Story

A Regular Revenge Story

It is said that home is the best place on earth to be. Leaving your home, your hearth and going to live in a place that you will be sharing with 500 more people of similar age, can be a daunting idea in the beginning. Even so, everyone comes to cherish their hostel experiences after a while. I am no exception.

My hostel life started when I was 16 and my parents decided to send me to a far away college for some ‘quality’ education. Frankly speaking that was the only place that I could get admission in, so I really didn’t have any other option but to go there. Being the youngest of three siblings, I had heard a lot about hostel life and was super excited to start mine. So on 18th of July, I packed my bags and moved to my new home for next few years.

I should mention here that not only was I the youngest but also the smallest of my three siblings. I was only 5 ft and 4 inches tall and on top of that I was extremely thin as well. It made me look meek and an easy target for bullying. Coming from a small town I never had any issue with bullies, so my past could not prepare me for the hell I was about to face.

It started out small. My dorm-mates were friendly at first and I thought I got the best pick of the lot. Then one day, someone spanked my behind while I was walking down the corridor. That had never happened to me and left me too embarrassed to even react. Then few members of the football team asked me to play with them. Halfway through the game I realized that they were more interested in kicking me than the ball.

When I came to my room in the evening, I found a lot of stuff lying there that didn’t belong to me. I looked around and thought someone must have placed it there by mistake. So I started to lift it and keep it outside the room. Just then a few guys came in, these were the same one who had been using me as a ball for the last half hour or so. They pushed me back inside my room and said, “A small thing like you doesn’t need this space. So we will be using it as our personal storage.” That was all the explanation I got before my stuff was thrown out of my cupboard and they kept their own boxes in it.

These things continued for next few months, they were everywhere to haunt me, while I was eating, studying, sleeping, or taking a bath. It didn’t matter what I was doing, as long as I was on campus, I was their prey.

It wasn’t all bad though. I had also made a friend, Sam. He was also in the same boat as me. He was not built like the jocks and came from a small town. So we both used to hide from them together and used to find our salvation in that.

One day, they found some dirt on Sam. What it was, I still don’t know. I just knew they were using to basically use him as their slave. He would clean their room, do their laundry, complete their assignments, and they even humiliated him in front of entire college by making him to demeaning acts (I would rather not go into the details for the sake of my friend). This affected Sam’s grades and health as he did not have any time for himself. I told him that it was too much and perhaps we should complain to the dean. But Sam was afraid that they would share whatever they had on him. We didn’t know what to do but we did know that we needed to make it stop somehow, anyhow.

We had seen enough movies and drama around revenge against bullies and had a lot of dark ideas. We just didn’t want to stoop as low as them. But I also couldn’t see Sam in such a state, so I dropped an anonymous mail to the dean about what these boys were up to and hoped for the best.

The very next day, while they were in the middle of snatching our lunch (as usual), the dean came thundering in and asked them to report to his office immediately. An hour later, we came to know that the four of them got suspended for a month. Those were the best 15 minutes of our lives.

15 minutes later, they stood true to their promise and posted incriminating posts about Sam’s mother on social media and college blog. It spread like wildfire and soon that was all everyone was talking about.

I have never seen Sam as broken as that. I knew Sam was really close to his mother and could understand what he must be going through every time someone threw a slur at her.

As soon as my class ended that day, I ran to Sam’s room. I had unknowingly made his life even worse and I wanted to apologise to him for that. When I reached there, he was standing in his balcony and smoking. I had never seen him smoke.

Silently I went and stood next to him. He didn’t even acknowledge my presence. I apologized to him for mailing to the Dean. I didn’t know what else to say or do, so I just stood there quietly.

When he was done with smoking, he let out a last puff of smoke and flicked the butt off the balcony. “What exactly are you apologizing for? It really isn’t your fault.”, he finally said.

“But It was I who went to the Dean. Had I not, everything would have been ok. I wish I could do something to make things better.”

“Well I couldn’t have taken their shit all through college anyways. Now about making things better, how serious are you about it?”

That is when we formulated our plan. By releasing all that information on social media, those jerks had lost the only leverage they had on us and now we were free to do as we wished without any fear of retribution.

A month later, they came back to campus right in time for dinner and as we thought, went straight towards us. They snatched our food from us and sat on their place. They gobbled it up so fast that for a moment I thought they would choke on it and the entire plan will be wasted. Thankfully they didn’t.

