Mischief or ‘missed the chief’?
by Priyaa Trippayar Sahasranaman
How bad could you feel when your freedom has been at stake right from the time you were born? Well, as a child Ruman did not think much about freedom but, felt something stifling him all along. Neither did he understand why people around him chided him a lot, nor did he think he was doing something wrong. All he used to do was run around throw stones at birds, break the window panes and scream for no reason, and everyone other than him knew why he would face the consequences. At school he was punished, at home he was yelled at! His mom hardly understood why he would never listen to her. In his eyes, all that he was doing was merely for fun and people around him just loved to come in his way. His life strictly seemed to adhere to Murphy’s law.
It was just another day at school, and the teacher was happily asleep on her chair. She was about to fall off. Few of the kids were in the playground rehearsing for a skit for their annual day function. Ruman who did not get a chance to participate was among the “unlucky” ones enjoying leisure. He did not understand what was going on, nor did his mother expect him to know much, he was only four years old. It was fun time once again! Ruman took out a rubber band and aimed an eraser at his teacher and before he could enjoy the triumph of waking her up, he was sent to the Principal, this time he would not be allowed to attend the Annual Day function.
To him this didn’t mean anything. All he knew was that some people were conspiring against him and all that he wanted was to take revenge.
On hearing about her child’s “misdeeds” recounted by the teacher, his mother’s anger knew no bounds. She had left no stone unturned when it came to taming her naughty toddler, but all of it seemed to be in vain. The best that she could do now was to ground him till the Annual Day.
Ruman was stranded at home for a week. He was quiet with nobody around him. Now he had all the time to plot his revenge plan, and of course, it was time to act like he had turned over a new leaf. He just had to gain confidence in his mom and act remorseful. He was determined to make the most of his first School day function. It was all an impulse which was driving him towards something colossal. “What happens on Annual day?” he asked his mother.
Parents are great at being cynical when they speak to their children. “Well, there would be a Chief Guest and everyone would give him respect, and
stand up when he enters. Then he would distribute prizes to well behaved children, and of course kids like you would never get a chance to meet him!” Wow, that was an expected reply from a brokenhearted parent!
That’s all he wanted. He would need something stronger than an eraser this time. The hunt began.
Sunday, the most awaited day, was all there. It was the day his life would take a turn! By evening he would be taking the world by its tail in compensation for the gloomy week when he was grounded.
It was sunset and the well equipped child sneaked out through the back door making his way to school. He patiently walked and walked and he was there just on time. He pushed himself through the crack of the entrance door of the auditorium. Luckily, his height made him invisible to anybody. There was "pin drop silence” that he had never witnessed before. He could see more bald heads from the back than anything else. There was nobody on the stage. The only person who had seemed to gather all attention was a man dressed in a suit standing with a microphone in his hand in front of the stage. It was time for the attack! Ruman pulled out his catapult and aimed a stone right at his head. Within the wink of an eye, the man was on the floor. He had a concussion. Policemen seemed to appear from nowhere. They handcuffed the unconscious man and carried him out.
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction! All the people in the auditorium stood up and applauded for Ruman. For once, he had got what he deserved but he did not understand how or why. Then one of the old men whose baldness fascinated the little kid grabbed him and went to the podium. “Here we have a little David who slew the Goliath and saved all of us from the jaws of death,” he said.
"Even ten policemen could not gun down the man who had bombs tied to him, when a little kid shrewdly handled him with a catapult. As a Chief Minister, I am going to nominate this kid for the National Bravery Award this year. Would you like to say something, child?”
Ruman grabbed the mike. “I’m so happy but I’m so confused. I don’t know why all this is happening. When I threw an eraser on my teacher, my mother was called and my teacher punished me, and now when I threw a stone on the chief guest, you people are clapping and taking me to stage!”
The auditorium was silent for a minute, and then a few chuckles were heard and then the sound of claps.
Was it ‘mischief’ or did he just ‘miss the chief?’..... *****