Offering To The Preceptor
Offering To The Preceptor11 mins 372 11 mins 372
Deepa and Prakash were students of Lucknow University deeply in love with each other. They had many dreams but still, they were peaceful with their studies. In the company of Prakash, she felt secure and happy. Prakash asked Deepa,” How long are we going to secretly meet like this?” When are you going bring light to this Prakash’”
Deepa smiled looking at Prakash and said,” Light is the ultimate goal of a lamp ( Deepa). Without light its existence is meaningless. But….”
“But what?”Prakash asked impatiently.
“You know that I am doing research and how important it is. Twenty fours hours a day are too short for me to complete my thesis. If I marry now, I may be failing in my responsibilities”. said Deepa
“There are many servants in my house and so you may not be required to do any work. You may be able to complete your thesis comfortably.” Prakash tried to convince her.
Deepa who was lying with her head on the lap of Prakash at the bank of Gomati river, behind the university, got up suddenly dusting the sands from her clothes. She said, “Yes, I know Prakash. By trying to understand that whenever I take up some work I complete it. When I write a thesis, I will only be writing a thesis. When I love, I love only. During that period I will not allow any servant to come to you with a cup of tea and loiter near you or allow him to touch your clothes. Only we too will be there.No third person will come in between us. So please wait for some more time. My thesis is about to be completed. After that, we may tell our people about our love.”
“OK, as you please,” said Prakash bowing before her which made Deepa smile heartily once again. After MSc, Deepa got a scholarship from UGC. She had secured the maximum number of marks, So Prof. Kumar gladly allowed her to do research under his guidance.
Prof. Kumar was a handsome person from an affluent family. Everyone in the university recognized his merit. It was a dream for all research scholars to work under him. Everyone admitted that even if Prof. Kumar picks up ordinary clay, it would turn into gold.
Deepa strived hard to write the thesis. Everything went on fine for two years. Prof. Kumar guided her well. But in the third year, he started showing his disinterest. Apart from using the university library Deepa, through the medium of the internet, started referring to the libraries of other countries. She prepared her papers, waking late at night, but Prof. Kumar had no time to read them. They remained inside the cupboard untouched for months.
Deepa could not understand the reasons for his changed attitude. She tried to ask him but Prof. Kumar simply avoided her. The scholarship normally got discontinued after three years but still, due to the indifference of Prof. Kumar, Deepa could not complete her thesis.
In the meantime, Deepa met Prakash. Both of them liked each other. Their love got developed very fast. Prakash wanted to set up his family soon but Deepa wanted to marry only after her thesis was ready.
Because of the eagerness shown by Prakash, Deepa could complete her thesis. Her thesis was lying with Prof. Kumar for over a month but still, he had not seen it. Deepa was upset due to this. Because without his approval she would not get the degree of Ph.D.
After meeting Prakash one day Deepa decided to talk to Prof. Kumar clearly. The next day, getting an opportunity, Deepa asked,” Sir, I felt that you are annoyed with me for the last year.”
“It is not so.”Prof. Kumar said with a little indifference.
“Sir, if it is not so, why don’t you read my thesis”.Please tell me what I lack in my efforts.” Deepa made a request politely.
“What is the use of telling the deficiency?”Prof. Kumar said removing his specs and placing on the table.
“Sir, You may please advice. I shall make good that deficiency in all respect.” Deepa’s tone was sober.
Prof. Kumar told looking at Deepa’s face,” You have not given your guide the Guru Dakshina.”
“Oh! Is it? Had you told me earlier, I could have fulfilled your desire long back”. She gave a mild smile and asked: “Please let me know what would you like to have as Guru Dakshina.?”
“Hope you will not go back on your words? “ Prof. Kumar asked looking at Deepa sharply.
“Sir, If you command, I shall cut my thumb and place at your feet like Ekalavya”.Deepa’s eyes were filled with the mark of respect.
“The thumb of Ekalavya!”Prof. Kumar smiled mildly and continued, This is an old practice.”Ekalavya had ruined his career by his emotions. In the modern age, we think of making a career only. Today both the teacher and students have progressive ideas. If the teacher takes Dakshina, the career of the student gets added luster”
“Yes, I know it, Sir. The student working for research under you get a respectable placement. Only for that reason, I am keen to obey your order.” the tone of Deepa showed her total reverence.
Having heard Deepa, Prof. Kumar closed his eyes for a moment, and told in a whispering tone, “ “ I don’t need much. I need only what other respectable guides ask for.”
“My family members will be going out tomorrow. You may come to my house for two nights only. Your thesis will get cleared.”Prof. Kumar assured her.
As if many volcanoes have erupted suddenly.As if hundreds of lightening have struck down. As if the whole universe has got exploded. Deepa’s remained stunned with her mouth wide open. She lost consciousness for a while. She could not believe her ears and whatever she had heard.
“You have not replied?” Prof Kumar broke Deepa’s stupor.
This brought a continuous flow of tears to dizzy Deepa. With great difficulty, the words came forth from her lips, “Sir, I am like your daughter”
“Oh come on baby! Be practical. Nowadays the relationship between the teachers and students is like between friends.”Prof. Kumar smiled mischievously and told it firmly,” The decision lies with you. If you can establish a friendship with me I shall groom your life or else your efforts of all these years will go in vain.”
Deepa did not give any reply. She left the place covering her face with hands. The picture of idealism broke in a moment. Men always thought that women were an object for sensual pleasure. Prof. Kumar also thought that she was only a woman. Her intellect, her devotion, her capabilities, and her efforts carried no value in his estimate.
