I could have got you detained very easily. I could have asked the Board of Discipline to take a stringent action against you—but I did nothing of the sort. Won’t you be interested to know why I behaved like that? Or you would think that being a very weak person; I lacked the strength of taking action. Do you think it really needs strength to take action against an erring student? None—I say. It really takes courage and strength to forgive a defaulter who has hurt you beyond repair. I know you will laugh it off as a rambling of a weak person but you would understand my boy one day, perhaps, when you would know how hard it is to punish those whom you love.
Your act was unforgivable—as it was to prove your courage to the people who would have a hearty laugh at your guts. But did you really have guts? I am afraid, you don’t have any. I have guts to forgive despite my rational self telling me in no uncertain terms to set one example and all the coming classes would be set right. But was taking this action worth the trust that I still had in the goodness of human beings? It is my unfailing trust in the humanity and all humane qualities that saved me from being a revenger. I just let my heart overrule my head and mind you it was not simple. My mind kept on warning me to be strict one time and be happy for the rest of my life. Do you know what you have done to me? You have shaken my trust in all that I held close to my heart—my love for students. Now I am wary even for genuine concerns that some students show for me as I have become over suspicious.
Still not able to fathom a reasonable reply to why you did that foolish act of yours, I pity you for behaving that way. It speaks volumes about the kind of conditioning or the lack of it has done to groom you the way you have turned out to be. You had put a bet with some of your friends to befool the teacher and to run away from the class without being noticed. You were almost successful, had not I caught a glimpse of a crouching human form slipping away from the door, when I was busy writing in my register. Rather too engrossed I was in my work! You looked disgusting. If you thought that you were looking like a stalwart, you are mistaken my boy. No one looks an inch of stalwart while doing a cowardly act. And I am sure showing your back to the battlefield that is your class in this matter is a great act of cowardice! I could have come after you to catch you and you know how fast I walk—I could have easily caught you. I chose not to come after you and instead sent a student who shared camaraderie with you. Do you know why I did so—just to save you from the embarrassment that you might have faced when caught by me. I knew even before the student, one who went after you, told me about not being able to catch you. I know that you could not have just vanished in the thin air. I pretended to believe him again to help him in face saving. Now to get you on my books, I had to find you out and for that I had to take attendance of the class one more time. And see the guts of some of you—someone spoke out your proxy. Now this was too much. I had seen a human form creeping stealthy out from the door and knew for certain that I was not hallucinating and here the class was bent upon saving you. Did they really want to save you or were making it worse for you. Try finding answer to this question. Exasperated, I had no energy left to play the Lady Bond and instead chose to leave the class. You might have thought it as an act of running away from the class but again you are mistaken my boy. We, who give you freedom, have the right to take it back any time that we think it is being misused. I could have physically verified the presence of all of you but I don’t think teachers are supposed to do that. We all are bound by some ethics and if we fail to be governed by them, there is no use being good in any other role. I thought of having wasted my time and energy on students who, at the fag end, of the session were as irresponsible as they were at the beginning of it, or were rather worse. I was sad for you and all those who seemed to support your action, but was this worth the effort? In the evening when I reached home and had just made me forget all that had happened during the day, you suddenly appeared at my door step. I am not a bad host but that day I had neither energy nor inclination to invite you inside. You gave a very lame reason—a reason that had no substance at all. A reason that anyone would be able to look through and I was your teacher! You confessed to have a troubled stomach and had to run away from the class because of that. You told me that coming to me to seek permission for leaving the class was not possible for you as the girls were sitting close by. Do you think I could believe all that blabber? I didn’t believe you but didn’t have the strength to refute your claim as well. I could still see a boy bent upon befooling the teacher. When I asked about the proxy that was used to mark you present, you told that it was as per your request that someone had called your proxy! What a lie! A shameless lie! How did you know my son that I would be taking the roll call to ascertain the boy who had left the class as you were pretty sure of duping me when you undertook the bets to run out of the class?
Next day you came to my office and were humility personified. I needed time to think rationally about what action to initiate against you. But I didn’t want something to do that would affect your future. Was I weak? According to you perhaps yes. Had I been strong, I would have written a long complaint against you to the Board of Discipline and left you to face the music. I didn’t do it because I suddenly thought of my own son and analyzed the situation your parents would be in if they learn about their “intelligent” son who had made the entire family proud by seeking admission to such a prestigious Institution. It was a very crucial moment for me to decide the course of action that I must take. I was hurt beyond repair, no doubt about it but was getting you punished and detained the only answer to the problem?
I thought of various reasons that might have made the kind of person that you turned out to be. Not a good example of a man, I might say honestly. But I am a diehard optimist and always believe that if I would be I able to bring about some positive change in any erring individual, I would feel my efforts to be well invested. It was this instinct in me that still believes in the dictum that basically all human beings have some good streak in them that has helped me to come to the decision that is not to report your case to anyone.
Now think about me in whatever way you want but I have done what I thought best for you. Honestly speaking, it was not an easy decision to arrive at as till the final moment I was tempted by my rational self to set you right but my heart prevailed over mind.
But don’t forget one thing—I may have forgiven you but I won’t forget either you or your act of indiscipline.