The Divine Mail
by Divya Palaniappan
(Johannesburg, South Africa)
She was stretching her hands to let go off the weariness, struggling to open her eyes as the rays of the morning sun struck through the holes of her cemented window. In the distance, against the glowing amber Sun, her mom was harvesting paddy acutely bent over the fields, her father was ploughing the fields guiding the ox. “Tung..Ting..Tung”, the noise of the vessels brought her attention to her elder sister perched over the stove intensely cooking their meal. She knew it was about few months away by when she would assist her sister in cooking.
Drowned in her thoughts, she got ready to leave for school. She neatly plaited her hair tying the loose ends with bright red ribbon, sheepishly pinning up the torn end of her uniform, excited to attend school. She left home on bare feet, bag hanging down her shoulder; waving bye to her parents to walk to her school about 3 kms from her home.
Rekha was studying in class five, next year she would be promoted to the higher secondary class, but her village did not accommodate a Higher Secondary school. She would have to travel 20 odd kms through narrows trenches navigating two canals to pursue her dream of studying further. Her dad would never let her go thus far for Education. She enjoyed studying and wanted to become a doctor who could protect their village from deadly diseases.
On her way back from school, she saw a post box. An idea hit upon her. She ran back home, flung her bag aside, picked her pencil to write, “Dear God! I want to become a doctor and help the poor. Give me a big school in my village”. She was very happy and content when she went to sleep that night. She was staring at the glittering stars as she fell asleep, assured her wish would be granted by the god.
Next morning, she rose early, gleefully ran to school. On her way she posted this letter to God. She turned around and headed to school with a broad smile.
Months flew by, nothing happened. Rekha was writing her final exams. She went and asked a teacher if her school would turn big. Her teacher felt sorry for this little girl but couldn’t help her. With every passing day her fear grew. One night as the family sat for dinner, Rekha asked her parents, “Can I go to the big school?” Father said, “No, it is very far off dear” Her mother understood her daughter’s heart but only could take her into her lap.
One fine morning Rekha was busy playing with her mates under the tree. She saw her sister running towards her waving a letter calling out for her. Rekha jumped up to snatch the letter. It was the announcement of her results. She stood first in class. Rekha was disappointed; she was awaiting for the news from God.
The new academic year began, she was asked to assist her sister. In her spare time, she read stories; she constructed models of hospitals from clay mud. One day when Rekha was reading her favorite story, there was a buzz in the village. Outsiders from the city had come to the village asking for Rekha. When she was summoned, she hid behind her mother. The well bred gentleman asked her if she wanted to be a doctor. She was very shy but did not fail to nod her head.
The two men were from an NGO(Non-Governmental Organization). They work in the cities tirelessly to bring education to the masses. They have a vision of educated India, an India whose villages are self sustained. They showed Rekha the post card she had written to God.
They promised to build a big school for Rekha in her village by co-coordinating with the Government; meanwhile they were ready to sponsor Rekha’s Education in the city.
Rekha was overwhelmed, she was going to school. Her God responded. Her parents were apprehensive to send their daughter. After the volunteers at the NGO counseled her parents, Rekha was allowed to study. It was new beginning.
Rekha was leaving her village to study; the whole village had come to send her off. The children and her play mates were amused. The government had passed an order to build a higher secondary school for the village.
As Rekha was getting ready to get to board the bus, a little present was handed over to her by the village Post master with the words –“All the best” inscribed. He was the god who weaved in the magic for Rekha. He whispered into her ears- “Honest desires from your heart never go unanswered my little lady”.