Polished Personal


Prompt- What do these texts suggest about the ways in which individuals struggle to restore honour and certainty?

THEME STATEMENT- When a traditionally shy and confidence lacking individual goes about a course of action out of their comfort zone, and proceeds to take drastic; he or she will have an instinctual desire to run away for the sake of preserving their honour and saving their family.

TEXT– Saudek, Jan. 120km/hr., 1975.

Approach: Creative

The following is a creative piece, a letter, designed to be found by the family of a runaway child.

Dear Mom and Dad,

I write this staring the Bullet Train outside the Tokyo station, 120 km/hr. – do not try and find me, I did this.

For as long as I can remember, the two of you always spoke with a certain confidence about me, raving to your friends about arbitrary concepts like: “Shahid is going to great things when we grows up.” and “He is surely going to surpass his father in the medical field”. Well here I am, 23, medical school dropout, and now, a hit to the honour of the Jind family name. This is not meant won’t fill the hole I have made, perhaps it will just explain it.

I want you guys to know that none of this is your fault. I chose to do what I did on my own cognizance and I will live with the consequences. Dada, you always pushed me to be the best on every platform I was placed on; whether it was the 4.0 GPA in my undergraduate degree, the Rhodes scholarship, or the letters of gratitude from your friends at the embassy. I was indeed the model child that every parent sought their children to be, it just wasn’t enough. Momma, they say the love of a mother is a power which no other medium can even compare to- and you were beyond that. From waking me up every morning with a hot cup of cha to making me food every night even when I came home drunk from the college parties. I was and always be your pyaara bacha¹, I’m so sorry I couldn’t love you the way you loved me. I did this for a reason.

Perhaps the education from prestigious institutions, the trips around the world, and the conversations regarding the conceptual ideas of religion were indeed helpful after all. They taught me how other people thought, they taught me morals and ethics- they, made me into who I am. Even though who I am is not what you wanted me to be materialistically, in a twisted sense- it is who you wanted me to be as a person.  I did right by the morals you taught me dada, I did right by the god you showed me momma, I did right by my chachu², and hopefully I did right by you two. That’s all I wanted- to make you proud.

It was a tough time after chachu passed, dada you took to drinking, momma you took to travelling, and I took to distracting myself with substance. It was a tough time, so when I found out there was a cure all along being produced by the very pharmaceutical company my grandfather had started; not to mention it was buried by the investors and hidden from us to maximize profit off of treatment, I had a loss for words, but through this, I found I did not have a loss for action.

I have sent the files and formulas to your personal account that you told me about in the helicopter when I was 12, in case anything happens right?

In the coming days the police and media will ask you if you had any involvement in the bombing, please do not lie in order to clear my name. I have made prior arrangements to ensure that if you drastically convince anyone I am innocent and you are guilty, no one will believe you. I will turn myself in once the spotlight is taken off of the family and the investigation is clear.

I write this staring the Bullet Train outside the Tokyo station, 120 km/hr. – do not try and find me, I did this.


Your son forever and always,



1-”pyaara bacha”- Hindi/Punjabi phrase roughly translated to: “my darling child”.

2-”chachu” Punjabi slang for father’s younger brother, often used when he is fairly young compared to his little nephew

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *