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Thank you Sir

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This article of mine is not just a story… neither a hoary tale but an experience…an experience which changed my life for good…

Something that I didn’t wanted… something I didn’t dream of … but something that just happened and I had very less control of…

But now when I look back at my past … I am glad it happened…

It was when I was in 8th and I appeared for the entrance exam of the coveted and most prestigious school of my beautiful state himachal Pradesh…

My parents… rather my mother didn’t want to send me to the armed forces but still intended me to study in sainik school…all went well and I got selected… and now I had to make a transition from the modern and happening school at Delhi to the remote and tough school at sujanpur tihra…

I didn’t know what to expect… but one thing I knew was that it was a tough nut to crack…

And the D-thing at Sainik School was “RAGDA”…or in simple English we can say that hard as well as harsh physical punishment…

Now the students who joined there in 9th were called the “new comers”…

So I among six others who joined school was labeled the new comers.

Anyways school life started…waking up in the morning at 5am going for p.t. … and running two rounds before exercises in the historical ground called chaugan which itself is the biggest single ground in hp… with a circumference of about more than 1.8 km .

Now that was a hell lot for me but slowly I adapted…

I didn’t knew what was restored for me in the future… life became tough…” the daily dose of ragda become a regular routine… the first day of ragda and It was like 45 min in cock position with jumping… and when the seniors left us my classmates who were there from 6th said …thank god that the left us early today… it was so hot and I was like what???? Are you nuts??? That’s early… come on even if a real cock had to jump for 45 min it would have fainted man…

The seniors used to devour giving “ragda”

But this was a glimpse of what all can follow…

I and my room mates where from different place… had different appearances and attitudes…

One of them was abhinav…

It appeared that he used to fritter away all his pocket money yet there was no dearth of it…

He used to eat ice creams ….daily…and chocolates and the entire lovely and mouth watering stuff…

We thought he must be very rich till but one day he told that he used to have all the goodies when there was a rush at canteen and didn’t pay for them … he just had them for free…and as he begin to get success in doing so… it became from occasional to a regular affair… his image become more of a thug and a wicked person…although he was very nice to us…

Now at the time of classes we all had a horrific time. We were teased, disturbed and teased and virtually our own classmates on the pretext that they are senior … that they have joined the school 3 years before us in 6th rather than we joining them directly in 9th and saving ourselves from the more tough time of the school being the junior most from 6th to 8th! Come on! That’s not fair! They used to steal all our stationeries without even us getting to know when it happened and who did it! You will not believe me they were like magicians… if we had our eyes off our pen for a second and it was gone… and we had no clue who took it! They had mastered this art! It became a costly affair for us as 2-3 pens daily was a normal affair…It was sickening… and the only positive we could take from it was that thank god the juniors who are junior as per the standard we are studying but senior based on the number of years spent in the school didn’t rag us! The senior and junior relation was very strict!!Juniors had to do anything and everything for the seniors without and complaint otherwise a thrashing of a life time awaited…

Now to make things worse… one day one of my roommate couldn’t find his hundred rupee note…it was a new note with new design so he kind of remembered it…he began to cry and told me and my friend vinay that he had a doubt an abhinav… we without giving much thought told him to check abhinav’s wardrobe if he can find it when he was gone..He checked and found a new 100 rupee note there and begins to swear that he recognizes the note and it was the same very note! We were astonished…but he was so convincing that it was hard to doubt him…we told him that you can take the note and we will not tell anybody ,this way abhinav will also be saved from humiliation…things move don…

abhinav didn’t notice the note missing and it was all well at this front…back to school there were great expectations from me as everybody knew I came from Delhi! The capital the big thing!

Putting more pressure on me…

Then came the class of math’s… the subject I wished I could have erased permanently from the history and bestow to my fellow future generation who hate math’s a cleaner simpler and math’s free environment and become a legend! Sounds nice … and comical… but things weren’t so nice ahead… the math’s teacher went out of the class and asked the monitor to write the names of the students who talk… I was quite…the atmosphere was too hostile for the new comers…but the so called old comers of my batch were up to the trick… they wrote my roll no and gave it to sir! He called me and without asking any question begin his famous practice …In his famous style….called nothing as such but enjoyed by everyone around…

