Letters of Freedom

Most often than not, the first comprehensible words an Indian going school kid learns is “As I was suffering from…..”. He or she knows that this is the key to the door beyond which lies freedom. I am sure some of you dour-pusses might be offended by the use of the word freedom to describe a “rascally” act of bunking school to dabble in “unnecessary activities”. But let me remind you that the catch word of the modern age is “Freedom”.

When wars have been fought and lives have been lost defending the concept of a freedom, I think there is no harm is killing off a distant relative, on paper that is, to taste the same brand of freedom. And more often than not, the particular relative is already is a different place; a better place or not is totally subjective.

One of the many advantages of a socially caring society is that familial bonds provides an ample list of candidates for a young school kid to pronounce dead for the next planned escapade. From grandfathers, grandmothers, cousins, uncles and aunts, the list is pretty exhaustive. An alert teacher who might keep track of a particular students list of dead relatives might be pleasantly surprised to find that the kid might have had 8 or more grandfathers that have passes away.

Let us for a second evesdrop on a conversation between PK and his close friend Cheenu.

Cheenu: Dei…Enge da…..Why did u not come to school today.
PK: I did not study for the science test da, and also there was the new james bond movie. So I thought I’ll hit two maanga with one stone.
Cheenu: Nice da, Science exam was major rod. Bastard kumar did not show any answers also da. Totalla oothikichu.

PK: Sorry to hear that ra. Anyways I need to write a leave letter da, help me no. I am thinking of saying I had stomach ache.
Cheenu: Not good ra. That is only like half day excuse man….

PK: What about fever?
Cheenu: That is a two day excuse da, if you come back in one day it might be suspicious. Can’t you take another day off?
PK: No da…Lab tomorrow. Laksmi will be there na…..(both laugh……)
Cheenu: lucky bastradra you are

PK: Ok…what about whooping cough or measles or something big
Cheenu: They will ask of medical certificate and then you will have aapu. Forget diseases, think about relatives. What if you say your grandfather died?
PK: Ille da. Already said that 3 times.

Cheenu: What about grandmother then?
PK: I used her when went to play criket at the beach no. And that was only last week. Ms Madhavi will remember.

PK: Ok da….Tell an athay no?
Cheenu: Good idea da, I don’t have any athay at all!

PK: Not a problem da, remember to sign your dads name in the leave letter.
Cheenu: Not a problem at all ra. I am getting enough practice signing my test papers.
PK: You have to sign my scince paper too when it comes. Ille na my dad will give me kottus

Cheenu: Sure ra.

As you can see that there are two broad categories of leave letters. One is infectious diseases to self, and the other one is the family death tree.

Every MBA finance graduate who has cursorily glanced through his Finance 101 text book knows that the payout of any investment is propotional to the risk involved. The same applies to writing a leave letter. The fall out, if caught, is ugly. You have the  public reprimand received at the school with the blessings of a wooden ruler and the dreaded punishments at home to boot. This is warning enough for the fake leave letter to used under extreme caution.

Inpite of the perils and the danger of getting caught, young minds still walk the thin line because what lies on the other side is priceless….. Its FREEDOM.


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