Sharjah: It was in July that Mohammad Perwez hit the headlines for running away after being scolded for watching YouTube late at night and finally returning home after two weeks.
Four months later, the Indian teen in Sharjah was witnessing another compatriot child’s runaway drama unfolding in the same emirate.
As the UAE residents offered their support to search for Ameya Santosh, the latest child to run away reportedly due to exam pressure, Gulf News spoke to Perwez to know his thoughts on depressed teens fleeing from home. Santosh was found later.
“No child should run away from home. I felt guilty. Too much,” Perwez said on Sunday afternoon.
“I don’t know what happened to me [that night]. I got angry and just felt like running away,” he said about his experience.
Staying away from his parents and younger sisters indeed made him feel worried and guilty though he initially hesitated to come back.
“Later I wanted to come back. I was scared something [bad] might happen to me. I was trying to come back and that is when someone found me,” he said.
The unforgettable incident in his life has made him realise certain things. “Whatever parents do is for our future. They have the eyes to see the future. We [the kids] have the eyes to see the present.”
The ninth grade student urged Ameya, the 10th grader who is on the run, to return home immediately. [Ameya has since gone home.]
“Exam is nothing [in life]. If you are a weak child, you just have to study the most important portions and just pass the exam. Brighter children are under more stress to score the highest marks,” he said, sharing some of his wisdom.
If children are pressurised to study, he said, they would be more worried. “Pressure is not good. [Their] mind will stop working. It should not happen.”
No questions please
Perwez also shared his suggestions on how to treat Ameya when he returns home as everyone has been wishing for.
“First thing when he comes home, there will be a lot of pressure from everyone. Wherever he would go, people would ask him questions. He will be worried … too much,” the youngster anticipated.
He urged everyone not to question Ameya on this and accept it as his mistake due to ignorance.
Father of Perwez, Mohammad Aftab Alam, acknowledged that parents also commit mistakes.
“Only God knows how we pulled through those days [when Perwez went missing]. That should not happen to any parents. My eyes are stilling welling up when I think about it,” said Alam.