Anjali ~ The first and the last cry of a Princess
A late Saturday evening and the ambulance came rushing in. Geetha was drowning in pain and the stretcher wheels hurried into the operating theater with screams of “Amma” echoing around. Fears ruled Joseph’s mind and he was left stranded all alone outside the theater. Panic filled the operating room as the scan results revealed that a vaginal delivery would put both the baby and the mother at risk. The surgeons then decided to go with a surgery and the news daunted her husband whose nervy hands were signing the consent forms with a drop of tear coming down his eyes. It all came down to a point when this atheist started praying to a god he never believed all through his life. His shaky legs stood near the door and his teary eyes stared at his beloved falling asleep. The surgery began and the atheist’s prayers were paying off. An hour long surgery and the surgeons pulled it off eventually. Smiles galore on seeing the baby princess and happiness blossomed around the theater. The man, who was left stranded outside the operating theater was called in to see his princess. The shaky legs took force and he came running in to get his baby on his hands. Wiping off all his tears, Joseph cried out,
“என் தங்கமே!! என் வைரமே!! இந்த ஊருல இருக்கிற ஒவ்வொருத்தனும் மூக்கு மேல விரல வக்கிற மாதிரி உன்ன ராணி மாதிரி பாத்துப்பான்மா உன் அப்பன்!!”
Neither Joseph’s nor Geetha’s parents were there to bless the baby sighting their love marriage as a reason. However, the princess vanished away all their pain and blessed them with happiness. The happiness extended and created a crazy banter between the pair on naming their baby. Both Joseph and Geetha scratched their brains to put forward their own best options and it all came to an end with the couple finally naming their baby as “Anjali”. The beautiful princess began creating a purpose to their small life as she grew up. It was all good and the poor yet happy family was peacefully going on with their happy life. Joseph worked in a shop while Geetha took up the responsibility of managing all the household chores. Anjali became 4 and the couple decided that it was time for Anjali to get into schooling. Geetha wanted to put Anjali in a Government Corporation school because she knew everything about Joseph earnings in a month. But, Joseph made his mind clear that he will make Anjali study in a private convent school and promised Geetha that,
“கீதா, நம்ம வாழ்க்கையில நிறைய கஷ்டங்கள பாத்துட்டோம். மதம் மாறி கல்யாணம் பண்ணதால இந்த சமுதாயம் நம்மல ஒதுக்கி வச்சுது. இதெல்லாம் நம்ம பொண்ணு உடைச்சிட்டு வெளிய வரனும்னா கல்வி மட்டும் தான் அவளுக்கு உதவும். அத தரமா அவளுக்கு கொடுக்குறதுக்காக கண்டிப்ப இந்த அரசாங்கம் எதுவும் பண்ணாது. அதனால என் உயிர் இருக்கிற வரை என்னால முடிஞ்ச எல்லாத்தையும் பண்ணுவேன். நீ கவலைப்படாதமா!!”
Anjali was all set in a new school uniform for her first day at school. Opposing reality, this kid was full of smiles and started with Joseph happily for school. Geetha waved her hands standing near the door with a drop of tear witnessing her daughter entering the first stage of her life. Years went on and Anjali became 7 getting brilliant and beautiful year by year. Joseph doubled his working hours to meet the family’s need and Geetha made sure that everything is stable in the family. It was all peace graced with happiness until that Saturday evening when Joseph was returning back home after finishing his work at the shop. It was pretty late and vehicles were scurrying on the road. As Joseph was nearing the bus depot road, there came an old corporation bus storming straight out from the depot. The driver pressed onto the brakes but they were not in the condition to stop the old bus thanks to the poor funds from the government. A hefty noise and Joseph was on the sides of the road surrounded by blood. Ambulance came rushing in and they took him into the operating theatre with blood wetting the stretcher wheels. Geetha took the phone and the shock left her with no words. Geetha took Anjali and reached the hospital only to be left stranded outside the operating theater. The 7 year old Anjali was screaming in tears, “Appa…!!!” on kicking the doors of the operating theatre. All the nurses around there tried moving both Geetha and Anjali away but their words couldn’t match Anjali’s screams and Geetha’s prayers. The surgeons were doing all they can for more than an hour but it all went in vain. The cardiac monitor found dead cardiac rhythm and Joseph left Anjali and Geetha stranded outside in tears. Anjali didn’t stop her screams of “Appa…!!” as her much loved hero was leaving her away to an unreachable destination. The words,
“அப்பா ! என்ன விட்டுட்டு போகாதீங்கப்பா! நான் இனிமேல் எந்த சேட்டையும் பண்ணமாட்டேன்ப்பா. பிளீஸ் அப்பா! என்கிட்ட வந்துருங்கப்பா!!”
