mother. His mother left him in the care of distant relatives when she remarried. They didn’t uphold his education and made him work in a rice field, forcing him to quit his studies.
His brief education enabled him to read his native language, Mizo but he was eager to learn English. Speaking to North East Today, he reminisced.
“I have no problem in reading or writing in the Mizo language. However, my desire for education has been flamed by my passion to learn the English language. Nowadays, every literature has some English words infused in them, which often confuses me, so I decided to go back to school to improve my knowledge especially in the English language.”
It was his aspiration to learn English that pushed him to rejoin school. “Better late than never” he told TOI.
His story reached the Indian Government and impressed with his ambition, they provided him with free textbooks and uniform under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. Although this is a highly motivating action, this free stuff stands nothing before his perseverance to get what he wants.