Be Someone's Light
Be Someone's Light
It was on Monday the 30th July,2001, Kumud, a school teacher retired from service. On that day, she woke up early in the morning and spent a few minutes praying. Her husband was out of station. She had a peculiar habit of standing before the dressing table mirror. On that day, when she was before the mirror, suddenly her attention was drawn towards her ornamental mangalsutra. She tried to recollect the memories of five years back.
A group of lady walkers early in the morning rushed towards Kumud. She lost her mangalsutra, while walking on the road. It was snatched by a boy riding on a scooter moving very fast. In a fraction of seconds, he was able to finish his work. This incident happened in the presence of lady walkers. Being a teacher, she decided to stop such crimes committed by the boys. She lodged a complaint with the police immediately. Kumud thanked all the ladies, who accompanied her to the police station. The Police Inspector Suryakant assured her to find out the thief of ornamental mangalsutra very soon. Kumud asked Suryakant to show the photo album of necklace snatures to recognise the thief. He appreciated her boldness and told her to see the photos in serial number displayed on the wall. She identified the thief by showing serial number fifteen. Kumud was astonished to see the thief, who snatched her mangalsutra was none other than her own student Sudheer. Just after an hour the police brought the thief to the police station.
"Sir, he is the same boy Sudheer, who has snatched my mangalsutra, " said Kumud.
The boy initially refused to accept his crime. But with the fear of torture, he accepted and returned mangalsutra. Suryakant after completing the official procedure returned mangalsutra to Kumud. The boy stared angrily at Kumud, even after knowing her as his own teacher.
"Why do you stare at me Sudheer? Do you remember, you were my student just five years back. Now you are a grownup boy. This is the age for you to continue your studies. You are one of the brilliant students in my class. Why are you committing crimes? Do you know, if you are arrested you will be sent behind bars. Where are your parents?," asked Kumud, terribly upset.
The boy was continuously weeping and his reply was heartbreaking.
Sudheer replied, "Maam, Last year, I lost my parents in a train accident. I survived with minor injuries. Railways provided me free medical treatment and also gave me monetary compensation for the death of my parents. The compensation money received by cheque was duped by one of my relatives. I became an orphan and stayed in an orphanage. A stolen scooter was given to me by my friend changing the number plate. This is my first crime of snatching your necklace. The management of the orphanage sent me out due to my criminal activities."
He was weeping continuously and prostrated Kumud with emotion.
Kumud out of kindness towards Sudheer decided to change his life. She requested the Police inspector not to punish the boy and she would like to withdraw the complaint. Suryakant didn't agree to free him. Sudheer was kept in police custody for three days and released. He promised Kumud by taking oath that he would not be involved in any criminal activities.
Kumud made arrangements for his admission to 10th standard in her school. She also helped him to get entry in the boys hostel. She paid all the school fees including the hostel. He got through the 10th class examination with first class. Sudheer used to meet Kumud every alternate day. One day, he left the place without informing Kumud. She took all the possible ways to find his whereabouts. But all her efforts were in vain.
Kumud came out of her old memories, when the telephone was ringing. She lifted the phone.
"Hello, maam this is Sudheer calling from Pavanpur. Please excuse me for not informing you, when I left Pavanpur five years back. I went to Mumbai in search of a job. You know, I passed SSLC in first class. I got a job in the Bank of India as a clerk. I continued graduation externally and completed. Today morning, I came to Pavanpur along with my wife Prerana to seek blessings from you. We are waiting outside your house."
Kumud was happy and went to the main door with arati to welcome the couple. At the same time Kumud's husband Manohar arrived.
Couple entered inside and prostrated the elders. Kumud and Manohar blessed the newly married couple and wished for a happy married life. Sudheer gave a closed cover beautifully packed with a request to open it after their departure from Pavanpur.
The news of Kumud helping Sudheer spread in the town. The school in which Kumud was working honoured her with a letter of appreciation and ten thousand rupees cash.
She opened the gift cover given by Sudheer. It was a diamond studded 24 carat gold ring.
Kumud had a strong belief in the saying,
"Be someone's light when they are hopeless."