My Struggle For An Education
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   Lesson-1
My Struggle For An Education

Written by -Brooker T. Washington


               One day, while (जबकि, के समय) at work in the coal mine (कोयले की खान), I happened (हुआ) to overhear (चुपके से सुनना) two miners (खान में काम करने वाले मजदूर) talking about a great school for coloured (हब्शी, काले लोग, अश्वेत) people some where in Virginia. This was the first time that I had ever heard anything about any kind of school or college that was more pretentious (ख्यातिप्राप्त, प्रसिद्ध) than the little coloured school in our town. As they went on describing the school, it seemed to me that it must be the greatest place on earth. Not even Heaven presented (दिया, प्रस्तुत किया) more attractions for me at that time than did the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute in Virginia, about which these men were talking. I resolved (दृढ निश्चय किया, संकल्प लिया) at once togo to that school, although (यद्यपि, हालाँकि) I had no idea where it was, or how many miles away, or how I was going to reach it. I was on fire constantly (हमेशा उत्तेजित रहा) with one ambition (अभिलाषा, दिली-इच्छा, and that was to go to Hampton. This thought was with me day and night.

               In the fall of 1872, I determined (दृढ-निश्चय) to make an effort to get there. My mother was troubled (परेशान, चिंतित) with a grave fear (बहुत बड़ा डर) that I was starting out (बाहर जाना, रवाना होना) on a, "wild-goose-chase (असंभव की खोज)." At any rate (चाहे जैसे, किसी भी कीमत पर), I got only a half-hearted (बेमन से, आधे मन से), consent (सहमति) from her that I might start. I had very little money with which to buy clothes and pay my travelling expenses (खर्चे). My brother John helped me all that he could; but, of course, that was not a great deal (बड़ी रकम, पर्याप्त).

               Finally (अंततः, आख़िरकार), the great day came, and I started for Hampton. I had only a small cheap (सस्ता) satchel (झोला, थैला) that contained (रखे था) the few articles (सामान, वस्तुएं) of clothing I could get. My mother at the time was rather (और भी ज्यादा) weak and broken in health. I hardly (बड़ी मुश्किल से) expected (आशा करता था) to see her again, and thus (इस प्रकार) our parting was all the more sad. She, however (फिर भी, हालाँकि), was very brave through it all.

               The distance from Malden to Hampton is about five hundred miles (मीलों). By walking (टहल कर), begging rides (सवारी मांग करके) both in wagons (घोडा-गाड़ी) and in the cars, in some way, after a      number of days, I reached the city of Richmond, Virginia, about eighty-two miles from Hampton. When I reached there, tired (थका हुआ), hungry (भूंखा) and dirty (गन्दा, मैला-कुचैला), it was late in the night.

               I had never been (नहीं रहा था) in a large city, and this rather (और भी) added to my misery मुसीबत). When I reached Richmond. I was completely out of money. I had not a single      acquaintance (परिचित, जानने-पहचानने वाला) in the place; and, being unused (नव-सिखिया, अनभ्यस्त) to city ways, I did not know where to go, I asked at several (अनेक, कई) places for lodging (ठहरने के लिए) but they all wanted money, and that was what I did not have. Knowing nothing else (कुछ और) better to do, I walked the streets.

               I must have walked the streets till after midnight (मध्य-रात्रि). At last I became so (बहुत) exhausted (थका हुआ) that I could walk no longer (अब और नही). I was tired, I was hungry, I was everything but      discouraged (हतोत्साहित, हिम्मत हारना). Just about the time when I reached extreme (चरम-सीमा) physical (शारीरिक) exhaustion (थकान), I came upon a portion (हिस्सा) of a street where the board sidewalk (फूट-पाथ) was cosiderably (जान-बूझ करके) elevated (उठाया या उभरा गया था).I waited for a few minutes till (जब तक , तब तक) I was sure (निश्चित, आश्वस्त) that no passer-by (राहगीर, राही) could see me, and then crept (सरक गया) under the sidewalk and lay for the night on the ground, with my satchel of clothing for a pillow (तकिया). Nearly (लगभग) all night I could hear the tramp (ख़ट-पट) of feet over my head.

