One of My Best Answer: The Unplanned Punch (Tripti Century, Grade 10, Bloom Nepal School)

Picture Source: Shutter Shock
"Every new day was like a new episode of horror series for me. I was in the leading role because I was the victim. And a punch changes everything upside down."

That was me, thin and small with  no courage in me to fight for myself and my good. Because of this, I had been kicked down on floor, locked in bathrooms, pushed around, called names and I was finished with it. No one was going to play with my innocence anymore. No was either going to bully me any more. That is how I felt when I was in my fourth grade, when for years I had been subjected to torment by my seniors and few strong peers.

Flourishing Center was a newly established non graded school, which meant that we never received grades but only a "pass" or "fail". It was a progressive approach to education, but the playground and the halls were not as modern as one might expect. The issue of bullying still abounded. Perhaps even more so, with troubled children coming to the school to find an easier footing in the Bagmati State educational system. Though I had been bullied for as long as I remember, it never stopped. Pacifism had not done its purported job. I had become helpless.

It was my birthday in fourth grade when I got a best gift I had wished for in that period of my life from my beloved mom, a basket ball. Though I had a short height, it was my favorite sport of all times. I loved watching theatrics and the intense pace of game. Sometimes in the absence of my friendly mood and charming smile on my face, there was nothing better than going to a hoop and shooting basketball and dribbling around. It had always been a type of therapy for me. 

A girl being mocked up by group of girls.
Picture Source: Dream Times

I didn't want to leave my new ball behind, so I decided to take my new basketball to my school. I wanted to shoot some hoops during recess. After only few shots a big kid came to me and snatched a ball away from me with a big force. At that moment something surged within me. It was a rage I had never known. It must have been cultivating inside me through all these years of being bullied and mocked. Without a thought, I punched that kid in the face as hard as I could. It seemed like an uncontrolled force made me do it- purely out of instinct. All the pain and shame I felt powered my punch, and knocked the kid down into a crying fit. This very new news reached in principal's dormitory. 

The principal with no actions in me called my mother in a calm voice and told her about my actions. My mother seemed indifferent about it and thought it was the best that I fought back. She had always wished me to do so as she had seen me passing through my hard phase.

I think she was right, because after this fight, no one bothered to bully me again, until middle school. 

Now, here I am completing my middle school. I think ," That unplanned punch,  which simply means violence was the best answer I chose."

Written By: Tripti Centuri, Grade 10, Bloom Nepal School
Edited By: Pransu Khakurel (Canopy Nepal)

Tripti is an SEE aspirant of Bloom Nepal School who has been supported by the Canopy Nepal Scholarship Project. Aspiring to be a medical professional and help the community, she loves reading and writing her thoughts on different issues prevailing in the society, particularly revolving around the children's lives in form of stories. 

Work From Home: Low maintenance girl edition

What day is today? I don’t remember.

Welcome to lockdown from the POV of Low maintenance girl!

You know, lock down is going great! I eat as much as I want, I can sleep as long as I want, I can do WHATEVER, keeping myself inside my room!

And mind you, I have not stepped a toe outside my room, I am very very into this quarantine thing!

But the best part about the quarantine is Work from Home! You heard it, I love working from home. That simply means I can work in my tracksuit; do they even call them that? Who cares!

Dressing up has always been a task for me, something I don't want to invest much time in. I just pick up the things lying in front of me, slide them on and done! I really think I look great in them which clearly confirms my poor fashion sense….

I suck at it, okay! I admit it; but you can't also overlook the speed in which I dress up.

Seven minutes, that’s all it takes!

But you know, when you start working, you can't afford to suck, because you got a personality to carry. Yes, you need to create a personality for yourself, big chunk how you dress up! I was struggling to keep up, keeping up to look nice. I am clearly okay with how I look even if it means that people around me start ignoring me.

Then the pandemic happened.  I was really scared, COVID-19 is not to be taken lightly you know. It actually gave me anxiety which made my sense of style go from bad to unbearable. Finally the government announced the lockdown; I am home now, actually working from home now, which means no more spending time in thinking what to wear, thinking if the shoe matches my jeans or if I am over doing the entire look!

I can just relax. Such a relief!

- Sajja Singh

Staying Positive

The news reports are full of growing infections and deaths. Retail stores are hiring as many people are stocking up wanting to ensure that their freezers and refrigerators are full and their bathrooms properly stocked with reams of toilet paper. We hear from public health professionals, politicians, athletes and others in leadership positions, telling us to wash our hands, use proper social distancing, that there are masks and ventilators, a vaccine on the way.

Recently I was let go from my job, joining millions of others applying for unemployment benefits. Now is not the time I want to be looking for employment, but nonetheless there are myriads of stores hiring temporary employees which will ease the burden for those who need work.

My spouse, Yasuyo, and I went to Trader Joe’s and Sprouts yesterday to shop for my parents. Before we entered Trader Joe’s we were greeted by an employee who sprayed alcohol on our hands. The store was fairly well stocked and there weren’t many people inside. After shopping I realized that the employee was also maintaining people in a line outside the store so that there wouldn’t be too many shoppers inside. 

I don’t want my parents shopping. They are 91 and 87. They are used to shopping every day, buying one or two items so that they can get out of the house. Friends are willing to help them. My parents seem to sense that this is a crisis, not to be taken lightly.

The change in the world economy has been waiting to happen for some time. The virus is forcing us into changing. But, what happens as millions of us become unemployed throughout the world? We need a new way of thinking or maybe just using what we know works in other countries. Maybe we can’t be rich while others, most of us, have few resources. Maybe socialism, that is, ensuring that everyone has a basic level of what they need so that they can live happy and healthy lives, is not as bad as many people think. After all, using the above definition, it is about taking care of one another.

During this time, I am spending more time with my spiritual self. Physically we cannot go to our churches, synagogues, mosques, etc. But we can spend time online with, in my case, a meditation group. Through this I’m also connecting with many throughout the world. Can this help us to further realize that we are all in this together? I certainly hope so.

This is a time of uncertainty. We like routines, but I know that being able to adapt is key to defeating this virus and others that will come. We cannot focus only on our fears, but must think about how we can change our lifestyles integrating others into our lives. There will be many who will waiver at this idea, not wanting to change, thinking about going back to what they had.

Ultimately it is up to all of us, not only our “leaders,” to ensure that human beings survive. I enjoy days with no pollution and wonder how we can continue to make this happen, how we might save the planet by making concessions and reducing climate change. I feel that this current virus is one result of climate change, of us infringing too much with the natural world and the natural order of things.

Think about how we can help our elderly neighbors so that they don’t have to go out and expose themselves unknowingly to becoming infected. Think now as to how we are being considerate of others by keeping our distance. Think now about our future and how we work together to ensure that there is one for all.

Michael Rosenkrantz


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