TRAPPED

By Anjali Mohapatra • May 4, 2015

TRAPPED

It is a big, renowned high school. Children are coming from various places. They have one thing in common, in their mind that ‘The School will build up their career’. Of course, the future of any child in that matter, depends upon the regular activities of the child in particular and precisely what he learns from the school. A reputed school, gives the concept of definitely well groomed teachers. This is the basic concept of almost all the parents. Let us see what one of the renown school has taught to its children.

Sam, a ninth class child resided in that school boys’ hostel within the same school campus with so many other children. Although his parents were residing in the same city, yet he preferred to stay in the hostel because of the distance of school and home. The school starts from 8:30 a.m up to 1:30 p.m for the children. After that it gets over. So, it was a benefit for the hostel children to attend the class in time and not to bother for late punishment. Of course, other children were also coming in time. One day, as usual, bell rang and the teachers went to their respective classes. It was first period, obviously after the attendance, the subject teachers went to their allotted classes. That day, it was Civics period in IX-A section. Children were waiting for Mr. S. Sharma, their civics teacher. He was also in-charge of boys’ hostel. So, he was a bit closer to the children rather than other teachers. However, the moment he entered the room, with courtesy children stood up and wished him ‘good-morning’ in chorus. He reciprocated in a smiling face and began: ‘So, children, today we are going to learn our ‘Constitutional Laws’. Is that clear? Then he gave a preliminary hint about law and order, discipline, our rights and duties etc. He cited some heroic acts and thoughts of some great leaders, their honesty, bravery, patriotism etc. Again the bell rang and the period was over. Children immediately started making buzzing noise .Some of them said, ‘Sharma sir, is really good. He is very honest, teaches well.’ Sam heard the comment but didn’t say anything. He was a new-comer. So he was not well acquainted with all the teachers. However at least he knew Sharma sir, as he was staying in hostel.

Few days passed. It was evening time, Sam was busy finishing his homework, so that he could join with the boys, playing foot-ball in the school playground. One private house was adjacent to the school building. The backyard of that house was huge, covered with various trees, such as mango, lemon and beautiful hibiscus flowers. Half an hour later Mr. Sharma called Sam. He left the game, came to Mr.Sharma and asked, ‘Did you call me, sir?’

‘Oh, yes, yes. Do one favour to me. Jump this fence and bring some hibiscus for me. I need it tomorrow,’ said Mr. Sharma.

Sam couldn’t get it first. He questioned him again, ‘Sir, what? From where will I bring the flower?’

Sharma sir pointed his finger and said again, ‘From the neighbour’s backyard, can’t you get it?’

Sam looked to the backyard of the neighbour’s building. Hesitatingly he said, ‘But, sir, how can I go without the owner’s permission? I am afraid I can’t do this. Even though it is flower, it is like stealing something. Sir, you only told few days back about right and duties, honesty, isn’t it, Sir? I am really scared to do this job,’ uttered Sam nervously.

Now Mr. Sharma got furious and shouted at him, saying, ‘Don’t be silly, Sam. Theoretical and practical, are two different things, Sam. We are not obeying all that is written in the books, are we? And besides that, don’t act like so innocent, for God’s sake. What do you think yourself to be? You want to teach me? If you won’t obey me, you know what will happen in your future.’

Sam realised the implementation of his words and jumped over the fence to bring some flowers. It was his bad luck that day. While he was plucking the flowers, he was caught by the owner who was standing a little distance away, watering the other plants. The owner didn’t say anything to him that day. But next day, he gave a complaint of theft to the principal of the school about this undesirable incidence.

The Principal called Sam for interrogation. Sam was completely scared and nervous. He stood before the Principal putting his head down. In a heavy voice the principal asked, ‘Is it true Sam what I heard against you? I had a very good notion about you. How can you enter somebody’s house without his permission? Is that right what you have done? Tell me ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

Sam kept quiet. When the principal demanded his answer, Sam spoke politely, ‘Sir, I didn’t want but I was forced.’

‘Forced by whom?’ questioned the principal.

Sam gathered his courage and revealed the truth. But unfortunately the Principal was not ready to accept a single word against Sharma sir, as he had already convinced the Principal as an honest teacher. The truth remained unfolded. Sam’s eyes became watery. He never thought that he would be proved as a liar. However, he was sent with warning that no more offence in future. He felt extremely angry inside, he wanted to prove his innocence but no choice was left.

