Present. Ninth Grade, G.F. School:
“Ma’am, may I come in?” All the students looked towards Arjun.
“Come in.” He was summoned by the principal, Ms. Sindhiya. It was a blow to Arjun. Arjun was an ideal student. He was one of the toppers in his class. All teachers praised him and presented him as an example in front of other students.
He stood uncomfortably near the table and looked at Ms. Sindhiya questioningly. He wondered what he had done. His grades in the exams were good. He hadn’t even been in a fight. So what was wrong? He looked around and saw Shiv standing there.
The name simply brought back painful memories. He forcefully turned his eyes towards Ms. Sindhiya.
“Do you have anything to explain?” Ms. Sindhiya asked with scorn.
“I’m sorry ma’am but I don’t know what you are talking about,” Arjun answered honestly.
“Oh. Look at you pretending to be all innocent.” She had a grim smile on. Arjun did not understand how to answer that. “Well, I’ll get back to you after dealing with the other two.”
She turned her attention to the other two boys, Aman and Rishi. Both of them were known for being notorious. Arjun wondered what he was doing with these two.
“Mr. Aman when will do the auspicious work of cutting your hair?” Aman lowered his head.
Arjun looked at them but couldn’t signal as their heads were bent. Arjun was getting desperate; he really wanted to know the reason.
Ms. Sindhiya was reprimanding them regarding something about them calling Shiv names. Again Arjun mentally zoned off. He did that a lot recently.
“And Mr. Arjun, you have no rights to insult anybody’s parents. Each parent is striving hard just to send their children to this school and you have no rights whatsoever to judge them…..”
“But ma’am I did not say anything about anyone….” Arjun was abruptly cut through by Ms. Sindhiya.
“I don’t want to hear any more lies.”
“But ma’am I’m not lying.” Arjun tried in vain to defend himself. Ms. Sindhiya was in no mood to listen to his clarifications.
“You all may now leave.”
As Arjun walked towards his class, he couldn’t believe Shiv had carried it all to the new school. He had hoped that he would at least stop in the new environment. But he was proved wrong.
The whole day Arjun was asked why he was called by the principal. He refused to answer and told the whole matter only to Jay. Jay was his friend from the previous school. He seemed like the only one who genuinely cared.
The whole day he kept zoning in and out. He lost his focus. He was deeply troubled as his past chapter had opened once again.
On the busway home, he kept revisiting the incidents.
Seventh Grade, B.I. School:
Arjun’s life was fun. He was loved by everyone. His grades were good and he was good at sports.
Arjun’s name always topped the list when any program was to be held in the school. People always wanted to be friends with him. His parents were also proud of him.
He had a best friend, Amol. Or should I say the best backstabber? Shiv was also a scholar, but was never able to defeat Arjun. He hated that and was jealous of Arjun. He called Arjun names and always teased him. He always acted as a friend in front of Arjun and talked behind his back.
Arjun was very well aware of this. He ignored it and focused on his grades.
Amol disclosed all of Arjun’s secrets to Shiv. Arjun had never even dreamt of such a thing happening. He was broken and cries all day.
The next day he sorted it out and Amol apologized to Arjun. Shiv treated Arjun in a high handed fashion. He turned a blind eye to it. Or rather tried to.
Arjun turned more cautious and stopped sharing with Amol and it was quite clear Amol wanted Arjun to trust him badly. Maybe Amol enjoyed destroying and questioning Arjun’s character.
Eighth Grade, B.I. School:
Due to some problems B.I. The school was affiliated only up to the eighth grade. It was Arjun’s last year. He had many memories in this school and it was like his home. He loved the school very dearly. He felt sad that he was going to shift schools.
It was on the last day that a weird rumor started in the eighth class. It was started by Amol. The contents of the rumor went something like; Arjun had bad-mouthed about Shiv’s parents.
Arjun was shocked to know about this but did not sort it out with Shiv. He was tired. Thankfully it was the last day and the rumor stayed with the eighth grade.
Arjun topped the class and got the highest grade and Shiv was nowhere near it.
Arjun got accepted into G.F. School. Unfortunately, Shiv too joined the same school. Arjun wasn’t affected by it and went on with his life.
Ninth Grade, G.F School (beginning of the term):
Arjun was an introvert and did not make friends easily. But many people soon became his friends. When the term exams were held, Arjun fared well.
Slowly people started distancing themselves from Arjun. Shiv had spread the rumor in the new school too. Arjun was affected. He slowly withdrew in a shell and shut his feelings out.
But this time Arjun was affected even more deeply. He couldn’t understand why Shiv was doing this.
Arjun slowly slipped into a deep pit called depression. He shut people out. He stopped talking at home. He lost his appetite yet forced food into his system.
He was the polar opposite in the school. Cheerful and exuberant. As if two Arjun’s existed. He used to spend a lot of time reading and listening to music.
He lost himself in studies. He did really well in his exams. Arjun drastically lost a lot of weight and turned pale. There wasn’t a day when he slept without a wet pillow beneath his head. He started hating people. He grew suicidal. Most of the times a blade hovered above his wrist. He also developed temper issues.
The only rays of hope in his life were music and books. Books helped him escape to a happy world. The music drowned him in and gave him a few minutes of happiness.
Slowly his perspective towards life changed. His thoughts grew more positive. He started valuing life. He understood it’s worth. He searched for happiness in the smallest of things. The aura around him changed. Everyone came to him now, but he chose his friends more wisely now. He did not trust anyone easily.
He was not totally free of his temper problems but became more patient. It was during this time he decided to train to become a psychologist. He wanted to treat people and make them realize the value of happiness and life.
Depression is not an easy battle to fight, but it’s worth to fight it. Not everyone is able to win this battle. It needs medical help and a lot of patience to deal with.
To all the people out there battling with depression believe me just go on. After this phase passes there’s no looking back. Hang on there, you will soon be fine.