It was in my 9th class that I met Mani C Markose, a little 6th class guy who had the guts to walk in front of us when we were standing in the mess. I wouldn’t have cared if he had been from some other house. But his T-shirt revealed that he is from Bharathi House, for which I was the House Captain. I turned pale with anger and shame, when my batch mates stared at me. I didn’t react, as I didn’t want to make scene in the mess, where the whole school, including my seniors has gathered for the evening Roll Call, instead made quick plans to deal with the guy during the House Roll call, where I will have complete authority.
As usual, the house Roll Call started at 9:00 PM and when it was finished, I asked him to meet me in my room. The house master KRMK asked if there is a specific reason, and I told him that he deserves a punishment for his misbehavior in the mess. He asked me not to man-handle(beat) him, as it is becoming an issue during the Parent’s meet and I agreed.
I went to my room and washed and changed. There was a knock at the door, accompanied by a cry, “Please, may I come in man?.”
I said with a stern voice knowing that it would be culprit, “Come in.”
I was shooting many questions about his misconduct, about himself, about his family and he was answering everything with a pleasing smile. At the back of the mind, something kept saying that, this guy will be a friend for ever and somehow, I felt that he should be treated so, though it is not a custom for an Amravian to treat a junior as a friend. I order to keep a balance, I decided that he will be punished, but at the same time, he will remain a friend. I delegated a few duties as a form of punishment and he will perform them for me, so that he will be a friend.
You will bring tea for me in the mess
You will carry my books (envisioning to study a couple of text books in the room, which never materialized) from the school to house and back
The next day, my friends were proud of me, seeing the guy carrying my books and offering tea for me. This went on for 2 years and by then we were almost friends that, I visited his house and he visited mine. Finally, he ended up writing all my practical records, when I was in 12th class.
We were in constant touch even after I left the school, and after he left the school, though we were poles apart with respect to the career we have chosen.
It was a happy moment for me, when he visited our house yesterday and I was astonished by the kind of love and respect he had for me in the same way I have for him. Apart from the gifts for my son and a bottle of Smirnoff for me, he shared with me some beautiful snaps of Andaman, so that I will fulfill his long pending invitation. I don't think I will be able to make it before he is posted to the next station! OK, let me post some of those beautiful snaps...........
This is he!