Today, when I look back at my life, when I think about my school days, this incident grabs all my attention. Her words still echo in my ears.
“You have grown up. You need to solve these petty problems on your own. Fight for what is right. Don’t suffer in silence.”
I did not realize its importance then. That was because I was merely 8 years old. Today, I know that it were these words that changed me completely. It was those words that serve as my inspiration to fight back.
Wondering what I am talking about? Let me tell you my story.
I was in Std. IV. I did not have any best friend. All my friendships were restricted to the classroom. Outside which, all were strangers. Some shared smiles while there were many who ignored me. I was the quietest in my class. For most of my teachers, I did not exist. They remembered me only during result time as I scored excellent marks.
An autorickshaw was hired by my parents in order to pick me and my sister to and from school. Being an introvert, I never indulged in talking with all the kids who travelled with me in that auto.
Days were going on smoothly until that black day dawned. I saw him come, running towards me after school. I was shocked to see him like that. He was a fat, fair fellow. His cheeks had turned pink due to sun. His bag danced on his shoulders.
“Do you know him? Why is he coming towards us?” my sister asked.
“I do not know.” I said and ignored him.
He walked up to me and said “Hi!”
I looked away and started talking to my sister. He tilted his head and said “I said ‘HI’.”
“Can’t you see that I’m not interested in talking to you?” I asked him with a frown on my face.
“No!” He slapped me and ran away. He had that devilish smile on his face.
I stood rooted to the ground, figuring out what had happened few moments ago.
“Didi! He beat you!”
“Yeah! It’s paining.”
“Please don’t’ cry. Please!”
Days rolled on. Every day, he would beat me after school. I suffered the pain. No person except my sister knew about this beating. I guess I was a coward who did not have the courage to take a stand for her. I did not complain until the very day my mother noticed the blue marks on my hands.
“What are these?” My mother asked.
“Mummy, its sketch pen.” I lied.
“No Mummy! There is a boy who beats Didi every day.” My sister told my mother.
“Who is he?” My mother asked.
“I do not know!” I replied with tears in my eyes.
“Okay. Don’t cry! I want you to find out his name and complain to his class teacher.” She said.
“Mummy, won’t you come to school and help me?”
“No! I won’t.”
“You can’t do this to me. I am your daughter.”
“I can do it to you BECAUSE you are my daughter.”
I was very angry with Mummy for not helping me out of this mess. Today, again he beat me. This time, I pushed him and he fell on the ground.
“I will see you tomorrow! Be prepared for the worse!” He warned me.
I grew worried.
“Didi, you must take action now!” My sister said.
“Yes!” I said, caught her hand and rushed towards the staffroom.
I had learnt from few kids who accompanied in my auto that he was studying in IIIrd Standard. But it was impossible to find out the division.
I went in to the staffroom and talked to a teacher.
“Are you class teacher of IIIrd Std.?”
“Yes. What is the matter dear?”
“Ma’am, there is a guy who beats me every day after school.”
“Do you know his name?”
“No Ma’am! But I can show him to you. He will be outside.”
“Okay. Let’s go!”
I pointed out a finger to him and said “That’s him!”
“Okay. May I know your name?”
“Okay Arya. Go home now. I promise you that he won’t beat you henceforth.”
Next day, I saw him come running towards me again. I was cautioned. I had made up my mind that I would take him to the principal. But surprisingly, he did not beat me.
“I am sorry, Arya.” He said.
I turned my face away.
“Look, I am sorry. Can we be friends?” He presented me a chocolate. I accepted it and also his friendship.
The teacher to whom I had complained about him was his class teacher. She scolded him a lot and also called up his parents to let them know about his conduct at school.
I returned home to tell my mother about him.
“Fight for what is right. Don’t suffer in silence.” She said.
These words did not have any effect on me then. I was angry with her. But today, I realize its importance.
Thank You Mummy! You made me what I am!