"Today I would like to tell you a story that I read long ago when I was a small girl .Maybe this is just a fairy tale.But the story was a very touchy one that I still remember until now."
All of them sat up straight.Faces look so eager to listen.
" Ok , once upon a time there was a young mother who lived in a small village with her baby girl .Mother loved her girl very much.Although she was very poor, she always tried her best to fulfill her every wish.."
They lived happily.Mother went to work at the chief's house everyday taking her daughter with her.She cleaned the house, and did other house chores too.In the evening they went home with some food given by the chief's wife.
One night there was a thunderstorm and a heavy rain.The little girl was awoke.Mother comforted her.It was cold in the house.Puddles of water were everywhere.She went down to get a basin.
When she was up in the house again, her baby was gone.She cried for her, called out her names .There was no answer. with the small lamp in her hand, she searched for her high and low.Still no sign of her.
"Maybe she went down to be with me just now when I looked for the basin" She thought.In the heavy rain she frantically looked for her.
Suddenly she saw a figure standing before her.It was so dark she couldnt see the face.
" Looking for your baby? " The voice asked.
"Yes , please tell me.Where is my baby." She was crying now.
" I will tell you. But I want something from you in return."
" I will give you anything, tell me where is my baby."
" I have always love your long black hair, for a change you can have my long white one"
" Take it.as long as I have my baby back"
In a second her hair was gone.On her head now is the other one's hair, all white and lifeless.
" Tell me where is my baby..Please.."
" You walk straight on until you see a junction, turn left and you'll find a man with one leg who will tell you the next route to take, to find your baby"
She didnt wait to listen more from the voice.She almost ran with her white long hair to find the man.
She saw a small house, with a man with one leg as told by the voice.
"Someone has taken your baby. I know where she took her.But I want something from you "
" You can have anything.please tell me where is my baby." She pleaded.
" I want those strong teeth you have.Mine are all gone."
Before she could say anything, her strong white teeth were gone.
" He He , thank you. you may now walk to the edge of the jungle.there you will see a big tree.Under the tree is someone waiting for you to tell you what to do next"
She ran on, crying and calling her baby's name.
There under the big tree sat an old woman, There were all wrinkles on her face with deep set eyes.She said.
" You have come a long way, I know where you can get back your child, but I too want something from you.Since this is the nearest place for you to go and get you child, I want something very precious from you."
As always the young mother never thought of herself.In her mind she only wanted her baby back.
" You can take anything from me.Please give back my baby." She cried.
The old woman stood up.The young mother could see her clearly now.She must be about a hundred years old.
" I just want your youth. Ha ha. You see how old I am? I will show you the place to get back your baby after I get what I want."
The mother was stunned.Many things came into her mind.
"Whats the use of this youth to me without my baby.I would rather be old and poor."
In a flash of time, she became old and haggard.She felt so weak.She could hardly walk, she could hardly speak.She seemed to lose her voice too.
The old woman, now young and beautiful, said to her.
"You see that big house there. your baby is there, go there and take her back now."
The mother made her way slowly to the big house.She was so weak she took a long time to reach the house.
There she saw her baby happily playing with many other babies.She could hardly recognize her. She was beautiful . She was dressed in a beautiful gown, there were many toys around her.With tears flowing from her eyes she called out her baby.Once , twice. Her baby looked up , only to show no recognition in her eyes.
She sat slowly on the grass, cried and cried her heart out..
" Of course she wont recognize me now.I look so old." She cried and cried..She looked again at her baby.
" My baby is happy, she looks beautiful, she has many friends, if she comes back with me what can I give her, I am old , ugly and very poor."
She stood up slowly, looked at her baby for the last time and walked slowly away....
"You see, a mother's love is unconditional. always love your mother.You can go to the end of the world but you wont find a love as great as your mother's love for you.. "
I looked at my pupils faces as I finished the story.Everyone was quiet. I looked at Azim . Without a word I walked out of the class ..crying..