NOTHING LIKE A HANDWRITTEN LETTER – III

by Allwin Bright

A page from Karthik’s journal

7th June, 2007

THE GRADUATION DAY

Today was our graduation day. It’s a day every student cherishes for his lifetime. We all knew that this was a significant milestone in our life. There was a sense of accomplishment that we had earned the degree. There were parents who just couldn’t hide their happiness.

Richard Sir stood tall, his eyes gleamed with pride and tears as Praveen stepped forward to receive his degree certificate. He was happy for Praveen, Happier than his parents. Praveen came downstairs. He was all tears. Richard Sir comforted him. That moment had to be captured.

We as students loved him and held him in high regard for what he was but, what he did to Praveen was something very special – To forgive.

He was found guilty for stealing the semester test papers. He was reported for indulging in malpractice. The Disciplinary committee was immediately called. He was enquired. His parents were dragged into the enquiry for no fault of theirs. Utterly humiliating questions were asked. They hung their heads down in shame. Had it not been for Richard Sir he would have been expelled from college. He convinced the committee members to be a little considerate about his future and career. The punishment was reduced to awarding a zero in all the papers he had registered for in that semester. It meant that he had to appear for twelve papers in the last semester. Both his parents were hurt and betrayed beyond what one could imagine. They were far far severe in punishing him. He was forsaken. They stopped talking to him. He was so broke. He did not talk to any of us in class.

More than anything else it was the guilty feeling that was killing him from inside. Richard Sir was the only person who could help him out. I sought his help. He forgave him and gradually helped him come out of his guilt-ridden thoughts. He motivated him, encouraged him, and pushed him hard to do well in the examinations. During the semester examinations Praveen stayed at Richard Sir’s place more than his home. Clearing twelve papers in a semester was not an easy ask by any means but, he succeeded. Richard Sir had promised that he would talk to his parents if he gets through in the semester examinations. He kept his promise but, they weren’t willing to accept him as a son. They were stubborn. Persuading them wasn’t easy for Richard Sir either. It took some time but, eventually they did forgive him.

Today he has completed his graduation. There no words to express the happiness and pride I see in his face. Not only Praveen all his students have a story to tell.  They all want to take a photo snap with him. What on earth could be more satisfying for a teacher? I am grateful to have been his student. He is my inspiration and my role model. I dream of becoming a lecturer like him.

Karthik

To be continued…

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