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The Light In Darkness

The Light In Darkness

11 mins 1.1K 11 mins 1.1K

A couple lived in a small Indian village named Sanpur. The family was very poor and belonged to the aboriginal tribe living in the village. Like others, the family managed bread and butter from the dense forest surrounding the village. Early in the morning, the couple used to go to the forest every day to collect bamboo, bamboo shoots, wood and other forest products. By around six o’clock in the evening on summer days and around five o’clock during winter they came back home everyday spending almost twelve hours in the forest struggling to get the forest products to sell in the nearby city market at the weekend. Sometimes they failed to be present in their normal duty or in the city market for which they had to pay heavy price.

The serene beauty of the village enchanted everyone. The river running nearby through the dense forest with greeneries around was a special attraction for everyone. One could find the forest singing the tune of nature through the smooth sound produced by the gentle flow of the river, the harnessing sound of the breeze slowly touching branches of the tall trees and the song of the birds. The villagers had nothing besides these except the bamboo-made huts that they had erected for themselves.

Though the families were poor, they had developed one common credential – everybody was cordial to others in the village. They helped each other and shared their problems. They always tried to wipe out any problem that any of them encountered. The cohesion among the villagers was an asset. It helped them boldly face any awkward circumstances that might crop up because of an intruder to the village or due to the wild animals. They led a peaceful life because of good rapport among themselves. People admired the fraternity of the villagers.

The villagers worshiped the forest considering it as the Tutelary. On various occasions, they observed festivals at the place where they had been worshiping a wooden log as their deity. They sacrificed animals like goats, sheep and hens to please the deity and after the offerings were over they sat together to take meals there.

The couple was always unhappy. Almost ten years had passed since they were tied up in the knot yet they could not see a bloom in the family. They always prayed God to bless them with a child so that they could have a bountiful family life. All the time they thought that it was a curse upon them. They always blamed themselves for the curse. They talked to each other that it might be due to some wrong deeds committed in the past. They could not recall the events, which they would reason for their sorrow. It was their regular habit to pay a visit to the deity every day. There they used to pray before the deity to bless them with a child.

Every evening they used to see the children playing in the streets in front of their little hut wildly wrapped with the coconut leaves on the roof and with the bamboo sticks as the wall. They were enchanted by the sweet moments that resembled twittering of birds to represent a purple sun and the dancing of daffodils in the cool and smooth breeze. Though the scenario was glamorous, it compounded their woes. They always thought they would have seen their child be there if they had one.

One day, the couple decided to hold a Jagyan. They had the strong belief that if they pleased the tutelary they would surely be blessed with a son. They arranged a good priest for performing the Jagyan. They did not have enough money to meet the expenses in the Jagyan. Yet, they could manage it with the help of their neighbours. On the advice of the priest, they fixed up the day when it was to be organised. Everyone in the village was invited to attend the Jagyan. Of course, it was a tradition in the village that everyone must be present in all functions.

It was a winter day. The couple took bath at dawn, arranged things for the Jagyan and with all those got to the place early in the morning so that they could utilize their time for necessary arrangements. The winter morning inside the dense forest was not so pleasant for the couple. They were trembling out of cold. They did not have enough clothes to get rid of the unpleasant winter. They wanted to have a fire to relieve them off the cold. The couple moved here and there to collect dry wood. They had known that nobody would intrude upon the place at that moment. The villagers, on such occasions, came back home from the forest before noon. They usually went for collecting firewood for themselves and for grazing the cattle. Almost all families had cattle. So, if at all they expected anybody present there it would not be before ten o’clock.

The husband and wife went in different directions. The moment was exciting, full of imagination and obscure happenings. They found that an impugning smell was coming from a direction. The smell gradually became bitter and suddenly they could see a tiger slowly proceeding towards the venue. The couple was dumbfounded, saw at each other and attempted to flee from the spot. While running out in the opposite direction to escape from the tiger they happened to see an old woman coming towards the venue. The old women had her waist bent and the skins shrunk. She indicated towards us raising her stick to stop running. The husband and wife were fearful, did not want to stop. Yet, they stopped merely to tell the old woman that the place towards which she was moving was full of danger. The woman heard all things told by the couple. Then, she asked the couple to come with her. The couple denied to obey her decision out of fear. But, the old woman assured them that there was no such danger there. The couple moved back towards the place accompanied by the old woman. As they reached they saw the big tiger lying in the middle of the place. The old woman told them not to be fearful. She took them near the tiger and told to sit there. The moment the couple sat there the tiger and the old woman vanished. They could see a handful of beautiful flowers where the tiger had lied on. They were surprised by the things that happened in last few moments. They thought that it was the deity who had come to bless them. The Jagyan was performed after the priest and the villagers arrived at the place. In the evening they came back home after having the lunch there.

After a year, their wish was fulfilled. They were blessed with twins in their home. They became very happy to see the two sons. They named the babies Ramu and Shamu. The babies always looked cheerful. The parents spared the time enjoying with the babies.

