We’re in the coffee shop. “Zak,where is Aayesha?”I asked her best friend,Zakir. He phoned her. “The number you’re trying to reach has been switched off”came the response.So,he went out to find her.We’re savoring the hot coffee in the cold winter evening.
(After few moments)
“Aayesha!!Aayesha!!”-cries of Zakir echoed the campus.
She jumped off the college building.Before we reached her,she breathed her last.We’re engulfed with fear,sadness and confusion.There laid the body of our beloved Aayesha,a brilliant student of our college.The police came.
“We’re investigating the case.Soon we’ll let you know the facts” –said the inspector addressing the local media.The news of her death barely made a scroll in their channels.The question lingering in our minds is-“Why she did it?” ,amidst the heart throbbing demise of our closed one.
We went to her funeral. Rampur,a village with 800 families,one school,one medical store,one water tank and now one cry“Aayesha!!”.
She is the only one from their village who managed to study engineering. “She always dreamt of starting a school here” a villager said showing us the ruins of the school she studied.
Now it all beginning to make sense to me why she spent so much time in library.She is the only one in college other than librarian who knew the place of every book in library.But she never topped any exam in college.
We’re in the college auditorium attending the condolence meeting of Aayesha. MLA of Constituency attended.Candles were lit before her picture.What all we could see is the light beams through the tear filled eyes.
She is a lone fighter in the war field.She lost to the modern academic curriculum. Modern engineering institution-a handsome business in disguise. Those who run the college never cared about what is being taught.What all they care is–(No.of students joining every year)x(RS.1,50,000).Parents never inquire how the lecturers teach.Marks of few students who mug up the subject content are enough for them to join their children.
She is probably the only one who got a seat with 75% concession for her meritorious performance in entrance test.But she is unable to live in a place where any merit of student is awarded with a single gift“MARKS” . If you did well in exam held once in a week –“MARKS”. You submitted an assignment every day-“MARKS” You attended the classes regularly –“MARKS”. Your marks are the yard stick to measure your talent .She never cared much about marks despite the lecturers remarks.Last month’s results told that she’s short of marks to get a degree.(This could probably be the best award given by modern academics to her intelligence).She worked hard to get those marks.The girl who stood unwithered against the violent winds of poverty and lack of chances was unable to withstand the raging floods of ” modern” education.Knowing that her dream can not be realized in this world she bid adieu for all.
“We’ll take care that young lives will not be decimated by the stress in academics.We’ll appoint a commission which gives report about the changes to be made in academics” MLA concluded his eulogy.
“Sir,Mr.Thakur is waiting” said the secretary to MLA.
“Sir,Thakoor sab wants the land of old school in Rampur to be registered by his company’s name.In return aapko jo bhi chahiye..”industrialist’s assistant proposed the deal. With two mins of negotiation and few signals with fingers of MLA,soon there were smiles over their faces. The newspaper article featuring Ayesha’s death stood there as a lifeless witness to their greed and politics.