Honesty begets Respect
It was a bright and sunny day. There was not even a speck of cloud visible in the crisp blue sky. The sun was blazing in all its glory squeezing the energy out of the people in the early hours of August morning. Though it was just 8 ‘o clock in the morning, it felt like late afternoon. To top it off, it was a Monday - the dreaded day for all especially the students.
Sunaina rushed out of the house in a fit of rage. She had not had her breakfast, but it hardly mattered to her parents. They loved to scold her from the time she woke up till the time she turned up for the bed at night. Her constant violation of the rules and ill temperament did little good to her present situation. But it was not always like this. There was a time when few things mattered to her. She loved to pick up ladybugs from the blooming daisies in her mother’s nursery, she always had time to stand, stare and listen to the soft giggles of infants on the way to her school, she loved to play in the rain, she enjoyed a hot cup tea in the chilly December evenings. These things mattered to her because her mother was always there. She was in class 7 when she passed away in her sleep after a long and painful battle with cancer. To make matters worse, her father married within a year, and the moment his new mother threw a scornful glance at her, she knew her life will never be the same again.
It was a turning point in her life - a moment that changed everything. She felt neglected and ignored all the time. Her stepmother had little, or no concern for her and her busy businessman father hardly had a minute to spare for her. But whenever he did, it was to scold or detain her for her mischief. She started dreading their short meetings after that. She felt like an outcast-alone, unwanted and unloved. She started losing her temper at the slightest of pretexts. Suddenly the vivacious young girl transformed into a cantankerous brat. She loved getting into fights, enjoyed disturbing the classes and breaking the rules. Most of all, she loved to lie and cheat. It started at home to save herself from her father’s fury, but gradually it became a part of her life. Anyone, who knew her, hated her profusely. She lost respect, but she could not care less. It seemed that there was no hope for her, but life is a mystery in itself.
She had developed a great liking for Biology in the 6th grade and garnered hopes of becoming a doctor in the future. Moreover, her Biology teacher, Mrs Gupta was a teacher par excellence. She was an excellent teacher but more a friend and a motivator. Students loved her classes, and so did Sunaina. Mrs Gupta talked to her politely and addressed all her queries with patience and understanding. She felt a sense of respect for her teacher. Her grades in Biology improved baffling the other teachers. Mrs Gupta heaped praises on her while her colleagues applauded her achievement. Sunaina felt a sense of victory. This incident made her realize her shortcomings. For the first time in her life since the demise of her mother, she felt loved and appreciated.
She became aware of the fact that the best feeling in the world is that of being appreciated and respected for who you are. It took away all her false pretences and negativity and made her honest and humble. The dark clouds in her gloomy life had parted way for a bright sun to break through with dazzling warm rays to lead her on in life. She smiled to herself , remembering her favourite quote by P B Shelley, “If winter comes, can spring be far behind?”
- Abhishek Rai <firstname.lastname@example.org> for Odyssey at Sacred Heart School, Siliguri