IPKKND OS: Life Is Beautiful (The Message)

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Posted: 9 years ago

Please do read the A/N at the end. It's important.


Life Is Beautiful


NK hesitated at the door. Could he do this? 

He sighed. 

He had to.


His hand tightened over the handle and, taking a final deep breath, he pulled it towards him and stepped inside.


The sounds of a College hit him instantly; laughter, chatter, friendship, camaraderie... But he didn't stop to enjoy them- he wasn't a part of that world anymore. He kept his head down and tried to make his way straight to the Locker Room to dump his bag. He tried to keep out of everybody's way as he did so, not stopping to talk to or even make eye contact with anybody. 

Not that anybody tried to stop or talk to him... Not anymore.


He was startled by a hand on his shoulder. He jumped backwards and found himself looking into the inquisitive eyes of Aakash Raizada. NK stumbled backwards away from him for even he knew that messing with the second in command of the AR Group- one of  the most notorious gangs in their school- wasn't a smart move. NK lowered his gaze and tried to back away but Aakash stopped him "Wait."

NK didn't respond. He kept his eyes instead firmly fixed on Aakash's shoes- Custom Nike iD High Tops in contrasting black and green, the AR Group insignia emblazoned on one side. "Are you-" he reached out a hand towards him but NK stepped back and before he could finish, "Aakashji? What are you doing? We're going to be late." Payal peeped round from behind her boyfriend to see what had stopped him dead in his track so suddenly. She saw NK and smiled. "Oh, hi there, how are you?"

NK muttered something incomprehensible and shuffled quickly away, leaving both Payal and Aakash staring after him. 


Talking to people like them- people who stood out- was dangerous. He couldn't afford to stand out anymore.


NK continued on his way to the Lockers, thinking briefly about how despite their strict uniform of white shirt, black blazer and black trousers with smart black shoes, Aakash had been wearing his trainers and obvious flashes of an unbuttoned deep green shirt could be seen between his blazer and the white t-shirt he wore underneath. Even his girlfriend, Payal Gupta, had favoured a forest green cardigan as opposed to the shapeless black blazer that girls traditionally were compelled to pair with the standard long-sleeved grey shirt, black box pleated skirt and tights of the prim and proper school uniform.


As he turned the corner to enter the corridor which lead to the Locker Rooms, he froze. The laughter of the group of people who had caused this reaction instantly and abruptly faded away. NK steeled himself and continued walking, determined not to meet anybody's eyes. 

He could do this.

As he walked straight past his old group of friends, his ex-girlfriend draped guiltily on the arm of his ex-best friend- NK thought back on the day that everything had changed.


The day his world had fallen apart as he had tried desperately to save that of another.


The day he had saved Khushi Kumari Gupta.



"No way! He'd kill me if he found out. And he's been in a foul mood recently." 

"When is he ever not in a foul mood? Look, you're the only guy brave enough to do it! And seriously, if you pull it off- it'd be hilarious! And anyway, he deserves it for being such an arrogant, mean, rude stick in the mud. He doesn't have a single redeeming quality."

"Wow Anita, bitter much?"

"He rejected me like, a year ago. I'm so over it. Anyways, I have NK now. Don't I boo?" she kissed him flirtatiously on the cheek and NK grinned.

"Indeed. So I just have to stick them all in his locker and then film his reaction, right?" 

"Yep. That's it. Just set it up and wait. Everybody's too terrified of him to go anywhere near that row of lockers. And we all know from experience nobody ever looks up."

"Tell me about it. I got assigned the one right next to his. I don't think I've ever even been in that room let alone to that actual row.


NK laughed and pulled out the small, handheld camera from his bag. "Fine. But you guys owe me for this one." 

"Mate, if you manage to pull this off- I will carry you on my back around College for a whole day."

"Each of you individually." NK clarified. Anita slid closer to him and whispered her reward for him in his ear. "Oh honey, you'll make me blush." he chuckled, kissed her briefly on the lips and headed off.


"Done!" he beamed, "Now I just have to-" he tossed his camera up on top of one of the rows of lockers and then, using an open one as a foothold, clambered up onto it. Now he just had to wait.

NK stifled another laugh as he imagined what Arnav Singh Raizada's face would look like when he opened his locker to find about fifty fliers of his face photoshopped onto various assortments of Betty Boop bodies. 


