Suresh was dark, thin and looked pale. He did not fit well in his family, which consisted of fair, good looking people. He was not just a misfit in terms of his looks. He did not belong there because of his brain. He was neither intelligent nor smart enough to compete with his elder IIT brother. His parents were always proud of his brother who finished his Bachelors at IIT and was now all set to join IIT for doing his M.Tech. His mother who happened to be a college principal enforced the same amount of strictness at home, as she did at the college. It was not that Suresh did not study well. He put all the required efforts but somehow he could never remember the lessons that he read.
He had failed once in his 6th grade and had tried hard to hide it from his mother. But their class teacher had insisted on getting a signature from his parents. He silently handed it to his father, knowing that there might be a slight chance of success there. His mother happened to enter the room just then and upon knowing that he failed in his exams, she brought the same belt which he had seen plenty of times in his life.
“Mom, I am really sorry for failing. Please don’t beat me with that”, he begged.
But his mom showed no mercy and after 5-6 lashes, he was crying sitting in a corner, all alone. His brother entered the house with a trophy in hand which he had won at an inter school quiz contest.
“Just look at your brother. He wins every contest that he takes part in. He excels in every exam he writes. And you?!! You are just plain lazy and you will never succeed in life, if you are like this”, his mom yelled at him.
It was that day and this day, the situation had not changed a bit. He was a loser in life and he knew that he would not be able to make his mother happy. He could not give her the happiness which his brother gave her all the time.
He had to pass in his exams, if he wished to escape from getting beaten with the leather belt. He could not excel but he at least made sure that he passed. And how did he do that? He resorted to copying in the exams. He cheated. He knew it was wrong to cheat but did he have any other choice left? If copying was termed evil, was getting beaten with a belt considered good?
Today was his final exam for second year Bachelors and he had prepared some chits for himself which he wanted to copy from. He hid the chits well beneath his sleeves so that the examiner cannot spot it. The examiner was an old lady who kept sleeping on her desk. He really liked this examiner since she hardly came around their desks, thus allowing them to peacefully copy. The clock was ticking and it was almost time for the exam to end.
Suresh was stuck at a difficult question and now had to open a new chit from under his sleeve in order to answer. As he removed the chit, a male examiner from the next room entered suddenly and he caught Suresh in this act. The male examiner who was one of the very strict professors in college, Mr. Shivram pounced upon Suresh.
“What do you think you are doing? Give me those chits here. Come with me to the principal’s office right now”
“Sir, I am really sorry. Please don’t take me to the principal”, Suresh begged.
Shivram did not let him go even though he kept begging for a while. Suresh had no choice but to follow Shivram. It was not the principal that he was scared of. He was scared of his mother. How was she going to react if she knew that her unworthy son was copying in exams? That only because he copied, he never failed in the exams? There was no escaping the belt this time. She might even kill him this time for the humiliation that he had inflicted upon her.
As they reached Principal’s office, Principal was nowhere to be found. He was not in his office. Shivram made Suresh sit in front of the Principal’s office. He had to collect the answer papers since he was invigilating a room full of students. He called another professor Mr. Girish and asked him to look after Suresh until he was back. As soon as Shivram left, Suresh got an idea. He ran as fast as he could towards the front gate and then ran away, without turning back once.
Mr.Girish shouted at him “Don’t do this son. You will ruin your life. Come back and face it”. Suresh knew that he could never set things right now. He escaped from everything and would now lead a guiltless peaceful life alone.
“We are really sorry ma’am. We were unable to trace your son”, said inspector Pandey.
“But any clue about him? I cannot live without him”, Suresh’s mom had been crying without stopping from past 48 hours. “Why did he do that? Why did he not come home and inform us? We would have done something about it. Where would he be now?”
“Are you sure you would have done that? Would you forgive him? If you had not put pressure on him, he wouldn’t have thought of running away like this. Wish you had told him at least once that you loved him”, Suresh’s father finally found the strength to raise his voice in front of his wife, after 25 years of marriage.
But he was too late. And Suresh was gone forever and never found again.
P.S: Based on a true story. But have changed the names to maintain anonymity.