Rohan, Kapil and the world that they saw

The world that he saw was so big that words always betrayed him to provide any description. He looked at everything in amazement. How things used to take place always seemed a wonder to him. He wished to unlock many questions, but mostly, to no avail. He would be awed by the ridiculously high buildings he saw each time while on his way back home. He never talked to many people, he had his friend circle which was limited to 2 friends, and both of them went back home in a different school bus. So, the time he spent in his school bus was merely spent in observation, and subsequent amazement.

Rohan was a 5-year old, studying in the 1st standard. Being a kid, his life was routine, getting up early in the morning, going to school, coming back, playing at home, doing homework and going to sleep. He feared being made fun of, he was a shy and introvert kid. There were often complaints of Rohan being restless in classes, he often used to shout in between classes, would not answer questions when asked though he performed really well during class tests and in exams.

His parents, his teachers, and everyone who knew Rohan were puzzled and perplexed due to such anomalies. After consultations with the best doctors in the business, it was found out that Rohan hated crowds, he hated being amongst people in abundance. He was agoraphobic, and this agoraphobia was because he used to stammer, and feared being made fun of him due to this abnormality of his. That is why, perhaps, he felt so restless during classes, and created nuisance, which was in fact absolutely unintentional.

As his teachers and parents got to know about this problem of his, they tried to do their bit, and asked him to speak more, practice more. This backfired, and Rohan started to feel ashamed of himself, mentally. His grades started to suffer, and it was high time that he be rescued from self drowning in the marshy land that had got created.

Rohan, now was 9, and was still struggling to get everything to fall right into place. He had long lost the balance he had created, or he thought he had created. The matters were just getting worse for him. He had failed once, and his confidence was going down each day. His parents were helpless and the state of affairs were adding to their helplessness. It only needed a miracle to happen, for them to get back Rohan, their only son.

It might have been some auspicious day that Rohan got introduced to Kapil, a new entrant in their society. Kapil had an amazing sense of humour; he was a little older to Rohan. By profession, he was a psychiatrist, and was very interested in studying kids and their behaviour. He was asked by Rohan’s parents to accompany Rohan more and bail him out. Kapil was at his job right from the beginning; he used to make Rohan laugh, at least as much as he could. It took time for the ice to break, but gradually, Rohan started to enjoy Kapil’s company.

Kapil took the first step and started sharing secrets, the ones which he never shared with anyone, to indirectly hint that Rohan is a trustworthy human being, that people can bank upon him to keep their secrets, that people want his advice on issues that concern them and matter to them a lot. Kapil kept trying to make Rohan believe the fact that he is better than what he thinks of himself.

Rohan started to get back his confidence. Kapil’s magic had started to take its effect. Rohan, though he still stammered was talking more, but only to Kapil. For Rohan’s parents, even that was a boon. Kapil knew that the time has come when Rohan should be pulled out of the self created shell that he was living in. It might have been some divine instruction that Kapil decided to tell Rohan the biggest secret of his.

Kapil, when he was young knew only his native language because of which he had a hard time at school, and was often an object of fun and laughter. To add to Kapil’s woes, he had an accident which left him walking with crutches. If doctors were to be believed, Kapil would never be able to walk without the support. Kapil, for years, lived in a world where he could only see people around him making a mockery of his pathetic state. But Kapil did not give up, he did not give in. He stood up to all what he was subjected to. Kapil now knew a handful of languages, and could run like any normal human being.

Rohan was dumbstruck. His own problems seemed miniature to him. Rohan had got the point, he now knew the way forward. Kapil seemed to have delivered it, one more time. Rohan’s confidence was back and it was showing in his grades, he also improved at sports. Gradually, but surely, his interaction also increased and consequently, his stammering started to reduce.

Yes, Kapil got it right and as he set out to do, Rohan was bailed out but here I leave you to wonder if it was Kapil’s magic that worked, or another instance of a human deriving strength by seeing another at a more helpless situation.

Animesh Ganguly