Among hundreds of curious school students with their eyes glued onto their school's stage, stood Safa Febin. She was standing on her toes to get a clearer glimpse of the speaker at the podium, who was one of her favourite politicians, Rahul Gandhi. He had gone there to inaugurate a new block in their school. Suddenly Gandhi asked his young audience if anyone could help him translate his speech from English to Malayalam. Without a second thought, an otherwise shy Safa raised her hand.
Safa's translation of Rahul Gandhi's speech is winning hearts on the internet. On December 5, the Wayanad MP uploaded a video of the speech on his Facebook page and wrote, "Safa Febin, a talented young student at GHSS Karuvarakkundu volunteered to translate my speech this morning. Her confidence and 'can-do spirit' won our hearts." Within minutes, the video went viral.
A XII grader, Safa is still not over the excitement. "I'd never done public speaking before this. In fact, I was shivering," she says. "But I really wanted to stand next to Rahul Gandhi. He's a politician I admire a lot. We even shook hands!" exclaims Safa. This teenager was, however cautious to not let her excitement or nervousness interfere with what she was supposed to do. "I was scared initially, but I knew that I have to be calm, because if I panic, I may mess up everything. I was constantly reminding myself to not think about anything else," she says. "The rest is all Allah's blessing."
What is it about Gandhi, that Safa admires the most? She says, "I respect Nehru and his family a lot. RaGa is someone who's loved by a lot of people here (Malappuram). Also, he's the Wayanad MP. On top of that, he makes an effort to interact with the young people of the country."
The video's popularity has made Safa quite popular in her school. "My friends are all very happy. They even cut a cake for me and distributed payasam. A few of my classmates even pretended to be my personal security officers," she laughs. "Today, we'd gone to a nearby town, where we stopped at a restaurant to have a cup of tea. All of a sudden, a police officer came up to me and told me that the translation was really good," she says.