Deepa revered him for being an ideal teacher but he proved himself to be not a worshiper of God but of sensualities. She could realize that her existence was becoming meaningless. In the eyes of Prof. Kumar she was not a student endowed with the highest number of marks, but a mere bundle of live flesh. Not a woman but a machine for quenching the heat of the men’s body. This was the evaluation of her efforts to date. Was he giving due respect to her talents?
The more Deepa thought about it the more she suffered the pains. The insult dried up the tears in her eyes. Her blood flowing through her veins got frozen. It was futile to live in a world where there was no respect. Death was preferable to insults. She must put an end to her life. Probably that would be a lesson to Prof. Kumar. He must be ashamed of his act. If it doesn’t happen that way will he not allure others, like an expert hunter, to get snared into his nets? Deepa got a jolt in her thought.
She should raise her voice against injustice. Prof. Kumar should get punished for his actions.But how? He has such a stronghold in the administration of the university that none may like to do any harm to him. The career of a person will be ruined instead. Does it mean that one should get reconciled with the situation? Should the exploitation of women be allowed to continue? Deepa could not make a decision even when she wanted.
She was turning and tossing on her bed. The thoughts came to her, one after the other. She had determined the course of action when she got up the next day. She called Prof. Kumar on phone and said,” Sir, you wanted me to go to your house for two nights but I am ready to go to your house for my entire life”.
“It is not necessary.”You come only for two nights. That will be enough.” Prof Kumar told sarcastically.
“ OK Sir, I shall come in the evening.” Said Deepa and disconnected her phone. Thereafter she called Prakash, who was in his office, and told,” Prakash I wish to meet your family members tonight itself”.
“But I am going out on official work today, “said Prakash.
“ Please change your plan, Prakash. Because I want to decide about my life today itself” Deepa told assertively. Can't you do this much for me?” Deepa made an appeal.
“I can give my life for you. To face my family members is simple” Prakash laughed.
“OK, I shall be in front of your office by 5-00PM,” Deepa told and disconnected the line. Although Deepa had chalked out her plans still she was in turmoil. It was difficult for her to pass the time. The needles of the clock were moving slower today. She got ready by 5 O’ clock and reached in front of Prakash’s office. Prakash was waiting for her in his car. Soon he started moving towards his house along with Deepa. She kept silent throughout. Prakash did not think it proper to disturb her. He thought that she was preparing herself to face the situation.
Prakash parked his car in the courtyard of his big bungalow. Holding his hand on Deepa’s shoulder he told lovingly,” Deepa don’t get scared. Daddy is a nice person. I am confident that he will accept you”.
“I know your dad very well.”Deepa looked at Prakash with her big eyes.
“How will you not know? You were his student.” Prakash gave a smile.
“Not only I remained his student, still I am his student”.
“What does it mean”
“I complete my research only under him,” Deepa told mildly.
“Are you doing research under my daddy?”Prakash jumped and staring Deepa he told,” I had asked the name of your guide several times but you didn’t tell me?”
I wanted to complete my research with my own efforts and ability. Had I told you the name of my guide you would have definitely recommended me to your daddy and throughout my life, I would have repented that I got my Ph.D. on recommendation and not on merit” Deepa’s voice became a little serious.
“You are great Deepa. Really you are great. Today my daddy, seeing you in another mission, might get surprised. Prakash kept his hand on the shoulder of Deepa with love and signaled her to get down.
Closing the car door, Prakash took Deepa inside his house. Prof Kumar got surprised to see Prakash coming along with Deepa. He could not understand how they both came together. He asked “ Prakash, you were supposed to go out on official work today, straight from your office.”
“Yes, but Deepa insisted that I should arrange her meeting with you today itself,” Prakash said smilingly.
“What meeting?” Prof Kumar’s voice showed his fear of the unexpected.
“Sir, you wanted me to be with you for two nights, but your son wants me to be with him in this house forever,” Deepa told stressing each and every word.
Sadak, Sadak, Sadak. As if the whip fell on a bareback. Prof Kumar’s entire body trembled. He had not even imagined such a thing to happen. Deepa had scratched his mask in one stroke. She disrobed him before his son. His face became pale. It looked as though someone has sucked his entire blood.
Prakash also was speechless. For a few minutes, he could not understand what to do. Then by holding Deepa’s arm, he asked her,” Deepa, are you in your senses? Do you know what you are doing?”
“Yes, I know very well. Perhaps you do not know what Guru Dakshina your daddy wanted from me for completing my research” Deepa told very clearly.
Prakash took out his arm from Deepa and looked at Prof. Kumar, a little confused. He could not still believe that whatever Deepa tells have some truth. Prof. Kumar had no guts to face his son, Prakash. He bowed his eyes.
“ Daddy….”Prakash’s voice trembled due to disbelief.
“Prakash, had I wanted, I could have kept silent throughout my life. But Prof Kumar’s morale would have got boosted. He would have made someone else a victim and would have tarnished the sacred relationship between the teachers and the students. That precisely was the reason for me to speak the truth. Pardon me, if you can. I am going far away from you” Deepa told looking at the direction of Prakash. She had tears in her eyes.
“Why do you ask for pardon?”Prakash asked Deepa. For a while his face showed the sign of turbulence but he spoke assertively, “ Deepa I loved you till today but from today my respect has grown for you. I accept you wholeheartedly.
“But it may not be possible” Deepa gave her final verdict.
“Why was it not possible?”Prakash asked in anguish.
Deepa cast a glance towards Prakash with love and told calmly,” Had I not told the truth your daddy could not have seen me eye to eye. Maybe that he has forgotten the responsibilities of a teacher, but I have not forgotten the responsibilities of a student. So instead of feeling the guilt of an insult before a daughter-in-law throughout his life, I give him salvation.This is my Guru Dakshina.
By telling this she left the scene abruptly. None had the courage to stop her.
‘‘गुरू -दक्षिणा’’-Sanjeev Jaiswal