This story ‘The Power of Resolution’ is based on the third prompt “ Write a story about a character making a big change.”
The Power of Resolutions.
By Tom Kottackal.
Alex is a fourteen-year-old boy studying in Standard VIII. He was a hyperactive person and his parents got almost fed up with helping him. They could not understand him. They gave him many guidelines to study and behave well. Unfortunately, none of those was in his dictionary and so he could never follow 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 it filled him with revenge and hatred towards the Principal.
One day, Raju, his bosom friend, suggested to him he could improve the situation. He influenced Alex to make resolutions and tackle the problem one by one. Thus at first, he resolved 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. This is how I often get into a fight with others.’ Alex 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 suddenly he started telling me about my getting angry quick. That was true, and I accepted it. Then I told him 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 Ruston 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 a 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 was a more effective person. Alex had many small success stories to share with Raju after a fortnight's Christmas holidays.
“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 could 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, 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 gently spoke to them though he was angry. His well-mannered response then was just contrary to how he used to behave earlier. His well-controlled way of behaviour made the already frightened children feel so much relaxed and very loving towards him. They all recognised something special in Alex. What was impossible for him had taken place. They all witnessed the positive changes taking place in his life.
"Yes Alex. Lissie of class six told me all about your nice behaviour," Raju said.
Lissy told me, "Raju, you have done a 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 gently."
“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 all right.” Alex said.
Alex's lifestyle has changed. He has not forgotten his resolutions and determination to be a better person. Once he became fully all right, 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 a lot of fears about his exams. He was very weak in mathematics. He got almost all the math exams zero or just below the 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 a 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. The questions were all objective type, 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, for such a method you have 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 it. Then I wrote that answer as the correct one. 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 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. The teacher had given this opportunity to the class. Raju's mathematics teacher brought the answer papers and gave them to all 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 marks. 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 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 in Raju’s mind.
“Sir, how many marks did the first rank holder get?”
“Sixty marks. Why do you want to know that?” The teacher said.
" 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 and wise man and asked forgiveness from Raju and from the whole class for his imprudent dealings with Raju. The class gradually turned into a pensive mood. Tears rolled down from some of their eyes.
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 a certain drastic change in his life. He felt 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 then 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 asked the class.
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 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 real wealth.' It is possible to overcome any weakness in anybody.