A SHORT STORY BY ME.
The Student who became a teacher.
Akansha Sinha worked as a secondary school teacher at St.Angelina High School in New Delhi. She taught 8th, 9th, and 10th Grade. She was a divorcee and the sole breadwinner of her family.
Her son, Mayank, 10, had autism with a misshaped body. When he was born, the doctor had told the proud parents that their son was born with some genetic defect. Mayur, her husband, had tried to convince her to abandon her child. She shocked everyone by sending a divorce notice to Mayur. He had expected her to obey him. He never thought that she would choose her son over him. He refused to pay her alimony after the divorce.
Akansha conducted coaching classes at home until Mayank turned three. She started taking Mayank along with her to the school where she got a job as a teacher. In the beginning, Mayank got along well with all the students. However, problems started cropping up after a couple of years. He had to repeat each class twice due to his learning disabilities. His new classmates ignored him. They wouldn’t go anywhere near him. Mayank was upset as no one would speak to him. Akansha was disappointed with the attitude of the children. She couldn’t blame them as her son’s misshaped body scared them.
One day when Akansha was teaching the fourth-grade students, a new student made a grand entry. She walked in with her head high and greeted her disdainfully. Akansha smiled at her and said, ” Welcome to class IV A. Tell us something about yourself.” The student turned to face her classmates and said, ” Hi! I am Samiksha Mehta. My parents are Hitesh and Veena Mehta. They are the owners of Mehta Textiles.” She continued to drone on her achievements in her previous school and her expectations from the current school.
“That’s enough, dear,” Akansha interrupted,” Please take your seat.” Samiksha hated her for interrupting her speech.
She screamed after seeing Mayank sitting at the front desk. “Who is that ugly boy?” she asked Bindu, a classmate. Bindu whispered,” He is our teacher, Akansha Madam’s son. Try to avoid him. All of us hate him. Unfortunately, we have to tolerate him for her sake.” Samiksha giggled, drawing Akansha’s attention. “Would you like to share the joke with us, dear?” she asked her. Samiksha stopped her antics and pretended to read her notes. She despised this woman’s audacity to pinpoint her in front of the class. She had planned her revenge for this humiliation.
The next day onwards, she started teasing and bullying Mayank at lunch. He cried and begged for mercy. Samiksha and her friends teased him until he wet his pants. Akansha entered the class to pick her attendance register. She was shocked to find her son crying while his classmates were making fun of him. “Stop it, right now,” she thundered,” Do you think it’s funny? You will be writing an essay about bullying. Write it five times and submit your notebooks tomorrow. Otherwise, I will drag you all to the principal’s office.”
The entire class groaned in disgust. Samiksha hated Mayank so much that she wanted him to get expelled from school.
One day she scratched and bruised herself. She complained to Akansha, “Ma’am, Mayank hit me when I went to share my lunch with him.” Akansha looked at Mayank. Some of Samiksha’s sidekicks supported her bunch of lies. Akansha was in a dilemma. She couldn’t remain a mute spectator. She slapped her son and made him apologize to Samiksha.
She controlled her temper after watching her smirk in satisfaction.
Akansha waited for the weekend. It was Friday. The bell rang for the end of the last period of the day. All the children rushed out of their respective classrooms. Samiksha and her cronies filed out of the class carrying their backpacks. Mayank was waiting outside the school gate for his mother. He saw a street hawker selling cotton candies. He could not resist the temptation. When Akansha came out to join him, he asked her to buy one. She told him to wait outside the car and went to fulfill his demand. Suddenly, a white Maruti Suzuki screeched to a halt outside the school. A mean-looking ruffian stepped out of the car with a couple of gang members. He pulled a photo out of his shirt pocket. Then, he spotted his possible victim, Samiksha. He noticed that she was wearing gold ornaments, a chain, and a pair of earrings. As soon as she stepped outside the gate, he sprang upon her. Taken by surprise, she screamed out for help. The kidnapper’s friends tried to gag her and tie her hands while dragging her towards the car.
Mayank saw her pleading for mercy. One of the villains had taken out his pistol to scare her. Mayank threw a stone at one of the gang members to cause a distraction. It proved to be a fatal mistake. The gang leader shot him dead. Akansha dropped the cotton candy after hearing the gunshot. She saw her son lying lifeless in a pool of blood. Her rage knew no bounds. A crowd had gathered around to prevent the goons from escaping. Fuelled by the anger of witnessing the death of an innocent child, a couple of men came forward to thrash the bad guys. Akansha freed Samiksha from her captors and asked her to go inside the school premises. She called the police and an ambulance.
She wept bitterly over her son’s dead body. He was a true hero. She didn’t want his death to go in vain. She put on a brave face to accept the fact that he was now in a better place. Samiksha apologized to her for misbehaving with Mayank. She and her parents went to her house to express their gratitude.
Mayank got a bravery award posthumously on Republic Day. Akansha picked up the award from the President amidst huge cheers and applause. Her voice choked with emotion as she turned on the mic to speak. She said, ” I am so happy and proud to receive this award from our honorable President. I miss Mayank so much. He taught me to live fearlessly. His death has left behind a message for all the parents. There are so many schools turning out excellent scholars. I feel that the schools should also be imparting education in humanity, kindness, compassion, respecting everyone, and bravery. The parents should teach the children about the importance of being a good human. Anyone can be a great scholar. We should set an example to the children by being model citizens. If possible, discourage your children from flaunting their wealth. It attracts unwanted attention from antisocial elements. Modesty is the need of the hour.
Thank you for hearing me out.”
Everyone gave her a standing ovation.
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