This left everyone in the hospital weeping. Geetha who was lying down on the floor crying, wiped all her tears, lifted Anjali onto her shoulders and moved her away from the operating theater. With tears interrupting her words, she said to Anjali,
“என் கண்ணம்மா, உங்க அப்பா உன்ன எப்படிலாம் வளக்கனும்னு ஆசப்பட்டாரோ, அதே மாதிரியே உன் அம்மா உன்ன வளத்து காட்றேன்ம்மா!!”
Life is so cruel that a happy family which started 7 years before in the exact same hospital with screams of “Amma” got ripped apart into pieces with screams of “Appa” marking the end.
Years passed by. Every little thing got changed here except the way life actually is. Anjali crossed her 10th grade, all because of the incredible woman behind her, Geetha. All these years didn’t prove easy for Geetha, who came out to take the family on her shoulders after Joseph left them all alone. The society didn’t like a woman coming out of her home to earn for her living. Hindrances were the only thing that came her way but the empowered women was resilient enough to overcome all of them. Geetha, a B.Sc. graduate was fighting for the right job for the qualification she has. But, words like
“ஏன்மா, உங்களுக்கு ஏத்த மாதிரி ஏதாச்சு வீட்டு வேலைப்பாத்து பொழக்க வேண்டியதானே. படிச்ச படிப்புக்கான வேலைய தான் பாப்பேன்னு ஏன் இப்படி எங்க உசிர வாங்குறீங்க!!”
left her morals down. These hard moments reminded her of Anjali, who kept her moving amidst the struggle. A tide will always have its rise and finally, Geetha found her job as a teacher in a primary school. This proved enough for her to meet the family needs and to meet Anjali’s education. But, Geetha’s neighbors always insisted her to move Anjali to a corporation school,
“உங்க பொண்ண ஒரு கார்ப்பரேசன் ஸ்கூல்ல படிக்க வைக்க வேண்டியதான. பொண்ணு தான, எங்க படிச்ச என்ன. படிச்சு என்ன சாதிக்க போகுதுங்க. கடைசில, ஒரு நல்ல பையனா பாத்து தான கொடுக்க போறோம். ஒரு பொம்பளையா, அந்த ஸ்கூல்ல கேக்குற பீஸ்ஸ கொடுக்க முடியுமா?”
But Geetha never gave up on the dreams of her husband. She worked hard, saved better and met the finances for Anjali’s education. Years went on and Anjali crossed her 12th grade with high grades which proved enough to get a scholarship for doing her graduation. Geetha’s determination, Anjali’s efforts all these years came fruitful when Anjali secured a seat in Computer Science Engineering in a reputed University as per her wish. The tide was turning and it was time for smiles to take over the pain and hardship that these two women endured all through their life. All set for the first day at college, and Anjali started for the bus. Geetha was full of smiles standing near the door shedding a drop of tear watching her little princess stepping into the bigger stage of her life in the same way she witnessed her stepping into her first day at school before 18 long years. But, Geetha didn’t give up on her work yet and she was working even harder. Grey hairs started to show their heads and she was getting older as Anjali crossed the third year of her graduation with amazing academic excellence. Stepping into the final year, the responsibilities got even higher and it was time for her to prove a point to all those who questioned her mother. She responded by putting endless hours in preparing for the interviews. It was time to unlock her dream but Anjali held her nerves and the endless hours of hard work and the endurance she had throughout her life came to the fore to get her that job. The news reached Geetha and the proud mother found no words. Anjali hugged her mother and emotions flowed through them. She screamed
“அம்மா, அப்பா நம்மல விட்டுட்டு போனதுல இருந்து இது வரைக்கும் தனி ஆளா நீங்க என்ன வளத்து ஆளாக்குறதுக்கு பட்ட ஒவ்வொரு கஷ்டத்துக்கும் அவம்னத்துக்கும் பதில் தான்மா இது. நம்மல பத்தி தப்பா பேசின வாயெல்லாம் இன்னைக்கு நம்மல பாத்து பொறாமை பட்றாங்க. அப்பா நினச்சத நான் சாதிச்சிட்டேன்மா!!”
