The question always begins thusly – what exactly is the right thing here? How do I discern between right and wrong? The truth is, if at that moment it feels right, it does. And no recriminations are needed. As a child, I was extremely active, bordering on the term “naughty”, so much so that my teachers would despair, wring their hands, and pray for deliverance.

Our school was a big one, and as it was still new, there was a lot of open space. Well, when you have a lot of open space around you, they tend to get occupied. In this case, it was a huge thatch of kaash flowers, right before autumn. And the school helps said that the flowery patch, which by that time to our inexperienced eyes looked like a huge field, was filled with cobras. Always fascinated with snakes, I decided that I wanted to see the said cobras.

I was with my best friends, A and R, and naturally, I did not want to make them panic. So I did the right thing and told them that we would pick some of the kaash flowers and give them to our teachers. They would be pleased and praise us. Little did the two poor souls know that I was out there doing a little bit of, “Here Cobra Cobra”, slightly away from them, going deeper into the patch while they stood on the edge.

Then, all of a sudden, I heard shouts behind me! A and R were caught by the school’s gardener and nurse, and one other man was coming after me. I ran, my nimble feet carrying me further and further away from them. The man who was after me, was a very big man, and he was gaining up on me. In despair, I ran right to the basketball court, and would have given this very big man the skip when he screamed at me to stop.

I stopped.

He ran to me, panting, and said, “Why did you stop?”

I looked at him solemnly and said, “Because you told me to stop.”

He ground his teeth together and took me to the headmistress.

Who was not very sympathetic, mind you. And there was A and R as well. They were crying.

Frankly speaking, when I saw A and R crying, I wanted to laugh, but because I did not think that was the right thing to do, I kept my head down, and quietly grinned on. Then the headmistress asked us what happened. Wisely, I kept to the story of trying to please the teachers with flowers, because I knew the cobra one would really not be a good thing to say out loud. She looked less than convinced, but ultimately let us go after asking our parents to come.

Of course, the fact that my father came in the next day, drank coffee with my headmistress, rallied for me passionately, and left the office with her grinning widely at him was a different story. But then again, my father has that effect on people.

I am sharing my Do RIght Stories at in association with Tata Capital.

Written by Poorna Banerjee

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