Teesta? Teesta… Where are you? Your friend is on the line, she wants to discuss your history homework. Only God knows what you’ll end up doing such stupid things! Only if you’d studied well! Teesta… shrieked Mr.Sen, opening the door to his daughter’s room. He stopped short as he entered the room and froze in his steps. A stream of liquid was moving gradually towards the door, in an awfully slow pace, dividing the room into two halves; the study table with her books unevenly spread on it and above it, a paper which had something scribbled on it. And the bed on the other side, draped with Teesta’s favorite bed-sheet, now stained red with the fluid and there she lay in a pool of blood, half-dropping from the bed to the ground, unconscious. Gautami… Gautami!!! Call the ambulance…
Teesta hated blood, she hated the sight of blood and it had taken him considerable time to acquaint her with her periods too. How could she then, do this to herself? My little girl, how much trauma did she undergo to slash her wrists so cruelly? The thoughts clouded his mind as he held her hands delicately in the ambulance that was striding towards the hospital.
Mr.Sen’s conscience tugged at him, as the ambulance jerked due to the potholes and he cringed as he held his daughter’s hands with foremost care. Gautami Sen was a silenced woman, partly by shock and partly guilt taking over her as the couple sat next to each other looking helplessly at their daughter. Mr.Sen gave her a nudge that the mother needed to come to terms with the reality and she broke down, sobbing profusely.
“I am proud of her, she is my princess. I haven’t really told her that. You know, few days back she asked me if I am proud of her and I did not tell her directly that I am. I told her that she hasn’t done anything to be proud of. In fact, I told her how she has brought shame to us by scoring so badly and then choosing to study arts…”
“…humanities”, Mr.Sen interrupted her. Gautami nodded silently, tears running down her cheeks as she continued praying with folded hands. Teesta had interrupted him similarly few days back, in the same manner. She had been browsing her Facebook account when he’d entered her room and smirked, “So, congratulating your other friends who’ve scored so well? 100 in maths, science and social studies while the highest you got in any paper is 85 that too in SST! And I should not even begin talking about maths or science!”
Teesta’s eyes had welled with tears, as she hid her face in her curls and turned to the computer screen. And to add to her pain, the news feed was full of congratulatory status updates and pictures. People tagging each other… congratulating…and wishing each other luck… 96.6%, 94%, 92%... How could so many people score better than her? Was she really not good? Her teachers had always appreciated her, especially her English teacher. He’d gone to the extent of telling Teesta that someday she’d be known as a great poet and laureate. And yet, she had broken all hopes by scoring a 70 in English.
The next day, Teesta hardly got out of her room. Whenever called, she’d excuse herself saying that she was studying. The same routine had followed for weeks now. It had been two weeks since her new session had begun and she had chosen to study Humanities. Her parents had already been disappointed by her ‘dismal’ results that’d been announced only days back. But she, opting for humanities had crushed all hopes that Mr.Sen had brewed for his daughter being an engineer or a CA. That night she again refused to come out of the room with the same excuse. “What on earth do you need to study for the stupid arts subjects?” he’d snarled at her. Teesta came out of the room, winced and muttered, “Humanities, Baba. It is humanities, much more than arts. Why don’t you at least try to understand what and how much it means to me, Baba? Can’t you give me one chance, I asked for just one!” before she turned around and went into her room and closed the door behind her.
Only if he’d stopped her then, only if he’d said that he’s okay with whatever she does as long as is seriously pursuing it. That he was so proud of the wonderful human being and daughter she’d become. But we never say such things, because these are exposures of our own vulnerabilities. In the path to guiding Teesta to her path to success, Mr.Sen realized that he’d failed in walking his own path properly. He had not been appreciative of Teesta, in fact he’d always been cynical right from her birth. First that she was a girl child and he had wanted a son. Secondly, Teesta always seemed to get disappointed by him, though she never expressed it, he’d read his failure as a father, as a friend and as a hero, in her eyes.
And he always put it on Teesta, scolded her for being imperfect, for not being ‘good enough’ while the truth was that he was not good enough. His intentions were always to guide his daughter, to curb her from doing the mistakes he’d done, the suffering he could’ve avoided by not trespassing into things that wouldn’t have made Teesta successful too. But how was he so sure? How could he not see the talent his daughter had, that he never had. The determination with which she pursued her passions such as poetry and painting, he’d always lacked such instinct. And today he failed as a parent too. He joined Gautami in her prayers, asking God for one more chance to make things right.
The Next Morning…
Sir…Mr.Sen, just one question Sir. The students deserve to know Sir. What is going on in your mind?
Sir…Why did Teesta choose suicide over life?
Sir..Sir… What would you like to say to the youth of this country? And to the parents?
A flock of press reporters rushed in front of the hospital entrance loaded with questions and cameras. Mr.Sen turned to the media, moved his hand to the pocket on his chest, where Teesta’s last note resided and broke down, falling on his knees… I am sorry babu… I am sorry Teesta..Come Back! Come back… Give me one more chance…
The last post she’d made on Facebook was this:
“And they’ll say told you so
We were the ones who saw you first of all
We always knew that you were one of the brightest stars…”
I wish someone would sing the song in my funeral…I wish I was worth it. I wish I too, was one of the brightest stars…
Don't ignore the signs you get from your children and sibling. Listen to them. Understand them...While you still can. We don't always get a second chance, do we?
The post has been written for the theme, "The Moral of the Story is..." by Colgate in association with Indiblogger. Colgate runs a blog called, My Healthy Speak which turned one year old this May. The blog is your one-stop answer to all dental-related queries, making it not just informative but also interactive with facilities such as Dentist Appointments, Virtual Dentist and Dentist Locator.