Sheethal Puttashamachar



Sheethal Puttashamachar


Fate VS Choice

Fate VS Choice

8 mins 9.9K 8 mins 9.9K

It was midnight, Sushma woke up abruptly hearing loud music and took a few seconds to realise that the sound was just her mobile ringtone. She grumbled and looked at the mobile to see who was calling her at this ghostly hour. It was an unknown number which she had not saved in her contact list. She picked up her mobile to answer, but it got disconnected. She made faces and took a deep yawn scratching her head and tucked herself back inside her woollen blanket and closed her eyes. Immediately, her phone rang again. This time she was furious as she loved her sleep very much and never liked anyone to disturb her sleep.

‘Who is it? At this hour?' Prakash, Sushma's husband woke up annoyed with her phone ringing constant.

‘I don’t know!’ She said irritatedly while picking up her phone from her side table and answered the phone in a gruff voice, ‘Hello! Who is this?’

She didn’t get any response. So, she asked again, ‘Who is this?’

‘He..llo.. ma’am.’

Sushma immediately understood that it could be one of her students. Both Sushma and Prakash worked for an NGO, and they did many counselling sessions in many colleges to help kids and teenagers to come out of their depression. She sensed something was wrong, so she calmly asked, ‘Hi, can I know your name?’

‘It's ok ma'am. You won't recognise me. I never took your one to one sessions. I always attended your group workshops. I found your number in one of the helpline pamphlets that you had circulated.'

‘Ok. What happened? Why did you call me at this hour? You can tell me which college you study and your name. I'll come tomorrow, and we can sit and talk.'

‘No! No…. Please ma’am, don't hang up. I don't have much time. I just want to speak to someone.'

Sushma got up from her bed and looked at Prakash and asked worriedly, ‘Where are you? What happened to you, tell me? Please don’t take any hasty decisions. I promise I'll help you. Tell me, where are you right now?’

The boy smiled gently and said, ‘Thank you for showing concern. It means a lot to me. However, it's too late. I don't have much time left. I have cut my wrist. I just want to talk to someone before I die. Can you please talk to me?'

‘Oh my God! What have done? Please tell me, where are you?’

‘It's ok ma'am. You don't have to feel bad for me. However, I want to let you know that I tried my level best to fight every single time but always found disappointments throughout my life.'

Sushma was worried. She wanted to help him, but he wasn’t ready to give his details. Prakash looked at her and understood that something was wrong. She looked at him and immediately grabbed her notebook and a pen from her table and wrote down, ‘Call Inspector Sunil. A boy has cut his wrist we need to help him. I'll engage him by talking, and we need to trace his number as quickly as possible.'

Prakash understood and acted quickly. As they both worked for NGO, they had good contacts in the police department. He called up Inspector Sunil and updated everything, and they started working on tracing his number.

Meanwhile, Sushma tried to dig his information, ‘Hey, I'm here all night. You can talk to me as much as you want, but at least tell me your name.'


Shushma wrote down immediately on her notebook and continued, ‘So, Pratheek tell me what happened? Why did you cut your wrist? Is someone hurting you? Who is it?’



‘Ya. My life is hurting me badly. No matter whatever I did, it always gave me only sorrows.’

Sushma understood the problem was something serious. So, she asked calmly, ‘Where are your parents? Are they at home? Do they know about your problems?’

Pratheek laughed and said, ‘Parents! I lost my parents in an accident when I was 15 years old. I was sent to my abusive relative's house. They never liked me. I struggled to survive there, and one day, I ran away. I lived on roads for many days and did all kinds of odd jobs but never took wrong jobs to survive. My parent's last wish was, me to be a good human being and never to hurt anyone or never to get into any kinds of illegal work. I promise, I never engaged myself in anything illegal.’

‘I believe you, Pratheek. Please tell me what happened? How old are you now?'

Pratheek spoke softly, ‘I’m 18 years old.’

‘Tell me what happened?’

‘Why? Why did God do this to me? Why did he take away my parents? If they were alive, even I would have studied in a good school and a good college. Why was I thrown away in this ugly life? Does he get happiness by torturing us here on this earth or is this the hell where we need to pay for our past life deeds? Why do I have such a terrible fate?' Pratheek burst out with tears.

‘Calm down, Pratheek. I understand. It’s not easy to accept your parent’s death at that early age, and I can imagine how much trouble you would have gone through when you chose to run away from your relative’s house and live on roads.’

‘Chose!!! Given. I never chose to live on roads, I was thrown by God to suffer and only suffer every single day. I did whatever I could. I always motivated myself, never complained but now, enough! I can't live anymore. My fate has brought me only bad luck, and I'm not intended to live even a day more.' Pratheek gasped, and his voice became low, and Sushma couldn’t hear him speak.

Meanwhile, Prakash met Inspector Sunil, and soon they tracked down his address and drove to his place. Prakash messaged Sushma to continue her talk until they reach him.

‘Pratheek! Pratheek, get up talk to me. You said you want to talk and I'm here for you. Please talk to me. Please don't give up on me now. Listen, let's make a deal. You give me your details, and I promise I'll help you to get you out of the problem. It may be any problem, and I'll always be there side by you to help you. I promise. Talk to me, Pratheek...’ She raised her voice this time.

Pratheek gently smiled and said, ‘No one can help me now. I'm in deep soup. You don't even know me. If you come to know who I am, then you will never help me.'

‘Well, try me. Tell me everything, and you'll see what I can do. Where do you study? What is your problem?'

‘I’m not your student. I work in Satyameva Jayate college as a peon. Let me, do you still want to help me?’

Sushma was surprised to hear that, but replied immediately, ‘Yes. I want to.'

‘Ok. I used to put newspapers to houses in the morning, and one day I met MR. Sathish Sharma who is the principal of that college. He offered me a job looking at my condition. I was delighted thinking my hard work paid. I did my job sincerely, but a few days back I found out that in the night, the college is used for illegal activities. I tried my best to stop them, but they threatened me, to put me in jail by putting a robbery case on me. I'm a young boy with no background, nor family support. What can I do? Because of fear, I don't want to support them nor want to spend my life in jail. So, it's better to die. Anyways, no one would even notice if I die. It's my fate; I always thought that my hard work would pay me one day, but I don't think even if I deserve any luck. I only hope to die peacefully.’ He stopped speaking and soon fell unconscious.

Prakash and Sunil reached his area and found him lying on his terrace with his left-hand wrist bleeding. Immediately they took him to the hospital and saved his life.

After a few hours, he opened his eyes slowly and saw Sushma sitting beside him. He got up immediately, and Sushma held him by his shoulder and said, ‘Hey, it's ok. Relax. You are very brave, Pratheek. Fate is what people give a name to escape from problems, but you are a fighter. I agree we can't control everything that happens to us, but in some cases, it is left to us to choose our decisions. Like in your case, you couldn't control your parent's death, but you chose not to engage in any kind of bad route. You chose to fight, to struggle and survive. No matter what happened, you chose to live life in a right way. That makes you a good person. You could have supported them fearing about their power, but you chose to call me and tell me everything. It takes much courage to tell the truth especially about someone who is very powerful. I agree you had a painful life till now, but this is the time for you to stand and do what is right. Together let’s stop what’s happening in that college. Tell me, will you help me to stop them?’

Pratheek didn’t speak for a few seconds and then looked at her and smiled. Soon the college was raided and closed for further enquiry. Sushma helped him to join a college with the help of her NGO, and she always stood by his side guiding him to take his future decisions.

"Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they're supposed to help you discover who you are." - Bernice Johnson Reagon

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