We need a sturdy horse.
We need to get on it and gallop through the next couple of years . And as we rush past , we catch glimpses of First born growing up , we see Girl stitching, sewing , cooking and cleaning happily for her husband and son.
We also see Girl and Boy becoming the proud parents of another son !!
We see the two boys becoming the greatest of buddies...we also mark how often poeple take the two boys to be twins.
The same milk white complexion,dark brown eyes, pink lips, the same sharp features .
As we come to a halt and get down our respective horses, we see that FB(first born) is in class 4 and SB(Second born) is in class 2.
Though the financial condition is still not very good, yet slowly but steadily, the popularity of Boy as a doctor is on the rise.
Boy is now spending more and more time at the clinic ;the kids are going to school and are beginning to show their worth there and Girl, for the first time in many years , now has some hours to herself.
When I began telling you this tale,a month agao, I started with information about Girl's academic background. For those who do not remember, Girl had studied only till class 4. No matter how much she herself wanted to study and no matter how much her mother wanted her to study, girls were not allowed to study and nothing could be done about it.
(aah...we again come across this word )
Girl had her husband's example. He had pursued his dream of becoming a doctor against everyones wishes and whats more he had actually succeeded in doing what he wanted to.
Girl had been married for over 13 years now and she had stopped studying about 25 years ago, but now there were books at home; books belonging to FB and SB.
Girl could read and write Bengali easily, could write a little bit of Hindi and knew nothing of English.
But... she wanted nothing more than to study.
She wanted nothing more than to be an educated person.
She knew that Boy would never allow her to got to school again.
She knew her Mother in law would make life hell for her if she found out about Girl.
And what about society?
Surely, Doctor sahib's wife cannot go to school .
So, then she started sitting with FB and SB when FB would teach his younger brother , the Hindi alphabets.
'ka, kha ga gha ', FB would say in a loud and clear voice.
'ka kha ga gha', SB would repeat in a timid voice.
'ka kha ga gha', Girl would say in her head.
She would have a look at the letter 'ka' written on the slate by SB ; and spend the next day looking for the letter in the Hindi newspaper that they used to get each morning.
When there was no one at home, she would take out the newspaper and stare at it for hours trying to locate her letter for the day ; talking to herself all the while.
There is 'ka'...ohh..and there it is again...what could it mean...what is the editor saying? Is he talking about Kanpur? or about a Kabutaar??
Ohhh..If only I could put in how words how badly Girl wanted to read, how enticing the world of books appeared to her.
How helpless she felt.
Tucked away in the remotest of corners were thin paper bound books , SB's old books which Girl would take out when no one would be home, books that would be quickly shoved under the low stool that Girl sat on as she cooked if somone entered the kitchen while she was studying her letters.
Then Girl came to a decision.
Shoving aside all pride...Girl decided to do something which if her husband found out , she was sure to be thrown out of the house.
She went to the boys' school, asked SB's teacher to come out of the class she was teaching and said,
" Main aapke student ki Ma hoon, main padna chahati hu, kya aap mujhe padhayengi?"