She walked slowly down the road clutching on to her file, wishing the road would never end for her as she was heading home. It was raining, she was crying and her make up ran out. Home? It was a hovel! The village was shrouded in the silence, as it was midnight the only sounds were those of dogs barking.

She could walk no longer, so she sat down and her mother’s face flashed before her eyes. Her father had passed away for two years now and Rajani was her mother’s only hope. Rajani wiped her tears as she approached the house and rearranged her hair. Her mother was heating food for her when she walked in and she placed it next to her and then went to sleep. It was then Rajani realised that the food would come only with her earning for the family and she had failed to get a job again. The food was a plate of rice, watery lentil broth and some potato curry. After dinner, Rajani went to her room and threw herself on the tattered bed and then cried: “I hate you, dad.” She took out the picture of her father from under her bed and threw it on the floor. Why did he have to die after all and why did it have to be her to suffer so? For a moment she wished she were a child again who is unaware of death and struggle. Rajani picked up her father’s photo again and tried to recollect him when alive, he was a gentle person and he had asked her to take care of her mother and the boys when he was dying. Tomorrow would be a new day. The next day, Rajani went on a job hunt. She went through all the papers she could get to search for the available vacancies and when she went for interviews she was rejected at most places, as she had only passed Class 12.

She again went for an interview of a receptionist at a law firm, was interviewed by an ugly fat man who said, “So, you want a job Miss Rajani!’ and after having gone through her CV approved her saying, “Okay, we will hire you and you will be paid a salary of Rs 5,000 per month, but...” Rajani was already beaming with happiness… “You will have some extra work to do too!”for a moment she was confused and when she finally knew what he meant she got up and said, “Thank you, sir, but you found the wrong person,” and stormed out of the room. But the man called after her saying, “Think again! And call.”

The next morning Rajani got up and dailed the number of the law firm! — Indu Tiwari, Class12, NIST