Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sanjay's first day in school

GR Sir as he was known was writing feverishly with chalk on the blackboard some formulae in algebra.He saw a shadow pass across the door.He found the Head Master with a puny boy entering the class.
“GR”, the HM called him in a friendly tone and said “This is Sanjay, a new student.I have admitted him in your class as I felt he needs your care and attention. I will discuss more during lunch time.”
The HM had left and boy was still standing at the door with a bag clutched in his hands waiting for the teacher’s permission to enter the class.He was wearing a much worn cotton shirt along with shorts that were a shade small for his size..There was a safety pin pinned askew securing the shirt as there were no buttons.He looked emaciated with bony legs, sunken eyes and unspoken sadness writ large on his well defined and charming face..

The teacher called him by his side.As he came limping with his polio affected leg, he put his arm around him and asked him softly “What is your name, young boy? I forget Sanjiv or some such thing. Where are you from?”
“I am Sanjay, Sir, and have come from Alwar” the boy replied in a voice that was hardly audible

“Good, Welcome to the class Sanjay.. Is there anyone among the boys wanting to have Sanjay by his side? “asked the teacher.There was a deafening silence for a couple of minutes till Partha stood up.Ravi nudged him in his leg and whispered “You fool, He looks skinny and lame.”

Partha turned around and saw his mates.Raj made an ugly grimace. A few others were not amused by Partha’s gesture.It appeared they didn’t like the new entrant.

“.Go and sit by the side of Partha” said the teacher.

All eyes were on the little boy as he ambled along towards Partha.Partha moved to his left and gave him the aisle seat to enable the boy sit without having to wade his way through the chairs.Shilpa a girl of Parthas age did not fail to notice the thoughtfulness of her friend .There was a touch of pride in her eyes.

GR Sir asked after he wrote (a+b-c)2 on the board “”Can any one expand this ?

There was a long silence.The teacher asked “Sanjay, do you know the answer?”

The boy stood up and gave the right answer.”Why were you waiting for me to ask?” asked the teacher.

“Sorry Sir.I was waiting for others to respond” he replied.There was instant jealousy amongst the students when the teacher exclaimed”Sabash, well done”

When the bell rang for lunch, all the boys and girls scampered to the door.Partha also had run but turned to see behind.He saw Sanjay sitting on the bench alone.A sense of guilt pricked the little boy even as he came to Sanjay. Soon Shilpa joined them.

Partha asked “Have you brought any lunch? Come on; let us eat outside under the tree.” The three of them sat together and shared what they had. Shilpa said “Sanjay, don’t feel bad.The other boys and girls will soon become your friends.They are not wicked”

Even as she was saying this Ravi and Raj came to Sanjay and pulled his collar.

”Are you trying to show off that you know better than us? Can you have a bout of boxing with me? I can give you a black eye that your mom won’t be able to recognise you” said Raj.

When Ravi pushed the boy who fell down, Partha yelled at them “ You chicken hearted bullies.Come on, let us have the bout of boxing and let me find out whose mom fails to recognise whom” and lunged forward at Ravi and Raj.Partha was a big built boy with strong muscles and the two ran away unwilling to put up a fight.Shilpa helped Sanjay sit up and dusted the sand from his face and arms.

“Thank you both” said Sanjay even as he smiled. I can sing for you like Sonu Nigam, if you wish to hear”.The two were thrilled to hear Sanjay sing very much like the famous singer. Soon all the boys and girls surrounded them and were enthralled by the melodious singing. The boy mesmerised his class mates with his beautiful rendering in his wonderful voice that matched the great singer. When he had finished the song ,each one of them went up to Sanjay and gave him a warm hug and a word of praise.Ravi and Raj were not far behind when they sheepishly came to say”Sorry, Sanjay,we behaved badly.Please accept us as your friends.”

Sanjay standing between Partha and Shilpa smiled at them and said “I am happy to be with you all.True, I cannot run a race or join a bout of boxing but I have many tricks up my sleeves.I shall entertain you whenever the opportunity presents itself.I am happy to get you all as my buddies but I value the friendship of Partha and Shilpa extended to me whole heartedly when they had seen only my handicap and were not aware of my singing ability.”

The bell rang and the three walked arm in arm towards the class.


  1. That's the real test of friendship. The person who accepts you when you don't have anything are the genuine friends. Otherwise the world is full of fair-weather friends.
    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story.

  2. School can be fun
    school can be boring
    school can bring friends
    school can bring enemies
    school can bring rules
    but u can break them
    school brings bullies
    school brings forever friends
    Very nice written,
    it is a long time ago
    that I was at school ;)

    Have a wonderful sunday

  3. Self-knowledge is the beginning of wisdom. A person who knows his own best and worst -- will know the best and worst in others too... and understand.

    "Make it thy business to know thyself, which is the most difficult lesson in the world." -- Miguel de Cervantes

    Armed with this, a person will have better tolerance patience and understanding towards others.

    You're in your usual top form with this writing, Parth. Cheers! :-)

  4. Fabulous ….. it s a coincidence I guess … I just watched this movie ‘forrrest gump’ …. And that reflected a sanjay touch ….. there is no such kind teacher, but his mom … there is no partha, but his gf …
    Well, nice to have you come up again with another of your power packed stuff …
    Hopefully you aren’t gonna take another sabbatical in the near future …

  5. You're backj with a beautiful story!! Loved it, hope to see you often :)Have a great week ahead!!

  6. I will call this your the sense...where were you all these days? Really missed the wonderful tales!
    This was such a sweet story...perfect for a childrens' short film :)

  7. First day at school or is it your first day in blog again :)
    And i can see that Partha with big built and flexed muscles in the write up. Well narrated story and well sketched characters :) I am back too to leave comments on your blog :)

  8. Very nice! A true friend is a rare treasure. Well written.

  9. Never judge book by its cover- well said in this story, A very beautiful narration, it took me back to my school days :)

  10. Hi Partha
    Amazing story, it has created many question marks in my mind, was back to my school days those days we were better comparing this generation, these days the discrimination is very high in schools and it is quite tough to handle. Parents have got a bigger responsibility to help the kids in such issues.
    thanks for writing such a wonderful story

  11. loved the story ! Friendship without any special attractions and motives is the most invaluable gift.

  12. nice n simple.. seemed more real.. :)

  13. much school like and very much our society like. The story of sanjay cries out for most of the beginners in social circles all around us.

  14. Nice story. I see the same thing happening at work places too when someone new comes in. Very few actually help the new person to settle in. So I guess, they must be the Ravi and Raj of your story who never really grew up!