The channel started playing “Jeena yahaan marna yahaan iske siva jana kaha”
One song rather just one line was enough to send her fleeting down the memory lane.
A song “Jeena yahaan” could be faintly heard over the radio. Her mom loved this song. But she always found it depressing and sad. Which was very strange because the song was opposite to happy and optimistic persona her mom had. She was getting ready for her dance classes which she really didn’t want to go but her mom was persistent that she should continue her dancing. She understood that her mom was a single mother and had to work in double shifts to run the house. It’s not that she didn’t like dancing in fact dancing is the only thing she loved after her mother. To say her mom and her dance was her life will not be an exaggeration. She felt herself liberated in dance. She was born to dance that is what she felt. Her mother saw her talent and that is why her mother always insisted her to join the dance classes.
They weren’t in a very bad financial situation who lived in slums or like that. But they were normal middle class people living in Delhi who had to work very hard to meet both the ends. So she always felt that instead of going to dance class they should save that money. And today again for the nth time she was having an argument about her dance classes with her mother.
She: But mom I can learn dancing from the TV too it’s fine. If I am to learn dance I can learn it anyway. We should really save that money.
Mother: But Anchal, why don’t you understand that classical dancing is the base of all other dances. And you cannot learn Kathak in this idiot box. And I don’t understand why you want to save this money I really don’t.
Anchal: But mom……….
Mother: No Buts and Ifs, why is it so difficult for you to understand that I wanted to dance and get the degree in Kathak but I couldn’t. Is the money so much worth to you that you don’t want to fulfil your mother’s dream?
Anchal: Sorry mom. Really sorry. It’s just that you are working so hard and I don’t… Sorry Ma please forgive me.
Rupali in turn hugs her daughter and apologises for getting angry and just like that the raised voices turned to soft broken voices and then to crackling laughter. This was all about them. Like any mother daughter they fight, they cry, they get angry and in the end they talk they play and they laugh. One small happy family. Though India has developed but there are some social factors in which India has a long rather a very long way to go one of them is the concept of single mother.
Rupali was a single mother. Her husband had left her when she decided to not to abort Anchal as she was a girl child. It wasn’t easy raising a child single handily. But she knew that if she wanted her child to come into the world she cannot afford to be weak. She had to be strong. She was working in a school as a high school teacher. The school pay was enough to meet the necessary expenses but it wasn’t enough to meet the expenses other than the basic necessities. So she decided to join a coaching institute in the evening time and hence she started working in double shifts. In the beginning it had been very difficult to handle house, school, coaching, and pregnancy and on top of that the society. But the life growing inside her gave her all the motivation that was necessary to handle the difficulties. Anchal had been Rupali’s strength even before she came in the world.
Anchal was her mother’s copy. She was as beautiful and elegant as her mother. She loved her mother with her life. After her mother it was the turn of dance that she loved. Her dance was her freedom, her happiness, her first love and everything that she needed. She couldn’t imagine her life without two things her mom and her dance. But as we say that not everything we love stays with us.
Anchal had been very happy that day. As she had just finished her college exams and was highly excited because end of exams meant she could participate in the regional level dance competition that was to be held in two months’ time. She was eager to reach home. In her excitement she didn’t even notice that the truck driver was drunk and was losing his sense to drive and the truck had started racing towards her. And the unfortunate took place. She was hit by the truck.
Anchal had been admitted to the hospital immediately. There had been a lot of blood loss. The truck driver was caught and even punished but that couldn’t do anything to heal Anchal or her injuries. Her injuries rendered her incapable of walking. By God’s grace she was alive but to her it was useless because what is the use of this life if she could not walk or rather she could not DANCE.
To say Anchal had lost all her hopes was an understatement. She was lost into a world of depression. She would wake up every day hoping to meet an accident again and sleep everyday wishing she didn’t wake up ever again. It’s not that she blamed anyone for her condition instead she hated herself for her accident. She always thought that had she been paying more attention on the road she would have seen the driver and would have saved herself from the misery. It pained her that she wasn’t able to dance but she also knew that she was only adding expenses to her mom. She wanted to get a job to help her mom and instead ended up making her spend more money.
Anchal always used to stay locked up in her room. It was eating Rupali. She couldn’t see her strength being broken into despair like this. Almost a month had passed and Anchal was still the same. She decided that it was enough and she needed to do something about it. Had it been a movie she would miraculously get the money that was needed for the operation for implanting an artificial leg and make her daughter dance again. But she knew that she wouldn’t be able to get that required amount of money from any source. But she also knew that dance was Anchal’s passion and it is difficult to get over something she loved so passionately. But she also knew that this is not the end of life. And she wanted Anchal to understand the same.
She gave it all a good thought she even tried talking to Anchal about moving on with her life. But Anchal was too busy hating herself to listen to anything good. Rupali was on the edge of insanity herself she tried thinking of something that would help. She wasn’t able to do anything on her own so she thought of taking help from their neighbour. Their neighbours were the “Gupta” couple. Mrs. Gupta was very friendly and unlike other society people the Guptas understood Rupali’s situation and supported her. They had a son whose name was Aakash, he and Anchal were very good friends. Aakash was a year older to Anchal so helping her in studies was the most common topic of talking in between them. It began with teaching and grew to good friendship. So Rupali thought of asking them for help. Especially from Aakash because he was very close to Anchal.
