Mr. Floyd was indignant of the judgments that people impulsively and abruptly made about human adventures. And it was such an adventure that had befallen upon an intimate friend of his when they were at school. This misadventure accounts Mr. Floyd’s paranoia and his incessantly incredulous musings.
About fourteen winters ago, on a cold evening, a junior student of the K____ house complained to the duty teacher, Mrs. Paudel that his Phone Card was stolen and that he was confident about the place he had earlier kept. It was under the quilt and over the pillow which he was adjacent to his locker, he had confided with her.
The duty teacher, realizing the situation had assumed a grim and stern countenance and told the student that she would find the culprit and would make an example out of the thief. Mrs. Paudel was one of those people with superegos who wouldn’t accept the degeneration of morality. She had always kept an amicable relationship with students but would act tough and was indignant to those who she thought to be causing a disturbance to others in this perpetual life of eternal salvation. She considered human life to be a way of salvation from the sins committed in our past lives. It was her way of reasoning with the bizarre nature of human existence. One can assume that she had a leap of faith and had continued to live her life with moral obligations.
Now that the card thief was to be found, she formed a prefect quartet and commenced her investigation like the mediaeval church ready to pounce upon any inquisitive scientific brain. After supper, when the students were doing their assignments and tasks required of them, in the preparatory room, the prefects began to call upon the students in group of four. Then they were required to show them their lockers at the dormitory and even of the bathroom’s. The four prefects checked the lockers of their juniors like they were the policemen themselves, making a menace of their lockers hurling their clothes, disheveled and in the floor.
There certainly was a commotion in the preparatory room and all eyes were vexed at the complainer who for all the students was the creator of this unnecessary and juvenile complaint. Someone even shouted, “Why, you are such a crybaby, losing a petty phone card”. The room erupted in laughter and support to the lucidly annoyed voice.
While this all was going on in the room, another student, S_____ was unaware of all the noise and upheaval, for he was deeply distressed by the news of his ill father. He literally wasn’t there all this time and was wondering how his beloved daddy was feeling. This mind in grievance didn’t have the faintest idea of what others were doing and even saying. It was in an agitated state of indifference and sorrow to the outer word.
S____ was incessantly thinking about his father and even more, home. He remembered the colorful flowers that blossomed in the garden, roses, red and white, orchids of all kinds, the small pond where he used to bait for trout with his rusty reddish of the fishing rod and spent hours with his father, fishing. It was vivid. It all was coming to him. Then he reminisced about the old well that had been installed before even he was born, how he used to, with all his might draw the bucket and his father would run to fetch empty containers. Oh! The taste of the water from the well, rusty and bitter. Bitter is sweet for fatalist people. How he loved that taste, like drinking a glass of sacred water. There is nothing sacred than food and wine at home.
Suddenly disturbed by a loud laughter, S_____ comes to his senses and apprehends where he is. The first thing he remembers is his water bottle, which had rolled over to the other side of the room in the morning. He stands up, observes his friends who looked senselessly jolly, doesn’t suspect anything and walks towards the dormitory.
He approached the big cold room which was partitioned by a row of bed and into two different dormitories. He approached the opposite end of the dorm while Mrs. Paudel and her soldiers were livid. S___ doesn’t care what’s happening and walks straight towards the end of the partitioned room, stoops and picks up his now dusty and greasy green bottle which was only about two paces behind the complainers’ bed, walks out of the room and down the stairs to the filter.
Mrs. Paudel, having seen S___ doing something conspicuous at the other side of this cold yet brightly lit room is dubious. However, she decides to stay as quite as a cat for she may have found the culprit. She wants no stones unturned and continues with her investigation. This hurling and barging of private innocent property ensues for a while but is put to a stop when the phone card owner paces into the room and exclaims, “By the love of god, I have found it”. Mrs. Paudel is startled for she truly desired a thief to have existed. But, where did you find it? Well, it was at my bookshelf on the top of my locker. I may have misplaced it there. Mrs. Paudel stops the checkup and sends the four juniors and the prefects away. She places her hand in his shoulder and asks caressingly, are you sure you had kept it in the shelf? Oh no, ma’am I don’t remember if I should have placed the card on the shelf. Then you doubt this whole affair? The junior assumed a grim appearance and raised his hand to his head then added, I am certain I had put it under the quilt but I don’t know what to say anymore.
Mrs. Paudel unable to accept that the item had been misplaced called upon S___ to enquire about his little adventure in the room. On the onset he was quite startled but he swiftly grew in composure and flatly denied the idea that he had installed the card later. Mrs. Paudel was adamant that he had something to do with the stolen card, “you want me to believe that you had no idea that the card was stolen despite all this clamorous excitement amongst the boys”, Mrs. Paudel spread her wings like a vulture ready to pounce upon a dead meat. But , but he muttered while his countenance grew red and the eyes became doleful assuming a state when one has been robbed of something treasured and he now felt his heart pounding feebly and his hairs were already erect. He had been robbed. Mugged of his honor, the Brahmin honor which lies not only in showing devotion to god but the idea of moral indignation and such capacity to which their superegos fall into the lowest ebb of morality. How could he who was born under such Brahmin guardianship be reduced to such a crime? How could I be accused of such misdemeanor? He looked at Mrs. Paudel who posed as some detective in the verge of solving a crime, proud and pompous.
A week later S___ walked out of the school gate. Mr. Floyd had helped him pack his bag and had embraced him with eyes full with tears prior to being escorted out of the school by the headmaster and Mrs. Paudel, the new assistant house master. He was suspended for two weeks from school. His father was also dead.
A dead soul needs its first born son to transcend into the high heavens. And hallowed was the soul.