I vividly remember my junior school days. When I say vividly remember, I mean only two things- picking up fights with whoever possible and getting thrashed by my principal. As a kid, I was always a stubborn ass, enough to put even a mule to shame. There was a rebel inside me who always tried to come out and beat others just to attain some peace. But I was never a bully; in fact I helped students who were bullied. I mentioned students as I did not have any friend. I was no hunk or hero and so got my ass kicked by my seniors or kids of my own age and then used to keep my mouth shut in front of the principal as my wounded body and ego would rather prefer to keep shut. Well how I became this, as expected I would put the blame on my upbringing. Poverty, starvation, dead mother and a drunkard father to live with; I had them all.
My principal had a special liking for me. He used to speak more with his cane than his mouth. And because I kept mum in front of him without screaming or crying like most of the other kids or trying to put the blame on others, his masculinity was in for some rude shock. At times he would get tired with his cane and yet I would not utter a single groan. There were times when he deliberately picked me up from my class to beat me even after knowing that I had no part in the fights in school that day. When he used to call me for some reason other than thrashing me, which used to happen once in a few blue moons, I used to get ready to be beaten by opening my school uniform. As I came home, I used to drown myself in my pillow and cry with those mute screams. My father had no idea if I ate or not and thus my pains or swollen elbow or black and blue body always fell to his blind, booze covered eyes.
Much to all my teachers’ amazement, I was somewhat good in studies. In fact, I used to come within the top 10 students in all the subjects regularly. But I never got the love or praise from my teachers as the principal had a grudge against me. Nobody of them wanted to be in the bad book of the principal. I did not care much for their love though, I had no idea what love is and what it can do to people. Things were going pretty much the same.
Then as seasons change and things get worse, well that was what I used to think earlier, my principal also changed. My old principal was courteous enough to pass on the baton to my new principal along with inputs about my behavior. The very next day I picked up a fight; but it was not my fault actually. I somehow managed to make a friend and his food was forcefully taken away by the seniors and hence I came to my normal self. I was summoned by the principal in his room and I was ready to open my uniform. But for a change, he called me and wanted to know the whole story. I kept tight-lipped initially but then he smiled at me and asked me again. What happened that day I still have not been able to comprehend but I started to speak and told him the true story backed up by my friend. I was not touched with the cane but the caring hands of a father. He advised to pick up a fight again only if it’s meant for truth and justice. He mentioned that his doors would always remain open for me and to never let him down. I realized for the first time what love is and what its power is.
That one punishment changed my whole life.
If you want to read some more amazing works on the same topic, you will find them here: Punishment.