He told me to come near me…he adjusted my face to suit his stance and told me to look at the tube light above I was dead scared…I began to look at the light and in anticipation to his hand near my right cheek ..Kept my hands near the cheek in order to weaken the impact and also because I was not that strong enough to have a slap boldly… I have never had one … it was natural… but guess what was restored for me … instead of slapping my right cheek… the sir slapped me on the left with his left hand and caught me unalarmed… and that was his famous deceptive style… I was made a laughing stock… and everyone enjoyed it for sure…but to be frank it wasn’t very funny at my side… it was humiliating… it was insulting and somewhere inside it sparked the feeling of revenge and hatred…I committed myself that I will take revenge for sure…

Time passed and our 1st term exam …I scored 53% with 24 in math’s the sir told my marks and laughed out loud… Try to pass at least once…its vey enjoyable” and again it began to increase my hatred and feeling of revenge exponentially. Began to study hard…coz that was the only way I can prove him wrong…

Then one day he asked the class to prepare a chapter and he would ask question from anyone… this was my chance…I knew… I toiled hard and prepared the chapter perfectly…and waited for the moment to come…

The moment arrived soon and as was expected I was asked to solve a question… I was little tense and looked wobbly and afraid , but the fire to prove him wrong was more intense …I quickly noted the question and solved it…I was confident but it appeared correct… I checked again I was correct… but the look on my classmates appeared pejorative..but what is happening… the teacher called me and began his famous ceremony again…stripping away my confidence and my pride this time I stood still and bang… I got the reward…it was painful… I couldn’t cry…but I felt as if I died…I
wa
s shocked and mute for days to come… all alone..

And although I realized later that I had copied the values wrong…but it hardly mattered now

And to add to it my mother mailed me stamps worth 200 and also inserted a 100rupee note in the letter! You know how nice and emotional mothers are was expecting the letter to reach me within a week from dispatch from home.and one day I received it… but somehow it was already opened and the stamps and currency was missing! It further disheartened me… and I got very said… all things began to accumulate and I did the most common mistake that we generally make when we confront a tough time … we remember the happier times and feel more sad .. More disheartened…

Now in the hostel my friend vinay began to blackmail vishal by threatening that he will tell abhinav and all that u took that money! Vishal succumbed to his demand… and I realized I had done a mistake believing him… he was guilty and that’s why he was doing whatever vinay told him to do so… from small treats to personal work like getting water etc…once in a while I also got some work done from him but sporadically…but vinays demand grew day by day and vishal got frustrated…he once when I and vinay were not around confessed after the other 5 roommates that he took the money from abhinavs wallet…but with a twist to save himself… he told that I forced him to take it… and I told him that abhinav must have done it and created an image that I was the main person behind the scene…I don’t know why?? But somehow everyone believed him… somehow vinay got away …initially we were together blamed… but as time passed by vinay somehow managed to escape it by doing a sort of confession but …but…making stories that made him look the less culprit…

They didn’t listen to me much… the believed what vishal told them…blindly I can say…they were of the impression that he confessed and he was blackmailed so he must be right…

Somehow I was left alone…to live a sedentary life…

They all began to mentally torture me…they began to call me a thief… they began to sing songs like” kar lo sab darwaze band… dekho aye aye chor” from the movie mohabbatein whenever I was around…the told our other classmates and they began to torture me too… I was left alone and tattered …totally shattered…no one was willing to listen to me… I felt that the whole universe has conspired against me…I was taunted in class… in hostel… in mess and everywhere I was not alone… I began to isolate myself…I began to sleep early in order to avoid the comments of room mates… they never stopped as if they were destined to make me mad. to inject pain in me…as if I had killed somebody…and vishal was treated with respect…oh my god…what worse can happen…believe me ii was a hello of a ride through a hell of a time and made a hell of an impact in my life… and I pray that it doesn’t happen to anyone…and I being shy…never shared anything with my parents….

So I was alone…beaten…down…

And to add to it… one day before our exam… I laid on my bed early….and tried to sleep to avoid comments…but couldn’t sleep somehow…after nearly half an hour…my roommates began to start conversion that they will tell our warden Madame all about it… they began …

Scene one: vishal…a meek and simple boy who has come from the simple town of solan arrived to sainik school and meet this guy arun…who was from Delhi…as cleaver as fox…coaxed vishal to steal and then blackmailed him…vishal was caught in the web …he got tortured… his guilt grew beyond what his heart could hold… he did the right thing and confessed…and did a favor to us by letting us know that arun was a devil in disguise..

