Dr. Amitabh Shanker Roy Choudhury
- Birth – -January 18, 1955
- Education – MBBS (IMS/BHU)
- Publications – 4 books (2 in Hindi, 1 each in English and Bengali) and two are yet to come.
- Translations – Books and articles are translated in English, Odiya, Marathi and Gujarati.
- Awards – CBT awarded stories and novel, “Kamaleshwar Smriti Katha Award (2013, 2017 and 2019)” by Kathabimb.
- Honour – “Hindi Sevi Samman” by Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwa Vidyalaya, Wardha (December 2016).
☆ Story -The Result ☆ Dr. Amitabh Shanker Roy Choudhury ☆
In the horizon, the sky was beginning to brighten. Bordering the green tree tops, a silvery white glow appeared gradually. The sun was already a bit up in the sky. The sunrays, sieving through the leaves, were peeping through the window, but little Arjun was still asleep.
‘Get up my son. You’re getting late for your school. ’Gargi started pushing Arjun, still lying blissfully in the centre of the double bed.
‘Oh, amma, today is the result day.’ Without opening his eyes Arjun protested.
‘So what? Won’t your driver uncle Murari come to pick you up at 6.30 sharp? You must stand there on the street before he reaches, otherwise again he will be angry with you and complain to me, understand?’ Gargi was a bit agitated. She must finish her morning chores. But she was not able to start preparing the breakfast for everybody until she would send Arjun to his school.
Arjun’s father, Anurag, was busy doing his daily shave. Standing in front of the wash-basin mirror, with his face covered with foams of shaving cream he said, ‘The verb ‘sleep’ already has a double e. But for our Arjun it consists of half a dozen of e’s. Ha! Ha!’
Anyway, things started working. Arjun got up, brushed his teeth, quickly gulped a glass of milk under the watchful eyes of his mother, then straight way went to bathroom. Although in haste but he was happy because today he won’t have to carry the heavy school bag. Today their annual result would be declared. The students would get their progress reports.
Before going out with his father to catch his daily auto he touched the feet of his grandfather and granny. They smiled and blessed him, ‘Don’t worry. Everything will be alright.’
‘Daddy, what will you get me today?’ While the father and son duo was waiting for the auto driver, Arjun shook his father’s hand.
‘And what do you want this year?’ Anurag looked into his face.
‘Of course a bat, you’ve already promised.’ The son was looking at his father with expectation. ‘It’s me and Krishna will play with it.’
‘Alright, I’ll get it for you if you get full marks in math.’ The father committed diplomatically.
‘Namaste, sirji.’ Murari, the auto driver, who arrived just in time, welcomed him, ‘Come inside and be seated.’
‘Bye!’ Anurag smiled, ‘Take care.’
Arjun shook his hand and got into the vehicle. The auto was running on the city road maneuvering the pot holes and the heaps of rubbles on its way.
As usual the auto was full up to its brim. Fully packed. Today at least it was not over burdened with fat school bags. The boys and girls were chirping like early morning birds. There were about ten of them. Some were awaiting their results very seriously. Others, a bit philosophical, thinking probably – ‘one has to reap what he has sown!’ And a few were really carefree to some extent.
‘Hi Krishna!’ Arjun pressed the hand of his best friend, sitting beside him.
A yellow coloured school bus over took the auto and immediately it became a prestige issue for the young riders. ‘Fast Murari uncle, speed up. Don’t let it go ahead of us.’ They exclaimed.
Near the school, the bus slowed down. It had to take a right turn. It left the main road and started plying slowly on the unmetalled gravel road. By that time Murari had just reached the turning point and now his auto was running ahead of the bus. The children burst into laughter, ‘Well done uncle! We must win the race!’
The bus driver honked his horn, but its sound was drowned in the collective cheers of the auto passengers, ‘Ho! Ho! We’re the first! We’re the first!’
Quite a few buses and autos were already standing there in front of the school boundary wall. The students started getting down. They were talking to each other loudly. Everyone was full of blissful expectations. Some were calling his friend alighting from another bus, ‘Rohit, wait. I’m coming.’
Everybody was moving like the colourful butterflies, flying in the air from flower to flower. School dress? Today? No, no one was in his or her school dress. Why should anybody put that on today? The boys wore coloured shirts, T-shirts and pants. The girls were in jeans, tops and capris. After all it was their result day. The end of the struggle for one whole year! After twelve months of ups and downs of joys and tears, at last the final day of achievement was at their doors. Everybody was in a festive mood.
On the other side of the main gate of the school, keeping a distance, there were men, selling ice creams, cold drinks and chips from their push carts. Two balloon sellers were standing expectantly. But now hardly there was any customer. The real crowd would throng after the report cards were given away and the students would come out. And then it would be their peak business hour.
The two friends were discussing something very important about their fathers. Arjun said, ‘Friend, do you know that my father didn’t have to study in UKG at all?’