There was a sudden clattering at the door and NK readied himself as the door was flung open and somebody ran inside, panting. NK recoiled slightly in surprise as he heard that same somebody let out a small sob. He heard the tinkling of bangles and then rapid footsteps approaching as whoever it was ran towards his hiding place. 

He watched, astounded, as a sobbing Khushi Kumari Gupta came hurtling around the corner and dived into the back corner. NK could see her perfectly and he was astonished at her appearance. 


Her hair was escaping from its usually perfectly plait and her mascara was running down her cheeks with her tears. There were angry red marks on her fragile wrists which looked suspiciously like they were the result of fingers gripping them too tightly. 


NK's mouth dropped open in surprise. 


Khushi was well known throughout the entire college and everybody loved her. She was head of the school's Goodwill Committee and had already, in her short tenure there, managed to raise a little short of 8000 for various different causes. She had also recently started a Student Counseling Service which several members of the student body had to attend compulsorily. 

Arnav Singh Raizada had been one such compelled student and it was no secret in a Sixth Form College this small that the relationship between the two had long since surpassed the 'counsellor-counseled' stage.


Was he responsible for her current state- For the sore marks on her wrists which she was currently rubbing cautiously, gasping in pain as she did so? For the tears streaking her usually permanently laughing face? NK was just about to make a noise indicating his presence when the door creaked open once again and Khushi froze.


"Khushijiii." came a voice so sickeningly sweet and yet at the same time so dangerously malicious that NK had to struggle not to physically shudder and rattle the lockers he was precariously balancing on. His eyes whipped to Khushi, who was shaking on the spot, huddled into a ball with her head in her knees, arms around her legs which she had pulled up to her chest and was taking almost imperceptibly quick shallow breaths.

"You can't hide from me, Khushijiii. I'm going to find you in here. It'd be much better for you if you just showed yourself."


Khushi gasped suddenly as the stranger in the room suddenly kicked one of the lockers. "I know you're in here. I heard you just then. If you don't come out, come out wherever you are then you're going to make me very angry." There was a small pause of reverberating silence where NK watched the tears silently make their way down Khushi's cheeks.


"You won't like me when I'm angry..." the threat hung in the air.


And then he appeared. 

NK nearly fell off the lockers in shock.


No.

Effing.

Way.


Shyam Manohar Jha.


Head Boy, Most-Likely to Succeed, perfect reputation, perfect family, perfect grades, perfect girlfriend... Everybody liked him and he was the poster boy for the school. The one the teachers almost singly used as examples of what people should aim for and aspire to be...

There was no way that voice just now had been him. Surely... surely there had to be somebody else in here?


And then Shyam's eyes fell on Khushi. He slowly approached her and then stood, looking down at her. 


Khushi was still huddled up, refusing to acknowledge his presence. "Get up Khushiji." the menace in that voice sent icicles shooting down NK's spine.


Khushi was visibly shaking and breathing loudly and audibly as she slowly looked up to her assailant's face. Her eyes widened with an expression that NK could only describe as terror.

"Pl- please," she choked, "Please just let me go." 

NK could only see Shyam's back as he lifted a finger and shook it slowly side to side. "Nuh-uh-uh. I've been patient for long enough, Khushiji. I'm doing you a favour. I'm protecting you from that stupid delinquent."

"He's not a delinquent!" she retorted almost instantaneously. 


NK saw Shyam's shoulders set in anger. In one sudden movement, he stooped forward, grabbed Khushi's wrist and yanked her to her feet. He pushed her against the wall and his hands went to her shoulders as he began bending his head towards her. Khushi began struggling violently against him but just did not have the strength to fight him off. She tried to scream but Shyam clamped one hand firmly against her mouth.

"You're going to regret that, you little bitch." Shyam hissed.


NK had seen enough. 



He silently dropped to the ground, tiptoed up behind Shyam and BANG!

He hit him over the head with his camera and before anybody had any idea what was going on, NK grabbed Khushi's arm and pulled her away from Shyam's disgusting grip. "Come on Khushi! Run!"


And so they did.



They ran as far as they could from that room and slipped into an empty classroom on the other side of the building. Here, Khushi collapsed to the ground, tugging NK down with her as she did so.

"Thank you." she stammered. "Thank you, thank you, thank you." 

