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story : cremation of dreams

Durga ShiwakotiLast Seen: Mar 21, 2024 @ 6:40am 6MarUTC
Durga Shiwakoti
@DurgaBanwasi

20th March 2024 | 3 Views

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story: cremation of dreams

 

Seeta, an orphanage girl at her early childhood was brought up by her poor but wide-hearted aunt (father’s sister) along with her three children without any prejudice. Understanding her situation, Seeta, too, studied very hard, engaging herself in household tasks and caring for the three below her. Having a sharp intention towards studies, she passed the SLC secondary level] exams in the first division from the Government school at her village. Her aunt was more delightful that day.


Now, the extreme poverty of her aunt was a great barrier for her further studies. Besides, the other three were also a great challenge. Knowing all conditions and Seeta’s vast desire for further studies, the Headmaster of her school took her to the town where, he, already had talked to a Human Rights Activist, he had known a little. The activist had opened a school with some other friends. He managed Seeta’s residential problem in the hostel of the school. She got a chance to study for free in college. Instead, she had to work in the hostel such as cleaning the hostel and taking care of the children. Seeta was really very much grateful to her Headmaster and the activist as well.
She didn’t get a salary as the activist had told her that instead of salary, she was sent to the college. Actually, he had managed for her free education at college. Knowing about the exploitation of her labor, she was a bit shocked but after all she was happy that she had a golden chance of further studies. 

 

She wanted to relieve some financial difficulties of her aunt but she was penny less. Dreaming of the future, she tried to pacify herself. In heart, she was determined to return the fruit to her aunt after completing her education.


The activist himself was the Chairperson of that school and hostel. So, his frequent visit to the hostel along with some other members was common. Most of them admired her manners, she felt so glad. The Chairperson frequently paid interest on her studies. She had a vast faith and honor for him. In that unknown town, he was like her guardian.


Getting rid of the hardship of rural-life and taking balanced food on time in the hostel; she was getting better and more beautiful per day. However, the teen age of 16-17 is indeed a charming age. She was frequently sending letters to aunt in the address of the Headmaster. He used to deliver himself and sometimes in the hands of her children. Aunt was also writing to her with the help of children. Sometimes, she used to make phone calls from the Headquarters standing in a queue for a long time.


Seeta entered the office of the Chairperson taking a cup of tea for him. He gave a glance towards her from top to bottom and told to have a seat on the sofa. She was a little scared as she had never felt such a look from him. She sat at a corner on the sofa. Staring at her for a while, he said with a mysterious smile- “Listen Seeta, we have managed for your free food, lodging and education. Don’t you have some responsibilities to make us happy?”


“Anything wrong Sir?” She asked in a thin, panicked voice.


“I don’t mean so, but sometimes, you also need to ask about our necessities.”  He explained.


She couldn’t understand the actual meaning. Studying her appearance, he stood up from the chair and sat near her. She moved a bit far. With a diplomatic smile on his lips, he said- “Now, you are a grown -up beautiful lady, Seeta! Though you are good looking, you should be more charming and beautiful. I’ll bring some fine clothes, jewels and cosmetics for you. Always beautify yourself. After a few days, some foreign guests are coming. They will stay in this hostel for a month. You have to take care of them regarding their food, lodging and OTHER necessities. If they’d be pleased, we’ll be well benefited.”


Now, she understood a little. With a trembling tone, she hardly asked- “What kind of benefit sir?” 


They will offer donations to our school and enough money and gifts to you as well. If you pleased them and us, it’d be good for your poor aunt as well. You can help her with money. After SEE exams, call her daughter too. I’ll manage even for her living and studies. Then, you all will be happy forever, understand?”


Seeta was deeply shocked. Her face turned white and pale. Immediately, she tried to recover it because she knew- she was not in the condition of denying him, otherwise it might be more troublesome. She knew the reality inside the coverage of so-called ‘Human Rights Activists.’


“Hey Seeta, what are you thinking? Whatever I said, that’s all for your advantage, isn’t it?”

 


Y……… y…….. you are right Sir. I’ll try my best. Now, I’ve some work in the kitchen, see you Sir.’ she almost rushed down. 


‘Thank you Seeta, I had hoped for the same from you.’ He was very delighted thinking that the ‘prey’ was in his ‘nest’.


Seeta had no hunger that evening. Pretending to have a headache, she layed on the bed. Whole night, she was unable to sleep. At dawn, she left the hostel. The key of hostel-gate was always with her. She knew-why any male guard was not appointed there. Secretly, she opened the gate and stepped out with her books and the certificates. She couldn’t even go to college. She was afraid either the Chairperson would come there. It was very hard for her to believe in anybody there. She reached the conclusion-‘My aunt is illiterate, several daughters in the village are illiterate. OK, I’ll not study anymore.’ Running and sweating, she reached the bus-park and got on the bus buying a ticket with a little amount she had saved. 


In the late evening, she reached home. How she passed the trekking path of about four hours, she herself didn’t know. Her sudden arrival was unexpected for all. Suddenly, she hugged her aunt. she felt much secure and safe in her loving lap. She cried bitterly, hiding herself in her warm chest. Her aunt touched her hair, speechless. After a few minutes, she stood up. Before anyone uttered a single word, she took out the books and certificates from her bag and put them in the oven where her aunt was cooking meals. All stared at her with great wonder. With each burning page, her dream was also burning. Quiet, calm and fixed, she looked at the fire in which her dreams and desires were burning leaving the ashes only.


                                                                                                                  Durga Banwasi

 

 

Durga ShiwakotiLast Seen: Mar 21, 2024 @ 6:40am 6MarUTC

Durga Shiwakoti

@DurgaBanwasi

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