That night we executed our plan and it went without any hitch.

Next morning everyone woke to the pictures of the football jocks engaged in some seriously ‘private acts’ together. Some of their friends ran towards their room to check on them, and found them lying in each other’s embrace adorned in nothing but their birthday suits.

Everyone was shocked to see the epitomes of masculinity display such open affection for each other. Later the shock turned into mirth and few moments later it was a full blown ridicule. And for once the jocks were at the receiving end.

They woke up to see their campus, their own turf, turned against them and laughing at them. It may be wrong for some, but to me and Sam, it was deeply satisfying the bullies being bullied for a change. But unlike us, they were too weak to take it and transferred to another college within the week.

Throughout their 3 years of college, wherever they went, somehow the entire college would receive pictures of their saucy night together. We ensured that their acts haunt them for as long as we could keep track of them. Two of them actually dropped out of college completely and started working small time jobs to get by. Was it right? Perhaps not. But it was what they deserved and what was just.

It is true that hostel life teaches all of us a lot. Sam and I are no exception. We also learnt a lot about sharing, caring and being independent but above all this, we also learnt that sometimes justice demands stooping to a level lower than you can imagine.

 

~P

Story

The Crossroads

I feel it’s good to be dependent on someone or some people. It’s good to be needed but it’s also ok to need someone at times. The problem starts when you become over dependent. We make so many life decisions based on our dependency on others without realizing that those “others” may be just as lost as we are. When I was 18, I reached that point in my life where in I had to make a decision that would practically shape the rest of my life. I came across that famous three way road that we all do at some point in our lives. Now the question was which one of those three ways would I choose. To be honest, at that point the choice seemed obvious and easy, if only I knew.

FOLLOW YOUR PARENTS
The easiest way out. You know your parents would never wish bad for you although that may not necessarily mean they know what’s best for you. They defined an entire career path for me. I was not even sure what the hell it was but I followed it. You know why? Because deep in my heart I knew they would never wish anything wrong for me. My career turned out to be more than fine. I became rich and successful. I got the most beautiful prettiest lady to get married to me. I was working 14 hours a day and making more money than anyone else I knew in real life. And believe me, money can buy a lot of stuffs. Money can buy happiness. I was happy with my achievements and accomplishments. Then finally the day came I had to wrap it all up and retire. I was excited because I could now spend time and do things that I never had time to do. And plus, I had made enough money. I wanted to travel and party and travel and party. There was just one problem. I was too old, weak and tired all the time. I guess my physical age finally caught up on me. I was too old, and I guess too late, to try all those stuffs I wanted to. So I decided to spend time with my wife and children only to realize that we barely knew each other. If only I had spent more time with them. I finally decided I was going to spend my days of retirement with my friends sitting in a lawn playing cards. However, that did not work out either since I didn’t have any friends. That’s because I never made any. It only took me a few days before I realized I actually didn’t know how to make one. I did not know how to make friends. I guess my personality and my style didn’t go too well with the world. But how the hell could I not have one single friend? This always seemed to me as something that comes easy to most people. Not a single friend. And that’s when I started to feel lonely and depressed. I started to spend most of my time staring into blank space with slowly running out of thoughts in my head. Then one night an angel visited my dream and she only said one thing “I will give you another chance.”

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FOLLOW YOUR FRIENDS
I woke up in my bed. I was 18 again. I felt and young and excited again. I closed my eyes and silently thanked that guardian angel (or whatever she was) for giving me another chance to be at the three way road again. I was damn sure I was not going to repeat any of those mistakes and I was definitely going to ensure I don’t end up sad and lonely. So I decided I was going to give myself and my happiness more priority than anything else. I started hanging out with my old friends more often. Along the way, I made some new ones too. Drinking, partying, late night long chats, pranking the hell out of each other etc. became my daily routine. Life was full of fun and I was insanely happy all the time. I also made sure to keep an eye on my career and my family at the same time but my close friends, my gang became my world. By the time I turned 25, the gang started to split up. Some relocated for new job, others went for higher studies and few got married early. By the time I turned 30, all my friends got married. It’s not like that they had forgotten me. They were there for me whenever they could. But it wasn’t the same. By the time I turned 35 I realized that the younger crowd didn’t want to hang out with me anymore and I had to give up on a lifestyle that I had stuck around with for nearly 20 years. It was weird. I didn’t know how else to live my life. I still felt young and energetic but I just couldn’t seem to find a purpose in life. Before I even realized loneliness slapped me in the face so hard that I could barely breathe. I had a job. I made decent money. But nothing left to live for. The guardian angel visited me in my dream again and this time I begged to her to take me back in time. At first, she was reluctant but soon enough she agreed.

