It was a chilly Thursday morning in December. There was no Sun to be seen or its heat to be felt but just a faint sunlight making its way through the cloud and fog cover. Children were going to school fully dressed in woolens, rubbing their hands to generate some heat to warm their freezing hands, some were covering their nose which turned red due to the cold weather, some even played with the cloud of vapors generated while exhaling.
Ashish was a student of class 10th and was sitting in his class with his maths textbook on his table waiting for the teacher. Suddenly it was announced that the teacher was on a leave for 2 days and the lectures would be taken by a substitute teacher. Every student shouted in excitement as they knew this was a free lecture and they could do whatever they want. Ashish thought of changing his seat and sitting right in front of the girl he liked and have a normal usual conversation with her. Everyone was happy but the substitute teacher had some other plans for them. He decided to take a surprise test and to check the students preparation for the exams. He made quite a difficult paper and was pretty confident of its level. He wanted students to fail so that he could humiliate them and their regular teacher for their preparation. After distributing the question papers and the answer sheets he sat on a bench in the middle of the class to make sure no one could cheat. Every time a student tried to look around to see what others were doing that poor soul was thrown out of the class. After 40 long minutes the test ended and the answer-sheets were collected. All the students were quite stressed as they knew they didn’t perform well but were also satisfied as whatever happens would be faced by the entire class.
Next day was no different in terms of weather, it was cold and cloudy and same was the atmosphere in the class. Most of the students knew how much they were scoring as they discussed the entire paper after the exam but Ashish was different, he never discussed any paper as he knew there is no point in getting tensed over something which cannot be changed. The substitute teacher entered the class with a large bundle of answer-sheets. All the students greeted him but with very low energy as they knew what was coming for them. The answer-sheet distribution began and to humiliate students even more their scores were announced in the entire class. After 20 students Ashish’s name was announced, he came out of his seat not knowing what was in store for him but the moment his marks were announced the entire class thought they heard it wrong. He scored a good 48 out of 50. He knew he did good in the exam but was not expecting this result. The teacher was all frustrated and angry at Ashish as he was sure no body without cheating could have scored over 30. So in order to prove that Ashish was a cheater he decided to make him solve a theorem on board in front of the class. Ashish knew this was going to be very bad for him as he never knew if any such theorem even existed in the textbook so doing it on board was a completely different thing. He also thought this would get him some negative points with the girl he liked but had no option. He started moving very slowly towards the board hoping for the lecture period to get over by the time he reaches there but that didn’t happen in fact when he reached the board there were still 15 min left for the period to be over. He knew there is nothing he could do now but will be punished for something he didn’t do. He just thought of making a triangle on board and do something for next 15 minutes. The moment he kept the chalk on board he heard a very faint voice saying ‘Draw a vertical line first’. He thought he is hallucinating and drew a horizontal line and heard the same voice this time in a more agitated tone saying ‘Idiot I said draw a vertical line’. He realized it was his friend Pranav who was sitting on the 1st bench of the row behind Ashish. Without turning back Ashish started following Pranav’s instructions for solving the problem. Pranav made sure that they are not caught, he did everything possible to help him solve the problem like throwing his pen towards Ashish and then while picking it up telling him some steps, producing subtle sounds like ‘Hmm…’ for yes and ‘Naa…’ for no, sending his friend to ask some random questions from teacher to distract him and also coughing in between to avoid any suspicion.
Finally after 8 minutes Ashish was able to solve the problem. The substitute teacher couldn’t believe his eyes as the Theorem was out of syllabus and he knew could not be solved by the students. He knew there is no point in stretching it any further as Ashish won this round too. Teacher left the class in frustration and all the students cheered for Ashish but deep down Ashish knew he couldn’t have done it without the help of his friend Pranav who not just saved him from punishment and humiliation but also made him a hero.
We all have such stories with our friends which we all cherish and they always make us smile and lifts our spirits whenever needed. No matter how busy or how far we are we always know we can depend on them and they will always be there for us. Call them, text them, stay in touch and never let your ambition or your work make them feel ignored or forgotten as they will always inspire and help us to do better in life.