Our country is peppered with cornucopia of boarding schools. To many students, boarding school is fun. For the rest, it is terrifying. Boarding school brings a lot of peer pressure. Boarding school for some is a path to develop confidence, avail opportunities while for others it breaks your confidence and make you question your identity and looks.
Abandoned And Disconnected
Akriti (name changed) was in the 12th standard and was sharing room with five other girls in school hostel where the other four were best friends. Akriti and the other girls were in that room because all others were full . They were quite tolerable in sharing room with her, even though she was a little peculiar in the way she walked, the way she use to carry herself and not to forget her feet use to stink. However, unlike others her roommates gave her tips to manage her cleanliness. Their suggestions were accepted immediately, as a result they didn’t have to bear the smell.
Akriti was little plump and heavy, everyone knew she had complexes because of her teeth which were protruding outside , then her facial hair , her walking style , her heavy body and her inability to score marks. Her roommates knew there were other beauty queens in their batch and school who use to make fun of her, but they never cared much.
Stress Lead To Bulimia
Akriti was a real foody, she use to stuff her cupboard with tuck, with fried puffed rice, chocolates, namkeens. In the dining area she could be found hogging and pouring enough food for two people.
One strange thing about Akriti, noticed by her roommate Tripti (name changed), for the past few days, was that, after every meal she used to vanish and nobody knew where she went. Mostly after lunch she used to be found at the private washroom with a tongue cleaner.
They all thought she is getting into the habit of frequent brushing as she had started to wear braces. Then one day, during a psychology lecture Tripti learnt about ‘Bulimia’. An eating disorder characterized by binge eating followed by purging. Tripti strongly sensed that Akriti is Bulimic, then she remembered her first psychology class in which her teacher said “learning psychology can make you feel that you and others around have some or the other disorder”.
A Helping Hand To Save
Tripti decided to be persistent and observe her. The day came when she caught Akriti purging with the help of tongue cleaner and toothbrush after lunch. Akriti was shocked and ignored Tripti. That day was the first time Tripti had counselled somebody. She dragged Akriti in to a room and promised her that she won’t tell it to anyone if she confessed her recent action.
Akriti fell about in tears and confessed about how ashamed and low on confidence she felt about her body. They talked for a bit, after which Tripti explained how effects of purging. She made Akriti promise to refrain from such an act post meals, and that she shall stringently practice eating slowly.
Tripti also asked her to maintain diary and to write down her feelings and perceptions, and promised her that she will be always there to help her. Every day Tripti use to make sure that she asks her how she was doing. Which brought a smile on Akriti’s face, and she started to settle down. Her grades started to improve, even though she was not putting extra efforts to work hard. She felt that she was wanted and acknowledged for the person she is.
The Inevitable Positive Change
Tripti got busy with her exams and had almost forgotten about the incident. Helping Akriti became more of a routine and habit. Tripti was totally unaware how this small act of hers had changed Akriti’s life. How this shy and silent girl was coming out of her shell. Tirpti was busy with planning for the farewell party and then with the board exams.
Akriti had started to believe in herself, may be all she needed was just one person to tell her that she can also grow, she is also important and she is amazing in the way she is. Then came the time for final ‘adieus’. The day Tripti was leaving, Akriti came up to her and handed her a letter and gave a hug. She asked Tripti not to read the letter till she reaches back to her home. A day later when Tripti opened the letter and read it, she was into tears. She never knew she had saved a life.
Akriti had written thanks for saving her life and making her feel confident about herself, she had thanked her for noticing that she needed someone. She had thanked her for giving her smile back and for making the boarding school time, best phase of her life.
The Epiphany Of Positivity
Less did Tripti know that. how a simple conversation, how one smiling, comforting hand extended to help, can change someone’s life forever and for the better. Akriti knew she had changed something in Tripti, she gave Tripti a new vision, she made her a better person and is one of the reasons why Tripti is a Counsellor today.
As Robert Ingersoll, said “We rise by lifting others” and that was the day when Tripti realized the importance of caring and how someone can bring such a huge difference others lives.