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FOLLOW YOUR LIFE PARTNER
I woke up. 18 again. And this time I knew I had to find the right balance amongst all my loved ones – friends, family and others. I was at the three way road again but this time I felt more confident. The first two ways that I chose didn’t buy me long term happiness but now I was going to try out the third way (the only one left). I thought I finally understood what I wanted from my life. I spent time with my family, hung out with my friends and made it good with my career. Life was finally good. I couldn’t complain. I met this girl at a coffee shop with whom I somehow clicked with instantly. She was everything like my ideal dream girl.

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By the time we were done with coffee I gathered courage and asked her, “So when can we go out on a 2nd date?” She gave me that look, that stare that ensured me that she was impressed. Before you know it, we started dating. The first few months of our dating were just awesome. All that late night chatting, doing couple’s stuff together, holding hands, the way she kissed me (passionate yet soft), the sex… Oh my god! The sex. She was incredible in bed. Too damn good. I started to feel like the luckiest man in the world. I even starting making her breakfast in bed, not because she was so good in bed (ok may be a little bit) but mostly because I was falling in love with her. She was perfect in every freaking way. I realized that I was slowly drifting away from my friends and family. But I didn’t mind. I knew the time was right so when I proposed to her, she said “yes”. We got married way too young probably but the first few years were simply great. Our honeymoon phase lasted longer than it does for others. Everything was just fine. But just like every other couple, the honeymoon phase came to an end. It not only just ended. It ended real bad. I eventually started to struggle just to get a few words out of her. She made a new gang of friends with whom she would party most nights. Forget about talking, I barely got to see her at times. I tried to fit in her gang but they were too annoying to hang out with. A couple of years passed and I realized that our marriage was over. We didn’t divorce and we never talked about getting divorced either. But we knew deep down that it was over. With her permission, I decided to have an affair. I had my needs, both physical and emotional and I saw no reason to suffer anymore. I learnt it the hard way but I did not have that style and charisma anymore. Being lonely and depressed sucked all the fun out of me. I was officially a woman repellent. I realized there was only way out of this mess now. Coke and weed! I knew a guy who knew a guy who knew another guy to get me that stuff for cheap. Right when I was going to get out of the house and get that stuff, she came up to me and said, “I am pregnant.”
Pregnant huh? I was so not ready for that. I wasn’t even sure if the child was biologically mine but that didn’t really bother me. I was just focusing on the part that I was going to be a father. I took good care of my wife during those 9 months. We became good friends again (even though we never loved each other romantically again). I started feeling better. My life seemed to have found a new purpose. I took care of my wife and I started spend my free time with books. I got addicted to books rather quickly. I read all kinds of books but fiction was always my favorite. Creating a whole new world that makes you forget your own real sucky world was quite a feeling. Then that day finally came, we were blessed with a baby daughter. She was the most beautiful thing in the world, except when she was crying or pooping. But we were all very happy. That little angel meant the world to us. There was this moment, when she fell asleep on my lap. I was holding her with one hand and holding a book with another. Then it struck me, I have read so many books on leaders and artists. How come their lives have never been the same as mine? I mean, I have practically lived three different lives thanks to my fairy godmother (or guardian angel or whatever she was). What if the three way road was never actually a “three” way road? What if there was a fourth way too? What if I never saw the fourth way because I was too blind (or dumb for that matter) to see it? These artists and leaders never lived a conventional life. They never depended on anyone except for themselves. What if I could have done that too? I thought about my guardian angel and asked her if I could go back in time one last time. This time she neither responded nor showed up. I guess I knew why. To be fair she gave me two chances to make better of my life. May be she was there for me more number of times than I truly deserved. There was a slight little jerk and it woke up my angel. Surprisingly she did not cry. She just stared right into my eyes and for a moment I felt that our souls were looking right into each other’s. I felt as if she was saying “It’s ok dad. We are going to be alright.”
And you know what? We were.

~KK