Kriti, Mr. Chadda’s 9 year old daughter came running and shouted holding her breath, “Aunty, Shekhar Bhaiya is calling you on the phone.” Mr. Chadda lives in my neighborhood and is a PO in Bank of India.
He is a nice person and we have shared his phone number with our close relatives with a condition to call only if there is some emergency. After all we are also a good neighbor.
It was almost 5 in the evening and dad just came back from office. No body noticed due to that unexpected phone call that he is almost 2 hours before usual time. I held his bicycle and kept it in the lawn. I was studying in 11th std. in a govt. school. We are three brothers; I’m fortunate to be in the middle order having one elder and one younger brother, Prabhat and Shekhar. Prabhat Bhaiya is pursuing his B.Sc. and Shekhar is studying in 9th std. in a more reputed college than that of mine; of course a government college.
This was a matter of coincidence that I and Prabhat Bhaiya both are there home and dad also came. Mom went with Kriti to attend the call with a heavy heart beat. We were also having so many questions in our sharp brain about the call; why is he calling? What happened? Etc.
I’d given a glass of water and a towel to dad. Dad used to commute to his office by bicycle and in summers it became more tiring and perplexing. He was a head clerk in a government office. Need not to mention that he never had any interest in the sweets of any body’s pushed success. His bicycle and our government college might have already drawn a sketch of his honest persona.
Mom returned from Kriti’s house and broke the ice saying a group of students had beaten Shekhar badly near his college. She was so anxious that her vocal cord was nearly out of order. She was not able to convey whatever she had talked with Shekhar over the phone.
Prabhat Bhaiya asked with a fuming breath, “Was it Shekhar in the phone or somebody else?” Mom replied, “It was him only”.
We all were anxious to heights of our imaginations. We had thought of lots of why, what and how and answered them ourselves in our mind which might never had happened that way. Prabhat Bhaiya collected his emotions and asked me to come with him on our bicycle. We had three bicycles in our home; one for dad, one for Shekhar and one for me and Prabhat Bhaiya to use.
Prabhat Bhaiya said, “I’ll ride the bicycle, you sit on the carrier.” Shekhar’s college was almost 4 KM from our home but the connecting road was not that good. It was really getting difficult for him to ride bicycle at the height of anger and emotions though he daily ride bicycle for going to his college and tuitions etc. I had never seen him so breathless, angry and panic.
He asked me to ride the bicycle and sat in the carrier. We didn’t utter even a word. The thought was to reach the college sooner to our best possible nerves. A storm of emotions was creating disaster in my brain. Why don’t we have a phone in our home? Why don’t we have a scooter? My dad kept scolding every time whenever some one tried to start a discussion about getting something new which every other neighbor had. “You guys are even aware of the rate of petrol; 10 Rs/Ltr. It requires 3k Rs deposit to apply for a telephone. I can’t afford these luxuries.” I was thinking today that “we can’t afford” might be correct but don’t call it luxury.
Some how we reached the place and had seen Shekhar standing near the college gate with one of his friend and couldn’t control the emotional blow the moment he had seen us coming. I started interrogating him for the part of his involvement in this fight. Prabhat Bhaiya forbade me saying we have to first find out the guy who had arranged those goons and beaten up Shekhar badly so that no one ever dares to even think about repeating this.
We started asking the nearby chaat and ice cream vendors about those guys. One of the vendors had given the details and we had reported this to the principal and made sure the guy is debarred for at least 2 weeks from the college.
Later while interrogating with Shekhar we came to know that this was the fight of the “Power and Position” in the college which got beyond the intentions of both parties and resulted in the incidence. We scolded Shekhar for his involvement in that and warned that it should never get repeated.
Shekhar had learnt a lesson and the incidence never got repeated and he kept his focus on his studies thereafter. Everything became as usual and we kept surviving without so called luxuries!
The story of that incident finished; we can come up with the morale of story but this has raised multiple open questions and forced us to think differently.
If you can’t afford something, tag it as a luxury and forget about it. Never try to make it affordable. Make your life simple, easy going and boast about your philosophy of not having desires at all. Those days the parameters defining one’s personality was honesty, modesty and simplicity. I am a great admirer of dad’s personality. He earned a lot of respect in the society. He even got a president award for his image and brand he possessed throughout his tenure.
Gone is the era when people used to respect the person by his virtues, by greatness of his thoughts and deeds. Now the time is changed and the bigger question is, “Is it the right attitude with respect to changing values of world?” I don’t care if people say, “This generation is very demanding. They never get satisfied with whatever they have.” However I believe the more one gets satisfied the less he would strive to achieve more. Satisfaction and stability we all want in our life; this desire is the cause of retardation in our growth.
Our well worshipped and popular Gods had chosen royal families for themselves when they had taken birth as a human. The perspective is not again to start a debate of rich vs. poor rather the power of position and the challenges pertaining to that. Had Ram been a son of poor farmer, would Ravana have got time from his busy schedule to kidnap His wife? Ram would have spent His entire life as a farmer and wishing for good rains that season so that He could reap better crop. He would have thought about petty mundane issues and struggled to figure out the solution for His entire life. Every body is given 24 hours by the law of nature per day and he has to create a remarkable difference by his deeds. It majorly depends on from where you are starting and the background you belong to. You will eventually get challenges according to your status. After all oceans only face challenges of tides, ponds don’t deserve that exposure.
