Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Papa kehte hain

Was his name Imran? The boy was a year ahead of me in school, and I really only heard about him in death. I don't even know what he looked like. Imran was an 11th standard science student, and, from what was revealed after his death, was having a hard time keeping his grades up. He didn't like science, but his family, especially his father, had insisted that he pick the science stream over commerce or arts in high school. These things were non-negotiable. You became a doctor or an engineer. You'd like it, and you'd like it good.

That day Imran had come home early. It was Ramadhan, and all the schools and offices in Oman had had their hours reduced by law. Imran's father wasn't home yet, which was just as well - Imran had received a graded test paper back that day. He hadn't scored well despite the hardest effort and was afraid to get his father to sign the paper before having to return it to his teacher. His mother and sister were on holiday in India.

There was construction going on in the building where Imran lived. When his father came home that day, he found his son hanging from the ceiling from a noose made from rope that had been lying around the construction site.

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