A Village Boy


CHAPTER THREE
Stolen Crayon Box

It was a beautiful Sunday. I was a reserved boy; the crowd and loitering around were not my passion. Many of my friends would be gone to play. That day I remained in hostel trying to mend my torn uniform. The uniform that served different purposes for more than a year. It will have to continue to serve same purposes again and again until my parents can afford to get new one. I knew that day wouldn’t come any time soon. Therefore, I will have to keep on mending, stitching it to keep myself warm and clothed.
I would never harm anyone. I would never share my pain to anyone. I kept everything, that is odd, to myself. I won’t steal anything belonging to my friends, not even if someone would have taken my pencil at night, which was cloaked inside the jachung of my gho. I had jachung (the thin cloth stitched on the inside edges of gho) in my uniform cut with my teeth to fit in my pencil. When the classes are over, pencil and eraser would be cloaked in through; to make sure that it is not misplaced. The fear that Mr. NK will throw me down on the floor for not having pencil to write in class didn’t give me enough courage to steal something which didn’t belong to me. But, not every friend of mine was same. Some didn’t care about others’ innocence. Two of my friends broke into the class and stole a crayon box. I knew they did it because they came to hostel with it.
Tomorrow was different taste for us, more specifically to me. Our Headmaster knew about it, because boxes were in countable numbers and they left wooden windows wide-opened. He wanted to know who did it. No one claimed the responsibility. Headmaster then decided to punish whole of class, that is, caning again. Who would like to get caned, I never liked it. I knew no one in the class would like it. However, I didn’t know that it would be only me who would get caned at the end of the day. Very two friends of mine, who broke into the class stood up and pointed their fingers at me. They got up and said, “Sir, it is Nima who did it”. I was totally surprised and frightened. What a betrayal! What did I do to deserve that? I didn’t harm them, I never thought bad of them, but why me? These were questions running through my mind. The Headmaster shouted at me, “Get up and come here”. I was so frightened; I got up immediately and went to him. He made me stand in front of class. “Why did you do that? Who told you to do that?”, he continued to scold me. “I didn’t do it Sir”, I replied. Did he believe me? No he didn’t, instead it got worse. “Now you want to lie to me huh?”, he repeated these words many times continuing to cane me.

It was an unusual and difficult Monday. That day I had friends who betrayed me, and a teacher who didn’t believe me. I almost lost hope in everything; I missed home then, needed to see my parents, more desiringly my mother who would hold me in her arms. When that class was over, I would have gone to those two friends and picked up a fight. Did I do that? No I didn’t, I don’t wanted to, I just kept my anger, frustration and pain for myself. I wanted to let it pass, and never think of it. But, sometimes it is very difficult to let it go when your nearest ones let you down. The pain continued for few more days, it haunted me for quite a sometime.
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