"Don't mention it. I'm sorry I didn't do anything earlier. I just... I didn't think he'd actually."

"Neither did I." she shook her head and sniffed. "He'd made comments before but I didn't think he was being serious. He's going out with Anjali. Who on Earth would hit on someone else when they have a girlfriend that wonderful?"

"I don't know what to say about that disgusting creep of a bas- Snake except I'll be glad to see the back of him. Do you want me to come with you to tell the Headmistress or would you rather be alone? I'll vouch for you so you don't need to worry about her not belie-"


"Please." She sobbed, suddenly gripping his arm so tightly it took all his self-control not to contort his face in pain. "Please NKji. Please. I'm begging you. Don't tell anybody. I don't want anybody to get hurt because of me. Please."

"But what if he does it again? What if the revolting lecher has done it before?"

"I know he hasn't. Maybe... maybe it's my fault. Maybe I did something to-"

"This is what pisses me the hell off about this society. What on Earth could you have done to make this happen? And anyways, a girl should be able to walk around looking like sl*g-of-the-North if she wants to without worrying that some pervert is going to attack her. And you DRESS LIKE A FREAKING BEHENJI. No. This is not your fault."

"You don't understand. If you tell people, this will get back to Arnavji."

"Well if he blames you then he doesn't-"

"No, that's not what I meant. Arnavji wouldn't judge me. He would kill Shyam. He would get in so much trouble just for me and... Arnavji is a good guy. Despite what people think about him- he's a good person. I don't want him to do this for me... Please. Please don't tell him. Shyam won't come near me again. If he does- I'll handle it."

"You shouldn't have to handle something or someone like that. It's-" NK shuddered as he remembered Shyam's leering voice as he had cornered Khushi and as he looked down at the girl shuddering in front of him, he was overwhelmed by a sudden burst of anger. "I should've-"

"Please." her voice choked out one more time.


NK hesitated for a few long seconds as he looked Khushi Kumari Gupta in her tear-filled eyes. "Fine. But if he dares to come near you ever again... I want you to come straight to me. Understand? And for the love of God if it's too serious, call the freaking Police. Get the creep arrested." 

Khushi let a small smile escape. "Thank you."

"Like I said, don't mention it. And don't worry Khushi. Everything will be just fine."


And it was- for her.

NK however...


The next day he had walked to his locker to find a huge target painted on his locker. On the bullseye was a small sticky-note, two words written on it in elegant cursive. "It begins."

And so it had.


The bullying had varied in nature. Sometimes it would be Shyam's friends bumping into him in corridors and once it had even been while he was carrying his lunch back to the table- causing his to drop it all over both himself and the floor in front of the entirety of Upper and Lower Sixth.

The curses and insults he was able to almost brush off, so frequent were they.

But NK still stayed happy. He checked up on Khushi every so often, but she seemed happy and assured him that Shyam seemed to be leaving her well alone. She asked after his wellbeing and NK had assured her that he too was fine.


And then Shyam had upped his game.


Suddenly, NK's own friends had all approached him and informed him that he was no longer welcome around him. They didn't think he was the kind of person they wanted to associate themselves with and so would appreciate it if he'd keep the hell away.

Everybody in College seemed suddenly wary of him and took conscious efforts to avoid him or steer clear of him in corridors and in classrooms.

Even his teachers seemed to be giving him suspicious looks these days...


"Psst. Should I ask him?"

"No! He might- you know. Shh look he'll hear us."


Oh. NK had realised. Shyam had spread a rumour. 

He'd almost smiled at that.


NK himself had always been skeptical of the veracity of the often more than just slightly outrageous gossip that spread about members of and people associated with the AR Group, but had still given them the wide berth he felt was wise.

Better safe than sorry, he had thought.

And now people were doing the same thing to him.


Shyam was smart, he couldn't deny that- Just start the fire burning and cheap talk would add the fuel required to turn it into an inferno.


"Ahhh. We meet again. Not spying on me this time though, huh?" Shyam was standing directly in front of NK in the locker room. 

He's been waiting for me. He realised dully.

"Here to lock your bag away, hmm? Let's see what you have to protect." he jerked NK's messenger bag painfully from his shoulder and emptied the contents out onto the floor. "Ooh diddums. A lunchbox? Did mummy make this for you?" he laughed. "Let's see what's inside. What did Amma jaaan cook for her ickle baby." he sneered. He unclasped it and began rooting through the contents.


