Shed a tear for Shanno’s smothered innocence. It is my fault, of course. I didn’t learn the alphabet. The teacher is right to punish me. But why this weakness? Why is the ground blurring? I must be strong. The sun is so hot today…
Shed a tear for Shanno’s pain. I stood in a contorted position, like a criminal in a self-righteous policeman’s cell. But maybe that’s the way of the world I’m going to grow in.
Shed a tear for Shanno’s perplexity, her confusion. Wasn’t this school the temple of learning, the route to a better life? This suffering, then, must be a trail to that route.
Shed a tear for Shanno’s aspirations. I too will, one day, through education and learning, cross over to the other side, the side of light, joy and fulfilment. The side they call ‘emerging India’. I too will lead my country, buy a car — and play all day. I will be Prime Minister.
Shed a tear for Shanno’s ignorance. She died without knowing she could protest.
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