Narrating a story from my childhood days. I grew up in a poor family in a remote village that earned barely enough money to fetch one or two meals in a day. During these times, there was no electricity, no roads in our village. Life was tough.

I remember when I was in Class 4 I got a big boil in my thumb. I didn’t miss school a single day. I liked school as it taught me many important lessons. One of the periods we had was gardening when students would plant saplings at the school premises under the supervision of teachers. We then used to water the plants and ensure they are well-nourished.

The boil in my left thumb was becoming excruciatingly painful. There were no doctors around during those times. We didn’t even have money to go to Cuttack for diagnosis or treatment. My teacher, who enrolled me into the school noticed the injury and asked me to skip gardening plants until my wound heals and just sit and observe until then. I insisted that although I can’t plant saplings, I could water them with my right hand.

Upon hearing this, the headmaster was extremely proud and happy. “This boy will do something big in life. He will never cheat anyone or himself,” the headmaster remarked. “Despite the pain, he is attending school and doing his best while he could easily stay at home,” he added.

To this day, I have this quality. I never take shortcuts or cheat anyone. I continue to do all my tasks with the utmost integrity. I never rest. In 2016, I met with a car accident and was hospitalised with multiple fractures on my left hand. Yet, two days after my operation, I was back on the KIIT and KISS campus, getting on with my work. I never took any leave and continued to perform my duties. That’s how I’ve been wired since my childhood days justifying Milton’s quote childhood shows the man, as morning shows the day.