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Another Cinderella (Sharmila) Story

Once upon a time.....


Yes, this is another Cinderella Story...


Once upon a time there was a frail young girl named Sharmila...


Sharmila is not a girl from the slums. She works with Bhamini.


Her father and mother lived so far far and very far away. She missed them so much. She especially missed her mother. But... she always knew that her Mother-like-God was like a fairy to her. So she lived with her sister-in-law ...

No no no... Her sister-in-law is not evil. She is a very nice lady and loves Sharmila. Let me move on...

So Sharmila worked in the slums. She is a very hardworking girl. One day she walks her way through the thick slums as usual . She walks among many prying eyes. When she walked, Huge Indian Railway Rats ...

I am not sure if there is a rodent species named such; but if you ever see those giant rats at an Indian railway Station, tortuous among the filth- both human and inhuman- you will be enlightened with a taxonomic discovery each time...

The Huge Indian rats blazes across her, screeching their hunger and vexation. They invade the pumpkin garden canopying the hamlets.

Then it happened- that which was destined to happen! The Railway crossing toll bell struck three.

DING! DING! DING!

They close the gate for the arrival of the afternoon train...all vehicles stopped... the red flag up... all hearts in eager expectation... The bovine queens of the roads stood still in jealousy...

SHARMILA’S SANDALS BROKE.

Despondency hit Sharmila; she was late; she didn’t keep her word. The broken sandal now lying on the ground on the steps of a horrendously shabby hut ...

I’m sorry, but I have to twist the story a bit here. Since there was no prince following Sharmila, it did not make sense to Sharmila to leave the sandals there...

She picked up the sandal and she ran on her bare foot, the Giant Indian rats still thundering before her and pumpkins at their places. She reached her home- her school. The Slum women were already at the centre. Her students were already waiting for her. They were surprised Sharmila was late. The ever-happy Cindrella hid no part of the story to them; she narrated what had occurred, with the broken sandals for display at her side.

Fast-forward two hours of tedious classes; all the women did their best for the day. Each of them left for their homes leaving Sharmila alone. She picked her bag to leave. She had no sandals to put on, but she had her feet strong enough to walk. Only if she could borrow a pair of sandals from someone! But then...

A feeble slum fellow emptied his drum with a bang on to the floor. Then there was a thumping on the door. She saw one lady walk in, with a pair of old sandals.

Sharmila smiled. But then the next princess walked in with another pair. Each princess walked in with a pair of sandals in her hands. Sharmila could not believe her eyes. She sat. She had many sandals to wear now. She could borrow any of them. They all sat. Sharmila tried on every of them to find the fit. There was a brand new one. A black one with crystal polka dots; it looked gorgeous! It was a perfect fit.

“Thanks, I will bring it back tomorrow.” Sharmila said looking at the young girl who brought the sandal.

The generous young soul looked surprised and exclaimed exuberantly.

“No, ma’am. Those are for you. It is my gift...”

You really don’t want me to tell you how Sharmila went back home.

There were tears, flooding the roads; the bovine queens still looking on enviously. She entered her home red-eyed. She fell on her knees and thanked her God. Sharmila is living happily ever after.

The Cinderella story ends there.

Sharmila seems to occupy the centre of the story; but the real heroes of our Sharmila story are the women from the slums. Dear friend, I have learned a lesson from poor people. It is the poor widow who gives two copper coins! It seemed so strange a lesson but so concurrently true. I have learnt that there is many a sacrifice behind every giving. These simple ladies who gave Sharmila the pair of shoes were so poor. Yet every one of them brought their own pair. Isn’t that noble? The nobility in giving goes often unrecognised. I know our supporters too. It is not because our supporters have so much that they can give; it is diametrically divergent from what is often thought. It is the scarcity that enables them to give. I salute them. I am shrewd enough to ask the same givers again and again. I know where the good heart is. It is not with the rich, but with the widow.

Once again we wish you a very happy and blessed new year to you and your family. We also encourage you to continue blessing us with your love, prayers and support.

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