The day the results were out & she was declared a graduate in B Com, Ashmita didn’t have so much of exhilaration. Her mother had called once she got the news,
‘Oh my baby doll has become a graduate! It calls for a celebration!’

‘Mom! Mom! Mom! Relax! It’s just a degree. That too, a normal one. Alongwith me a hundred other students passed. A lakh clear the course every year.’

‘All that is fine. But becoming a graduate in any case is an achievement! Guess what!? I told every possible person at my office that you have become a graduate. Now they are asking for a treat.’

‘Oh please! People are waiting for a chance to ask treats. Just don’t spend money unnecessarily alright? And I don’t want any celebration or fuss over this.’

‘For heaven sake! You are a graduate…’

‘So are a hundred others…’

‘Dear, I have some more work. Will talk to you later. And yes, congrats once again. Bye.’

And the beep indicating the end of the conversation.

‘Thanks mom.’ She gradually placed the receiver pondering over her mom’s reaction at the news that she had become a graduate. At school, when she had got around six prizes for various competitions at once, her mother was happy. When she was a subject topper or a class topper- those were situations where she was the only one who had the privilege – her mom congratulated her. But today, when she merely passed a degree course, which anyone today could do, her mother was speechless. Weird!

That evening when her mom came home after work, Ashmita couldn’t believe her eyes. Boxes and boxes of sweets were kept on the table – gulab jamoon, rasagulla, jalebi, ladoo and so on.

‘Mom! Whats happening?’

‘Oh my young graduate’ she hugged her daughter proudly giving a more than 180 degree smile.

‘Don’t tell me you gave treat in your office.’

‘Ofcourse I did…’

‘Didn’t I tell you not to? It was an unnecessary expense. I was clear about not making a fuss over my graduation. It isn’t anything great!’

Her mother didn’t say anything, but her face fell.

‘Oh it’s alright mom. I know you are happy but, it is actually nothing much. Alright, I won’t say anything more. Lets celebrate.’

Though Ashmita still had no idea what the celebration was for, soon she forgot the incident and moved on with her higher studies.

Few years later at a training session for the newly promoted officers, the professor to the student,.
‘I want each one of you to tell me which was the happiest moment in your life. Let us start from the last row.’
‘When I got my job’

‘Good, next’

‘There were a couple of times when I was really happy. One among that was when I had my child.’

‘Yes definitely. Next,’

‘When I got my job’

‘When I got a promotion’

‘When I got my job’

‘When my son was born’

After a long while of ‘when I got my jobs’ and ‘my child was born’, the last student in the class at the front corner got up & she said,

‘The happiest moment in my life was when my daughter became a graduate. My family conditions were such that I had to discontinue my studies. Many times in my life I had wished I could continue them and become a graduate in the least. During training and discussions when the graduates are asked to get up, I feel embarrassed to find myself the only one among them to remain seated. I vowed on one such unfortunate moment that I will never let my children face it. And the day my elder daughter became a graduate my joy knew no bounds. It was as though I had become one!’

She deserved an applause!

In life we take for granted many things. We know their significance only when we see the yearning for them in others’ eyes.