It was time for responsibility to take a shift from one shoulder to another. Anjali was earning and she decided that her mother’s hard long run needed a stop for sure. She advised Geetha to retire but the empowered woman wasn’t ready to just step away. However, as days passed by, Geetha‘s physical condition didn’t help her in continuing her work and also with Anjali pressuring her on the other side, she decided to give a thought. Finally, she decided to put an end to her long journey and Anjali made a grand celebration for her mother’s long & hard journey. All went well and Anjali started to shine in her work as well. She showcased her caliber in every little opportunity that came her way and also developed a good rapport with her colleagues. But, Life had other ideas. A late Saturday evening and it got pretty late when she was returning from her office after finishing up her work. An abandoned road and Anjali was waiting for her bus in the stop near her office. The wait got continued as there were no buses because of the late night. Anjali plugged in her headphones to beat the loneliness. Only darkness prevailed and it proved to be the safest home for those three evil eyed ones. Those eyes never moved and were staring at Anjali from a distance. Her loneliness in the abandoned road started to help them. They started their car and came rushing towards the bus stop. Anjali got scared with headlights flashing at her eyes and she started running but it was late. She screamed but the abandoned road didn’t help her. Three devilry men advanced, grabbed her and pushed the poor girl into the car. All the Gods even the ones she prayed didn’t turn their ears to her screams and the ugly men raped & plundered her. The car roamed around the city with those heartless animals taking their chance one by one and looted her. She was destroyed completely and the doors of the cars opened to drop her rolling on to the road. She was getting surrounded by a river of blood but she was holding her breath. The busy city had no time to turn its head and none was there to rescue the poor girl. Things worsened and she was dying. An hour went but still there was no one to save her. Even the Gods she prayed all her life were safely residing inside their temples. The poor girl was not able to hold her breath further and it was too early for her to leave her mother all alone to join her father up there. A grief-struck morning brought in the devastating news to Geetha who was already lying tensed with Anjali not returning back home last night. The shocking news made the plates fumble onto the kitchen floor. She ran weeping but only to see her princess lying destroyed and dead on the road. Her pain exclaimed,
“அய்யையோ, என் ராஜாத்தி! உன்ன இந்த நிலைமயில பாக்கவா நான் இத்தன வருசமா கஷ்டப்பட்டேன். இந்த கடவுளுக்கு இறக்கமே இல்லையா. முதல்ல என் புருசன என்க்கிட்ட இருந்த பிரிச்சு கொண்டுப்போன, இப்ப என் பொண்ணையும் என்க்கிட்ட இருந்த பிரிச்சு கொண்டுப்போயிட்டியே. என் பொண்ண இப்படி பண்ணுனவங்களெல்லாம் சந்தோசமா நடமாட விட்டுட்டு என்ன மாதிரி ஆளுங்கள தானே நீ கஷ்டப்படுத்துவ. இறக்கமே இல்லாத இந்த உலகம் அழிந்து போகட்டும்!!”
Geetha, the strong woman who fought courageously all her life in this tougher world filled with tougher people to see her princess achieve heights lied down on the road crying with her princess drowned in a pool of blood.
“Let Anjali’s scream because of the evil men be the first and the last in this world!
Let Joseph’s death because of the irresponsible corporation be the first and the last in this world!
Let Geetha’s cry because of the awful society be the first and the last in this world!
Let the Gods wake up and watch the ugliness happening here!
Let’s allow the women to fly up and rule this world. It’s their time!”
“வாழ்க்கை அழகானது! மனிதர்களாய் மாறுவோம்!!”