By Aahana Khot, 9A
My birth was not a topic for celebration. My father had beaten my mother to a point where her labor was forced. He threw her down the stairs, and she was rushed to the hospital where I was born.
I can't recall a time when my mother looked happy and carefree. She used to work long shifts to earn a paltry amount of money so that I would get some food, and she would hide her money from my father. My father was rarely sober. He would stagger into the house, looking for objects to sell and buy his alcohol from that money.
When I was old enough to go to school, my mother scrimped and saved for my fees and accessories. My tiffin was a very meager roti and pickle. I had very few friends, and I never even thought about it. I was more concerned about studying and the increasing worry furrows on my mother’s forehead. I noticed that she would eat less just to provide me with enough.
My mother had one goal in life; to educate me and give me a life away from her misery. To that end, she took up many jobs and searched for opportunities to increase her savings. She never indulged herself; I don't know if she had any personal desires or allowed them because she was worried about my fees, my future lessons, and the cost of higher education. All her customers were not the same. Some ladies were demanding and inconsiderate. Others were kind but did not have time for her. But I do believe there is a god above. There was one lady who took particular interest in my mother. She always inquired about me, she sent home some goodies frequently. She also paid my mother's medical bills and ensured that my mother ate at least one good meal every day. She discovered my mother's anxiety about my education and reassured her.
This lady, whom I call Silver because of her silvery hair, was kind and compassionate. She frequently advised my mother to move away from my father, who was a source of darkness and unhappiness in our life. My mother always refused because she was traditional, and the idea of leaving her husband did not seem right for her. So, ‘Silver’ did not push her but became a source of support for my mother. I rarely met her, but when I did, she always asked about my studies and showed interest in my plans for the future. I wanted to be a doctor so that I could look after my mother. This made my mother anxious as she was worried about the finances. Silver always patted my mother on the back and said, “Don't worry.”
I finished my school and my undergraduate with good marks. Now it was time to follow my heart. I filled up the forms, passed the entrance test, got admission in a medical college and I thought that would be the end of my dream. My mother said she didn't have the money. It was late at night, and I thought I would sleep and tear up my application form in the morning without making my mother unhappy. I huddled up next to her and went to sleep. My mother got up before me and made some tea and took out the packet of glucose biscuits which would be our breakfast. By the time I got up, breakfast was ready. We sat and sipped our tea and dipped our biscuits and suddenly somebody knocked at the door. When I opened it, Silver stood at the door, smiling and saying to me, “Stop wasting time, we have to go and pay for your admission,” both my mother and I were shocked. We looked at her and said, “I don't have the money." She laughed and said, "Who is asking you for money? I want you to just come with me.” We went to a very prestigious institution where I had been selected, and she took me to meet the dean of that institution who was an old friend of hers. Between them, they decided that I would get admission on a complete scholarship. I was gobsmacked. And I thanked the dean profusely, and he just smiled and said, “Just prove to us that our decision was right, do well, study hard and become a good doctor.” Silver patted me on the back and said, “I'm confident this was the right decision.”
I came home to share this news with my mother, and she was in total shock. Neither of us expected such a big surprise and definitely did not know that Silver was not just a streak; she was the silver lining that lit up the darkness of our house and environment. She brought light and happiness and joy into our lives. Today, having completed my training as a doctor, twice a week, I work in a free clinic near one of our biggest slums so that I can serve women like my mother and children who have a background like me. Unfortunately, my father’s excessive addiction caused him to develop liver failure, and he did not live to see me become a doctor. Thank You, Silver, for lighting up my life and becoming the silver lining! I hope that everyone finds a Silver lining in their life.