The Bright Side

The resounding sound made by the alarm was enough to wake Sheela up. Though the alarm rang every day, she was tired of this routine. Her work every day was just this. Waking up at 5 AM; finishing cooking by 7:45 AM; sending off her son and husband; doing the household chores; having lunch; taking a nap for an hour; picking her son up from school; the chores again; eating; sleeping; waking up the next day at 5 AM.

Life had started to become monotonous as she was doing the same thing day in and day out. Sheela had had a dream. A dream to learn English literature and become a lecturer. But, Sheela was educated only till the 5th grade. She was from a traditional and orthodox family where they did not believe in educating girls. She was taught how to do household chores and was married off at the age of nineteen.

To add to her woes, she was tensed because she had to attend her son’s parent-teacher meeting which was scheduled in a week. Her twelve-year-old son, Arjun, studied in an IB school. Sheela felt that to maintain their standards, speaking in English was necessary. In general, Arjun’s father would attend the meetings in school. But this time, he was on a business trip. 

“I always wanted to learn English and become a lecturer. But my family stopped sending me to school from when I was ten. Though I try learning English through some videos, it is arduous to understand. I am going to embarrass myself in front of Arjun’s teacher”, Sheela thought to herself.

Meanwhile, Arjun was thinking about what his grandmother had told him about his mother’s passion for teaching. “Arjun, your mother always says that teachers have the power to change lives. But destiny has written something else for her.” Recollecting this, Arjun was able to relate to his mother’s present mind.  

“Ma, I know that you do not know English and that you have to attend the meeting coming Friday. I remembered how you believe in the power of teaching and hence, I have decided to teach you English in my spare time every day. Is it okay for you, Ma?”, asked a caring Arjun.

Seeing how concerned her son was, her eyes got filled with tears. 

“Thanks a lot, Arjun. I am so glad that you are going to teach me English, though I am the one who is supposed to teach you.”

“No Ma, do not say that. I am more than happy to teach you.”

“But what if I start to stammer in front of your teacher?”

“No, you will not. Have faith and hope in yourself.”

From then on, they spent at least an hour in the morning and the evening learning English. Due to their hard work, the meeting went well.

Back home, Arjun asked his mother, “Ma, do you believe that you can pursue your dream now?”

“Yes, Arjun. There is always light at the end of the tunnel.”

// This story has been penned by 13-year-old Shreshta Manikandan and has been chosen for publication on our platform from the weekly submissions //

4 thoughts on “The Bright Side”

  1. Extremely impressed by the simple and elegant way of composing the story and at the same time the narrator never lost the focus on the theme of the story. Love it. Should continue to write more and more in the future.

  2. Very nicely written Shreshta.. keep up the spirit and write more… Wish you all the good luck dear.

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