When Lakshmi, a domestic help sees a young girl scribbling on the wall, there is a longing in her eyes, the moment becoming a rude reminder of her illiteracy.
This is a scene from the 2016 Hindi film "Angry Indian Goddesses."
The same longing is palpable in an emotional post put up on Facebook by a Kerala student, who has dedicated her academic success to her mother, an illiterate woman.
On Thursday, Ashwani AP, a native of Kollam district, Kerala, posted a status update on Facebook after she received the first rank in MA Malayalam from Kerala University. In the post, which has since gone viral, Ashwani writes about how her mother, despite being illiterate, continues to be her backbone.
She begins the post with a declaration: â€śI am a daughter of an illiterate mother.â€ť
â€śAs one of the many children in the family, nobody was bothered about sending my mother to school. She would tell me about her childhood days that she spent cooking for others, in the confines of the kitchen. Every time I won competitions, people would ask me if my mother was a teacher. To this, I used to say that she was indeed my teacher,â€ť she writes.
Stating that it is through her mother that she first saw the world, Ashwani says that she had the urge to learn to read when she saw her mother struggling to read letters that Ashwani's father used to send from Bombay.
â€śI first began to then read signboards on buses. It is through me that my mother learnt to read. No matter how small a step, she began to learn to read. She would keenly observe me when I used to read, write and speak to people. At least some of you might remember a mother who said that she was happy, when she was asked to make a speech about her daughter who had just mesmerized the audience on the first day at the department. When the time arrived for her to put her signature, I remember how she glanced at me with tears in her eyes,â€ť Ashwathi writes.
She added that she cannot bear her motherâ€™s tears and that the two of them continue to learn from each other.