Aakash on the other hand was worried with the same. In fact he was as worried as Rupali because unintentionally and unknowingly Aakash had fallen for Anchal. He had fallen deeply, truly and madly in love with Anchal. But could not convey the same in fear of losing her as a friend too. So he too was very upset with the way destiny had taken turn and had started brain storming when he found that Anchal was always locked up. Hence he got some faint idea of what could be done but wasn’t sure. So when Rupali came for help he shared his idea. And when he shared the idea Rupali knew that he couldn’t be more right. Aakash suggested that though dance was Anchal’s passion and her first love but Anchal was equally good at writing too. He had seen Anchal’s work as he had helped Anchal with her studies. And after all love is what we develop by doing a thing continuously. Her love of dancing needed to be diverted to writing. It was tough, very difficult indeed but it was necessary for her. The idea was difficult in implementation but it was too good to let it go. So they came up with a plan.
The plan was that Rupali would pretend to be sick and the reason behind the sickness was allergy of chalk which a teacher has to be using daily. The coaching class had white board so there was no issue of using a chalk over there but the school still had black board. Anchal was worried now because she didn’t want her mom to work in the school as that would make her sicker. But she also knew that coaching classes would not generate enough money to meet the expenses of her and her mom’s medicines. So she decided to take help of Aakash. Aakash suggested that she should go for some free lancing. He had a friend in one newspaper firm and he could help in landing some work. Anchal was hesitant in writing, she knew she could write but she wasn’t sure that it was so good that she could go for selling her work even as a free-lancer. But she knew that without a proper degree she wouldn’t be able to get a decent job especially now when she is disabled. So she just thought of giving it a try.
And the plan was undoubtedly successful because not only Anchal forgot about the accident in writing but also found new love in writing. She met new people because of her new profession. Very slowly but steadily she found her way back to normal life. And Rupali couldn’t ask for more. Akash was happy that he could do something for his first love. Anchal slowly became a columnist in a very reputed newspaper and she could earn good.
But it was Rupali who motivated her that what she was doing in her job was for someone else, not for her own self. She motivated Anchal to do something for her own self. She motivated her to write a book. Anchal shared this with Aakash and he agreed with Rupali, in fact he also helped her in developing a story line for the book. Anchal took a long time writing the book but the end result was worth the time. It was a romantic mystery novel. Rupali and Guptas had read her book. They had appreciated the book very much but she was apprehensive about the book but on repetitive insistence from all of them she finally sent her book to a publishing house. And the book was accepted by them. It wasn’t a national best seller but still it had considerable amount of sale. She earned quite a good amount of money.
Anchal now knew that the sickness of her mother was faked but she didn’t mind because she realised that with the way she was behaving previously there was something that needed to be done. And also her love of writing grew day by day and all of them couldn’t be happier. She thought of writing a second book which would be totally different book from the first one. Since this one would be a kind of a tribute to her mom. She would write about how her mom was her hero and how she had made Anchal what she is today. She wanted to write the story in such a way that those who didn’t know Rupali for them it would be a book on Mother as a hero but those who knew Rupali would know that the it was about her. When the book was complete she first showed the entire manuscript to Rupali.
Rupali was overwhelmed, she had no words to describe what she felt. Her eyes shined with tears of joy and pride that she felt for her daughter. She told Anchal that she would want the first copy of the book that was printed. And hence Anchal had been impatient for the book to get printed. She wanted to give the book to her mom as early as possible.
But if she would have even slightest knowledge of the future than she would have not printed the book at all because the day the book was printed the one who wanted the book was no more. Anchal felt lost again she realised that she had so much to say to Rupali, to tell her that how much she loves her but all of that couldn’t be done now.
Anchal felt like she had been hit by the truck again and more severely because last time only her legs were effected but this time her heart took the toll. But she also knew that her mom wouldn’t want her to lose herself and waste away her life. So she continued writing like her mom would have wished for her.
The book on her mom turned out to be a great hit, a national best seller in fact. She gradually became a very famous writer and earned enough to get the operation of her legs done. Now Anchal was physically all good but Anchal had lost a piece of her heart, her hero, hero MOM.
Aakash entered the home. He could her the song “kal khel main hum ho na ho gardish main tare rahenge sada” and he knew that what was up with her. He quietly sat beside her and hugged her.
Anchal (in a broken low voice): I MISS HER. I MISS HER SO MUCH. SHE MISSED OUR WEDDING TOO.
He kissed her forehead and said: I know, I miss her too. No she didn’t miss it babe because is always here somewhere watching us ok?
Anchal: Okay, I love you.
Aakash: I love you too.
We all lose hope. We all come at a point where we feel that the world is crashing down and all the unfair things happen to us only. But then there comes someone with selfless love and take us out of our despair. For all such heroes out there A BIG THANK YOU.