I still regret that day. It would had been better, had it not occurred. We were in class V and we were supposed to write with ink-pens. We were really excited as we threw our pencils. I sat with Vaibhav Bhardwaj and next to us were Abhishek Kumar and Rahul Chauhan.

We kept losing our pens and then we would find the nibs broken and thrown in gutters, under the cupboards or under the desks. This was unfolding everyday and it was getting elusive for us. We complained to Mrs.Khanna, who happened to be our class teacher, and she warned everyone in the class to stop this activity. She even warned us of the consequences. But, it was not stopping. And finally the matter reached our Big Ma’am, Mrs Juyal, who happened to be Headmistress of Junior School.

We planned to investigate this mishappening by making a plan to fix our turns to take a vigilant round of our class during the games time. But, still we did not conclude. Only solution left was a false accusation, and a few of us came up with a name, Bhupender Singh, who was incriminated of the filching. Without any proof, just based on our perceptions, he was made a patsy. Let me tell you, he was the most honest and lovely guy of our class. He was called by Headmistress Ma’am, very badly scolded and even his father was called. Next day, he was shamed in the morning assembly in front of the whole school.

I was unable to understand why we boarders had conflicts with day scholars in Junior School. But, once we entered the Boys School, they became very close to our hearts and sometimes acted as saviours. Probably, we were too selfish in Junior School. One of the reasons for Bhupender’s conviction was this also. It is said that ‘Justice prevails sooner or later’ and Almighty exposes the real culprits. And it happened, at a juncture, the malefactors confessed their culpe. I won’t mention their names here. And they confessed how they managed to do the deeds. The vigilant turns made things easy for them and we never expected that we gave the security into the hands of guards. And false allegations on Bhupender also helped them in their act.

I still remember, I felt so bad rather guilty in my heart that how we robbed Bhupender’s loveliness and honesty. How his character was maligned and assassinated in front of the whole school that too in front of Juniors. I know how difficult it is on an individual’s part to create a rapport in front of the society and surroundings. I really feel sorry. Even after 13 years of that incident, that particular episode is still fresh in my mind, probably that incident left a deep scar on my heart. And I learnt a lesson, never to suspect anyone until and unless we have some solid evidence to prove that fact. And I can say that Bhupender is the most gentle and the loveliest guy I have ever met in my life.

Today when I sat down to write the book, I thought it was the best way to seek forgiveness from Bhupender. And I hope, he would surely forgive me once he is done reading this excerpt from my book “The Life Around An Acorn”.

– Modassir Mushtaque


This piece was shared by Modassir Mushtaque (School Vice Captain, Patel House Captain & School Cricket Captain, Session 2009-10) on April 16, 2018.

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