The story highlights the struggles faced by a little 7-year old until she reaches her teens and her evolving into a winner inspite of the hardships dished out to her. The backdrop of the story is pre-independence era of India. More
Little Nihar lay under the cool shade of the Banyan tree as the afternoon sun played havoc with the heat. Her two year old brother Nilesh lay beside her gurgling with laughter as Dolly, Nihar's younger sister tickled him with a strand of grass. The threesome were cooling off after lunch as there 50 year old Grandmother (affectionately called 'Didima') washed the utensils under the cow shed to beat the summer heat. Nihar's Grandfather Brij Babu as he was respectfully called by his subordinates at the Railway office was reading the newspaper in the
verandah of the small but comfortable house he had bought after his retirement. Who would say a few days back what the family had faced...
It was the summer of 1934...
Nandadulal and his wife Nandini waited under the tin shed of Bangla Girls Bidyalaya for seven year old Nihar and five year old Dolly as they gaily skipped out of the school gates. Nandini smiled at their happy faces and handed some candy floss to both of them.
“Where is Nilesh ,Ma?” asked the ever concerned Nihar grasping eagerly at the simple sweetmeat. She turned towards her mother. She
was overprotective of her little brother who was always landing into some mischief or the other. Nandadulal laughed at her innocent concern and lifted Dolly into his arms , affectionately patting Nihar's head as he added smiling “ Nihar, he is with didima? Do not worry your wise little head for him my shining star. But I pray to God that you always remain like this.”
Nihar beamed at her father. She liked when her Father called her that, “Like what Bapi?”asked Nihar
“Like the elder sister you always are. Always fawning over Dolly and Nilesh. Loving and caring for them. That's how.” said Nandini softly. Nihar smiled back at her ever gentle mother.
“Now now now, just tell me how have you fared in your half yearly exams?” laughed Nandadulal.
Nihar looked up at him with shining eyes and smiled as she handed him her report card and joyfully announced, “I have again come First in my class Bapi. Baro Didi told that I would win a scholarship again if I tried hard like the last time!!!”
Nandadulal's eyes misted as he noted her intelligent eyes shining up at him. She really made him proud.
She was truly the shining star of the family. He had high hopes for her. He knew from the day she was born that Nihar was no ordinary child. He affectionately ruffled her hair and gave her a pat. Nihar grinned back at his happiness.
Nandadulal- affectionately known among friends as Nanda, an able and a bright young man. An orphan at a very young age Nanda had lost his parents during the struggle for freedom of India.
His father a well known revolutionary had lost his life trying to help a few others to flee from the lockup while his mother had stood guard at the front gates to lure away the Englishguards when they were shot at. The first shot had pierced right through her heart.
Little Nanda grew up into a robust young man under the guidance of his Grandparents. He had vowed to avenge his father's death but then he had caught Brij Babu's eye for his good manners and sincere demeanor while working at the same office. Brij Babu had taken him under his wings lest the young man be misled by the