Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The College Fees...

Dripping sweat, itchy scalp companied by drenched ire showcased a vivid nostalgia when I looked around, towards them. This feel was not just about the sufferings during a hot summer day, but it was about the realisation of similar experiences when I had been there, where they are today.
Coming out from Central Library of our college that day, I was astonished to face the crowd as I headed towards the Administrative Building. Was it about another strike for fee hike? No, it could have never been so. College authorities will never welcome masses dressed to kill their motives for profits. “Apnara liney thakun, sobar sujog ashbey”, a security guard instructed them.
Kids there were for admission to B-tech courses for the new batch 2011-2015 in our college. ‘Kids’, because they will be my juniors now.

Throwing a glimpse of my seniority, I pushed one of them aside and entered the account’s office, blanking out the fact that may be he was along with his guardian. Air conditioner failed to relieve my already leaking head, traversing through my face, and ending at the end of my chin. This is how the supplies fell short during flood.
I just grabbed the fee deposit slip before a girl could take hold of it. I was there to deposit my outstanding college dues. Filling it throughout, I handed it over to the tiny man, who was busy singing praises about our college for the guardians there. He should have been a politician, but lack of luck probably turned him into a draggy cashier. While I was about to leave the crowded office, a guardian held my hand. I looked back, and he smiled, intimating me that he didn’t have any teeth at all. I was still looking into his cataract containing eyes, as he drove me out from the office and his words followed.

He told that he was there for admission of her granddaughter and pointed towards a girl, who was struggling in a long queue. She was the one from whom I had snatched the payment slip inside. As I learnt this, then and there I was about to utter words for apology, but before I could have said anything he stopped me with his words. He said that he was in a kind of problem. “What is that sir?” I queried. He said that though her granddaughter was there in the queue to get her forms attested and verified, but he was feeling very sorry, as he would not be able to pay all her fees right then. My brows alarmed and reached its heights, but I tried to level them down by raising my hands around my neck instead.

I was listening to him, finding routes to withdraw myself from there. He explained that he came from Chappra, Bihar, and arrived Durgapur that day. “Throughout our journey my granddaughter kept asking if I had enough money to pay her fees, and I told her that yes! I had”, he added. He had promised her that if she excels in Engineering Entrance Exam, he would admit her in a reputed college. And so he was there to prove his gallantry, without any weapons intact, but still rigid and confident about winning the battle. “Rauaa kono ke jana tani je hamra madad kar payi?”, he asked me. I don’t know how he came to know that I am also from Bihar; and he asked me in Bhojpuri if I knew anybody there who could possibly help him. Slowly, with a bit of calm and compose, I gathered few words, and explained him that it was very much difficult to convince any official on such matters. “Since this is a private college, people here are so greedy for money, and I don’t think they would even pardon any extension in your case sir”, I replied. Listening to this he bowed down his eyes. I had to go for my Data Structure class; my footsteps were trying to move away from there; mind was set to compel me away but the heart denied any approval from it.

"Let’s give it a try; there is registrar office, we should go there and consult registrar sir, its only him who can grant your wish”, I told him, contained with some energy. How this energy came, I don’t know. He held my hand again, and asked me to accompany him to his office. I smiled and led him there. We entered, and the old soldier started to fight for his child, obediently; a fight in which he was not ready to lose. I don’t know why, but registrar sir told me to go out. I came out, and went near the glass window, from where I could see that girl, who was now getting her mark sheets verified inside.

How lucky she was. Lucky to get a chance to attain higher education, despite of being a girl child, and that too from a state like Bihar, where many people still don’t want to let their girl child go outside for higher education. Lucky to have a grandfather like him, who despite of his lack of funds was ready to make her educated.
Ten minutes later the elderly man came out. He was happy. He came to me and mentioned that her granddaughter was allowed a month extension for depositing the remaining fees. He held my hands again. But this time to thank me. He thanked me for the support I gave him; but I couldn’t figure out actually what support I really gave him. I congratulated him and appreciated his love for her granddaughter, and said him that I would pray for her success in future.

I missed my class that day. I came directly to my hostel room from there, thrown my copies on my table, laid flat on my bed, and thought about what would have happened if I didn’t go there. What would have then the elderly grandfather done? But I think the positive aspect. May be he would have got somebody else who could have helped him; may be more than what I did.

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  1. truly she was lucky one to have a grandfather like that,and praise to her grandfather who has send his girl-child from chapra to persue the higher education and two thumbs up to u also anshul for helping him

  2. anshul, there are various kind of people in this world. Apart from those who are still blind folded and dont let girls study, there are many good people too who promote their girl child to earn the best. And he was one of them. You portrayed very well. :)

  3. another nic work anshul.

  4. our indian society should learn from that old man. Very nice post anshul!

  5. The approach you adopt to your surroundings define how much human you are.

  6. u define the whole admission processs very clearly nd one thing Soldiers never be Old man....