Something inside NK snapped.

"Get. Off."


Shyam froze.


"What was that? Ickle babykins say something?"

"I SAID GET OFF!" NK screamed, all his pent-up anger, frustration and rage suddenly bursting out of him. 

He pounced. He punched and kicked and swiped at Shyam and, in the few seconds it took Shyam to get his bearings- NK managed to get in several pretty painful blows.

Unfortunately- Shyam was strong. He had a build which reflected the rugby player he was and the strength to match. He punched NK square in the stomach, winding him and causing him to topple backwards to the ground, clutching his stomach.


As the kicks came in rapid succession, NK found himself starting to black out. And all he could think was- I'm a good person. I'm a good person. I don't deserve this. And so, with no actual hope, he despairingly whispered, "Help me."


And just as suddenly as they had started, the kicking stopped. 


"Hold him still Aakash." came a low voice. And then there was a loud cracking noise followed by several duller thwacks, a series of "Oofts." accompanying each. 

"If I ever see you come near him again, I'll kill you. Do you understand?"

Silence and then suddenly there was a loud metallic slam as Arnav bashed Shyam's head against the locker once again. "I said, do you understand?!" the hiss was almost a whisper, but it rang through the silent room.

"Yes."

"Good. Now get out of my sight before I lock you in one of these and throw away the key, you disgusting scum.


Shyam ran.


NK slowly opened his eyes and winced as he tried to sit up. Two figures crouched beside him. "It's fine. Don't try to move. Aakash, go and get him some water." 

"Sure Bhai. It'll be alright NK. Just- don't worry. I'll be right back."


The door swung shut behind him as he hurried out.


Silence.


"Why did you help me?"

"Because Khushi told me to." came the blunt reply.

"What?"

"She heard some rumour about you and then found out you'd been getting a lot of hassle from that a-hole and his friends and then she came to find you, saw you fighting in here and then came crying to me telling me you were in trouble for saving her and I had to come and help you."

"Oh."

"Yeah. She's kind of an idiot so I'm not going to ask what you saved her from. But whatever it was, we're even now."

"Yeah."

"I never would have pegged you as the type, you know?" Arnav Singh Raizada's words shocked NK into looking up at him. His eyes met the inquisitive ones of the guy who had probably just saved his life. 

"What type?"

"The type to just take it. Bullying I mean."

"Yeah. Neither did I." NK groaned and heaved himself onto his elbows. Arnav reached out to support his shoulder. "And I didn't at first. But... it's hard to fight back when you're completely alone."

"Hmm." he looked suddenly thoughtful.

"What?"

"Alone, huh?" he suddenly smirked.

"You think this is funny?" 

"Yeah kind of. Listen. You're never alone. You just haven't met the right people. And if you give up- you'll never find them either." 

"That's easy for you to say, Mr I-Lead-A-Gang-Of-Five-Hundred-Local-Delinquents."

"A hundred and twenty three actually. And those 'delinquents' are some of the best people I've ever met. They're just a little... rough around the edges."

NK scoffed. "Yeah. Sure."

Arnav raised an eyebrow. "They'd never betray you when you most needed them to fight your corner."


It was then that the door was suddenly thrown open and a small, sobbing tornado ripped into the room and collapsed beside NK, engulfing him in a hug. "I'm SO SO SORRY NKji! This is all my fault! I'm just- I'm so sorry!" she cried. 

"Hey kid, like I said already. Don't mention it, I'm fine. Your boyfriend helped me out. You're right. He's a good one." NK smiled and suddenly, he realised just how long it had been since he'd genuinely done so.


Without warning, a warm, wet trickle of a tear slid down his cheek. "You're- you're crying.

"Oh God! She cries at everything. For goodness' sake STOP!!" Arnav shook his hands at NK, alarmed. "Oh... and I'm not her boyfriend!"

"Yes-" she sniffled between sobs, "You aaare. And you saved NKji. You're such a wonderful person Arnavji." And with that she threw her arms around Arnav and wailed into his shoulder. Arnav simply raised his eyebrows to the ceiling and shrugged in bemusement.


The door opened gently again and Aakash returned, holding a glass of water. He was closely followed by Payal- who was holding a First Aid Kit.


