BY MUSHTAQ HURRA
With tears rolling down his cheeks, Faariq cried loudly , “ This physics and chemistry will surely make my soul fly to heavens ! I am probably an idiot and a blunt minded boy in this institution as these lectures are beyond my comprehension. I wish to read Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Milton and Bernard Shaw not that Newton, Einstein, Bohr and Archimedes. Who forced me into this hell? Nobody among my classmates and teachers is giving me any weight. I have lost my credibility among my peers. These numericals , equations and graphs are sure to kill me. I am all alone here.
Every day, I face the wrath of my teachers in the classroom for not responding well. How can I respond when all this is beyond my abilities and tastes? Every day, my classmates laugh at me because I can’t reply correctly to my teacher’s queries. My assignments are often incomplete and clumsy because I don’t know how to complete these. The other boys and girls in the centre hardly prefer to talk to me.
My father has chosen a prison for me. Am I so dull and deficient”?
Faariq scolded himself, took a deep breath, and closed the big reference books lying before him. He tried hard to relax but acute stress and depression had already turned him into an insomniac .Suicidal tendencies had begun to haunt his mind. He wanted to apprise his parents but was afraid of the social status and dignity of his parents and family. “If I will tell my father to change my subjects, he will either kill me or commit suicide” , Faariq said to himself, his head grabbed in his both hands. All this anxiety had taken a toll on his health. His puffy eyes and the paleness on his face, were vividly narrating his sorrow and pain. He felt like as if he was caged and his wings were burnt down.
Faariq, originally from a village, was receiving coaching at Srinagar for NEET( National eligibility entrance test ) which was contrary to his tastes and capacities. His father was hell bent to see a stethoscope around his neck but Faariq was never comfortable with these subjects .He had a strong literary taste. His poems at a very young age were testimony to his interests and proficiency in English literature but he could never gather the courage to tell his father who wanted to translate his own dreams through his son.
Days kept passing, and Faariq was almost half-mad but he could never dare to tell his father the reality of his own aspirations and tastes. Bashir Ahmad, his father, was adamant to see him as a doctor. He had full faith in his son who had passed the matriculation examination with flying colors. It was the wastage of his hard-earned money, and all these hasty decisions had put his only son’s life at stake.
Faariq was always interested in English literature. He wanted to pursue it as career. His dairy was a proof of his literary proficiency but his father who loved him a lot, wanted him to be a doctor. His opinion was not sought when he was admitted in the only higher secondary school of the area. His father never bothered to ask his son about his preferences rather forced him to take science subjects right after passing the 10th class examination.
The two years at Srinagar, away from his parents, grandparents, siblings and friends had turned him virtually into a zombie. He was reduced to a mere skeleton. Finally,
NEET was coming off on next Sunday, and Faariq had already received his admit card (Roll Number slip).
Bashir Ahmad (Faariq’s father) was happy and yearning for a new beginning. “ NEET) is a solitary night away, and I haven’t talked to my son for last three days”, said Nagina( Faariq’s mother) to her husband. Bashir Ahmad tried to dodge his wife because he didn’t want to disturb his son for a single moment. But he could not resist Nagina who was insisting for a chat with her son, and finally he took the mobile phone in his hand and dialled Faariq’s number.
Bashir Ahmad rang Faariq’s mobile number repeatedly but Faariq didn’t respond. He dialled the number again and again but to no avail. He was utterly surprised when there was no response from that side and grew anxious and worried his face turning pale, the signs of worry were vividly evident on his face. “Why are you looking so worried” asked Nagina, his wife”. “Nothing, your son is not responding to my phone call”, said Bashir Ahmad to her. Meanwhile, he dialed the number again and someone picked up the phone and said, “ Faariq has committed suicide, he is no more”. Alas !
—The writer is a teacher and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org