Encouraging People

/ Guest Column / Tuesday, 31 August 2021 18:01

By: Mangkholun Touthang

It was a cloudy evening, I left Imphal for Motbung with a friend of mine on a bike. A quarter of an hour before we left, this friend of mine called me on phone and asked me to accompany him to some place. I didn’t accept his invitation right away since I was a little bit ill and was tired. In the end I told him that I needed some rest and that I couldn’t be able to help him this time. But he insisted saying he couldn’t go alone and that if I don’t accompany him he would rather not go. Being so uninterested I requested him that we go tomorrow or there’s no way I’m going out with him this evening. Then he said it’s crucial and that he’d lose a lot of things if he couldn’t get there this evening. He insisted so much that at last I agreed to go with him. He didn’t give me much time to get ready, he said he’s gonna come pick me up after a few minutes. I felt strange for he didn’t usually act like this, in normal days I would be the one rushing him and he’d always be the slowpoke. And so, I sensed that he must be having some serious problem. Anyway, I got ready; put on my trousers and a T-Shirt, looked in the mirror and combed my curly hair. And within a few minutes he was already waiting for me outside my gate. I locked my door and went straight to his bike where he waited for me impatiently. I hopped on the bike and so we took off. I asked him where we’re going as he didn’t tell me where we’d be going when he called me. “To Motbung” he said in a bold voice. Now I clearly understand that he’s not calm but rather furious. Therefore, I didn’t ask him more questions.
He drove at a very high speed but I enjoyed it. What began to scare me was that he began to disobey traffic rules and drove recklessly. By the time we reached Sekmai the rain began to pour and within no time it rained heavily. The sad thing here is that my furious friend who was driving the bike didn’t change his speed. Since our departure we were always only an inch far from getting accident as his driving was insane. Now it was getting more and more dangerous with the rain pouring heavily and the speed of our bike remained unaltered. I began to get scared so I told him to slow down or because it’s raining we could take shelter somewhere. Again and again I requested but he didn’t slow down or respond me with anything. Hence I began to think I was sitting on a bike whose driver wants to commit suicide. I felt like I was on a suicide mission. Scared of dying I warned him to slow down or I’m gonna jump off. Finally he replied saying “All right, you of little faith, I’m slowing down and we’re gonna stop for awhile.” I felt relieved but as he tried to stop the bike the road was a little bit slippery so we slipped and fell down and I landed on my head. Thank God I too wore helmet that particular day. The bike and him went a bit far. I sit up and checked where it hurts but for the love of God I was unscathed. Then I ran toward my friend whose leg got stuck in the bike. I helped him up, lift up the bike, parked near the bus waiting shed. The left mirror of the bike was shattered and the bike got petty scratches too. Thank goodness he too was unscathed but he could barely walk so I helped him get into the shed. We were tired and had to take a rest for awhile. I was a little bit numb from hitting my head on the road. 
Some minutes later I looked at his pale face and asked what really was getting into him that almost get both of us killed. After some seconds of silence he said, “ My dad would not let me enter the house for I failed the exam, he warned me to not see his face again. When I heard these things that he said on phone I was so mad and on the contrary sad. But I did realise drinking and doing all those bad things would only worsen me so I thought of riding with you and sitting on somewhere quiet and calm would help me. But my father’s voice kept shouting in my head so I forgot the decision I’ve made, that is to spend time with you and talk about all the things that hurt me. I couldn’t hold my peace and all I could think was what my dad said to me. I drove recklessly because of that I’m sorry I have led you to this.” The day before that day COHSEM had declared Class 12th exam results. I got passed in 1st division but my pal failed. I had encouraged him to not let his hope down but I think it was not enough. I looked at this poor friend of mine and started encouraging him. I said, “ Come on, my man, don’t you get disheartened. Your dad merely said those things out of anger. He mightn’t mean what he said. And you gotta let yourself calm, what if your dad regret what he said and call you back and encourage you instead? Besides you still got a chance, you can reappear next year.” And while I was speaking thoughtfully, his phone beeped. He took it out, swiped the screen and it was a message from his sister. He opened the message and we read it together. The message read, “ Lenpu, pick up the phone I’ve been calling you more than 10 times. I know it’s painful for you that father was hard on you. But he didn’t mean what he said. He regretted. He spoke those things out of rage. Now he wants to encourage you instead. If you read this message please call me back or just come home. I beg you to not do anything stupid that can harm you and us as well. Please come home.” 
Then I said, “see, he regretted. Come on, let’s go back and figure out everything in your house. Your father is waiting for you.” His countenance changed from pale to bright and he was ready to head back home. The rain began to stop. Since he hurt his leg I had to drive the bike. And so, we returned.
Thousands of young people run away from home just because their parents scold them out of anger. And thousands of parents might not mean the words they said to their kids. They regret, for who in the world would want to send his kid away and let him starve to death. It’s only the word anger that prompts kids to run away. Anger don’t last long. And young people including myself should know this and hold their patience for awhile after their parents scold them. Parents always love their kids and would never want them suffer. And parents too must act wisely. They also should hold their peace when their children don’t succeed. Children too are not glad when they don’t prosper. Yes, their failure might be the reason of their disobedience and sloth but they want a chance from their parents. I’ve come across a story where a student got failed in an exam and his father forewarned him that he should kill him if he fail the exam. Knowing that he failed the exam he hanged himself and left a note that read, “I have killed myself so father don’t have to bother killing me.” What losers want is just the word encouragement and a chance. In times of failure, we’re all shameful and disheartened. When we’re in this situation we don’t need money, we just want somebody to encourage and help us get up again.
Therefore, I want to encourage readers to encourage losers and show them sympathy. We’ve just discussed what they need. Encourage them, tell them they still have a chance, tell them success is still waiting for them. And not only losers, even achievers need encouragement to keep moving on.

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