Shelter

When we are unable to recognise our differences and help those who are in need, it becomes impertaive for us to accept and embrace their differences. 

When we are unable to recognise our differences and help those who are in need, it becomes impertaive for us to accept and embrace their differences.

Manisha looked at the wall and smiled! she nodded her head and almost kissed it. “Manisha this is an examination hall, cut it out!” I cried gritting my teeth. It was too late and the room had erupted with laughter.

She was a troublemaker!

She was a perpetual troublemaker, always drawing attention and then playing victim. A student of grade twelfth, who didn’t behave her age nor care about it. I was seething with anger, being the class teacher I decided to put an end to this obnoxious behaviour! I placed a phone call to her father and fixed an appointment for him to see me the next day.

He was a gentleman! He was in complete agreement to whatever I said. “She’s always been the cause of worry madam, a non – conformist right from childhood, she defies orders and is totally indifferent towards us.”

“I’ll take care and make sure that this matter will be settled here and that she learns a lesson. You will not have any cause for complaint. Sorry!”

The man left with the daughter, I heaved a sigh of relief but I could still feel my cheeks burning from the previous day’s humiliation.

She was indifferent

Days went by but I could not see any significant change in her behaviour, she hadn’t even apologised for that day yet. I ignored it as I felt that some children are beyond the grasp of their parents. She did not have friends though they had been classmates from the first grade. I could see that she was very arrogant for her age while the other classmates were beginning to display adult like traits by being responsible, polite and well mannered. The father had mentioned correctly yes! She was indifferent.

Life moved on and Manisha stopped attending classes. She did not come for a week. I had to make the routine call of checking and the father very politely told me that he would meet with me the next day.

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Who will accept her?

“I’m fed up with life’s problems and three daughters and now this!”  bellowed the mild gentleman and threw a file at my desk. I picked it up and it was a Psychiatrist’s file. I read it over twice but couldn’t comprehend many of the terms however one word caught my eye.

It read Schizophrenia, Manisha was Schizophrenic! The father continued “We are a business family I wanted a son to inherit it but I have three daughters, during her pregnancy we prayed and did all the rituals to have a boy but here she is. I did not treat them differently, have given them education and freedom like boys. Now, what about her? Who will accept her?”

I was against it at first

“It all started just a week ago madam. We had a ceremony in our house, as usual, while the entire household was involved and bustling this girl here was out enjoying her holiday from school. A relative who visited us observed her and suggested that we take her to a Psychiatrist. I was against it as these problems are to be dealt with sternly and not by a Psychiatrist’s prescription. My eldest daughter was convinced as she said that she’d heard that behavioral problems could be treated by a Psychiatrist. So we took her. After a series of tests we have the diagnosis.”

I looked at the mother. She looked scared and drained as she was numb and petrified. Manisha stood there with her naughty smile as if we had just shared a joke, Yes a cruel joke!

My guilt engulfed me

I spent days introspecting, I had observed that she was different, aloof, smiled to herself and when admonished behaved as if it wasn’t her who was being scolded. My guilt engulfed me,in my pursuit towards excellence, I had failed to embrace humanity.

Guilt and Regret did not help me, I knew that there was much more to just the reports of the doctor and the gentlemanly demeanor of the father. Maybe there was a cause to her illness and if so, there definitely was a solution too.

I am a positive person and “I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.”  I believed that there was hope left in this wide world of ours. Like all of us, she also loved to take shelter in her world of illusions to escape from the harsh reality and misery.

Yet, the only difference here was that she was shutting her doors on our faces. The only way to get her back was to create a better world for her amidst us- the beauty lay in the fact that we could embrace her.

Image Source: Pexels 

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About the Author

ushasri

A story teller, a listener and an eager learner. I believe that the world is a story book, each person has a story to unravel, enthusiastic to meet new people and get a sneak peek read more...

9 Posts | 22,804 Views

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