My Journey: The story of Khushi and how she found her light

My name is Khushi and I’m a Maya kid. Today I study in the Lexicon School and I’m a 7th grader. Having to know Maya, at the beginning was not so precious and big for me. I was born in an atmosphere where I was always one of the beloved but I was not born in an high income society and was poor. My father was a painter and he would go to work everyday and come after a long period of time. My mother worked for us by opening a flour mill at home. I was good in studies but was disturbed by the noises that the wheat grinding machine and my community made. I have two brothers which are elder to me and also love me but they used to study hard and work for home. My life was not so easy but having being the smallest I was loved by everyone.

I studied in this school called Hambirat Moze English Medium School, a government school, where I found these fairies. Yes, Fairies! They were fairies to me who inculcated arts in studies, teaching many new things, giving some exposure and access to so many things, telling the why behind things, giving second chances, teaching values, keeping class a castle of the heaven where we can learn and get exposure, innovate, create and actually ask for things we don’t know. I loved going to school. When I used to go home always talking about didis, taking food for them was always what I loved doing. They took me to an audition where about 300 participated. Out of them only thirty were selected. It was an audition where we had to sing, dance and act. Well I passed in all three of them. Then the biggest journey of my life starts.

Khushi Chauhan


I wondered who are these children with me? What are these teachers teaching? Why are these teachers teaching me this? Why does excellence matter? Why do I have to know the meaning of courage, compassion and wisdom? And I am sure the other kids felt the same. Singing, dancing, acting, whatever activities we did, I always succeeded. But then slowly I started learning why the simple circle of unknown people became the circle of trust and understanding. I started realizing what are my values, what is my vision, what I need to be, what do I want my parents to feel about me, everything started slowly entering my mind. My beauty and my style, I forgot everything. These three years of journey in which we did the movie and musical was not just about these two things. It was about learning and learning for yourself. Things that I hated now became the things that I loved. Free hugs, street plays, studying together, playing games of trust, going to Chennai by a flight alone, being the main lead, doing acts of kindness, visiting HIV ashrams, talking to random people on the road and wishing them a nice day taught me courage, compassion, wisdom, hard work and so many values.

I feel proud to be a Maya kid and proud to be my parents daughter. My family now has developed and built a house, my eldest brother is making a feature film, and the other is an artist, my mother takes care of the house and my father is an advertiser. This is all because of the contribution of my family towards everyone, my brother’s in photography and painting, my father’s in the work and everybody’s in towards the house. Each one of us contributed their time and focus in each ones work and now we are one family in spite of working different. Today I understand the difference between the right and the wrong.


This post was written by Kushi Chauhan herself. It has been typed and edited by her teacher in the Maya program, Kritika Rawat – a 2015 Pune fellow.


Ankit Agrawal

Ankit Agrawal

Beautiful !! The MAYA programme is a testimonial to the impact art and education can have on children. In Khushi I see the immense potential and think of those children who are waiting eagerly to be a part of TFI’s vision.

Good job Kritika with the editing !!


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