by Sayantani Saha
(New Delhi, India)
Two friends. Two different lives. One common thing- their friendship and the love they had for each other. Duro, belonged to the most rich and prestigious zamindar family of the village, whereas, the other, Karan, was a part of low caste strata of the society. Just like the inequality in societal status there was inequality in distribution of skills and intelligence among them too, but the trend was opposite in this case.
Karan was not only very good in studies, but excelled in sports too. He was the most well behaved boy in the school, a blue eyed boy for the entire teaching fraternity of the school, especially it’s headmaster. Whereas his soul mate Duro was a badass; he could easily blamed for all the notorious acts in school. He was unwanted both at school as well as at his home. Because of his character, he was a boy nobody liked to get associated with, except Karan. Everyone at school used to wonder about the basis of the strong friendship between these completely opposite personalities.
It was inspection day at school and everybody was instructed by the Headmaster to be absolutely well behaved and to be at par with discipline. As usual the school authorities were worried about just one student, Duro. But this time it was not
his fault. While inspection, when Karan was asked for his name by the inspecting officer, a student jealous of Karan’s "blue-eyed boy” status in the school, from the back answered," he is Karan sir, he belongs to the lower cast unlike us."
Later that day, he was found badly beaten up by Duro for his misdeed; blood was gushing out of his mouth awfully. Karan tried his best to stop him but he was on his uncontrollable rage. To save him, Karan took the blame on himself. Duro couldn't stop him from doing so. He was expelled from school and even the affectionate headmaster couldn't save him though he could anticipate it was his sacrifice, his ode to friendship. After all he wouldn't have got the chance of being in that school meant for the privileged class, hadn't it been requested by Duro's father on his repeated insistence and cribbing. What started because of Duro, ended soon, unexpectedly enough, because of him.
Perturbed and shattered Duro went to his grandmother's room to find some solace. She was reading out to her other grandchildren that part of Mahabharata where Duro’s favorite character, Karna, lost his life in Kurukshetra battle to save Duryodhana. Listening to this, Duro started weeping inconsolably and his sobs continued even after soothing by his grandmother. ***