Alex is fourteen years old boy studying in Standard VIII. He was a hyper active person and his parents were almost fed up of helping him. They could not understand him. They gave him many guide -lines to study and behave. Unfortunately none of those was in his dictionary and so he could never keep them. Teachers failed to help him and they gave up training him. He was good at football but he would break the leg or hand of one of his companions on the ground and there would be fight regarding that. The companions used to call him by a nickname, ‘The fighter cock’. He made sure then to be a good fighter cock everywhere. Now the principal of the school called his parents and he humiliated Alex in front of his parents. Since then he was filled with revenge and hatred towards the Principal.
One day, Raju his bosom friend suggested to him that he could improve the situation. He influenced Alex to begin to make resolutions and tackle the problem one by one. Thus at first he made a resolution not to fight with anybody and on the following day itself he broke the head of his classmate. Raju consoled Alex and he opened his heart to Raju.
‘When somebody questions me or puts me down or makes me small before others an inner urge comes to finish him off. This is how I often get into a fight with others.’ Raju said.
“What did Gunduram do to you yesterday for breaking his head”? Raju said.
“We were coming to school together and we were talking very friendly way.” Alex continued to share. “Then all of a sudden he started telling me about my getting angry very fast. That was a true and I accepted it. Then I told him that I was aware of it and was working hard to overcome it.”
“Alex, I appreciate your hard struggle to bring your anger under your control and I have seen you how you responded when Rustom of class IX provoked you the very nasty way. You were more of responding to the situation rather than reacting to his provocation. Keep it up. There is great improvement. You continue like that. Then the victory is with you Alex.” Raju said.
Raju’s encouraging appreciation boosted Alex. In that joy he made a decision to be a more effective person. Alex had many small success stories to share with Raju after a fortnight’s Christmas vacation.
“Good morning Alex. What happened to you? What went wrong with your hand?” Raju said.
“Good morning Raju. How are you?” Alex continued, “I feel ashamed of myself Raju. I did something during the holidays that only a first class quality idiot can do.”
“What’s that Alex?” Raju said.
Alex, during the Christmas Holidays was playing with his younger brother and two sisters, and his neighbour children. He was the eldest of them all. He wanted to shine before them all. He always craved to be a hero among his peers. He wanted to show off and prove that he was much better in every way than all the other children.
“With a great expectation of my performance before them all, I climbed up the boundary wall and jumped down from the wall. I thought I would be able to land on my feet like a hero just like how the hero of a film I saw last week, did. My calculations went wrong and they all laughed loudly at my foolish action. I felt very much small in front of them and experienced terribly humiliated. But they all helped me to go to the hospital” Alex said.
Alex did not forget his resolution to grow better and better. He controlled himself and with great humiliation he spoke to them in a gentle manner though he was angry. His response at that time was just contrary to how he used to behave earlier. His well-controlled way of behaviour at that time made the children who were already frightened so much feel relaxed and very loving towards him. They all recognized something special in him. They witnessed the positive changes taking place in his life.
“Yes Alex. Lissy of class six told me all about your nice behaviour” Raju said.
“Raju, you have done great thing to your bosom friend Alex to be a better human person. When that event took place, on the spur of the moment we all laughed loudly. It was an unconscious reaction from us. Later we all felt very sorry but he was very faithful to his resolutions and dealt with us very gently.” Lissy said.
“How long do you need to keep your right hand in plaster and your left foot in a bandage Alex?” Raju said.
“I have to keep my fractured hand in plaster for eight weeks and my sprained left foot for four days more. The pain from the ankle has disappeared and my hand is alright.” Alex said.
Alex’s life style has changed. He has not forgotten his resolutions and determination to be a better person. Once he became fully alright he also came out of his sadness and his companions started becoming friendly with him. Months passed. Midterm exams were approaching very fast. He had lot of fears about his exams. He was very weak in mathematics. He managed to get almost all the maths exams zero or just below pass mark. After all the exams, Alex was chatting with his bosom friend Raju.
“By the way, are you satisfied with your exams this time Alex?” Raju said.
“This time I am sure I have done little better. My memory appeared to be better. What about you? How did you do in your exams Raju?” Alex said.
“My exams were just satisfactory” Raju said.
“Raju, do you know what happened to me with the mathematics exams. They were all objective type of questions, one question and five answers and you have to write only one answer. When I read the answers they all appeared to be correct to me. So I didn’t know what to do.” Alex said.
“Yes, you are supposed to give only one answer. Then what did you do?”
“I closed my eyes and ran the pen over the five answers and whenever I felt like touching an answer I did and that answer I wrote as the correct answer. I took only 10 minutes to finish my two hours of exams. When I took my answer paper to the invigilator he told me to read over and recheck the answers. He forbade me to leave the hall before half an hour was over.” Alex said
His school had a custom that every teacher used to give the answer papers to the students in their own respective classes. The teacher used to ask the children to check and see whether there was any mistake in the calculation of marks or anything else. That opportunity was given to them. Raju’s mathematics teacher brought the answer papers to show to the children. He gave the answer papers to all the children except Raju. Since the teacher was mentioning the number of marks each student got Raju came to know the first in the class was 60. He was very curious to know what he got.
“Sir, I did not get my answer paper. Please give me mine sir.” Raju said.
In anger the teacher called Raju to the front of the whole class. Not knowing what all abusive words the teacher and his companions would call him he went to the master almost trembling. They used to call him, “The great idiot” of class VIII. He was literally breathless. When he reached there he saw his marks. He had got 75 marks but the teacher could not believe that he could get such high marks.
The teacher told the whole class sarcastically showing the paper to them, “he has 75 marks.”
“Whom did you copy from?” The master said in anger.
“I never copied sir.” Raju said.
The teacher took the stick and started demanding from Raju from whom he copied to get such high marks. Then an inspiration flashed on Raju’s mind.
“Sir, how many marks did the first rank holder get?”
“Sixty marks. Why do you want to know that?
“If the first rank holder had got only 60 marks, then tell me sir from whom did I copy to get 75 marks?
The teacher became very silent and the whole class laughed loudly. The teacher felt humiliated and small before Raju. But the teacher was a humble man and asked forgiveness from Raju and the whole class for his imprudent dealings with Raju. The class gradually turned into a pensive mood.
Days and months passed. Raju made more and more resolutions regarding many areas of growth in life and study. He systematically worked based on the resolutions he made. He noticed his heart turning into very loving and forgiving towards others and improving in all his subjects of study. “The great idiot” of class eight changed into a lovely person and the whole class looked up to him. One day, the botanic teacher came to the class and with great pride started teaching them.
“How many seeds are there in a healthy and fully grown up apple?” The Botanic teacher said.
Different students started answering, 4, 5, 7 and so forth. But the answer was not correct and the students started looking at Raju to get a correct answer.
“In a healthy and mature apple there are 6 seeds” The teacher said.
At that moment Raju stood up for a clarification.
“Sir I have a question for clarification,” If in a healthy and mature apple there are 6 seeds, then how many apples are there in an apple seed Sir?”
Today, I appreciate myself for the great awareness of a hidden positive power operating in me. The resolutions with my hard work and determination awakened this positive power in me through the influence of my bosom friend Raju. ‘A true friend is a real wealth.’