“Say not the struggle nought availeth
The labour and the wounds are vain
The enemy faints not,nor faileth
And as things have been things remain”
–Said by Arthur Hugh Clough
Story begins with feeling of pathos but ends on inspirational happy note.The real star Prerna’s heart-touching life story forced me to give words to it . She encounters many hurdles in her way of life but never ever gave up, and proved “Determination Can Overcome All Obstacles’.
While giving birth to Prerna, her mother died and was brought up by her father Raghu [a laborer by profession] and stepmom Meena who has one son Dilip. Raghu married Meena so that motherless child Prerna could get love and affection of a mother.But what we think every time never happens the same, cunning lady Meena hates this innocent child and gave all her affection to Dilip only. She everytime scolds Prerna ”Upshaguni!, your mother died because of you, now want to kill me and my darling son, stay away from us, don’t spoil my day by showing your unlucky face”. Motherless Prerna not even knows about the death of her mother, she feels Meena is her‘Maa’ and Dilip as own‘Bhai’.
Years passed, Prerna is now of ten years and Dilip six, Raghu wanted Prerna to join Dilips school after she completed her middle school. Masterji everytime appreciated Prerna for her study and behavior so asked Raghu to admit her in a new school. Meena not interested for Prerna’s further studies , so stopped Raghu saying”don’t waste your money on this Scoundrel!she is not going to become doctor or engineer rather let her know some household work by helping me at home and taking care of Dilip, as in future these things will only help her after marriage, I am not her enemy telling it for her sake only”, poor father felt helpless in front of Meena as Prerna loved her Maa a lot and can’t do anything beyond her mother’s wishes .
One dayPrerna went to Dilip’s school as he forgot to take his lunchbox and Meena told her to stay there till the classes ends and bring back Bhai from school as some guests are coming at home for lunch and so Meena will be busy.After having tiffin Dilip went inside for rest of classes and Prerna stayed outside waiting for Dilip’s school to finish. In the meantime she started playing with some pebbles, in between she picked up one stone and wrote a sentence on sand-‘Main Padhna chahti hoon’,the headmaster of school Jyoti Miss was sitting behind her in corridor was observing Prerna from sometime that she repeats the same sentence and rubs it.
After sometime Jyoti Miss comes and sits beside her and very politely asks her”Hey little young lady!why are you writing and rubbing the same sentence, if you want to study why don’t you join our school tell your Maa-Baba to admit you here and by the way who are you dear and what are you doing here”
By seeing Jyoti she got nervous and tried to run away,but Jyoti stopped and convinced her not to be afraid she wont harm her and gave some chocolates to Prerna.After eating them she spoke like a bird who wants to fly freely
”Teacherji, my bhai Dilip studies here in class one and Maa send me to take him back home after school,since getting bore outside I started writing these things,my name is Prerna ,Baba gave me this name .I studied till middle school, cant study further as Maa don’t want me to do so she says my household knowledge will help me more after my marriage not the stupid degree,I love Maa very much and cannot do anything without her concern know Teacherji my Baba is Misthry working at a construction site he cant afford both siblings studies……ok I am going home Bhai has come.”Jyoti saw her untill she disappeared from that straight long road, and started repeatedly writing on floor’Main Padhna Chahti Hoon’.
One month passed Jyoti’s eyes everyday waiting for a glimpse of Prerna in corridor,alas!she hasn’t come after that day,today she can’t stop herself asking Dilip about his sister.He said”today boys family are coming to see Didi as after two weeks she is getting married, Maa is coming to take me home early during lunch-break to meet them”and goes away.Jyoti got stunned, her memories backfired the poor girl and her four words’Main Padhna Chahti Hoon’.Now she thought’ what will i do, how to stop Prerna’s marriage who is an adolescent ‘without waisting any time she asked Dilip’s classmate Govind to take her to Prerna’s house.
The other side Raghu,Meena are busy serving plates of samosa and rasgulla to all relatives and neighbours present at home to attend Prerna’s engagement ceremony. Suddenly Jyoti enters inside house and asks to stop that ceremony,everyone gets shocked, thinks who is she to spoil function and why,Dilip says she is Jyoti Miss of his school.Meena comes forward asks her very rudely to get out from there.Jyoti brings Prerna close to her ,says “how dare you are marrying your minor daughter with a forty year old guy,according to law Prerna age is ten you can’t marry before she turns eighteen”
there started a big argument with Jyoti,poor girl Prerna became speechless her eyes innocently asks” Teacherji!i want to breath in free air,want to fly high in sky……….please help me”,but nobody is bothered to ask her feeling accept Jyoti. Raghu interferes, by holding his hands requests Jyoti to go away now and promises he will definitely come tomorrow to talk on this matter.She kisses Prerna’s forehead and went away.