The babies grew up and brought glory to the family always. Both of them were studying well and achieving success in every competition. They were cordial to their friends both at school and in their neighbor. The teachers praised them for their obedience and remarkable academic performance. One day the school inspector visited the school. When he entered the class in which Ramu and Shamu were there, all students except Ramu stood up at once. The school headmaster was with the inspector. The inspector went near the boy and watched that the boy was busy doing a sum. He was not aware of what was going about in the class. Only he was busy doing his task with full concentration. He couldn’t even notice someone was there in front of him to watch him. The headmaster came near him and said, “Ramu, what are you doing?”. The student immediately raised his head to attend to his teacher’s query. But, he was dumbfounded as he saw that a person was with the school headmaster and all other students were standing. He thought that he could be an important person. He immediately stood up and felt ashamed for not being alert in the class. He told his teacher, “Excuse me, Sir! I was engrossed in doing a sum, which I have been finding difficult for the last few days.” The headmaster wanted to know what the sum was. Ramu showed it to him. The headmaster was surprised. “How could you imagine such a beautiful concept, Ramu?”, the headmaster praised the child slapping on his back. He narrated the child’s activities in the school before the school inspector. The inspector said, “Good job! my boy. Keep on doing this type of hard work. Definitely you will earn distinction one day.”

One day, they had gone to the field to play. The played there and enjoyed very much with their friends. While returning home, Ramu was hit by a speedy car. He was seriously injured. The blood coming out from his face and other parts of the body turned his clothes red. The place, where he fell down, also looked bloody. He was in the right track, the habit that he was used to. It was the fault of the driver that caused injury to him. Immediately, the event witnessed a huge gathering. Someone immediately informed the police who came and took the driver to the police station. The people expressed their sorrows and their affection towards the child. His brother Shamu was crying out of fear. Then he was taken to hospital and was admitted there. His parents arrived the hospital. Ramu’s mother became senseless seeing her child in that condition. The nurses took her away from the child and tried to bring back sense. It took almost half an hour.

The doctor said, “Ramu will have to undergo surgical operation.” The operation was successful but the doctor could not bring him to the normal condition. He came out of the operation theatre and said to Ramu’s father, “We are so sorry. The child has lost his eyes.” Then the doctor moved out of the place. They stayed there for some days. Then Ramu’s parents took him to home. They were very nervous that their child had lost his eyes at the teen age. For all the time since then Ramu was a blind. Everybody in the village shed tears when they saw the child with the guiding stick in his hand and black spectacles on his eyes.

After this incident his father thought that he could not study further. He always remembered how the child had earned glories for the family. He often cried when he saw his child. One day, the school headmaster came to his home to enquire about the condition of the child. He saw Ramu sitting at a lonely place at the backside of his home and thinking something. The headmaster went to him and said, “Ramu, did you get well? When are you going to school?” Ramu’s eyes were full of tears. His father could not tolerate and went out of the place. The headmaster sat near Ramu and slapped him on his back. “Don’t worry, Ramu. Come to the school when you feel well.”, he said. Ramu’s father came and told him, “How can the child continue his study in the school? He has lost his eyes.” Then the headmaster advised him to send the child to the school meant for the blind. His father was ignorant about the school for the blind. He asked, “How will he study? He is not able to see with his eyes.” The headmaster answered, “Do not be so worried. He will definitely study. There is a special language for the blind called Brielle language. The teachers will train how he will have to use it. Please send him to the school.” His father obeyed his advice.

A couple of months later, Ramu was admitted in a school meant for the blind. The school was far away from his home village. The child stayed there in the hostel where he was given free food and boarding. It was a government run school. It took Ramu some months to learn the fundamental things because he was new to the language. He studied hard. He performed well in all activities besides study. He became a topper and an all rounder in that school. He stood first at the state-level.

Shamu was also doing very well in his school. The family was very happy for their performance. But, Shamu did not get the first position in his class. All the teachers were surprised. Shamu’s parents did not lose hope. Shamu was a very good chess player. Although he could not be a topper in the school subjects, he was a brilliant scorer in chess. A day came he represented the nation for chess under seventeen category. He became the world champion. The family became very happy.

The happiness did not last for long. A sorrowful event eroded the happiness in the family. Ramu had come to home on summer vacation. Both Ramu and Shamu, one evening, had gone to the riverbank to enjoy with their childhood friends. Suddenly, a big thunderstorm came. So many children were playing together near the riverbank. When they could feel that a storm was coming, all started running away from that place. But unfortunately both of them with some other children were swept away by the storm. They all lost their life. Those who escaped the storm told about the incident to the villagers. The parents of the children were too much worried about them. They immediately moved to the riverbank. The storm calmed after an hour. The parents found no one there near the riverbank. They could not find the trace of their children. All children had been drawn into the river in the lethal storm. It was a bleak day for Ramu’s parents. The coveted dream found its end there. They prayed, “Oh God! Let others not dream of being full of happiness.” They realized that such a material pleasure was temporary. They engaged them in the service of mankind and searched eternal pleasure within it.

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