About a happy-go-lucky 3- year old

It was afternoon time on a weekend when we reached the doors of Monal’s house in a small province of Tamil Nadu. We entered the scene just as Monal’s mother was feeding her a lunch of rice, vegetables and sambar. Her elder brother was playing next to them.

As soon as Monal saw us she crouched bashfully next to her mother, while the thick anklets on her feet chimed melodiously. “She loves the anklets and refuses to take them off”, her mother said with a chuckle. “It is always a giveaway of her whereabouts around the house, especially when she is playing I-Spy with her brother”, she said, feeding her the last morsels of lunch.

3 – year old Monal is too young to understand any language apart from Tamil, and she is also too young to understand that her father was martyred and will not return home. “In a way it is good that she is too young to understand such sadness, but it is also a tragedy that she will never know what a good man her father was”, her mother said with a twang of pain.

After lunch Monal tottered to the bedroom to fetch her black writing board, her favourite thing in the whole world, and started drawing with a delicious smile on her face. She studies in Pre- KG in a nearby school and we are told that she enjoys going to school.

Monal’s father wanted to see her as a teacher. He was man who prized education above all and wanted his daughter to service her community by becoming a good teacher. “She was very dear to him. He often expressed his dream that she should teach in the village because he didn’t want her to go far away from him”, Monal’s mother wiped her tears as she reminisced about her husband. It is now her mission to fulfil her husband’s dreams by educating her children well, and for their sake she has decided to rent a house close to her children’s school.

While we were chatting with the mother Monal was busy making stick figures of family members on her black slate. Her father stood in the middle of the smiling family. On asking who she loves more she immediately replied that she loves her Papa and Ma a lot. Then she followed her brother out of the room to play.

“They are going to play I-Spy”, Monal’s mother said with a content smile.

We are positive that with a mother as strong and wise as her Monal and her brother will be guided in the right path and will keep their father’s name flying high.