One More Chance

Once there was a young girl. Her parents had named her Anisha. She was her father’s pride and apple of her mother’s eyes. Whatever she did, she did with all her heart and so she excelled at everything. But most of all she loved to read. She had this uncanny ability to remember all that she read.

She loved going to school and as such her parents made sure that they fulfilled her wish of studying. Unlike some other parents who didn’t like girls studying, they made sure that their daughter went to school everyday. She would help her mother with the household chores in the morning, then go to school. She would come back from school, study at home and then help her mother with the chores in the evening too.

Anisha had an older brother, Amrit who also went to school. His was a boys’ school some distance away from his sister’s school but he would drop her off every morning and then pick her up after school. They walked back home everyday sharing their stories and secrets.

Such was the perfect little world of Anisha when all of a sudden she lost her mother. Anisha was fifteen at the time and her brother was seventeen. Anisha felt as if her anchor had left her alone in this world. Her father was so devastated that he had stopped talking to anyone.

With their mother gone and father listless, the burden of the house and the farms fell on the two children. The children matured suddenly and took up the mantle of running the house on them. Amrit started going to the farms instead of school and Anisha left her education to take care of the house their mother had made home. Anisha’s friends tried to talk her out of leaving school but all she said was that now it was up to her to manage everything. And God willing, someday she would get to study.

Time moved on and the siblings grew up. Amrit fell in love with his friend’s sister, Maya, and with the permission of the girl’s parents, they got married. Anisha missed her mother very much all through the wedding festivities but she was also glad that her brother had found his happiness.

Maya was like a fresh breeze in their house. Where the mother’s death had always been like a heavy presence in the household, Maya seemed to breathe life in the house. She took care of everyone, she made sure that their father spent time outside his room for at least a few hours and slowly he too began to get better. They had all started smiling more because of her.

Maya had known Anisha since their childhood and though they were never friends, Maya being a year senior to Anisha at school, she knew that Anisha loved studying. So one day Maya broached the topic.

“Anisha, why don’t you complete your schooling?”
Anisha looked up from the book she was reading, “Don’t you think I’m a little old for school, Bhabhi?”
Maya looked at her and said, “The important question here is that do you want to study further? I know you loved your studies and I have seen your school bag that you have kept reverently even now. So tell me, do you want to complete your Intermediate?”
Anisha had tears in her eyes and she nodded her ascent.
“Well then, I will arrange for you to give your exams at the earliest opportunity. You know my brother teaches at the school and he told me that you can give your Boards as an independent candidate. That way you won’t have to attend school. What do you think?” Maya said.

Anisha couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She leapt up in joy and hugged her sister-in-law. And thus started Anisha’s studies once again and with the help of her brother and Maya she completed her Intermediate. Maya and Amrit made sure that no obstacles came in Anisha’s pursuit anymore and she finished her graduation with distinction.

The day Anisha cleared her State Service Commission exam, she was most grateful to Amrit and Maya for it was with their support that Anisha got one more chance to follow her dreams.

This post is a part of #BlogchatterAtoZ 2023.

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