Posted May 23, 2008on:
But, today she made her father proud. Not only she studied till 12th standard, she stood first in the state. She was the first in her family to study so much. Nobody in her relatives had ever seen school beyond 5th standard. She came from a humble family. Her father’s income was not enough sometimes to even meet their daily meals. But she studies and studied hard! Today, she was eligible for any professional course she chose.
She wanted to become a doctor and serve her village people. It was difficult to get proper drinking water let alone proper medical care. The health status of her village was really pathetic. In the name of a hospital there was just a small room at the outskirts of the village where people were supposed to get free medical services. But the doctor on duty was hardly present and the nurses and the compounder sold the government supply medicines which was suppose to be free for all. This village of 5,000 people, on an average, lost not less than 10 children per year to one illness or another and no body bothered. No body cared.
But now Sakshi thought that one day she would change this scenario. She will become doctor and come here and serve her people!
But her dream was shattered when she heard her father talking to some people from the neighboring village about her marriage. Marriage? She was just 17 and what about her dream to become doctor?
She pleaded with her father.
“You have studied a lot. Look at other girls of your age. They are already settled in their lives!” he reasoned.
“But, Daadu I will get admission in medical college. I want to become a doctor. Think Daadu, your chinku will become a doctor.” She argued.
“Look here Chinku, I can hardly earn enough to make ends meet. And also you will not get a good match later if you study so much and I can not take care of you forever. I am not getting any younger, you know.”
“But Daadu, I will get scholarship. Everything will be paid by the government. You will not have to spend anything. Please, Daadu, pleeeeease….” She kept on pleading and crying but to no vain.
Not that her father didn’t love her. He loved her very much. She was his only child. That is how he let her study till 12th when everybody was against it. He could not see his child unhappy. But enough was enough. She has to get married. Who will marry her if she became a doctor? In their cast the boys hardly studied till 4th or 5th standard. Who will marry a girl who is a doctor? It never occurred to him that his daughter is special and can do a lot of things in life other that just getting married. So the decision was made and she had to get married.
Within 15 days. Chapter closed!
She saw her husband for the first time after marriage. He smiled at her a genuine smile. But Sakshi was too distraught to even respond. Suddenly he came close to her. Sakshi cringed. But instead of touching her he said he wanted to talk to her on an important topic. Talk? She was surprised!
“I know you are the brightest girl of our village. I am so lucky to marry you.” He said.
Sakshi did not say anything. She did not even want to be reminded that she studied so much. What was the point? Nothing mattered now. She just looked at her new husband without any emotion. She was not even angry!
“I know you want to become a doctor,” he continued. “But I am not sure how to help you in that. You tell me what to do and I promise you that you will study. Study to you heart’s content.”
Sakshi was dumb founded. She could not believe her ears. She just starred at Biju. She didn’t know what to say.
“I am not joking. I just want you to know that you are my wife and you are my responsibility. I cannot afford much but I will take some loan from the landlord to pay the fees and all and we can pay that back once you finish your studies.” He was going on.
“No, no, you don’t have to take any loan. Since I stood first in the State I am eligible for the scholarship and my studies will be sponsored by government. And anyways, Education is free for girls in our state.” She said excitedly. She forgot that this was her first night with Biju and now she was married to him. She just hugged Biju tightly and thanked him over and over again. This made Biju blush profusely. But he also hugged her in return. And their hug went on to a small, tentative shy kiss. From there nature took over and they made love.
The next few days were very hectic for Sakshi. Biju was always there with her. Ultimately she got admission in B. J. Medical College, Ahmedabad.
She was so excited! But then Biju and Sakshi realized that her dream of becoming a doctor came with a price. She will have to stay in the hostel for atleast four and half years or Biju has to shift to the city. Biju shifted to Ahmedabad as soon as he could manage. Sakshi studied hard. Biju took up a job as a bell boy at a hotel. And earned enough to sustain them both.
Today, they both were standing in front of the “Biju Maternal and Child Care Hospital “(Sakshi insisted on this name!). Biju was so proud of Sakshi!
Lilapur village was showering blessings over their daughter who had not forgotten her roots and had come back to serve her own people. Sakshi looked at Biju fondly, who now helped her in management of the hospital. She knew whatever she was today, it was because of him. She not only loves him dearly, but respects him for what he was and what he made out of her.