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The Awakening

Tired and sleepy, Aruna moved towards the lamp turning the flame high. She gathered the books and continued her studies. Aruna was almost 8 years now, her mother managed to earn some money by working as a servant in Verma's house.

Aruna's father worked in a village hospital in Polasa, Andhra Pradesh as a sweeper, but Cholera came as a dagger and took his life. All the burden of earning was handled by Aruna's mother.

The little girl did almost every household work; from looking after his 2-year-old brother, cooking food, cleaning the utensils, sweeping the floor, washing clothes she worked all day. The good thing was she never complained.

Her mother returned home at night and helped Aruna cooking the meal for the night. Neighbors sympathized but never came for help. Aruna even had to drop school due to a financial crunch and also to look after her brother. Aruna never loses interest in studying which was instilled in her during her 2years of schooling.

"Education makes one rich from within," Aruna's father told her when he admitted her to the nearby school. Her father used to save money firstly for her education and then for the household. Like every father, he also desired Aruna to be successful and earn more.

It was a wonderful morning when Aruna was going to fetch water from the nearby pond. On the way, she stopped at one of the houses where she saw a gathering of students. MS coaching classes, it was opened recently by one of the teachers who gave tuitions of maths and Science.

"Hello! May I know what are you doing here?" Aruna was baffled and gazed up. It was a young boy who looked very decent.

" I came to fetch water."

"Don't you go to school?" Queried the boy.

"No, not now, I used to go 2 years back."

"In which class do you read? and why you do not go to school?"

Aruna was nervous talking at first but gradually she seemed to open up.

"I would have been in class 4 if I was in school but after my father's death I had to end my schooling,"

Aruna answered with a heavy heart.

"Hi I am Vaibhav, I come to study in MS coaching classes. If you want I can help you to study."

Vaibhav was studying in class 8 and was ready to help Aruna study.

"Meet me tomorrow at this time."

Aruna gave a nod and went to fetch water.

Since then Vaibhav has been giving his previous years books to Aruna to study. Every night, after Aruna is done with the household work she studied under the lamp. Seeing her dedication to study her mother was ready to send her to school, even her brother was grown up now who could go along with his mother to work.

But Aruna's mother and Aruna now faced extreme alienation and the reason for that was Aruna getting too much in touch with Vaibhav. The village people falsely blamed Aruna of been too intimate with Vaibhav and study was just an excuse. People stared at them with a humiliating glance, gossiped and some taunted. Aruna's mother did not understand it, first, she was angry and asked Aruna not to talk to the Vaibhav.

"What could I do if people get me wrong? I am not doing anything shameful." Screamed Aruna.

"Even you know how much I want to study."

Mother replied in a harsh tone: "We need to live in this village and I do not want to live where people do not respect us."

"Try to understand maa, these people are just saying anything. They never helped us when we were in need. Let them say, I am not doing anything wrong maa. Please let me study."

With this, there was utter silence for a day in the house. Neither Aruna was wrong nor her mother, but the situation is to be blamed.

Aruna's mother broke the silence promising that she would let her study as much as she wants and asked her not to worry about the earning. Aruna was almost in tears and she hugged her mother tight and said "I would make you proud one day."

Village people stopped talking to Aruna's mother, even Aruna was the talk of the village. They could not tolerate her talking to Vaibhav. But as usual,Aruna never gave attention to any of them and just focused on her studies. Years passed and Aruna was a graduate now. She could not imagine how meeting Vaibhav would change her life so drastically. She felt very much blessed.

It was the month of March when Aruna had to go to town for few days. She bid goodbye to her mother and brother. Days later there was an immense fight between the villages Polasa and Patnapur for the water canal. People were in extreme rage.

People were beating each other and the matter turned very serious. The matter was put to the notice of the district office and in no time police arrived to look into the matter. Even the superintendent of police came to inspect the matter.

The village people were shocked, they were shocked to see Aruna coming out of the car of the police superintendent. Aruna came to inspect the matter and gave a warning to the village people to stop such fights and even assured to solve the matter.

During all that time Aruna's mother and brother was seeing everything. People very staring at them,they felt shameful for whatever they said about Aruna. After resolving the issue, she visited her mother. They broke down in tears, it was a feeling of joy and pain all together.

The tears did not stopped.

Why you did not tell me before?

I told you maa, I will make you proud one day.

The village people were astonished to see Aruna as the superintendent of the police in their district. The one who spoke against her were now calling her ma'am, people brought her sweets, gifts and also invited her for dinner.

Aruna's mom was the happiest of all and proud. This was the best feeling not only for her mother but for Aruna as well. It is truly said that success would definitely come to you,just keep working in silence.

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