Shreyas was walking home crestfallen and scared. He had failed in maths again. His mom was sure to scold him or even beat him. He decided that he should hide the paper from his mom. He put on an extra cheerful face and greeted his mother with false enthusiasm. His mom smelled something fishy. She was sceptical yet chose to ignore it for now.
The next day Shreyas’ mother got a call from school saying not only has Shreyas not got his parent’s signature in his answer sheets but also failed in all the subjects and miserably failed with a single digit score in math. The class teacher wanted to meet her. When she came in, the class teacher called for Shreyas. His mother had to control herself from scolding Shreyas in front of the teacher. Shreyas was asked to explain why he scored so less in all the subjects and failed miserably in math. He explained that he couldn’t understand what was being taught at school; his mother couldn’t control herself anymore. She started hitting Shreyas in front of the teacher and his friends. She explained saying, “No matter what I do, nothing enters his thick skull. He is such a duffer”. Though his friends were taken aback when Shreyas’ mom hit him, they were finding the scene funny. The name ‘Shreyas the duffer’ stuck on.
Another day, his teacher asked Shreyas to solve a simple math problem on the board. He did not know how but still tried his level best to solve it. All his friends burst out laughing at the gibberish he had written on the board. Feeling ashamed of himself he ran back to his seat and was waiting for the day to get over and run the earliest. But then he was also unwanted even at home. He wanted to somehow drown his sorrow. He wanted to shut his friends’ mouths somehow.
After the last hour he caught hold of the lanky bespectacled Ramu who was sitting beside him and asked him why he too ridiculed him when he was his friend. Ramu laughed and told Shreyas, “Its only your belief that you are my friend. I don’t think I’d wanna to be friends with a duffer.” Shreyas got wild with anger and started punching Ramu hard and relentlessly venting out all his pent up anger unawares that Ramu’s nose was bleeding and his specs flew askew. Seeing the blood in his hands Shreyas stopped his punching. Horrified by what he had done, scared to the end of his wits he ran out of the class leaving behind all his belongings. He ran past the gates and unthinkingly ran across the road. Suddenly he heard a loud horn and thats the last he heard.
The story could have ended differently if Shreyas had someone to lend him a listening ear, someone to help him deal with his friends who ridiculed him, someone to pick him up when he felt low, someone to guide and mentor him.