The exam day morning, she left early for school. She had kissed her mother and ran away fast enough before her mother could say anything or she would have been compelled to explain to her mother that why was she going to school, given the fact that her school fees was not paid.
Many things were playing in her mind as in what would happen if her teacher caught her while she sat down to write her paper. She had decided that she would plead with her teacher to allow her to write the paper. Simply writing the exam answers could not bring much harm to the school. After all she was one very small kid. Another thought that was racing through her mind was what would happen if the school principal scolded her for her audacity to come for the examinations? She would stand there with her head bowed down and most importantly she would not cry. She had studied very hard for the examinations and come what so ever, she would appear for her exams.
When she reached her school, the mali (gardener) was watering the plants in the garden and the birds especially the sparrows were chirping very loudly. Quickly she made her way to the school’s main entrance and was expecting someone to stop her from entering. But no one did stop her. Now her heart was beating faster and with every step she felt as if it all were an unknown terrain to her.
The corridor at the end of which her examination room was located, gave her the impression that exams are only for students who don’t study at all. Otherwise, why such hue and cry for writing a paper which was only three hours lengthy where as one had to attend classes and read from textbooks, throughout the year. The maths of ratio of attending classes to the ratio of exam writing hours didn’t add up. She thought that the adults needed to have a brainstorming sessions with one of the God’s above who knew what children thought and felt about exams.
As she was nearing towards her classroom one of her classmates called her from behind but fearing that voice to be of one her teachers’ she ran straight into the classroom.
She sat down on the bench allocated to her and patiently waited for her examination conductor cum teacher to come. After ten minutes the teacher came and it was her class teacher.
The girl’s name was Mina. Now Mina was very scared thinking what would happen.
What do you think did happen?
Instead of scolding her, her class teacher gave her a smile worth a thousand dazzling diamonds.
Mina was stunned and surprised. She nearly thought that she was dreaming, but quickly the dream got over as the three hour lengthy and monotonous paper was presented to her and the examination bell rang-dongggggggggg indicating that the examination had began.
With fifteen minutes to spare she had finished her paper, reviewed it and after submitting it, she ran home to tell her mother that she had been allowed to give her examinations.
Upon reaching her home, Mina hugged her mother tightly and gave her a big hug.
Mina-“Ma, do you know, that I could appear for my exams and my class teacher didn’t say a word about the examination fees.”
Her mother-“What? You could appear for your exams and your class teacher didn’t say anything.”
Her mother-“That’s a miracle. Who knows maybe an angel had payed your fees.Now you go and have your lunch and play for sometime in the yard.”
In the evening she was playing in the yard, when her younger sister who had not yet began school came and told her –“didi, ma had sold two sweaters, three mufflers and eight pair of socks to a group of tourists who had come to the market day before yesterday. With that money ma had gone to your school and was able to pay the fees.”
Mina-“How do you know all this? How did ma get those sweaters, socks and mufflers?”
Her sister-“The big ball of wool, the one which ma had bought with her savings two years ago, with that she made all those items and I had gone to the market and to your school with her so I know all of this.”
Mina-“When did ma make those sweaters, mufflers and socks?”
Her sister-“When we you go to school and when we sleep in the afternoon at that time, ma made those items and kept them hidden in her trunk, so that dad couldn’t sell them in the market for money for household purposes or for anyother thing.
Instantly Mina ran to her mother and asked –“ ma, Lichi (her sister) is saying that you made sweaters, mufflers and socks and sold them, so that you could pay my examination fees?”
While this part of the play was going on, the audience were giving out gasps as to how the concurrent and the next scene would play out.
Before her mother could reply, she (Mina) gave a lot of kisses to her mother and started crying. The wall (of not being able to appear for her exams) which was building inside her chest broke down and she placed her head on her mother’s lap and kept on crying till she fell asleep. Her mother took her in her arms and kept on patting her head and sang a soft lullaby to her. The next morning Mina got up much earlier and studied even harder for the net exam.
At the conclusion of the last scene, the audience gave a thundering burst of claps and it was felt that this act was being in a world class theatre rather than being enacted in a village.
The last part of this narration, will be narrated by me tomorrow.