Games People Play

Tapas-kaku walked into his jethoo’s residence one evening.  Tapas- babu made himself comfortable, claiming he had good news. But he will divulge his information, only after his mouth was sweetened. Tapas-kaku was younger brother of Manas-kaku, who was working in Kanpur.  It was Manas, who had given information about the residential school, set up by missionaries of Rama Krishna Order, near his native village. 
After formalities of tea and snacks were over, Tapas-kaku announced, it was essentially because of his effort the boy had got admitted in the boarding school. “He essentially did not make the admission list. I talked to the principal and hostel super to get his name on the admission list” he said smugly. 
He had come to Calcutta to take the admission test in Rama Krishna Mission Siksha Mandir. He was staying at his jethoo’s place at Metia Boorooj, in Garden Reach locality beyond the dockyards of Khidirpore. His uncle had rented a two room place in the first floor of a house. He had been to the school, some 50 km away from Calcutta by bus, with his jethoo and mejo dada to write the admission test. 
If he was embarrassed at the revelation of Tapas-kaku, he did not betray any emotion. So he will be going to boarding school soon, he thought. He went shopping with his jethoo, and mejo dada to buy his stuff that included school uniform, utensils, shoes and sandals, toiletries etc. 
All new stuff! Are you going to sasur bari (in laws), brother?” joked his didi.
His jethi ma quipped, “Thakur-po (an address to husband’s brother), seems has a lot of money to waste, sending his son to boarding school! Looks like, we have not raised any kid.” 
It is none of your business. Fuli, will do what he wants. Don’t speak rubbish in front of the kid”. Jethoo admonished his wife. Jets was really fond of his kid brother. He did not want to hear anything against him. Both of them grew up together, after their mother passed away.

On the fateful day, they boarded a bus to babu ghat so that they could get seat for the 2 hour long journey. Those days taking a taxi would normally cross the mind of most people. A personal car was beyond imagination. After settling him at his room, jethoo and media dada left. As he was getting acquainted with his room mates, warden of the hostel walked in with a list. Warden looked at him, asked his name, then warden gave him his young life’s firs surprise, “you are the boy who came second in admission test?” 

Coming second at admission test? Really! He thought he did not make the grade. Did some one not had to pull a string to get him on the list? Did Tapas-kaku not say this so loudly in his jethoo’s house? Why would he lie? What did he gain? Many questions would run past his young mind. Little did he know that this was his first real life lesson of hideous games adults play at some one else expense. 

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