As everybody fussed around him (well, Payal and Khushi fussed. Aakash smiled and held out water and Arnav just leant back against the bottom row of lockers and quietly observed   the antics in front of him: "Khushi! That's for nappy rash!"

"No Aakashji, that's not a bandage it's a sanitary towel."

"Bhai, is this wipe an antiseptic or will it just make his face go numb?") NK found himself laughing and joking and feeling his entire body warming up. The ice that had been paining him for the past few months being melted away by the love these people had for each other which he inexplicably found himself being freely given.


It was after Khushi tried to bandage a wound on his hand and accidentally stuck a pin into it before bursting into tears yet again that NK laughed, reassured her that he was fine and turned to Arnav.


"You miscounted."

"What?"

"A hundred and twenty four. You have a hundred and twenty four."

"Huh?" Khushi asked as Arnav smiled. "A hundred and twenty four what?"

"Mistresses." Arnav answered, face completely deadpan. 


And as Khushi began yelling at him over the sound of the bell... NK smiled.


He always preferred to video moments instead of taking pictures because people couldn't pose for a video. It would always capture at least one fraction of a second of truth in its frames... And there would lie the message NK had always preached but nearly lost hold of in his past few months of misery...


Life is beautiful.


A/N: PLEASE READ. To anybody who has ever suffered from any form of bullying, you have to get help and tell somebody. I know it might seem easy for me to say, but you really have to. You don't deserve any of it and no matter what ANYONE (including the voice inside your head) tells you... It is NOT your fault!

And for those of you who silently observe bullying and do nothing... Your silence achieves nothing but your friendship and support could save a life. Friendship is far more powerful a thing than many give it credit for.

Khushi's joke suicide attempt really touched a nerve with me. A family friend's 17 year old son recently killed himself by jumping off a bridge and then exactly a week later his mother jumped from the same point. It absolutely disgusts me that an issue this tragic and upsetting could be made into a joke

Life is beautiful everyone. No matter how hard it may seem, there is hope. And there are good people out there. I hope you find them because friends truly are the light at the end of the tunnel. I know I usually write comedy but this OS has a message:

Feel free to leave a Like or a Comment to let me know what you thought. This OS was inspired by my anger at the recent track and fuelled by this song:


[YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyXy0m-4bvE&ob=av2n[/YOUTUBE]

Edited by arisai - 9 years ago
Posted: 9 years ago
This is indeed a very good message and I wholeheartedly agree with you . I'm a big IPKKND fan and I've followed it right through all the jokes and watched each and every episode at least twice even if others called it ridiculous. But, the episode which aired on Friday - 4th May, may have been a filler  to the CVs but honestly I felt it to be a mockery of the issue of suicide. I've known a couple of people who've committed suicide and it's terribly traumatic, no way should it be taken lightly and most certainly not made a mockery of. People are driven to suicide only when they feel they have no way out, no one to turn to and feel completely lost and dejected in life - a result of bullying, failure etc.

Honestly, I was not as disappointed in the CVs as I was on Friday, at any point in the show so far. They probably meant to make us laugh but I sincerely hope that the viewers didn't take it as lightly as it was intended to be.

Thank you for bringing this up  - Lovely message SmileSmile
Posted: 9 years ago
Loved it!
PM me if you ever update...which you should BTW.
 
Posted: 9 years ago
I agree completely with the message you are sending out
Posted: 9 years ago
This is BRILLIANT! Thank you so much for putting this message out there. I've said it before and I'll say it again, suicide never was and never will be a laughing matter! I can deal with the fillers but to make an absolute joke about such an issue is actually quite disgusting. I really hope they end this track soon. I don't have a problem with them highlighting the issue but not making a joke out of it.

Do you watch Glee by any chance? The episode that just aired dealt with similar sort of issues and it's definitely worth a watch.

At the end of the day, not everyone is as lucky to have someone who realises you're in trouble and gets you out of there. Thanks again, for writing this!
Posted: 9 years ago
LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL even it dosent seems like all the time. i agree with u 100% god post with hurt tuching message well done. Suicide God there is nothing funy abt it.
Posted: 9 years ago
Very different and a great message!
Posted: 9 years ago
This was a beaitful OS
with an much more beautiful message
Its just as wrong to be a bystander, as it is to actually carry out the bullying

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