We Never Knew – He Was One Of Us

WE NEVER KNEW – HE WAS ONE OF US

We are often asked to stay vigilant

Danger lurks everywhere

But what happens

When danger presents itself as a friend

Children often look after themselves

They look around and stay safe

But when the one who taught the children

about lessons of safety

when he is the risk himself

we are forced to reconsider our relations

 

When children learn

They are blind to risks

Because they believe

That with a teacher

There are no risks

And trust themselves to close their eyes

And open their minds.

Education allows a teacher

To shape the minds of children

To make them see a narrative

Even when they have closed their eyes.

 

The teacher becomes their eyes

But unlike genuine trustworthy ones

Manjeet Ram was a con artist.

 

Not only did he pose as a teacher

While selling his students

He also painted con fantasies

To the children who trusted him blindly

When children trust people

They do so with utmost respect and awe

They trust too much

Too soon

And often wrongly

 

When children are fooled and hurt

They grow up to see a world

With fear and doubt

It is unfair for a teacher

To teach about the beauty of life and earth

When he will go on

To give stained and shattered glasses

To the kids to see the world

 

The teacher was turned over to authorities

Yet we must remember that

These children will grow up

Emotionally haunted by the question

“what would have happened,

If he had actually sold us?”

 

Fear had loaded the dice

Its weight serving as a reminder

Of the day they were almost sold.

 

A fear a child should never have.

 

Nandhitha Babuji is a 18-year-old aspiring poet from Tamil Nadu, passionate about using her words to show solidarity against children’s issues.

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