Next day was Saturday. He used to visit home in Saturday and back to the hostel in Sunday night. He was feeling very uncomfortable but went home to see his dad and mom. When he reached there, his mom was just preparing some special delicious food for him. At that very moment he forgot everything and hugged his mother. Loudly Sam said, ‘Mom, I am hungry, give me something to eat.’

His mom immediately replied, ‘Yes, honey, I was just waiting for you.’ Before finishing her words, she served his favourite snacks.

He started eating fast. ‘Mom, where is dad?’ half swallowing the food he asked.

Sam was surprised when he heard this phone talk. He immediately asked, ‘Mom, you told me dad is there, why did you lie to the person in phone call?’

Mom said, ‘Don’t worry, sometimes it is necessary, otherwise they will spoil our holiday.’

Now Sam really got angry. He shouted at his mom, ‘Mom, I am really, really confused, I don’t know to whom I should trust, I will be mad, if I will hear this type of false statement anymore. What’s wrong if you were telling him the truth? Why should we tell lie for such a small matter?’ Sam left the half eaten food and hurriedly went to his bed room and covered his head under the pillow. His mom couldn’t understand such a violent reaction of her son. She never noticed this type of strange behaviour of Sam before. She was surprised.

Slowly she came to Sam’s bedroom and in a very soft voice asked, ‘Sam, what is wrong with you? Someone hurt you? Or is there any serious problem, what happened, tell me honey, I promise I will do something, if you are really hurt.’

Fifteen minutes later Sam got up. But his eyes were still red and watery.

‘After fifth standard I never saw you crying Sam, please tell me what has happened? I think, you are big enough to handle some difficult situation. Are you not happy with the school?’ at a stretch his mom asked so many questions.

Sam tried to settle down himself, then he started, ‘Mom, when I was a child, I well remembered, you were telling me some good stories. Anytime I was doing something wrong you were guiding me in the right direction, but no more I am a kid, now at least to some extent I can distinguish between good or bad, right or wrong. But unfortunately looking at the surrounding and circumstances, I am totally confused. I feel as if, we all are living in a layer of falsehood and not only that, so casually we are passing the lie as if it’s nothing, not a big deal. I am lost, mama! I feel, as if I am in an illusion. The persons to whom I should bestow my faith, have been destroyed. Without having any fault in the school, I was scolded by the Principal, here in front of me, you were telling a lie. Are we all trapped, mom? Don’t you agree that all we are under pressure of some unseen force, which is enforcing to all of us, to do the wrong thing? What is that? Isn’t it fear? Why should we do that? I am really sick and tired of this lie. Are we really so weak, that we can’t speak the truth ever? Tell me mama, give me the right answer or I will go mad.’

Now Sam’s mom, realised what impact had been given by her simple wrong statements. Slowly she held Sam’ hand, pressed it softly and said, ‘Look, dear, I am really very sorry. I regret for my mistake. I do understand what is going on in your mind and what made you so violent but it is really very difficult to make you understand the truth. Please Sam, do not misunderstand me. I couldn’t imagine that my words would hurt you so much. I am so sorry son, please forgive me! I promise you, here after, I will never ever lie to anyone, whoever it may be. Please, dear forgive me for my mistake. I don’t want that my son will live and continue his future life in falsehood. Honestly speaking, now I realised what blunder I have done. Even if you will be punished, never give up the path of truth,’ saying this she hugged her son for some time, kissed his forehead. Sam could feel the weight of his mother’s voice. He came back to his normalcy.

‘Sam,’ his mom continued, ‘ we are in a society and we have to pace with our fellow beings, but what happens, sometimes we face such a complicated situation, that no choice was left for us except adopting lies to overcome the problem, although we know that it’s wrong. Perhaps, for my own selfish-ness, I opted the wrong choice, okay? But, henceforth, I am sure neither you nor anyone of us will ever do this mistake again, agree?’ she said smiling at Sam. Both mother and son went to the dining table once again to enjoy the delicious morning food.

Hi, readers, this is for you. What do you think? One Sam and his mom realised the mistake but there are millions of this type of young children who are often misguided in our society. What do ‘you’ want to do for them? Remember, you are also included in that ‘you’. Please, think and act, ‘better late than never’.

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