The punishment - I

Sunita Giri 9:29 PM |

I really can not remember how old I was, when this incident happened, I just remember the incident. At that time I was still in a room, where children under ten years old used to be placed.

Indra Karki, was perhaps was the only male supervisor in Bal Mandir, when I was young. Rest all other supervisors were women they are also known as housemothers. One male supervisor was perhaps needed to control teen bunch of boys. But control has different meaning to different people and how much of one’s controlling habit should come alive to maintain the discipline in children under sixteen, come with different size of baggage from all kind of background and most importantly, who are orphans is another different topic for debate, I guess.

All the children - big or small - in Bal Mandir, is expected not to throw any meal they are served on their plate, even though they could not finish it. Ask how much you need and if you ask for it finish it was his logic. This logic is understandable to adult and nothing is wrong with this logic. Before we stay for a meal we were reminded, almost daily, not to throw any left overs, try to finish it.

It does make all the sense.

Ever since I was a child; I am scared to chew my rice due to ample of stones on it. Stones on our rice is perhaps some authorities concept of making us strong, mentally and physically. As they guessed, I am that what they had thougth, strong mentally and physically. There is no doubt on this fact, people who know me closely know this very well.

Even today, I don’t chew rice and don’t know when was the last time I had chewed it ? that childhood fear of grinding stones in between my molars almost daily is just too much and is not easy to forget. Just like, that long white insect on our meal, which used to stare at us menacingly. Yes, when they were on our plate they were dead long ago yet the fear is so much to young children when it used to stare at us with its back eyes, just when we were about to eat our meal. These two things is enough to send all my nerves on numb mode.

One day, when I had finished my meal, and about to walk out of the dinning hall, the supervisor stopped me at the exit point, where normally one housemother or a supervisor used to stand by until we finish our meal. I cant remember how much was there on my plate but perhaps it was enough to catch his attention. Then he told me to finish it with his thunder like threatening tone.

All the children were also expected to clear the area, where we stay for meal before we leave the place alone with our plate. What was on my place was the portion of the litter which I had messed on the floor around my plate so I could not eat it even though he kept repeating to rfinish what was left on my plate. Suddenly, I was the center of all eyes in that dinning hall.

Because I did not obey his order so he had to punish me. What he did next must have left many jaws wide open and must have scared them but that is what I did not see. Because, he caught my belly with his one hand and then raised me above his head and then he repeated it twice, as if he was doing some kind of exercise and I was serving as his dumbbell.

Let me tell you one thing here, I was never a lean and thin child, I could have been ten years old or below than that, just cant remember how old I was then. I was not the first child nor I was the last one, who had provided him the kind of pleasure, that exercise or punishment gave him.

Damn ! my bad memory power. I can not remember what happened after that, did I vomit after that, did I cry, how painful that was. most importantly did that changed my habit to clean my plate in following days ? Just cant remember. In my blur memory, I think I made me to clean my plate by force before he let me go out of that dinning hall. But as i said Damn ! my bad memory.

It seems that, that punishment had not changed my habit to clean my plate and throw some left overs, until I was in first year of my collage. It was my boyfriend [then], who had changed my that habit completely.

When he saw me doing the same, he said “respect the grains, other wise it might curse you”, I asked, “does rice has mouth to curse me ?” this is the question I[we] used to raise when I was in BM. Then he told me, “I have seen people, who were not respectful to grains and used to throw it like anything, but it was not long after that they were crying for two times decent meal.”

That worked wonder on me, instead of that harsh punishment, but the point is would I have understood the same logic, when I was less than a 10 years old ?

When we were growing up in Bal Mandir, staff both junior or senior at the Bal Mandir as well as Management team at NOC, used to expect us to be more reasonable, more sensible, more responsible and more understanding to the situation around us, just because of our background. What they ignored is we were just like any other children and any other normal teenagers; careless and carefree, about our future.

When I look back, one thing that really surprise me is, why have not we got horns on our head, we should have got one set of it by all those punishment and lecturing for being orphans. But, there sure is invisible horn, that kind of punishment nurtured so much hatred and disrespect in our young hearts towards the adult around us, its not easy to wash off in times flood water also.


loonibha said...

sunita , i can not stop today after reading your matter. if its your real story , i think its real no imagination ,you explained it so heart touching way. its great matter creative writing , i salute heart ,oh its crying but no tears in my eyes. i have no words to describe my words are mum .
i appreciate your have great sense of humor. i can not stop again..... off great .

lava said...

wowow great writeup god bless you sunita giri woow

Post a Comment