A few years back, I had an aged girl (Dorji Dema) of 16 in class four as my student. She was way ahead of the rest in the class of 26. Whether in academics or in sports, she was the one making her mark and she was well behaved as well. We teachers decided to give her a ‘fast-track promotion’ for her abilities and promoted her to the next higher grade in the mid year. By the fall of the year, we happily bid ‘happy vacations’ and left for winter break. When we resumed our school the following year, the girl was nowhere to be seen. We in the school were told, the parents married her off. What can be this bloody blunder? I was shocked and in fact I was raging with inferno for the parents’ decision. And Dorji Dema was never seen again. I still hold dislike for her parents. Last year I heard she is now in Monggar. Hope she is fine!
In my time as a teacher for the last six years, I haven’t punished any of my students. This is a plain fact and I am proud that my students always listened to me and they seek me for advice besides the subjects. I hope to continue doing so, as long as I am a teacher. I take pride in my job and the services that I am available with especially for students.
This year, my class has 18 girls and 9 boys, all adolescents. I take care of the girls more than the boys for obvious reasons. They are at a formative age and if we collectively don’t take care of girls and boys alike, things might turn ‘ugly’ and who knows they might spoil their life before it even begin. I do this because I don’t want another Dorji Dema or someone in the making.
One fine sunny Sunday, four girls and two boys went for a picnic taking some edibles. I knew this the next day and whatever I write here is from the anecdote of one of the picnickers. They had their lunches and they walked all the way to one of their friends’ place. There they tested their curious brains by trying something weird. One of the friends suggested tasting some locally brewed alcohol popularly ‘Ara’.
They each took turn to drink out of curiosity and their tiny brains instantly got what most alcoholics get when they drink. Some girls laughed as if they hadn’t for the last one year. One of the girls was found crying on the road yelling “I am hungry”. And the person who found these ‘tiny drunk wads’ was none other than my friend.
The following day, I was told of what I mentioned above. I am their class teacher and I felt low on hearing the news. I warned them with all my mind and I spoke my heart out on the ‘wrong’ they did. I punished them for the wrong doing and this punishment made my day miserable. I lost my adrenalin for the rest of the day.
I want god to forgive me for what I’ve done and I know I’ve sinned for inflicting pain on my students. I did this not for my good but for theirs. Ugyen stepped forward and exclaimed, “Please sir don’t upset, and we will not repeat this ever again”. I told the entire group, to do things that are acceptable by all school norms. They promised me this in writing.
May this day never come, ever in my life! I know what goes around comes around. I can only say some prayers from the book of bible; O’ Lord, Please forgive me, for I have sinned. Dear readers, forgive me!