Then one of them told that we will systematically blame arun for some other thefts and things that had happened but were not solved…

And when the majority will say so… it’s sure that he will be deemed guilty and punished severely …that would be a lesson to him…

And when I heard these words… my heart broke….I couldn’t imagine that they can go so low… creating imaginary stories…I cried inside… I died inside…I lost hope…I lost vision …I lost myself… I lost everything…

I faced death while I was alive… for what… a 100 rs … a fib …

Next day I went to warden and told her everything that had really happened… I made a confession… I accepted the fact that my responses to the situation were jejune…I cried my heart out… I told her how I was tortured… day and night…I didn’t knew whether she would believe me…but I just wanted to say my heart out…fortunately…when my roommates were cooking the story they got a bit louder than normal and warden madam was on the round of hostel… she somehow had listened there entire conversation.. I couldn’t believe…I was glad it happened… she called all my roommates and before the could perceive what had happened… told them everything what I said… they began to defend themselves …and started to blame me…but when madam told me that she heard there conversation that day they were shocked .. there well planed script turned into a gaffe ..And after many talks there was a compromise…

But things were almost the same … only that the taunts by the roommates were now no more . I began to retrospect … I realized how preposterous was i…..and I remained isolated… then one day I wrote to my parents that I was not happy here… I told about getting low scores in math’s and the theft of stamps as being the reason…

And life continued…

But a few days later our principal Col. H.S. BHANDAL a person who was respected by everyone in the school. He had a great personality…he had a great spirit… and under his able leadership our school had reached great heights…and there were no doubts whatsoever that he was doing a yeoman’s service for the institution … he was simply an ideal for most of us…

He came to me and asked “cadet arun pandit” I replied “yes sir”!

Your father has sent me a fax from Delhi… he told me that you were unhappy and sad here…due to some problems and incidences…

I didn’t say anything … he took me with him on a stride and told me…

Son life is tough … but you have to be tougher…look in to my eyes…I hesitated but slowly made eye contact with him… he told me…till now you were living in the sconces of your parents…but things are different now…life is not always fair…you may think that you are very unlucky and unfortunate…that you have got all the troubles in the world …

You are young son… you are bound to think that way…its natural … rather it is nothing to do with the senescence… Even the older ones think this way…i don’t blame you…

but son remember nothing great is ever achieved without struggle…the life of great people remind us of the fact that they faced heart breaking failures in there life… they failed many times …

But they never gave up! They lost but they got up! At times they lost hope…lost confidence…lost belief…lost everything…but they got up…they failed to accept defeat…they fought against all odds…and proved there critics wrong…they proved there worth and proved that nothing is impossible!

These sublime souls…

They went from the lowest low….the nadir…. to the highest high…

From extreme darkness to light…

From ordinary to extraordinary…

Facing and overco

ming there fears and failures made them immortal… made them an inspiration…

You have to be tougher…I am your father here and you can come to me anytime for any kind of help or problem…together we will overcome them…

Cadet Arun pandit I want to see you as person who is remembered, respected and appreciated by everyone …I want you to be a force to reckon with… a juggernaut …I want you to carry the sujanian spirit everywhere you go…

In pursuit of excellence…

In know you will never let me down…

These words changed my life… it bestowed in me belief… faith…and the “DON’T GIVE UP!”

Spirit… fail! Fall! Cry! Even die….

But don’t give up!

Because impossible is nothing…

The teachers have got the power to mould the student’s future … not just studies… not just sports…

I don’t know whether you believe in pantheism or not…

But one thing is true…

A person who tries his best doesn’t require a placard to prove his worth.

But to develop the attitude…to develop the faith…to bring out the best in them…believe me if someone you respect puts faith in you and pushes you to reach the limits and beyond…it’s hard to fail…

I had problems even after talking to sir …but I never went to him again… his words always supported me and pulled me up! I never gave up… I failed many a times…but I got up and won…

I got 90+ in final exams in maths…I stood 2nd in 10th board… I went on to become the school literary captain…the states best declamation speaker…DG NCC scholarship winner… etc… and most importantly…

I became a man…I realized that there is no ersatz to hard work and struggle…

I reached greater heights … a loss became a motivation to win bigger more difficult battles of life…

And although I have got a lot to achieve… a lot to prove…and I have not reached the level he wanted me to attain…but I am sure very soon I will do it…even surpass it…

And for this …from the bottom of my heart I would like to say…

Thank you sir…

By Arun Pandit@dontgiveup

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