Soldier For Women - I
“Men are beasts. Hungry bastards” were some of the voices that I could hear in the background where a group of student was excoriating the whole men community for the Delhi Rape case, April 2013 ( this time the victim is just 5-years old). But somewhere deep in the heart, I denied blaming all the men. I held a strong conviction that howsoever brutal and cruel some men can be, but the goodness of another few always outweighs the asperity of those mongrels. While I talked to Anurag Yadav today, my conviction came out to be true.
Date- June 8, 2010
A young student pursuing his B.tech from Academy of Business and Engineering Sciences, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, was searching for a part-time job not to add to his finances but to foster his interest of spreading knowledge. He was knocked down from eleven coaching institutes. But the never-say-die spirit of Anurag made him ring the bell of twelfth coaching institute, Student Academy, Pratap Vihar, Ghaziabad. The lady luck smiled and the door opened welcoming Mr. Anurag Yadav to pursue his desire of teaching(part-time). But with the T&C label, he was asked to teach a girl who was said to be extremely weak in studies (concluded by the institute persons as per her results. This makes me feel pity for such persons who analyze a student’s potential with just a number game). No other teacher was ready to teach that girl but our hero took this challenge. The girl was economically strained so was not even able to pay off the entire fees but again our hero promised to teach her for free.
The new sun was the symbol of his embarkment on his new mission. A shy girl togged in salwar kurta entered the class with her eyes leading her trudging feet. Afraid and diffident, she shrunk in a chair. Anurag tried to make her comfortable starting off with simple concepts. But things didnt work well. There was something else which was annoying the girl which was easily noticed by his eyes. Two days passed but nothing got on track. It seemed as if her brain was stuck somewhere and she was struggling hard to pull out from the loophole. The next day Anurag went a little early so that he didnt have to rush for his college. It was the intensity of this challenge which drove him to manage his schedule between coaching institute and his college. He used to go to the coaching institute at 5.45 a.m. to take the classes from 6-8 a.m. and then rush to college at 8.30 a.m.
Three days had passed and still Anurag was struggling with his student. As soon as the girl arrived, Anurag welcomed her with a gentle smile.
Good morning Richa!
Good Morning Bhaiya!
How are you doing today?
So blank good. Say what you feel or feel what you say.
She kept mum.
You are good at studies. Then why have you stuck to red 'F's from past two years and a compartment this year?
Bhaiya! first time I failed because I hadn't burnt enough of the midnight oil. Second time fate blew off my lamp, my father passed away and I was not able to come out of that trauma. And this time I feel like a withered leaf waiting to get buried into the soil.
Every child is full of potential and so are you. You are a bud which has to blossom into a flower. Never abash yourself. Whatever you are is perfect. Where does this flower wish to blossom at?
In the hospital as Dr. Richa serving my people so that I can put oil into some dying lamps to brighten them again.
Great! You just aspire for this dream and we will together make this dream come true. Now it's my duty to make you wear the white coat.
That day was a turning point in their lives and it seemed they finally had a sound sleep after years of toil.
Anurag was now more of a mentor to Richa. He tried his best to bring the best out of Richa. Anurag was given the challenge of making the girl yield a positive result in a short span of 17 days. Those 17 days turned out to be the best days where the student and the teacher put in their best of the efforts to reap a good result. Both of them developed an unique bond, as per the academic field- student and teacher, as per the Indian culture- brother and sister, as per the humanity- two strangers drawing water from the same well to quench their thirst of self-satisfaction.
In Anurag's words- Those 17 days, 2 hours each day, filled me with an exotic feeling. First time I got to know what satisfaction is? How much pleasure it gives in helping others? Rest of the words got choked in his throat with his glistened eyes speaking more than his unsaid words.
I have always believed in the power of words. And Anurag exercised this power. His mighty words woke up the dormant soul of Richa. She was filled with new zeal and enthusiasm to live her dreams which she has been weaving since her childhood. In Richa's words as narrated by Anurag- "Bhaiya! What I dream is what I'll become".
After a break, Anurag came back to answer all the questions popping in my mind.
After the short academic rendezvous of 17 days, the girl was back to her city (Bulandshahar). Anurag was helping to make Richa realize her potential. One fine day in August 2010, as Anurag came out of the class, a pleasant surprise awaited him. Richa was waiting for him with one of his uncles. A sparkle tinkled in Anurag's eyes to see her with her face speaking of their victory.
Bhaiya! I did it. First class- 60%.
You did everything. I did something. So ready to step ahead?
Yes! I have climbed the first step. Now I can surely reach at the top.
You can do what you desire to.
The calm breeze embracing the two souls with an eternal sense of self-satisfaction and victory blew around them. This was the last time when Anurag bade an adieu to Richa for her bright future.
Those days mobile phones were not common man's privilege. So, no contact could be made by any of them. Meanwhile, Richa joined some coaching institute for PMT (Pre - Medical Test) to pursue her dream but wasn't supported by her family. But she being a brave girl, mentored by someone so chivalrous didn't give up so easily and started taking tutions to manage her finanaces and pay off the fees of coaching institute. It is heart wrenching to know how a family sees a girl as burden and forces her to sacrifice her dreams at the altar of marriage. Richa's condition exacerbated when she chased her dream with Anurag's trust in her by going against her family. The family refused to make her study anymore and didn't pay a penny for her impoverished dreams. She became physically weak pulling herself between studies and job to feed herself. As a result, she fell ill. As Anurag came to know about this through some source, he tried to help her financially but the brave lady chose to fight alone with the nasty circumstances to win. Months passed and the girl was grappling in her hometown.
It was January 1, 2012.
An unknown number appeared on Anurag's cell.
Hello bhaiya! It's Richa here, remember me.
Hi Richa! How can I forget you. No contact since past 5 months.
I'm still in battlefield. I assure I'll emerge as the victor.
The line got disconnected. This was the last call made by Richa from a local PCO assuring of a win. Anurag was happy to make a difference. He was satisfied to help a stranger and make her believe in her potential and do justice with her dream inspite of all odds and oppressions from family.
As Anurag completed his narration, an eerie silence reigned. I broke the silence with, "Hats off to you Anurag. People like you are real soldiers."
P.S. Richa couldn't be contacted again after her last call. But we hope that she will call soon to throw us into party shoes. Anurag is my colleague who stood for this girl winning this honorary post from me. Thank-you Anurag for this generous act. I hope many Anurag (s) are helping some Richa (s) to make this land a happy land.
Hioy'oy Hoi Polloi