I was in my 4th grade then. Our class had 35 students but Ahmed Sultan was the special friend among everyone else. But we were a gang of five: 3 boys and 2 girls. Thanks to our bus schedules, our gang would reach an hour early to school and play in those deserted classrooms, spin horror stories about the neighboring houses, collect color chalks and have fun in our style.
No teachers would have come by then, and we ruled our floor. I had a cousin who was a big bully. A year senior to me, Ragav was the gang war kind of guy roaming with two side-kicks looting candies and pencils from others students. I was his hobby. Whenever he couldn’t fish any new trouble, he would pull my legs or bully me for those extra snacks.
One fine morning, our gang was playing around the big Neem tree in the ground and Ragav crossed us with a threatening glance. I smirked at him flaunting my first rank badge. Ragav had failed in maths and the previous day was a glorious one for him with his results bringing diwali in his house. Rajkumar, the wisest in our gang advised that we better move back to our class and we all moved to our class.
After 10 minutes, Ragav came looking for me to my class and asked for both my lunch and snacks box. I refused to give and we both got into one of those many fights. Ahmed was trying to break us apart. Before I could realize what was coming, Ragav pushed me and I fell down banging my head hard in the teacher’s desk. Tears immediately found its way out and I started crying with pain. Nazeem, came to help me up while Rajkumar and Adityan went to find some teacher to complain.
Ahmed with all his fore launched himself on Ragav and both were rolling on the floor fighting. My forehead had a big lump by then and was throbbing with pain. The fight between Ragav and Ahmed was getting worse with each pulling the hair of others’ and trying to get up. Ragav, being mighty and a year elder mustered some strength and got up dragging Ahmed with him. Ahmed used the leverage and pinned Ragav down and slapped him hard across the face. Not stopping with that he warned him telling, “Keep your silly pranks to yourself. If you ever try hurting her or any other girl again I will make sure that I complain to every teacher that you daily steal my lunch and get you out of the school.”
By then our science teacher arrived and did first aid for me. Ahmed was by my side the whole time making sure I was fine. Though that was not the end of Ragav’s bullying, I got a new surge of courage that there are others to stand up for me. Recalling those threatening words of Ahmed brings a smile. But, the kind of courage he showed all those years back is still warm in my heart.
By the end of our fifth grade we both parted ways and I lost his contact completely. He was the first soldier who stood up for me at the age of 10 and I still marvel him for that. Age is never a bar to make a man soldier enough. I really hope, today he is somewhere out there standing up for women.This post is a part of #Soldierforwomen in association with BlogAdda.com