A Story That Was Formed in a Dream
The Two Friends
This story is of two girls who were crying bitterly in my dream. I had this dream two days ago and when I woke up I could still remember each of thing that I had seen with my closed eyes.
Though I have added a little bit of extra information to make the story more entertaining and realistic. Hope you will enjoy reading it.
Rohini and Garima were preparing for this day for a long time. They had always dreamt of having their own school in which they could give the life skill training to the students.
Both of them were from poor family background. They had worked in various schools and felt that most of the schools were only interested in business and most of the rights of the students were ignored. Teachers were asked to look after fifty students in a class of thirty to forty minutes. With this strength, it was not possible for the teachers to give individual attention to their students. They could only judge the students based on the marks of their written assessments.
Rohini and Garima had been planning for this school project for a long time and they had sold almost all of their ornaments and other possession to get the grant for the school. They had arranged an auspicious pooja for the deity before integrating their school campus for which they had taken several personal and bank loans.
But when it was announced by the Prime Minister that the whole country will be locked down as a precautionary measure, they were stunned. They never expected that it might be coming. They had already resigned from their private jobs to concentrate on this school project. This news shattered their dreams and they were not able to think anything. Both of them were in tears, not getting how to react to this thing. A sort of darkness was there ahead.
Rohini's father was there in his bedroom. He was resting after having dinner. Once he heard the sobbing of the girls, he came out to enquire what had happened. He treated both the girls as his daughter as both were living with him since they were five years old. Rohini's mother died a few years ago because of cancer while Garima didn't want to stay with her parents. She never even visited them.
"What happened girls? Why are you crying like baby?" said the father.
Garima jumped up and hugged him tight while crying bitterly. "There is nothing left uncle, we are helpless. People like us can't have dreams," she said.
Rohini too came near and hugged them both. "Papa, what can we do now? The school will be closed before even being opened. How will we pay the loans? How can we get ahead with whatever we had planned?" she said.
"Don't worry brave girls. It's just for a few days and then everything will be normal. Let's hope for the best. Both of you are teachers. You have yourself been training and motivating so many depressed and hopeless people. Have faith in the almighty. Everything will be fine," the father tried to console the girls.
"No uncle, it won't last just for a few days. It's uncertain. I am going to sell my ancestral shawl today. I guess that I might get the desired amount at least to pay the necessary bills. I didn't sell it just because you asked me not to do that, but now we don't have any other option," said Garima.
The father was shocked and shouted, "What? Not at all! Do you know the real value of that shawl?"
Garima said, "That doesn't mean anything to me. You and Rohini are my family and I don't have any value for anything else. That is made up of fine gold so we might get a lot of money to save our life."
The father interrupted, "Today I'll have to break a promise that I had given to your mother. She has asked me to give you a letter before I die. I don't know about my death but I want you to know the truth. Your mother was a princess. She fell in love with her chauffeur and left her palace with him. She didn't take anything from the palace but this shawl that you are going to sell."
Rohini and Garima were spellbound. Both of them never thought of such sort of a game. How come they couldn't get anything from the father in the past. How no hint was given to them. They didn't say anything just stared at the father in awe.
He continued, "It's not any usual story. When your mother started to live her life with this man, she realised that they had different lifestyles and she couldn't adjust in that. She had not only lost her royal dignity but also her identity. When you were born she was thoughtful about your future. She wanted to make your life better. She came to my wife once and asked her to take care of you. Both became good friends in a stitching school where both used to go and teach various types of stitches. She promised your mother not to worry as she will always take care of both the girls.
Within a few days we came to know that your mother has died of heart attack. She had left a letter for you in a box which was to be given to you after I died. But now I'll have to give that to you."
I am sorry as I didn't let you know the truth for a long time. I wanted you to be confident and brave rather than being a coward like me. I want you to know everything at the right time so that you won't doubt anyone or show your agitation to them.
Sharmila (the mother of Rohini) has been my innate friend since we met in the stitching school. We have shared so many stories while we sat with each other. She told me a secret that even her husband doesn't know. That's the reason, I have asked to give you this letter only after he is no more. I don't want to hurt the sentiments of such a great personality.
Sharmila had given birth to a dead boy. No one could know about this thing than me and the nurse who was there. The same day someone dropped a newborn girl near the hospital ground. The nurse was taking it to the orphanage. Sharmila asked to have that girl as her daughter and since then she had never let the father know that Rohini was not their daughter.
I knew Sharmila and her husband will take good care of you that's why I have asked them to look after you after I am no more. I am sick for so many days, not physically but mentally. I am guilt-stricken for the steps that I had taken in the past.
To be honest, I don't long for my palace and the royal treat but I long for that love and compassion with my family that I could have got there. I didn't like the palace as only my brothers used to get all the privileges and I was asked to be with my mother at home, learning stitching and cooking from them.
I am well aware that this so-called father of yours will get another woman as soon as I stop breathing so I am concerned about you.
I hope you will understand and empathise with the pain of your mother.
Live the life like a queen
whether you've a palace to live
Or dwelling in a cottage serene;
Don't lose hope whatever is the scene,
My love and blessings will be there with you
Always to make you brave and supreme.
Forgive me for the mistakes of mine,
I know you'll be there in the hands of the divine.
Your loving mother
After Garima read the letter, she didn't know what to do. It was not just her story which was unfolded that story but it involved her best friend, Rohini and her mentor. She had no idea, whether to tell her friend what was there in the letter or let it be as it was for so long.
No one was alive who knew about this truth. So she thought of burning that letter so that no one could know about it. She closed her eyes for a while, meanwhile, Rohini came and she took the letter from the desk. She too read it and fell on the ground.
It was late for Garima to realize that the letter was already read by her friend. Both of them decided not to tell that to the father. But they promised each other that they won't lose hope and will try to work on the project with the same confidence with which they had started.
© 2020 Anupam Mitu