Story to Tell
Prayer to mother
जननी जन्म भूमिश्च स्वर्गादपि गरीयसी ||..... meaning
"The friends, the riches and the grains are highly honoured in this world. Mother and mother-land are far superior to even the heaven."
New Town School
The New Town School is situated in the opposite direction of the industrial area. Approach to the school from Dev's residence was by ten minutes walk, along the park.
"We have got our son's admission at New Town School," said Gauri to her husband Dev.
"I understand, Gauri, you want our son Shyam to have the best education," said Dev.
"Please note, I want to give best education to both of my son and daughter," "I do not have any discrimination between them," said Gauri.
"I agree with you." " But with my salary in this factory as a Store Keeper, " "Can I support them with good education," said Dev loudly to Gauri.
" If required I shall skip my one time meal, but I can not compromise with their education," "If required I shall also work," "This is my strong decision,"said Gauri.
"As father of my son Shyam and daughter Sarika, I also want to give them the best. But due to our financial condition if they aren't able to complete their high standards of education," " This thought makes me more skeptical. "Please do not misunderstand me, Gauri," said Dev.
Gauri vehemently told Dev, "Don't cross the bridge before it comes, moreover remember that we are no one to decide their fate. God is the Supreme Power and His will shall always be followed."
"Do not worry Dev, I know needle work which will help me to earn money" "My earned money shall be used only for the purpose of my childrens education."
Today was his first day to school. Shyam on his way to school dressed in uniform, carrying his school bag on his shoulders and lunch box held in his right hand. It was the starting month of the monsoon season.
At school the students assembled on the front and said their prayers. Their teachers guided them to their respective classes.
The class teacher further advised them on manners to be followed. They were told to have their lunch, sitting in a straight row, on the corridor in front of their class. In case space was limited then student were allowed to sit anywhere, inside the school compound, to have their lunch.
Gauri had packed his lunch box. At lunch time students started to occupy position on the corridor, except for Shyam. He slowly moved away from the corridor and sat near the side-walk near to the Teachers Room.
He slowly unfolded the umbrella which he carried along with him during lunch. He crept inside the coloured umbrella and faced the wall of the Teachers Room.
Shyam opened his lunch box. Mother had told him, so he knew what to find inside. Two pieces of bread and potatoe smash. He sat on the floor opened his water bottle and started eating.
Shyam sat with his back to others and under his coloured umbrella covered the food to disable others from viewing it.
He didn't want anyone to comment on his food, such as, of less in variety compared to the food of others.
It's only so much rhetoric. Some may show sympathy. Some may go to that extent to know whose son I am. All of these shall lead to a topic of discussions of my family's financial conditions. Maybe I shall feel disgusted.
My food which mother gave was the best delicacy. I enjoy my lunch.
My father's hard labour and my mother's dreams cannot be auctioned off to others as if they might feel like doing it openly.
His maturity at this tender age was unbelievable, but it's a truth.
This way a year passed and Shyam noticed that his freinds mothers came during lunch time to feed them with freshly prepared recipes.
He saw maids attending to their wards and sweetly convincing them to eat the variety of foods prepared at ones home.
Sarika joined New Town School when Shyam was in Std II. Both brother and sister came to school punctualy.Together they had the same lunch
Days passed one day Sarika told her brother that everyday the potatoe smash was not her liking. So that day she threw it away and crow picked it up.
Shyam sobbed as he thought how mother shall accept this. How she will manage to give us good food.
After school, at home Shyam told mother, today's incident. Gauri cried and caressed both of her children with tears in her eyes.
She hugged Shyam and weeped, saying then how did you keep quiet all these years. Your sister couldn't bear with the food for some days and you carried on without any complain.
Shyam, you are an angel in my family.
Gauri immediately decided to work. She was determined to give her children the best.
She started her sewing shop.
Starting from morning to night, Gauri worked with her sewing machine tirelessly.
The only spare time she had was for her children to get ready for school. Her life now was solely dedicated for the welfare of her children.
Her stitching acumen was so praiseworthy that orders flowed from the adjoining towns too.
Gauri was earning and saving for the future of her children. She had understood that cost of higher education at colleges shall me more costlier.
She had to earn more and save maximum, such that her children doesn't face any misery. No one should ever ridicule them for being out of style. In her pursuit for their happiness she forgot that she was ageing before time.
Shyam was studying in university qualifying for Masters in Oceanography and Sarika graduated from college
The accolades of her children was the prizes of her hard toil. Her dreams came true.
Gauri felt her heaven was here.
But internally she was fully weak and admitted to hospital having severe anemia. She knew that her days were numbered.
Gauri called her children and said," Tell me about your friends, the special ones, of course first."
Shyam told mother about his childhood friend Nisha and how he longed to start his conjugal life with her.
Gauri said, "I strongly believe that you should marry Nisha. I shall not allow you to be obedient and bow down to my choice and betray Nisha."
Shyam was overwhelmed to hear mother's verdict. How much of strong will power she had that she believed that her son's choice of spouse, will be excellant, even without knowing her.
Sarika confessed she was in love with Bill and she had planned to elope with him to his overseas home.
Gauri, said impatiently, "Your future is in your hands." "If you believe in your happiness with Bill, I do not want to undermine you.'
"You may call him here and I shall counsel him." "No need to elope."
Dev who was watching the judicious decisions being imparted to them. He understood that she was not ready to hear from others anything ill about her children. Therefore she discoursed with her children in finer details.
Dev took hold of her hand and said, "Gauri you have done lot for us. You have sacrificed your whole life for your children."
"Gauri you are invincible."
Shyam opened the family album to find the photograph of their parents, smiling and expressing fulfilment of their life time commitment of a story to tell their progeny.