THE QUINTESSENTIAL IDIOT - III
THE QUINTESSENTIAL IDIOT - III3 mins 16.2K 3 mins 16.2K
Now, in spite of being five years older to my father, my uncle started his schooling only two years before him. This was because he couldn’t bring himself to read or write before he was nine. Even when he finally went to school, he didn’t find much of a welcome. The traits of the most overwhelming beauties and the most hideous iniquities in man—both find early and raw expression in his childhood. My uncle stood witness to this cruel truth of life everyday in school, when he stood prey to the bullying of his fellow students, for not possessing intellectual faculties of their caliber. Neither was he met with much encouragement from the teachers.
“He’s no good in any of the subjects.” They would complain, “Why don’t his parents educate him in a school for the retarded or back home? We have to attend to so many students daily, we don’t have the patience for this!”
He didn’t have any friends to confide in. But did he really need anyone to comfort him? Did he really feel the pain and humiliation of being in some way inferior to all those who surrounded him? Could he even articulate to himself, that whatever was happening to him, was unjust and unfair? Did he even realize that he, like every other human being, had the right to be treated better? The reason I ask myself all these questions, is because as per my knowledge, he never was an unhappy person! He was a jolly, an interactive and inquisitive fellow; always in the thick of the things, notwithstanding the fact that he was not needed or often unwelcomed. If there was a wedding in the neighborhood, he would be the first person to go and dance in the procession or “baarat”! If there was a function in the house, he would be the busiest of all, supervising in his own way all the arrangements, things which were not even his own concern. More often than not, he would commit himself to these self-assigned duties, much to the disapproval of others, and then mess things up invariably. What would follow was reprimands pouring in from all sides, categorically pointing out what a stupid and incompetent fellow he was! But, that was him—unabashed, unapologetic, uncouth and often unaware of the injustices that were perpetrated on him. Like a pond in monsoon filled to the brim, he too was always brimming with life, which he kept exuberating at every occasion he encountered.
When he was sixteen years old and still no better with studies, he was taken out of school and employed in running various errands. In those days, telecommunication hadn’t reached the glorious heights of the present day, and mobile phones were still a few decades away. So having errand boys used to be an absolute necessity back then. It was a fun experience for him… for the first time in life, any of his activities was getting value from others. Moreover, it was a respite from school, where everything was so dull and everyone was perpetually nasty to him. So he was more than happy to carry home-made food to his father’s office and making deliveries and running errands to his father’s clients.
TO BE CONTINUED..