I am Newton Mandal. My nickname is Tinku. I am seventeen now. I am a student, going to write my autobiography. I am the youngest child of my parents. My loving father is a teacher in a reputed High School. He is about sixty. He is going to retire from his service this year. He is not tall but possesses a good physique. He is kind, cooperative and helpful. My gentle mother is Sabrina Mandal. She is forty-five. She is very polite, loving and elegant. She is really a very interesting woman, I was born on a warm, sunny day in February in 1995. It was 5 o’clock in the morning when I came to this beautiful world. My place of birth was at Miyarbagan in Murshidabad and grew up there. Now I live at Beherampur, the birthplace of Rakhaldas Bandyopadhyay.
I have a nice family. We are a family of seven members — my parents, me, my two elder brothers, my grandpa and grandma. I live with them very happily. My mother came from another village in the same district. Her father was a doctor. She grew up with the customs of an undivided Hindu family. On the other hand, my father is a teacher who has spent his earlier part of life in a village, and now he is in Salt Lake City in Kolkata. My grandpa is a retired professor. He worked in different colleges in West Bengal. He is still very active and mentally alert even at his old age, My grandma is a simple housewife. She is wise and fond of reading. We often take short trips together. My parents take care of my education and wellbeing. They always tell me that knowledge is power and it is the most precious treasure for everyone. My elder brothers were then in class III and class V in a nearby school.
I cannot remember everything in my early childhood days. Early childhood memories are somewhat obscure to me. I can just remember the first year of my life. I mostly spent the days either crying or sleeping, as all babies do. The only memorable bliss was my mother’s lap. A year later I began walking around the floor of our house. I can well remember my first attempt at taking a few steps and then stumbling awkwardly onto the floor of our house. I will never forget the playground which was behind our house. I used to play there with my friends when I was a little kid.
In 1999, at the bright age of four, I learnt the Bengali alphabet with my mother. I didn’t go to kindergarten because my mother wanted to bring up her children by herself. However, I learned many things from her. She taught me reading and writing, some music, and a little bit of English from picture books. My grandma taught me rhymes and children’s songs, When I was only six years old, I wrote a poem, and showed it to my parents. My parents raised me.
I had a great childhood. My family always was together. My happy childhood was spent with them. I spent my time in a beautiful natural environment. As a child, I lived amidst the surroundings where flowers bloom in abundance; birds sing in glee, cloudlets hover over our heads. Musical performances were occasionally held in our family. We all remained close to each other. I felt the warmth of my family members, especially of my grandpa and grandma. As I was the youngest child of my parent everyone of my family loved me very much. They never beat me, even when they were angry. When I ever did wrongs, my mother only said, “Behave child, or I’ll be angry.” We enjoyed several kinds of games as hiding and seek, gossiping and singing our favourite songs. The village market was also a place of great interest to me. I used to go there with my father on market days and enjoyed much.
When I turned five years old, I was admitted to the local Primary School. There I was admitted to class one. My father took me to the school for admission. I was taken to the Headmaster’s room. At first, I got frightened. The Headmaster asked me some questions. I could answer them except one. When I was in primary school, I won an award for good behaviour. I also won the awards for the honour of merit in Bengali in all four terms. Those four years were the happiest time in my memory. I didn’t need to worry about anything. Teachers would just give a little homework to do and I had most of the time left to play with my friends. And there I got my first good friends. After completing the primary education I got admitted to Jitarpur High School. I was afraid of the new experiences there. At first, I was so scared of the boys. They were bigger than I was. However, when I started going to High School, things were better than I thought. Some students came up to me and I began to talk with them. At that moment, I made new friends. Most of them are very friendly, and some of them are very shy and modest. We enjoy many moments because we play together, cut jokes tell stories, and go to parties at my friend’s houses.
However, the High School is a bigger one and has many more students than Primary School. Here I have more teachers than I had before. In High School, my favourite classes are English and Bengali. On the other hand, I do not like Math. In my present school, I have also won some awards for bright performance in school. I am now reading in class XI in the same school.
Most of my vacations were spent in my maternal uncle’s house. I played there with my friends. I can also remember how my father approached the Headmaster of my primary school for helping my performance in reciting a poem, before the Annual Cultural Function. I was so encouraged that I walked across the stage for my moment of glory. When I turned 9, my father gave me a sketch pad with a picture of me that he drew on the very first page. Everything seemed perfect in my life at that point: I was doing great at school. My family was great. I was a happy kid.
Although I am good at studies, music, drawing, craft-work, etc. interest me the most. It makes me able to explore life in its various dimensions. Music is the universal language. In my sorrows, I often take to music. I am more prone to understanding the concepts rather than just memorising them. Perhaps my father’s inspiration is one of the reasons why I started becoming very interested in art. I still remember the day my father sat beside me and said, “Hey son, the most important thing in your life is your honesty.”
My mother says I am very gentle. My father looks upon me as a talented artist. My grandpa says I am the best 7-year-old player in the entire world. And my grandma says I would be simply a man who can love the neighbours. My friends think that I am very pleasing. And I do not know what other people think of me.
My uncle is the best person I ever know. He is a role model for me. He is one of the nicest and most interesting persons I have ever known. He is my best friend. I can share with him any of my life’s secrets. He makes me feel very special. He always stands by my side when I need it. He is thoughtful, artistic and very amiable. My uncle is one of the most kindhearted persons I know. He does simple good deeds and also goes to great lengths to help anyone regardless if the person is a friend or a stranger. He is the embodiment of a perfect gentleman. He is truly a person with a good heart. I have always been astonished how easily he gets along with people. At a gathering, he would start a conversation with the people around him. Only a few minutes later they would turn like his good old friends. He easily makes friends because people feel quite at ease with him. When I was much younger, I used to keep off me in any association because I was afraid of what people would think of me. I was a bit introvert and timid. But by being around my uncle, I have learnt to be more confident and sociable. He taught me everything about life — hope, faith, and a long journey ahead. To me, he is the greatest hero in my surroundings. He taught me to consider everyone as a part of my family and taught me how to love people by sharing their pains and pleasures.
Life to me means to do something meaningful, to do something different, to do something for people and be a person whom one can trust. I am pretty much on the hopeful side of life, but like all teens, I also do have my low days and some unhappy moments like everyone in this world. In my bad days, I have my friends to talk to, and my father and uncle to inspire me. I have my music to play on in my lonely hours. I always remember my father’s advice: “Never try to upset people, always be by the side of others.”
I am now seventeen years old. I am a student now. First of all, I want to complete my Higher Secondary Course. I often wonder about my future as what I am going to be. Ever since I was a child, I have dreamt of becoming a teacher. I like to imagine myself expanding the minds of the young learners like the petals of a blooming flower. I would like to be a teacher like my father and grandfather. And then I will be quite comfortable with my family atmosphere.