The evening spread its wings and the sun was sinking down the horizon. Cold air brushed aside Geeta’s face moving her loosely tied hair. Dressed in a pink saree with thick golden zaria border, Geeta looked elegant and graceful. She was the main attraction in today’s gathering where everyone congratulated her. With a smile on her face she greeted everyone. It was her day, it was her moment. However in her mind she was somewhere else. A series of flashback ran through her mental frame.
She clearly remembers that like every other teenage girl she too was over enthusiastic and had extra ordinary zeal towards her life. She was a happy person who made her surroundings filled with laughter and joy. Being talkative she was often reprimanded in the class but the same skill won her many accolades in the annual debate and extempore competitions.
There were many of her class mates who flirted with her which is quite common. But Pratik, never talked to her. He was her senior in school who was known to be a very reserved kid. He had lost his mother early in his childhood. His dad had remarried but he could never accept her step mother as a part of the family. Hence most of the time he was quite, not quite good in studies and was over looked by both teachers and the students.
One day while going out for the games class, Pratik proposed to Geeta. Before Pratik could finish his sentence, Geeta bursted out laughing and walked away to the play ground. Pratik did not react but suddenly went back to his home citing that he was not feeling well. Things became normal.
After around two months, all the students were in the Chemistry Practical Class when Pratik went up to Geeta and proposed again. This time Geeta told him sternly that she was not ready for any such thing. The moment she denied, she felt something just had hit her like a lightning. In fraction of seconds her entire face, neck and her entire upper body was as if on fire. She could not even scream and fell down on the ground. Pratik had thrown acid on her!
Post this incident, both Geeta and Pratik’s life changed. Pratik was sent to a juvenile correction home and was placed under a mental therapist after the court’s order.
But Geeta struggled in the beds of hospitals. From one operation to another, from one hospital to another, from one city to another;she had it all. Sometimes she would plead the doctors to let her die as the pain was unbearable.
Her parents could never imagine how their child suffered with each passing day. Their Grief was intolerable . Prayers which were nothing but grievances in front of the Almighty was the only way out for the family.
After about four years of treatment and umpteen number of health check ups, Geeta was not able to stand on her own legs and literally walk. She then underwent a plastic surgery where a portion of her skin (from other parts of her body) was used to give her a face!
Her main struggle started after this. She went back to complete her studies. Her friends had already passed out and had settled in their lives. She was left alone. Where ever she would go, there was resentment. People did not like to see her. Our world is quite judgemental and any deviation is not easily accepted.
Her parents were her support system and pushed her to face life. She completed her studies and joined an NGO to work for the better ment of women in the urban slums. Though initially it was difficult for her to mingle with people, but within a period of six months she was known by each household in her work area.
Her focus was mainly to make women self dependent financially. She started a small self help group with the women volunteers. Very soon it became successful and the women were learning to be financially independent. Her popularity grew and so did the faith of people in her. She effectively liaisoned with all stake holders. Within a few years she was able to establish a small and medium scale industry which took up tasks like pottery, handicrafts, sewing and tailoring etc and started running as a profitable venture.
Geeta’s Glory was now talk of the town and she received many awards at district and state levels. One morning she received a phone call from the Govt of India saying that she was chosen to be awarded by the President of the nation to acknowledge her efforts in uplifting lives of so many people. She could hardly believe it.
After receiving her award, life changed for good. Now everyone knew her and she was regarded as a lady who never gave up. She threw a Party to acknowledge every one’s support in her endeavours where she invited everyone. Her school friends, her teachers, her NGO mates, her employees, her parents etc.
Suddenly one of her school friends tapped her shoulder from the back and told her that it was time for her to give her speech. Geeta came back to the present moment after seeing her entire life unfold before her. Quickly she asked about the wellbeing of Pratik. Her friend was taken aback but responded that no one knew about his where abouts. Geeta took a deep breath and went up to the stage. The sound of clap and cheering was filling the entire hall. Indeed, her grief had been converted now to her glory.
Life is unpredictable and can throw many obstacles. Sailing through it with faith and facing our own fears is what matters.