Why can’t I punch him back!

By: Umeza Peera

Aman is very angry. He has been suspended from school. But all he did was to stop Rajat’s bullying. Why is he in the wrong? Why isn’t anyone saying anything to Rajat? That’s Puzzling Aman and he shared his frustration with his brother Aman.

Why can’t I punch him back!

Picture: Shutterstock/wong yu liang

I am not sorry

When Aman came back from school, Ishaan noticed that he was very angry. He locked himself in the room. 

Ishaan got worried and went to Aman’s room and knocked at his door.  “Are you okay Aman?” Ishaan asked. But there was no reply.

“If there is something you want to talk about?” Ishaan said and left. 

After some time, Aman got out of his room and sat next to Ishaan.

“I have been suspended from the school for the whole week”, Aman said quietly. 

“What? You must be joking chotu!” Ishaan was confused now. 

“No, I am serious bhaiya”, Aman replied, looking down. 

“Tell me what happened”, Ishaan asked. 

“I punched one of my classmates and used the F-word against him. That’s it! And principal ma’am gave me a huge lecture! She just did not listen to my side of the story! To be honest I am not sorry for what I have done”, Aman told Ishaan.

I can’t take it 

“Can you tell me what happened?” Ishan tried to calm Aman down. 

Bhaiya, Rajat and his friends bullied me. He was teasing me for hanging out with Shreya and started mocking how she could go out with someone with so many pimples on his face. Right in front of her! How do you expect me to behave? I can’t take it and I know what I have done is right”, Aman said furiously. 

“Well, you could have just complained to your teacher na!” Ishan said and left the room. He wanted Aman to calm down first. They did not talk the whole afternoon but it was time for their parents to come home. 

Aman was getting anxious. The school principal must have called and informed his parents about the suspension. He needed Ishan’s support. He knocked on the door and entered his room. 

“What do you want?” Ishan asked. 

“I want to explain why I did what I did!” Aman said quietly. 

“Okay, I am listening! But please don't begin by saying you did the right thing. It really annoys me!” Ishan said, and sat up. 

I did, the last time

“Okay bhaiya. But first tell me something. If I don’t stop them, they will mock me everyday, isn’t it?” Aman questioned.  

“But Aman…” Ishan tried to speak, but let his brother continue. 

“And the F word. It’s so normal these days. Boys and girls my age do that on TV all the time”, Aman said.

“So what did I do wrong? I saw on a web series on Netflix where a girl gets bullied by her own classmates and commits suicide. I am not letting anybody behave the same with me bhaiya”, Aman finished punching his fist in the air.   

Ishaan was patiently listening to Aman and then said, “Aman, I hope you know that is television and this is reality. If someone bullies you or teases you in school, go to the teacher. Approach the principal. But never take matters into your own hands. Every school has very strict policies against bullying. Our school too has that! I know, because I studied there”, Ishaan said. 

Bhaiya, I did complain about him to my  teacher the last time. She just scolded Rajat and he did not stop. Now, not only he mocks me but also his friends do the same!” Aman explained furiously.  

“Complain again Aman! Approach the principal. Tell me. Tell mom and dad. But never get angry and fight!” Ishan explained. 

Bhaiya, but they will think, I chickened out. They will all think I am a coward. The only thing that can stop them is fighting back bhaiya. Don’t you see how in every movie villains only stop when the hero fights them hard!” Aman said stubbornly. 

“And fighting back also gets you suspended. Like it just did. Also, I think you are watching too much TV! I’ll ask Mom and Dad to reduce your TV time”, Ishan said. 

Even your friends do it

“What the F bhaiya! You can’t do that!” Aman rebelled. 

“Aman, watch your language! Please! I know on TV everyone uses the F-word there but we really should not use it. It’s just not appropriate. It is actually very offensive to anyone who hears it”, Ishan explained. 

“Hmm bhaiya, even your friends use it sometimes. I have heard!” Aman said sheepishly. 

“Yes, they do. I tell them the same thing. But do I use it in front of you? Have you ever seen me use it?” Ishan asked. 

“No, bhaiya. Sorry!” 

“Aman, all the content you watch on web series is completely scripted and is not the whole truth. The life we live is different from the life we see on screen. We don’t have the right to harm or disrespect any human”, Ishan explained. 

Aman just nodded. He still did not seem convinced. 

“When the heroes use the F word or punch the villain, they don’t have to continue living with the villain. You on the other hand have to continue being with Rajat in the same school, same class. How would punching him solve your problem for good?”, Ishan continued. 

“Hmm....” Aman replied. 

“Aman, real world problems need to have real world solutions. Punching or abusing someone isn’t going to stop someone. In fact, if anything, they will have more of a reason to abuse and hit back. They might lie low for a while. But they would always want to hurt you back”, Ishaan argued. 

“Furthermore, the way you ‘solved’ the issue right now, meant treating someone with disrespect, exactly what Rajat was doing in the first place. Disrespect someone and all you get back is disrespect and hatred. Do you want to continue with this cycle?” Ishan asked. 

You can’t make me like him! 

“Not really. I just got too carried away I guess. I should have asked you or Mom and Dad for help”, Aman told Ishaan with tears in his eyes.

Ishan went close to Aman and hugged him. 

“I’ll go and say sorry to Rajat tomorrow. But you can’t make me like him”, said Aman with a hurtful look in his eyes. 

“Sure, you don’t have to like him. But you have to make sure he never influences your behaviour the next time and that you find a non-punching, non-abusive way to solve your problems”, said Ishan. 

“Sure bhaiya, but please save me from mom and dad tonight! Please be on my side. Or at least tell them that you have had the word with me!” Aman begged. 

“Already did that with them on the phone in the afternoon, chotu! They are angry but said they will let me handle it for now. They are waiting for us at dinner. What are big brothers for!” Ishan chuckled. 

“Wow, you are the most awesome brother I have ever had. Let’s have dinner now. I am so hungry. I did not even eat my lunch today!” Aman said, and they both went to the kitchen. 

You can’t make me like him!

Photo: Shutterstock/PakistanZindabad

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