Next day Raghu meets Jyoti in school and tells everything,how Prerna’s mother died,why he married Meena,how she ill behaved his daughter “you know Madamji my Gudiya loved studying she stood first in her class but due to her mother’s wish discontinued it and I am helpless in front of Meena forsake of my childrens,I thought atleast after marriage my daughter will get all happiness in her life gets freedom from her stepmom who is a curse on motherhood, now you tell me if would have been in my position what you would have done?”and started crying,Jyoti sympathize and gives him a glass of water.
After he gets normal Jyoti asks Raghu if he don’t mind, instead of marrying Prerna send her Mumbai with Jyoti where she got transferred,Raghu doesn’t agree to it as he can’t send her alone to a new unknown place,later Jyoti convinced and promised him”don’t worry Raghu I will take care of your daughter as my own child and will bring her back to you after she achieves her goal and makes you feel a proud father”Raghu has complete trust on madamji so he agree,and as far as Meena’s permission required she agrees very easily as a big burden of her life, Prerna is going away, now she will leave a peaceful and happy life with her husband and son, alone.
Prerna don’t want to leave her birthplace as she loves everyone and can’t live without Maa,Baba,Bhai,and native place people,Raghu later persuaded that she is going for a good cause and Teacherji will take all care of her.Today she leaves for Mumbai, everyone gives her good wishes and blessings,Baba hugs Prerna says with crying eyes”May God fulfill all dreams of my darling daughter,god bless you my child ,love you my dear I’ll miss you a lot, takecare sweetheart”
New place new people Prerna feels uncomfortable she only knows her Teacherji over there.In the beginning she has to stay alone at home with Gangu Bai as Jyoti early morning before she wakes up leaves for her school and Prerna’s school session will start after one month in march.After coming from school Jyoti’s students comes for tution in evening where Prerna also learns what Teacherji taught and asked her doubts if she don’t understand anything.She is very good in maths but as she belongs from a small place where she hasn’t learned how to speak and write in English,everyone present at tution makes fun of her,even in Jyoti’s absence they played pranks and called her “Junglee,Dehathi.Gunwar” but she never complained.Jyoti one day comes to know these things when she asked Prerna who was sitting at the corner of her room and crying,she keeps her on her lap and kissed her forehead,said”oh my dear you are such a brave girl why are you crying with these small issues,its a beginning my child, you will face more bigger hurdles in future,if you cross all challenges then only you will achieve your target and I know that you are strong enough to sort out all negativity of your life,so my darling stop crying and lets have dinner together,today Gangu bai prepared all your favourite food”they went together and had their meal.
Today after one month Prerna’s getting ready for new school , Jyoti bought new school bag,lunchbox , waterbottle, pencilbox, new school dress, shoes, she is looking very happy in new makeover. Now she is prepared to start a new journey of her life to fly high in sky with her feathers broad open freely.Its not that easy to adjust in a new environment where she don’t know anyone, classmates neglected her as in convent school she don’t know how to speak in English, nobody befriend with her, but she remembered words of Teacher ji and never got tensed ,as she knew’ one day i will prove myself with my best performance and who are neglecting me today, will definitely admire me tomorrow.’
Days went on Prerna attends school everyday, without shying asks her doubts with particular subject teacher and at home with Teacherji.Slowly and slowly she is also learning how to speak English from Jyoti.Her final exams are beginning from next week,she works hard, Jyoti also helps her in studies.Prerna give her papers and tomorrow after two weeks result will be announced.At night she is a bit nervous what will happen tomorrow.Day comes for result announcement,Prerna reach school and sits with Jyoti,auditorium is full with teachers,students and their parents,Principal comes on stage announces all results and called one by one those who came first,second ,third of each class,among them was one name”Prerna,class 5c First,please come on stage take your trophy”.
