At last we entered our final year of engineering. With great grades at hand and internship experiences in well established companies, we were ready to take over the world.
Our last boundary was our final year. Just one more year and we would be working with billion dollar revenue companies.
Our college parties, fun and parties with friends, complicated relationships and “study only before exam” sessions continued in a similar fashion. Our life was pretty much settled, our forecasts were always right as usual.
In short, our life was in track, unless we met Mrs. Shalini who taught us Radar Engineering. She was forty years old but still appeared young and beautiful and taught pretty well.
We were lucky enough to have both the pre-requisites that are required to excel, i.e. superb teachers and excellent forecasting skills as far as exam questions are concerned.
After a few days the final year results of the previous year’s batch came out. Even we were curious to see their results so as to know about the highest as well as the lowest scoring subjects so that we could plan out our preparation well and beforehand.
We made our way to the result section through the dense crowd that had totally coagulated the corridor but at last made our way inside. After painstakingly passing through such a state of total chaos and anarchy, we expected to see people hugging and congratulating each other but there was a complete trade off between what we thought and what we actually saw.
Everyone was in total despair. Instead of hugging out of excitement and happiness, people were imparting their shoulder to their friends for them to recover from the shock and trauma that they received after seeing their results.
After everyone left the scene, we stepped in to investigate about the matter. Why was everyone so shocked to see their results and soon after looking at the mark sheet we got our answer. More than ninety percent of students had got distinction in every subject except Radar engineering which was taught by Mrs. Shalini. Some students even failed the subject.
This was no less than a shock for us. This would completely ruin our chances to get good placements. Our bright future was at stake but we couldn’t configure out the logic behind it. Shalini mam was a superb teacher, then why did so many students flunked her subject.
When we got no solution even after brainstorming for about an hour, we decided to ask our seniors. Since they had still not completely recovered from their trauma, we decided to be as gentle and smooth as possible.
We met the topper of our college who managed to get a distinction due to his exceptionary performance in all the other subjects. He told us that Mrs. Shalini was a very strict checker and did not give marks easily. There was no one who had ever scored more than forty in her paper.
Before we could fall into the deepest realms of this sudden mental trauma, we asked him the reason behind it. He told us us that she was not the same before. About two years ago, her elder daughter studied in the same college. She topped every exam during her first three years.
Everybody had so much expectations from her. The college had even announced a free scholarship for her to pursue her further studies but destiny had something else packed for her and her family. She met with a road accident just three days before the exams were going to start. She was admitted to the hospital but couldn’t survive her injuries.
Since she was offered a full time scholarship for her higher studies, her mother had sold their home, their only property and had decided to shift to their hometown after her elder daughter would complete her final year but after she met with the accident, instead of rendering help, the college called off the scholarship.
Her father had been long dead so she and her younger sister were completely dependent on their mother. Mrs. Shalini went to the bank to call off the sale of her house, but the bank staff didn’t pay any heed to her cries. She approached the college principal who had promised the scholarship to her daughter, but they rejected her plea by showing her the terms and conditions of the contract where it was clearly mentioned that she would get it only after she qualifies her final year. She applied for a loan in various banks to borrow money for the treatment of her daughter but since she had no collateral therefore every bank repudiated her request. At last she even begged infront of her fast friends but everyone backed off.
After swinging amidst life and death for almost a week without any proper treatment because of lack of money, her elder daughter finally gave up. She couldn’t believe that she had lost her! She went through such a deep mental trauma that she even tried to commit suicide by jumping from the top floor of the college building but the college staff rescued her and told her that she has her younger daughter to look after.
She somehow got back to her normal life but now she is no more the same. The incident has changed her life completely. She could not believe that destiny has played such a vicious joke with her. It appears as if she is avenging the demise of her daughter by giving us bad results as she thinks that nature has cursed her with all the bad luck and now she wants to curse everyone with it. Well hope the same does not repeats the next year and you all pass with flying colours. Good bye!
We all were in utter shock after hearing such a heartfelt story. Destiny had really played a cruel joke with her life. If your close one’s do not help you when you need them the most and if you suddenly loose a loved one then this is what is bound to happen. It’s a normal human reaction, nothing else.
We had to somehow make her realise that what she was doing was not right but in a more sympathetic way but we had no idea as to how we were going to do this.
The next day we told the same story to all our classmates. All felt pity for Mrs. Shalini but everyone was also scared about their results. We discussed on this issue for long to find out a solution and finally came up with one.
Our unit tests were going to start the next day and we all did what we had planned last night. In the student’s name column, we all wrote Shivika, her elder daughter’s name instead of our own name.
Finally we all gathered in our classroom to see our results the next day. Mrs. Shalini entered the class with a handkerchief tied on her mouth. She told that she has put it so as to cover her mouth as she was allergic to chalk dust.
The strange fact was that she had never put it in her previous lectures. We all worried a little whether everything was all right or not. After she kept the test copies on the table, she picked up the chalk and turned towards the blackboard. She then raised her hand to write on it but didn’t.
For about a minute she was in the same posture and after that she left the class and didn’t return. We all grew impatient as to what may have happened. We decided to approach her and ask her.
Our whole class went to the staff room where we saw her crying at the back. We all went close to her and kneeled down on the floor and said a sorry collectively.
She wiped of her tears and asked ‘Why did you all write Shivika in your test copies.’
The whole college staff had collected over there after listening her cry out so loudly. We all joined our hands and told her that we all are her kids and will help her to bring her life on the same track as it was two years ago. She immediately got up from her chair and hugged and kissed each one of us.
From next day onwards there was a substantial change in her demeanour. The faint smile on her lips while delivering her lectures expressed it all. Soon our final exams came in and we all passed with flying colours.
Today we all are well settled and make it a point to meet her at the starting of every month. We all spend the whole day at her home and she prepares lunch and dinner for all of us. At the end of the day we always take a group photo with Mrs. Shalini at the centre, frame it and then put it at her home. We have had five such gatherings till now and will make sure to have it for many years to come.
Well it was a tragedy that she lost her daughter, but her soul blessed her mother with so many children.
Sometimes it may appear as if destiny has cursed us with all the bad luck on this planet but if we try to see the whole picture, we will find out that it is for the larger good of everyone.
You may also like the following short stories:
- INNER CONSCIENCE https://nishantmumbai.wordpress.com/2015/09/11/inner-conscience/
- HE WAS MY BUDDHA https://nishantmumbai.wordpress.com/2015/09/10/he-was-my-buddha/
- ME AND PRANAY https://nishantmumbai.wordpress.com/2015/03/01/me-and-pranay/