Childhood Lessons: School Is In Session
Mohit was walking back to his home from school looking all perplexed and tired. Exam season was in its full swing and, as is evidently clear it is the hardest time for students. Mohit was no different. But it was even more difficult for him because ADHD had been plaguing this 9-year-old boy’s life. All the lack of attention and concentration did not help with his grades and the exponentially increasing pressure from parents. He knew that he was in a load of trouble because he couldn’t write anything at all in his answer sheet. Poor memory retention is not a superpower you know. But nevertheless he worked hard, always tried to do his best, but even he did not know why he seemed to get lost during this time. He absolutely did not know what was going on with him. It was like the worst hangover ever.
So, that particular day landed in the mid of June, when the sun spurts fire threatening to burn down the whole planet, thirst is the ultimate need for all living species, and even a little bit of shade is the salvation of the soul. Mohit’s school was not far from his house so he used to walk back alone. His hair a mess, white school shirt turned brown from playing in the sand and more than half of it not tucked inside his grey shorts, black shoes filled with sand, complexity on his face that a normal 9-year-old kid is hardly capable of, he walked lethargically towards his home. When suddenly, he bumped against a man. He couldn’t see the man’s face because the sun was directly behind his head creating a halo of light, but if asked, he would guess the man’s age to be in the late twenties. He politely said sorry and was going his way when the man grabbed his arm and asked him, “You are Mohit, aren’t you?. I am Gopal. I know you and your family and I have been looking all over the area for your house. I have some serious news for you.”. Mohit looked up and asked, “What is it?”, the man said, “Your parents have done a terrible mistake. The day before yesterday they conducted this havan(pooja ceremony) do you remember?”.
“Well, they did something so terrible that now they have been cursed by God.”
“What happened?”, Mohit’s interest grew.
“They did an upshakun(an act that annoys God) by killing a spider right in the middle of the ceremony.”
“So, why are you telling me all this?”
“Because the child, only you can undo this curse. I’ll tell you how. Run towards your home fast, grab all your money and your mother’s jewellery and bring all that to me as fast as you can. I’ll be standing right here.”
Mohit was a gullible child. He nodded to the stranger and started to run. As soon as he reached home huffing and puffing, his mom greeted him, “How was your paper honey? Did you write all that I taught you?”. Seeing his mom’s face he got to thinking that if he did something so blatantly outrageous his mom wouldn’t leave him alive. Terrified by the image that formed in his head, he shivered and dropped the idea of going out altogether.
Evening came. Mohit went to play cricket with his friends on the terrace. As expected their ball flew, spinning uncontrollably in the air and landed on the street. He ran down the stairs and was soon out of the house after the bouncing ball. As he picked up the ball he noticed that exactly in front of him was a police jeep in the back of which that same man, Gopal, was sitting, handcuffed. Everything clicked into place and Mohit realised that that man had been a thug. It would have been a terrible mistake to comply with the strange man’s request.
This way a 9-year-old child learnt his lesson that one should never trust a stranger and he accomplished this without getting a beating.
The writer of “Childhood Lessons: School Is In Session” is Gitanjali Mishra. Connect with her on Facebook.