Prerna was mum as she thought her ears heard something wrong,Jyoti shook her and confermed” yes what you heard is right comeon go and have it dear”she shivered with joy and goes on stage,receives trophy,certificate and shake hand with Pricipal who asked her to say some words,says excitedly in English”Respected teacher and my dear friends,I am Prerna from a very small place,my father is a labour who sent me here to fulfill my ambition with my Teacherji,whom I pray like God and admire her who helped me to sort out my challenges after coming to this big town Mumbai and whatever I received today its all because of her,I love you Teacherji,Thankyou”.Everone present there gives a round of applaus to her,Jyoti hugs Prerna.From next day all her classmates came to her says sorry for their bad behavior and befriend her.
Time went on, Prerna for good performance received scholarship till class tenth,after that she gave maths and science tuitions for two reasons,one for revision as was preparing for both plus two and engineering entrance exams,she said’ Practice makes man Perfect’, other she was an altruistic girl, wanted to earn extra income to buy books,forms and do some savings for further studies as she don’t want to be dependent on Jyoti for each and everything.Now she completed her plus two with 92%marks and after two attempts got selected in IIIT,she applied for study loan and did engineering from a reputed college with mechanical trade,generally girls don’t go for mechanical but she did as she loved taking challenges. Just like Teacherji,Prerna spent her leisure time teaching orphanage kids.
During four years of studies she made very few friends among them was Kavita,who was daughter of Mr.Jain,vice-chancellor of their college.He disliked Prerna due to her background so asked Kavita not to befriend her as she belongs to a lower class,but she liked Prerna as she was hard working and a nice human being,so she can’t stop meeting her.In last year topnotch companies came for campus selection everybody including Jyoti were very sure about Prerna’s selection,but everytime as we know things never happens the same,her heart broke as she worked hard but wasn’t selected,but was happy for Kavita getting offer letter from a reputed firm in Banglore.
All classmate were shocked that how could Kavita get campus as she was not that good student.Jyoti boost up Prerna saying not to loose heart as she will get more better chances in future and should prepare for off campus now.Prerna gave some interviews and got selected for a good industry in Mumbai itself but not better than Banglore firm for which Kavita received offer letter,she don’t loose hope as she is very excieted to work with salary of 25000/-perk p.m.
Jyoti tells Prerna to inform this good news to her Baba Raghu who was waiting from a long time to talk with her daughter,she calls “Hello Baba!your Gudiya has proven it,now I’ll get salary of25000/-per month,its all because of your and Teacherji blessings and my native people good wishes”.After listening this Raghu’s eye filled with tears of happiness blessed her daughter and said it all happened due to her focus on goal and hard work. Prerna with excitement and confidence joins the company as a Mechanical Engineer and gave her best to it.
Six years later,management was happy with Prerna’s labor and devotion to work,hence promoted asGeneral Manager with good increment and bonus.One Sunday Prerna having breakfast with Teacherji ,doorbell rang,Gangubai opens door, Kavita is there.Prerna get surprised as she was in Banglore, they were not in contact for six years as Kavita avoided her calls,Prerna hugs Kavita,who was looking a bit upset and asks her to come inside.After talking for a while,Prerna comes to know about Mr.Jain’s death due to heart attack,Kavita is having financial crunch as she lost her job in recession,so for hunt of job she came to Mumbai,has interview tomorrow in Prerna’s company itself for the post of Assistant Manager,she came for help from her.Prerna gives her sympathy and asks her to meet tomorrow in office after lunch time in her cabin,she went back.Jyoti asks in shock”Dear! How could you forget,Kavita is Mr.Jain’s daughter,who during campus interview in college bribed selection committee to disqualify you and give your offer letter to his daughter,now you will help his daughter who wanted to spoil your career”
Prerna was silent for sometime then she said with a bit smile”Yes I remember everything what Raju one of my classmate informed me about this,but you only taught me Teacherji that if an enemy also come and ask for help at your door help them, and Kavita is my good friend.What Mr.Jain did to me was my past so I am not bothered at all, since today because of God and you I happily achieved what I wanted”.
She lives rest of her life happily and achieved more and more success without any worries,and proved to everyone including Meena’Upshaguni’is no more burden on earth.It was a tight slap on corruption and corrupted people in society whether at home,institution,or workplace, who restrict escalation of girls like Prerna and was a lesson to all aspiring women who want to do achieve something in their life,but fears to start,they have to understand’ God helps those who help themselves ‘who knows someone like Jyoti who came as mentor in Prerna’s life, is waiting in your way to support and guide you. Inside every women there should be fire to target real goal of their life if they want to live in the word of ecstasy and long survive.