In our familiar lives, there are some fortunate moments when we are so overwhelmed with someone else’s tale, someone else’s life, that we live the rest of ours differently. It happened with me, and I can’t stop thinking about it.
He is a young boy. In primary school. Let’s just call him “Elvin”. Elvin’s story goes back to when his mother married his father. I’ll try to make this is ‘third-person’ and as quick as possible, because I know how painful it can be otherwise.
Elvin’s mother married his father, and within weeks, was being beaten and tortured for dowry. Through this, she had three miscarriages, three. Then when Elvin was successfully delivered, her own parents brought the two of them to their house. But for how long? Within seven months, she was back under the whip and soon, she committed suicide. I wonder when they will agree it was murder.
Finally, the boy got neglected and when finally his father saw he had a son (Lo behold!), Elvin got all the attention in the world, specially when his father came home drunk. He went to school like a dismal child. And the father remarried. Worse, worse, worse….. the stepmother was exponential compared to the father. The least atrocity I can manage here is how she would kick him down the bed every morning for school…
Finally, Elvin’s mother’s brother filed for a custody battle at court. It has been on for months. And then he did something that just plunges the heart and tears it down to shreds. The uncle went to Elvin’s school and met with the in-charges. And submitting a case file and legal papers, he begged them not to give the child’s TC to the stepmother or father, in case they plan to take the child and go away.
The story henceforth is hazy, but a few days later, the stepmother did come for the TC and after some hassle and heated dialogue, took the boy away.The school could do nothing, such were the legal bindings. I know some people who watched it all happen, with sordid eyes.
One sentence Elvin’s uncle wrote in the case files haunts me, even when there is no connection…. “If the child is let go, and something happens to him; will the school take any responsibility?” Now…..should the school feel guilty?