I found it surprising as to how Suryaprakash could have passed the lower grades and reached my class. One day, in a fit of rage, I told him, "You will never pass; you will remain in this class forever." The boy replied unflinchingly, "Do not worry about my passing. I have always passed and will pass this time too."
"Impossible," I said.
"The impossible will become possible," he said.
I could only gaze at his face in astonishment. Even the most brilliant student would not have been able to assure of his success with such confidence. I thought he must be cheating in the examination, and resolved to keep a hawk eye on him. Let's see how long he remains in the same class; he will leave school on his own accord in the end.
During the time of the annual examinations, I took extra precautions to ensure that no one could cheat. But when I saw Suryaprakash's answer-sheets, I was dumbstruck. He had top-scored in both my subjects. I was certain that Suryaprakash could not have answered the questions correctly on his own, but there was no way I could prove he had cheated.
Perhaps I am over-pessimistic. I did not find the other teachers to be so much concerned about Suryaprakash; as if it was usual to have such boys in school. But for me, the issue was of grave concern. If he carried in the same manner, then one day he would find himself either in the jail or in the mental asylum.
Meanwhile, I was transferred to another place. I had become quite attached to the school and the place; I shared good relations with the teachers and the principal. Nevertheless, I was quite happy to be transferred - I would no longer have to deal with Suryaprakash.
The boys organised a send-off party for me, and all of them accompanied me to the railway station to bid me goodbye. Their eyes were moist; I too could not stop the flood of tears which gushed out of my eyes. Suddenly I caught sight of Suryaprakash; he was standing behind the other boys and appeared shame-faced. I thought his eyes were also moist. I wanted to go to him and give him some last words of advice. Perhaps he too wanted to say something to me. But, neither did I go to him nor did he approach me; I regretted this for a long time to come. His hesitation was understandable but my obstinacy was unpardonable. In that state of sadness, a few words of comfort from me, perhaps, would have touched his heart. But, then, life is all about lost moments.
The train started with a jerk; the boys kept pace with the slow-moving train for a while. I thrust my head out of the window and saw them waving their handkerchiefs. As the train gained speed, the boys disappeared from my sight one by one but I could still see a lone figure of a boy standing on the platform. I guessed it was Suryaprakash. I wanted to rush to him and embrace him.