The Topper’s Vow

When we arrived at Moon’s house in New Jalpaiguri, North Bengal, fighting the monsoon rains and chaos of the small town, we were immediately taken in by the colourful flowers that populated their home. Flowers are a symbol of happiness and it was clear to us that this family has an abundance of it, despite what they have gone through.

“Gardening is my hobby and we all love flowers“, Moon’s mother told us proudly eyeing her blooms. There was Zen on her face, and when Moon walked into the living room wearing a shy smile we saw the same positivity on her face too. She also has an elder sister.

It was only 8 years ago that the family lost their chief anchor to rebels. Moon’s father was a soldier in the Indian Army and was martyred while on a mission in the jungles of Bengal. She was then 8 years old only.

Quite naturally, it was a tough time for the family, and especially for the mother to raise two young daughters on her own. She admitted that she contemplated ending her life, but her daughters’ sweet innocent faces pulled her out of depression. Since then it has been about her children who is she very proud of.

And all the hard work has paid off! Moon was amongst the class toppers in her 10th board exams and is currently in 12th standard studying Science. Her teachers are proud of her academic performance and are confident of good results in her 12th board exams too.

“It is my target to be the topper from my state”, she said with a confident smile. “I want to join the Civil Services and make my family proud“, she mentioned with a wide smile. The 16 – year old attends a KendriyaVidyalaya, a well-structured school, where apart from academics, she is good in co curricular activities too.

Moon confessed that it is still painful that her father is not around to celebrate her achievements. She missed him a lot when her 10th board exam results were out and everyone congratulated her. The young girl is passionate about painting and has won a lot of medals for the same, but misses her father’s face in the audience clapping with pride.

“But he is always looking at us, he is with us“, Moon’s elder sister reminded with a smile and she smiled back. The two sisters are best friends or “soul sisters”, as Moon described their relationship. She is very supportive of Moon studies and motivates her a lot.

“We fight a lot but my sister is like my father. She is my mentor and best friend“, she beamed at her sister while she said this. The invisible, yet strong chain of love amongst the sisters and the mother was evident. Their positivity emitted radiance.

Here is the thing about hope –it leads you to look forward to the next day. And here is the thing about love – it gives you the strength to hope. Moon and her family are embodiments of both.