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One day only Gaya and I were playing. He was striking the billet and I was chasing it. It is quite enjoyable when it is your turn to strike the billet, but chasing it is anything but pleasurable. I tried all tactics - which though going against the rules are yet pardonable on such occasions - to make Gaya abandon the game. But he was adamant and would not allow me to leave until his turn at striking the billet was completed.
When all my requests failed, I left the field and ran homewards.
Gaya gave chase and caught up with me within no time. Brandishing the tipper at me he demanded I should play to the end. "You thought nothing of it when it was your turn to strike the billet. Now when it is your turn to chase, you are running away," he said.
"If you keep striking the billet throughout the day, do I have to keep chasing it?"
"Yes, you have to chase it."
"Can't I even have my meals?"
"You cannot leave until I have completed my turn at striking the billet."
"Am I your slave?"
"Yes, you are my slave."
"I am going home; let's see what you do about it."
"How can you go home? Is this a joke? You have had your turn at striking the billet and, now, you must allow me to complete my turn."
"Okay, return the guava I gave you yesterday."
"I have eaten it up."
"Remove it from your stomach. Why did you eat my guava?"
"It is you who offered me the guava. I never asked for it."
"I will not chase the billet until you return my guava."
I was convinced that justice was on my side. I had definitely offered the guava to Gaya for some selfish reasons of my own. Who acts selflessly? Even alms are given away to beggars for selfish reasons. When Gaya had eaten my guava, what right did he have to demand that I continue to retrieve the billet until he was out? People squeeze the blood out of you after paying a bribe, and here Gaya did not want to give anything in return for my guava! Unfair! Gaya's father can never afford to buy guavas; five guavas cost a paisa!
"Come along and field until you manage to dismiss me," Gaya said and dragged me to the play-field.
I had the power of justice on my side and he was bent upon being unjust. I wanted to release my hand from his grip and run home; he did not allow me to go. I abused him; he hurled worse abuses at me and even slapped me hard. I bit him, and he hit me on the back with the stick. I began to howl; Gaya was helpless against this weapon of mine and he fled. I, immediately, wiped away my tears and, forgetting the pain caused by the stick, made my way homewards grinning from ear to ear. I was the son of a police officer; I felt very humiliated at being beaten by a boy belonging to the lower class. But I did not reveal the incident to anyone.
Some useful links for
- Union Public Service Commission - www.upsc.gov.in
- IIT-Kharagpur - www.iitkgp.ac.in
- Indian Statistical Institute - www.isical.ac.in
- Indian Institute of Technology Madras - www.iitm.ac.in
- Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad - www.iimahd.ernet.in
- Indian Institute of Mass Commission - www.iimc.nic.in
- IIT Bombay - www.iitb.ac.in
- Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad - www.ismdhanbad.ac.in
- Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi - www.bitmesra.ac.in
- Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical and Engineering Training - www.cifnet.nic.in
- Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad (Deemed University) - www.iiita.ac.in
- Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi - www.cmfri.com
- Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai - www.tiss.edu