I had never been as irritated as I was on that day at school, taking 6 six periods in a row in different classes. When the peon came with a register announcing my arrangement in the seventh, it was the last straw to break the back of my patience. Anger and annoyance surfaced; making me pedagogue as I entered the class with the baser instinct of instilling fear in children so that I may exercise full control on them and breathe a few moments of silence.

Mechanically I ordered them to take their science notebooks for correction. Most of them had read my expressions and well understood that I was furious at something unknown. Their supple innocent smiling faces drooped down like withered flower. My fury and rage bought distress in few who had either not bought the notebook or had not completed their work. My brain could well read their feelings of anguish but my emotions got better of me.

The class sat absolutely still in pin-drop silence with notebooks in front of them on their respective desks. I went around from bench to bench checking the work, putting remark where needed and signing them in haste. I was observing Parth Jain from the other corner of the class room; laughing mirthfully and talking in whispers with his seat partner. I decided to go to his seat first to look into the matter. Little was I aware that his delight had given a way to jealousy in me for the want of that joy and waywardness as his.

malefactorWhere is your notebook? I demanded. He had been hiding it on his back. I think he had expected that till his turn comes, the period would get over. But unexpectedly I had reached his desk to correct his first. He swallowed hard and put it in my hands. Frustratingly I turned pages after pages with loads of incomplete work.

Enraged I slapped him hard on his face and drew a bit of pleasure the rolling tears on soft face. Rebuking him heavily I threw the notebook on his desk with a thud and marched out of the classroom as a martinet afeter the bell rang.

I happened to meet his father after two days in the reception hall submitting his medical and leave application for a month long holiday, which startled me. Repenting and defending myself I went to enquire him of the matter. The gentle man looked extremely sad as though someone had robbed him of his precious valuables. Sorrow fully he informed me, ‘Madam, Parth is a cancer patient and rarely comes to school. The other day when you had punished him, he had come to school in-spite of having high fever just to have a little fun with his friends.

I had become a malefactor in my own eyes with no judge in court who could exempt me of the charge of pleading not guilty!


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