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AND THE CANDLE BURNT OUT...

Devine light, at least that's what his name (Divyajoyti aka Divya) suggested and he was considered to be the most irritating element of the class.

Hardly showed any interested in getting accolades by getting some appreciable marks in the examinations. When it came to girl teasing, Tiffin snatching or starting quarrel without any reason at hand and giving pseudo name to the teachers, he was the numero uno. Getting punishment for breaking rules during prayers was a normal feature...

I still remember the punch he presented me for lodging complains against him from the capacity of a class captain. But in the same time, I also remember the day when my concept about this naughty class mate of mine changed.

It was a lunch break; we were playing carom in the common room. Divya appeared from somewhere breathless. Be must have ran for a long time, which is hardly acceptable to the hefty body he had.

" Aklanta, come with me. There's an urgent task to be done."

"Where are you taking me?" I was terrified.
"Do not ask any questions. I really do not have time to answer. Just believe me. I'll not take you to hell."

"I will have to take permission to leave school compound," I threw the last line of defence.

" F*** permission. Just follow me."

There was nothing much I can do. I followed. After walking for a while, he started running with instruction to do the same. We were heading towards the Hospital next to the school building. Slowly I realised, we were heading towards the emergency room. I speeded up, to run in level with him.

When I reached the emergency room there were doctors and nurses around a body soaked in blood. From the entry, Divya announced, "Doc here's Aklanta. He is O positive. He is ready to donate blood for the patient."

The process started...after the pathologist collected blood, I was there with Divya, waiting outside the operation theatre.

"Who is he?"
"Do not know? I just came out of the campus to smoke. Saw a car stroked him and drove away. All the f**** were just looking and cursing the car owner. I took him here."

"They said they can not operate him until I collect O+ve blood. I remembered you have O+ve."

It was my time to wonder about the insides of the man I used to hate so much. I felt like an ant standing near an elephant. Had it been me in his place! I failed to assure myself that I would have done the same. Felt happy that he never said sorry for not asking me whether I would like to donate blood or not.

Then there was police to investigate the case. Noted down all the details of the one whose timely initiative saved the life of the man (as if he has done a grave crime)? Their questions included, how come we two uniformed ones were outside the school compound, in class time? I saw Divya's eyes glowing red while answering that rubbish.

It was time to return to school. On the way back, I felt the few moments we spent together have shortened the distance we have had earlier. I felt happy to walk with Divya's hands across my shoulder.

There was turmoil in the school, as the news of Divya kidnapping me spread from mouth to mouth. Everyone was waiting for the parents to arrive, before reporting it to police.

But there was shock when they saw us walking in like friends. While the match teacher dragged me aside, the Principle caught hold of Divya.

"Where have you taken Aklanta to? You r*****."

I saw Divya's eyes yes getting wet. He looked at me with "Have I not told you?" look. "They just can not think anything positive about me, just because I am not good at studies. I hate studies. I hated you because you are good at it. I want to play cricket. But they are not ready to accept that I can be a good player. Forces me to study things, I do not like," he was telling me on the way back to school.

I decided to break the silence. Described all that took place in one go (as if I was given just one breath). All the grips loosened. But unlike my expectations, no one patted on Divya's back. As if they were not ready to accept what we said. As if to be suitable for appreciations, Divya has had to produce more such examples of his greatness...

Nothing changed much for Divya after that also. But he started talking to me. He was the best cricketer in the school. But neither his parents nor the teachers were ready to allow him to be a player. This was just enough to fill his mind with hatred against his parents, his teachers and us who insisted him to study rather than play.

I too realised that he can make a difference if he study seriously, as he have had a memory hundreds of times sharper than many of us. At times his power of concentration stunned me. But study was something he wanted to do least. One day while talking to me he said he would rather join a militant organisation than a university.

After leaving school, just like many others I lost the contact with Divya. Many times when I met with my class mates I quarried about his whereabouts. No one knew.

On twentieth there was the news. Militant group leader Divajyoti aka Sam was killed in an encounter with the security forces along with others. Is he the same Divya? I felt a quiver on my body.

I was trying to collect as much information I get and cross check but what I got was not enough. But this morning Robin (another class mate) called up me. Among other things, he quarried whether I knew the fate of Divya.

"His body was so rained with bullets that it was not possible for the family members to recognise him. Only DNA test confirmed it was him.”

I felt like smashing the handset. I know it's not the security forces that killed him. It was the system of education and the thrust of the society to stick to it that have killed him, long before he was killed. Just because he was not ready to be 'just another brick in the wall' like me.

Comments

che said…
I always make time to read your blog posts. I admire your writing more than words can say.

Yes its sad to now that sometimes people can be so cruel..when you're different from the rest.. you're nobody to them no matter how hard you try..'til you reached the end of your rope and just give up..thinking that no one cares.

Umm, honestly..I shed tears reading this entry. Am I'm so sorry to hear about Divya :(

There's so much to learn in life..hopefully by the time we get halfway through it..it's not going to be too late. Take care.
Soumyadip said…
Misunderstanding often leads to disastrous results. Your experience exemplifies this fact. The people we care about, the environment around us often want things to go their way and don't care about our point of view. After all it's our life. At a stage in life we understand what is our goal. If not definitive, we at least get a vague idea of it. But when the obstacles of the society's preconceived notions do not allow us to move along our chosen path, we deviate. And land at a place where neither we not the society wanted us to be.
Keverly said…
i can't believe this is like so scrued up! what the hell would someone kill that guy for..what? i can't believe this guy got killed because he's bad at studies. I believe where I live about 70% of people are bad a studies (including me) but we don't get killed. this is so fcuking scrued up. No offence
dwaipayan said…
this is something which can make a chatterbox like me silent!!!

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