“Grandma you please keep an eye on Ravi and make sure that he breathes the way I have asked him to breathe. That will loosen up the ball inside his nose and we will be able to pull it out by some means” Subhash Das explained to the grandmother about his plan.
The grandmother became calm again. Subhash Das started telling his side of the story which everybody started listening.
Subhash Das passed his high school examination in science having Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology as four elective subjects along with two compulsory languages. In spite of scoring high in his board examination he realized that ‘science was not his thing’ and decided to study commerce in college and to become an accountant like Mr. Bhuban Sur, whom Subhash Das idolized. But goddess of luck was not in his favor. His uncles, his deceased father’s own brothers, who never cared to inquire about him and his widow mother before, suddenly started showing serious interest about Subhash’s future. Subhash Das was old enough to understand that his uncles never cared to visit his mother lest they needed to provide any financial help to the poor family who were living frugally from the small savings left behind by his late father. He politely refused their suggestions. But his uncles were successful in convincing his mother that her son could only have a good future if he studied science.
When Subhash Das refused to listen to his mother’s request, which he thought was an echo of his uncles’ desire, she started thumping her chest crying “O Subhash’s father see from above ………” and she announced that she would fast until death if her son did change his decision. When she had completed two days of fasting without having a grain of food and a drop of water her son yielded.
Subhash Das found college level physics, chemistry and mathematics very difficult for him as he had expected. He could not comprehend the lectures in the class, he could not understand the concepts by reading books; he visited his uncles few times who lived in the city to help him in understanding few concepts. His uncles showed no interest in helping him; he was not even offered a glass of water when he visited them.
In the first year college examination he failed in all the subjects. The college authority pronounced the verdict that ‘he was unfit for science’ and he was asked to leave the college. He met the principal and explained to him under what situation he had taken science and begged to let him study commerce in the same college. After repeated requests the principal agreed and he was allowed to continue his education in commerce in the same college. Therefore when he was supposed to be in his second year of B. Sc., Subhash Das took readmission into first year Bachelor of Commerce. As a result of that fiasco he wasted one academic year.
After three years in college, including the lost year, when he was supposed to get his Bachelor of Science degree, according the original plan, he told a lie to his mother that ‘her son has become a science graduate.’ To make it appear more convincing he bought some sweets, for which he had to borrow money from his childhood friend Anirban. Since Anirban did not have the money he borrowed the money from his sister-in-law, wife of his elder brother who lived with them in the joint family.
One year after his ‘false graduation’ he passed Bachelor of Commerce examination with distinction. He told his mother, who was whole world to him that he had become ‘double graduate’ in science and in commerce and his mother believed him without an iota of doubt.
When he finished his side of the story he apologized to his mother, “Ma, I am sorry that I had told such a lie to you. But I thought if you knew that I had failed in examination you would die in sorrow and I did not want to lose you, you are everything to me. “
No sooner had he finished the story than his mother burst into tears but that was a tear of joy.
“Anirban”, Subhash Das continued, “thank you for letting the truth come out, I do not have to live with a lie any more. I am relieved. Thank you once again”, Subhash Das finished his speech little dramatically.
“But I still do not understand how the secret which I had shared with my sister-in-law could be known to my father”, Anirban sounded curious.
“It is as clear as daylight, Anirban. Your sister-in-law shared it with one of your sisters, who in turn shared with your mother and your mother shared it with your father”, Subhash Das proved once again that when it was a matter of logical thinking he was second to none.
“Did you all forget that the white ball is still there in my grandson’s nose” grandma started with her periodic reminder but then she surprised everyone with her sudden change in mood and started talking loud looking up, “I always pray to Thee but Thou hearken me not” and then she became emotional and started wailing, “God has forsaken me. I do not want to live anymore. ” She broke into tears. Mr. Sur left Subhash Das and sat near his mother and held her hand.
[to be continued ……]