‘My daddy too, says that he got admission directly in class two. See, they didn’t have any LKG or UKG in their schools. Such a nice thing!’ Holding his water bottle Krishnanand jumped from the auto.
Both the friends were the students of UKG. Now they would get promoted to class one. From nursery to school. Today, a bar would be crossed in the hurdle race of their lives!
The boys and girls were talking in different groups, sitting or standing at different places. Some on the step of the staircase, others under the trees.
Both of the friends were braving their way through the crowd. Today they didn’t have to go to their class first. Hand in hand they were eyeing all around. Thoughtfully, Krishnanand said, ‘Just last month my daddy sat for an exam in his office. I fail to understand what sort of exam they take. No result and no mark sheet. Daddy didn’t bring anything home.’
‘Yes, mama says if they clear their exams they get a raise in the salary, that’s all. The grownups are always happy. They don’t have to bother for anything. And for us, even if our result is good, we’ll have to ask our mums for everything that we want.’
They couldn’t solve this puzzle – ‘Why only the grown-ups have so much of freedom? They can do whatever they want. But we cannot go out and play when we wish to.’ Every child thinks when would he grow up? For him, the adulthood means a winged existence! But when they enter their adulthood they become quite nostalgic about their childhood memories.
They met some of their class fellows and talked with some of them.
Suddenly Arjun pulled the sleeve of his friend’s shirt, ‘Look at Adhyayan. Everybody knows he is going to top, but see, he is moving around with a gloomy face. As if he has really failed. Oh! And there, her mother is sitting there on the garden bench, reading Hanuman Chalisa so many times. What a circus!’
‘Arjun, I’m afraid too.’ There was a cloud on Krishnanand’s face.
‘Leave it, yaar. First, let the result come in hand. Why to weep before you fall on the ground, eh?’
‘You know, math makes me really mad. And last night daddy has warned me if I don’t do well in math he won’t spare me.’
‘Oh my god! Don’t our fathers have anything else to do? The moment they see us, they start asking, ‘Do you know this? Do you know that?’ Have they never been a child? Mothers are really nice. No?’
‘Because mothers, themselves, were afraid of math when they were in school.’ said Krishnanand and both of them laughed.
‘They have got only one problem. They start weeping when we do some mischief. That’s very bad.’ Arjun held Krishnanand’s hand and the two marched ahead.
In the mean while the school bell began to peal out. The students ran to assemble for the prayer. After the prayer it was the time for the morning sermon. The school principal smiled and said to the students, ‘Today you’ll get your result. The result of your hard work for one whole year. Many of you will be satisfied with the marks obtained. I congratulate them in advance. But to them who are not happy with their marks I must say, there is nothing to lose your heart. Work hard and next year you’ll do far better. The journey of life is a long one. And remember: Life is an exam where the syllabus is unknown and question papers are not set. In your school exams you’ve your teachers and your books to help you, but in your future life you’ll be all alone to brave your way against all odds. So all the best for your result and all my good wishes for all of you. There’s nothing to be afraid of, just enjoy your life!’
The assembly was dispersed and all went to their classes. In their class, both the friends were waiting with their hearts throbbing like a running train. Their teacher called out each student’s name and handed over his or her result card. Some were smiling while some were just looking down. When the teacher called them, her eyes got fixed for a second on Krishnanand’s face while handing his report card over to him. Immediately Krishnanand realized that it was not a good omen.
As soon as they came out of the class, it was his math marks only on which Krishnanand focused his eyes. His face looked sullen. It became obvious that any time his eyes could rain tears.
‘What happened, my dear? Something wrong?’ Naturally, Arjun got worried for his friend.
‘Oh, my night-mare came true! Doomed in math!’ Krishnanand was trying hard to hold his tears, ‘Daddy will hardly talk to me.’
Arjun was trying hard to find a solution of the problem. His bosom was overwhelmed with love and sympathy for his friend. Suddenly his mind was struck by an idea. He put his hand on Krishna’s shoulder, ‘Come with me.’
‘But where?’ Krishnanand was a bit perplexed.
‘Oh, just come along.’ Arjun pulled his hand and walked towards their class room.
When the teacher saw the duo, she smiled, ‘Krishna and Arjun, both the friends are here again, why? What’s the matter?’
Arjun went near her table and entreated her, ‘Ma’am, kindly give half of my math marks to Krishna. You won’t have to give anything separately. Just deduct from my marks and give it to him. Otherwise his daddy will scold him. He won’t talk to him. See, he is so sad. He’ll be so happy if you can do it. Just give him, ma’am, please.’
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© Dr. Amitabh Shanker Roy Choudhury
Contact: C, 26/35-40. Ramkatora. Varanasi. 221001. Mo. (0) 9455168359, (0) 9140214489 Tel. (0542) 2204504.
≈ Editor – Shri Hemant Bawankar/Editor (English) – Captain Pravin Raghuvanshi, NM ≈