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The Lesson
by Ankita Kumar

"Hey Sunny, come here and polish my shoes" said my master. "You are always sleeping, you don't do any work. Why have you come to this house? To sleep?

My mother, kid sister and father had died in the Gomti express train accident. Before that we had been living together happily. They had gone to attend my Uncle's marriage. I had stayed back because my exams were going on.

It was 8:00 p.m. The telephone rang. I picked up the phone. It was my uncle. "Gomti express has met with an accident. Your parents and sister..." he couldn't continue and started sobbing. "W...what happened to them Uncle, please tell me," I screamed. "Th...they are no more....."

My world was shattered. I cried for hours. I couldn't sleep a wink. I lay awake at night thinking, "Now I have no one. I am an orphan." Days went by. Gradually I got used to the reality. I decided I wouldn't cry but fight with the circumstances.

My Uncle took me home. He was kind and looked after me. But my Aunt hated me. She made my life miserable. One day I ran away and landed in an orphanage.

Three months later on a Sunday the Manager of the orphanage called all the children. I saw a gentleman standing with his fat wife. Manager told us the couple had come to adopt a child. They selected me and took me to their house.

It was a huge house. They had a daughter whose name was Jyoti. On the first night I was given delicious food to eat and slept on a comfortable bed. But from the next day I had to do all the work and was asked to sleep on the floor.

One night I saw a light shining in my master's room. My master was kissing his daughter I wished I too had my parents to love me. I had to play with Jyoti. She was a very pretty girl. I liked her because she reminded me of my kid sister. However, Jyoti was very haughty and proud. She had beautiful clothes to wear and she showed off. Though she was younger she never called me bhaiya

In front of my friends she always called me a naukar. I felt bad but I couldn't say anything because I would get thrashed by my Master. I now realized how servants feel when they are ill treated. I remembered those days when I used to scold my servant. I realized God had taught me a lesson for my sins.

I found some one calling my name. The voice was faint and coming from a distance. I felt a soft hand on my forehead. I opened my eyes. My mother was sitting beside me on the bed, her hand on my forehead. "What happened Sunny? You were mumbling to yourself. Did you have a nightmare?"

"No, mama. It wasn't a nightmare. It was a lesson taught to me by God," I replied burying my head in her lap."

18-May-2000
 
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