               The next morning I found myself somewhat (कुछ, थोडा-बहुत) refreshed (तरो-ताज़ा). But I was extremely (बेहद, बहुत ज्यादा) hungry. As soon as (जैसे ही) it became light enough (पर्याप्त) for me to see my surroundings (आस-पास, अपने चारो तरफ), I noticed (देखा) that I was near a large ship. It seemed (लगा, प्रतीत हुआ) to be unloading (खाली होना, सामान उतरना) a cargo (बण्डल) of pig-iron (कच्चा लोहा). I went at once (तुरंत) to the vessel (जहाज) and asked the captain to permit (अनुमति) me to help unload (खाली करना) the vessel in order to get money for food. The captain, a white man (गोरा, श्वेत), who seemed to be kind hearted, consented (सहमति दे दी). I worked long enough to earn money for my breakfast; and it seems to me as I remember (याद करना) it now, to have been about the best breakfast that I have ever (कभी) eaten.

               My work pleased (खुश हुआ) the captain so well ( इतना ज्यादा, बहुत ज्यादा) that he told me that I could continue working for a small amount per day. This I was very glad (खुश) to do. I continued working on this vessel for a number of days. After buying food with my small wages (मजदूरी) there was not much left (बचता था) to pay my way to Hampton. In order to economize (मितव्ययी, कम खर्च) in every way possible, I continued to sleep under the sidewalk.

               When I had saved enough money with which to reach Hampton, I thanked the captain of the vessel for his kindness (उदारता), and started (चल पड़ा) again. Without any unusual (असाधारण) occurrence (घटना) I reached Hampton, with a surplus (बचत) of exactly (पूरा-पूरा) fifty cents with which to begin (शुरू करना) my education. The first sight (झलक) of the large, three-story brick (इंटों से बनी) school building seemed to have rewarded (पुरस्कृत) me for all that I had undergone (झेला, सहन किया) in order to reach the place. The sight of it seemed to give me new life.

               As soon as possible after reaching the grounds of the Hampton Institute (संस्था), I presented (पेश किया, प्रस्तुत किया) myself before the head teacher for assignment (दाखिला, नामांकन) to a class. Having been so long (बहुत लम्बे समय से) without proper food, a bath, and change of clothing, I did not, of course (बेशक), make a very favourable (अनुकूल, हितकारी) impression upon her. I could see at once that there were doubts (संदेह) in her mind about the wisdom of admitting me as a student. For some time she did not refuse (इनकार करना) to admit me, neither (न ही) did she decide in my favour (पक्ष में , हित में). I continued to linger (ठहरा रहा, डटा रहा) about her, and to impress (प्रभावित करना) her in all the ways I could with my worthiness (योग्यता, क़ाबलियत). In the meantime (उसी समय) I saw her admitting other students, and that added greatly to my discomfort (बेचैनी). I felt deep down (गहरी वेदना, मानसिक पीड़ा) in my heart, that I could do as well as they, if I could only get a chance to show what was in me.

               After some hours had passed, the head teacher said to me, "The adjoining (बगल का) recitation (संगीत-कक्ष) room needs (जरूरत है) sweeping. (झाड़ू लगाने की) Take the broom (झाड़ू) and sweep it."

               It occurred (लगा, सूझा) to me at once that here was my chance. Never did I receive (स्वीकार किया होगा) an order with more delight (आनंद).

               I swept the recitation room three times, than I got a dusting (पोंछा लगाने वाला) cloth, and I dusted (पोंछा) it four times (चार बार). All the woodwork (लकड़ी की वस्तुएं) around the walls, every bench , table, and desk (छोटी मेज), I went (पोंछा) over four times with my dusting cloth. Besides (इसके अतिरिक्त), every piece of furniture (लकड़ी से बने सामान) had been moved and every closet (आलमारी) and corner (कोना) in the room had been thoroughly (पूरी तरह से) cleaned. I had the feeling that in a large measure (काफी हद तक) my future depended (निर्भर था) upon the impression (छाप, प्रभाव) I made upon the teacher in the cleaning of that room. When I was through (कर चूका) I reported (सूचना दी) to the head teacher. She was a "Yankee" (यांक राज्य की रहने वाली) woman who knew just(तुरंत) where to look for dirt (धूल). She went into the room and inspected (जाँच-पड़ताल) the floor (फर्श) and closets; then she took her handkerchief (दस्ती, रूमाल) and rubbed (रगड़ी) it on the woodwork about the walls and over the table and benches. When she was unable (असफल रहीं) to find one bit of dirt on the floor or a particle (कण) of dust on any of the furniture, she quietly(शांत मन से, धीरे से ) remarked (बोलीं), "I guess you will do to enter(प्रवेश, दाखिला) this institution."

               I was one of the happiest (सबसे ज्यादा खुश) souls on earth. The sweeping of that room was my college examination. I have passed several examinations since then, but I have always felt that this was the best one I ever passed.




 
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