“Aparna, O! Aparna! come to the kitchen. Try to learn something, it will be useful for you when you will go to your sasural (in law’s house).”
“What will you do with this book? Do you think these books are going to help you?” Said mother, furiously with a nagging voice. “Ma! I want to study. Why don’t you understand? I don’t want to waste my life in a kitchen. Ma, I have seen you do a lot. I know it is because of us only, but I want to achieve something. Please Ma, let me go to college.” Aparna urged her mother. “Please…..!” She pleaded. So that her mother would convince her father and allow her to attend the college, which was far from their village. Every time while saying all this, her eyes filled with tears.
She went to the river bank. She used to sit there whenever she was sad. Today, her mind was disturbed. “I am living in a village, where life is very hard. Girls are deprived of their basic rights and education. I have faced many challenges to get my primary studies but what to do now? Baba (father) will not allow me to pursue higher education as college is far from here. How hard it was to return home. Sometimes, when I returned home the weather would be rainy and foggy. My books and notebooks would become soaking wet. I would have to rewrite all my lessons and homework. Now, after so much hardship how can I leave my dreams? Baba never supported me or helped my Ma with my school expenses. He would rarely visit and I felt his absence even now. This feeling of loneliness and the sufferings of my mother made me stronger. I developed an eagerness to study and wanted to be successful in my life. I always remembered my mother’s tears and how she suffered, because of her early marriage. This empowered me to achieve the highest grades. So that I can stand by myself before marriage. That day thoughts were running in her mind as she stirred into the flowing water of the river.“
She came back and found her mother sewing and mending some clothes. She sat beside her and spoke softly “Ma, you are a woman too, I can expect this from you only. You know our struggle for my education. Today with your support I am confident. Let me go Ma, for further studies. The girl inside you is the only one who can understand how desperate I’m today” she cried and hugged her mother.
Aparna was from a middle-class family. Her father had to work hard to earn their livelihood. So, he was reluctant to spend money on her further education. In the village, girls rarely joined college for further education.A wistful, dreamy child, Aparna was good in academics. Ms.Meena, her principal congratulated her parents. She gave her an award as she was among the best 10 students of the school.”Aparna! Congratulations and never stop your education. Fly high my child, you can achieve anything if you have a dream, a dream to do the BEST.” Miss Meena patted on her head and gave her the award.That night Aparna’s mother told her husband about Aparna’s wish.After many pleadings, her father agreed. They realised that their daughter’s dream and happiness was more important than to get her married at such a young age.”Baba maan Gaye Aparna!! (father agreed to Aparna), but he has a condition. If any odd thing happens, your studies would be stopped immediately.” Aparna’s face brightened up with a smile, she hugged her mother saying, “Ma, I will never let you down, have faith in me.“Next morning Aparna, a jolly young girl headed towards the college. She took admission and as college was quite far off, she had to walk and travel partially by bus.Brave Aparna was the only girl from the village who opted for this. So, her family was a hot topic in every house and among the villagers.
Once while she was on her way to college, few boys started teasing her and threatened her. Aparna told her parents. Her father got annoyed and angrily told her to stop her studies immediately. But Aparna strongly believed that she will fight back. With this mindset, she replied, “Baba, I will go. I want to study. I have a dream baba. I want to make you both proud. Believe me, Baba.” That day Baba kept quiet. He was against of Aparna’s studies but he could feel her heartening words tug on his heartstrings.Next morning again those boys tried to tease and made indecent gestures. Aparna decided to fight back. Aparna nabbed the harasser, one of them risking her life. She held one of them by the scruff of the collar till help arrived from the passerby’s. They had seen Aparna holding the boy’s collar. They came to her aid and thrashed him. They took him to the nearby police station. Soon, all the others were caught and put behind the bars. The officers appreciated her efforts. They praised her and asked everyone in the village to support her. Aparna raised her voice to other villagers. She dared to stand up for her dreams. She made others understand why it was important to support a girl’s dreams through education.She was happy today. She could continue the studies. By her bravery she led a trailblazer for herself and other girls in her community. And now the villagers are supporting her on every step of her way. Now she is not alone, many girls, like her, are going for further education and pursue their dreams.
Written for #causeachatter