Mahim Dixit studied in class eleven in a reputed school in the city. He was a diligent student and put in at least four to five hours of study regularly and generally ranked within the first five students in his class. In the class ten board examinations he had scored a whopping ninety seven percent. He was awarded a meritorious award by one of the leading newspapers in the city for his efforts.
However, Mahim had a little secret. The real reason behind his success was his mother, Mrs Dixit, who after managing all her chores for the day would sit with him while he studied, no matter how exhausted she felt. She would plan out his study schedule, write out his notes and even draw diagrams for his laboratory journals. In the class eleven half yearly examinations Mahim had stood fourth overall.
For the upcoming final examinations, his preparations were going as per Mrs. Dixit’s plan and they were making steady progress. However, just as they were feeling rather confident and secure, disaster struck.
On the tenth of January, Mrs Dixit started to feel very dizzy and weak. She went to her bed and lay down but it did not help. By ten at night, she was feeling downright awful. The following day she was admitted to the hospital and was diagnosed with malignant malaria with complications. Mr.Dixit who worked as a bank manager was distraught but Mahim, was devastated.
Every day of the weeks that followed, Mahim came back from school and visited his ailing mother. He would sit with her and tell her about what happened in school. He made it sound rosy but, as Mrs Dixit suspected, all was not well. Mahim had always studied what he was told to by his mother. Without her presence he felt lost.
Weeks passed and Mrs Dixit’s health did not improve The final examinations were now knocking on the door and the students had been given study leave. Mahim, however, felt rather clueless.
On the third of February with eighteen days to go, Mahim, after having visited his mother sat down with his books but could not focus as usual. His thoughts lingered on his mother. As these random thoughts flittered through his mind he suddenly had an epiphany. He realized that it had been him all along. He was the one who had studied, memorized and appeared for the examinations, not his mother. If he had done it earlier why couldn’t he do it this time around? And so he chose to believe in himself and his abilities.
The eighteen days that followed saw the emergence of a Mahim reborn from his ashes of desolation. He worked day and night, sometimes sleeping for only two to three hours a day.
The examinations came and went. Mahim felt he had done reasonably well.
In the meantime, Mrs Dixit who had been steadily recovering was home by the time report card day arrived. Both his parents accompanied Mahim on this fateful day. Mahim felt rather queasy as they drove to his school.
When his name was announced to collect the report card his parents went to collect it. From where he was sitting on the bench, he could see his mother’s shocked expression with the report card open in her hands. Then the class teacher beckoned him to come to his desk. As he approached with trepidation, his class teacher looked at him with a smile and said, “Congratulations Mahim, you have stood first in all the sections. This is your best performance so far.”
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