Bat (tling) over the Past!


He flew in gliding over our desk as we held our meeting. Startled at first, we ducked. ‘Who would want to come in touch with this creature, we all mumbled together, the expressions on our faces revealing our dislike for an entity which was a stranger to us.’

Just imagine! We had never met him. He had never harmed us. Yet, we hated him from the core of our hearts. But then, he did not seem to have any intention to come in contact with us either. All he wanted was to practice his flying lessons or so it seemed. Now, why should that be in a room filled with administrators attempting to hike the salaries of hard working teachers of a socially backward school?

Before my dislike transformed into hatred I realized that the creature was only trying to connect with its past. A student from a socially and financially backward background, all that his parents had wanted that he study well, something that they had been unable to do. But, life and situation, circumstance and distraction was too much to inspire the 10th Std boy to study, to take his life seriously. There were other things that worried him. Like his first smoke, his first theft, his first drive in an officer’s car and his first attempt at getting even with the boy who tried to get fresh with his girl. Not his girl exactly, but the girl who he liked. Where was the time to study then?

Board Exams descended upon the horizon. He wrote it like any other exam and was confident enough to get through like he had always done. Maybe, not get hi-funda marks but still pass.

And did he? No! He failed, letting down poor parents who had only wanted to give him a future that they had been unable to have. When his father came to know about the results, he slapped him and burst out of the house shouting, “The bloody son of *%$*&. How will I show my face to everybody?”

Everyone at home knew where he was going. The local Tasmac shop cum bar was his respite whenever frustration and helplessness made life miserable for him.

What about the poor mother? She simply sat down near the gas stove and kept turning the chappathis over the fire again and again until they burned and turned to a dismal black. Maybe, she saw her future in it.

Unable to bear it any more, the boy headed towards the nearest well and jumped into it until his body lost all hope to swim against the current.

Did that make him pass? You bet it didn’t. Instead, he found his astral form transforming into a creature far beyond his imagination. He flew over his old school, at night because the glare of the sunlight hurt him. It was the shrillness of the dark night that made him wander around the places that were once upon a time familiar to him. And, that is how he landed in the room where we were seated blissfully unaware that a human was trying to come to terms with his lost opportunities in another form.

I am told that the bat visits this room every night, frequenting the library especially. It harms no one. But, there are times, it descends upon people like us who presume that we are making a difference.

Do we? Really?   …………………………………


11 thoughts on “Bat (tling) over the Past!

  1. Oh Gosh. I am going to find it hard to sleep after this read.
    A small doubt, So how exactly did the narrator find out about the bat’s past life? That is more spooky. But the message was clear. No one sees the progress of the child except in marksheets.

    1. Hi Eweie. Glad you liked the piece. About the narrator finding out about the bat’s last life, well, that is a mystery indeed which I could write about in another blog post. Thanks for dropping by.

  2. THAT we try is all that we can do, really. The boy, the teachers anyone. When we have not actually tried is when we have reason to blame ourselves. The problem, always, is that we can always find that we have not tried enough.

  3. Yes, the education system is to blame to quite an extent. But familial values are the first things the child is exposed to. If parental love is missing, the parental pressures can be ‘killing’. We’ve got to love our children more than we love our ‘status’ in society.

    A hard-hitting story, Shail.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s