Nothing is luxury it all depends on how much exposure of world you have. Even having a revolver is not luxury if you own a jewelry shop. If you have to attend multiple meetings on the same day at different locations, you can’t reach everywhere riding your bicycle. You have to get a car. Is that a luxury then?
We had heard of lots of beautiful philosophies of Dharm gurus, the “Moh-Maya” perspective of wealth however everybody knows that their own life is full of luxuries and “Moh-Maya”.
I don’t know for some reasons my thinking clashes with greatest philosophers and most respected legends. Lord Buddha said,” hopes and desires are root cause of sorrows and sufferings.” I bow to him however the same reason is responsible for growth of man kind. End of desires spells end of growth. Have a desire and strive to fulfill it.
Drawing and playing crickets was my favorite time pass which I never returned to. The idea was to focus on the studies and get a good job. The easiest way to earn money obviously by fair means, is study hard and get selected in some competitive exam, be it engineering or medical and you’ll get a job with some more struggle after completing the course.
More than 70 k engineers are getting produced by Indian colleges per year and some how with little or more struggle every body starts earning his share of bread. There is one more option available to less lucky ones, start teaching the stuff he seldom understood properly. I had read somewhere that “An unsuccessful player becomes better coach.” Might be because he kept analyzing what went wrong throughout his life and have a very good collection of dos and don’ts whereas the successful keeps on creating history and generating data for other’s to analyze.
But there is one more aspect worth mentioning here. We all know every individual is special. God has shared his own energy with everyone which keeps us alive. His energy is sacred that empowers us and provides some virtue to every individual. However few realize this and usually keep attempting they are not wired for.
People usually introduce themselves as “I’m doctor by profession and singer by choice.”
Primary skill is what they have chosen as their career path to earn their share of bread and secondary is what they have been offered by God which they would like doing in their spare time. This is how common man survives. The one who dares to map his primary and secondary skills both or boldly accept that the secondary one is actually the primary skill increases chances to become an extra ordinary individual. It leads to glory but requires guts at the same time.
I had chosen the same easiest, safe and honest way to earn money and with little struggle I got a good college and completed my degree with flying colors. I got a good job also with little more struggle as already said. I feel very fortunate to work for India’s premier research and development institute for years, I’m proud of that and will always be.
With everlasting desires of authority, learning and new challenges I kept working hard and putting my best to my profession. Fortunately it got recognition too and I got getting whatever I deserved. I am happy with my performance so far. Though there are people who are ready to pour criticism, “engineer, so what! My neighbor’s distant cousin has also studied on the same college and adding more surprise that guy is earning more than you.” I try to drag my ear out of these vibrations.
But the nerves of my brains are not calm and busy in their routine work, they keep raising the concern. Will I keep running on the same court? Was I wired to do this? Is this my primary skills actually? I don’t have the answer like many individuals but I’m sure I’ll get it because I have a concrete question at-least.
Gradually I started realizing, purity and perfection is my passion. I had used elimination technique to figure out this. So I concentrated on things which I can tag, “I Don’t Like”.
I don’t like juggling, fusion, chorus, mixing of fundamentals with superficial. I believe hybrid perfection is an oxymoron. It took me years to realize what I actually like. It happens with everybody the most difficult questions are most fundamental and difficulty increases the more they become personal.
Am I saying don’t try to be an engineer or doctor, just follow your heart, keep doing whatever you like most and eventually you will excel and emerge as a celebrity? Come-on this world is not governed by stupid feelings of heart and I’m not writing dialogues for a common Bollywood flick. I’m not trying to conclude the whole idea and arrive at a solution. Though I know there is no solution available which suits to every individuals need in this diverse environment. The idea is to keep thinking and taking crucial turns wherever required to get your desired goal, to become whatever you wanted to be. This can’t be an event or a single decisions it would definitely be a process, a collection of multiple bends at critical turns.
Nothing great would happen if one keep doing whatever he feels good doing. The only way to align one’s hobby with profession and doing it the best way is to map one’s hobby in to saleable product or service. Nothing can be converted into saleable product unless a defined plan and achievable targets are set. The activity you are good at or you love doing is the base you have got now you have to polish it with proper guidance and make it presentable. Flowers blossoms with the grace of God; florist job is to make a presentable and saleable bucket with beautiful flowers. If you love doing that, you got the answer. Even our best celebrities keep polishing their skills which they love doing and they are already good at.
Many people are fond of doing something which can never produce any thing saleable, e.g. I love to listen music or I love to read books for that matter. What will I sell when I’m not producing anything rather I love to consume other’s product? The bottom line is: Don’t be a consumer of everything produced.
What you want to do and what you want to be is a question we usually respond in our leisure time. A set of responses we address priority wise becomes our way of living which on a broader sense defines our personality. First of all we want to have our bread and butter secure and then think about something else. We Indians play it safe when it comes to our career nevertheless being adventurous is not in our blood. We take risk only when there is no safe route available and we are bound to move for some reasons. The thumb rule is: Nothing great can be achieved without putting some other great thing at risk. Observe the great achievers in various fields, they all never followed their safe zone i.e. their legacy business. Had they chosen to be safe, they would have been some common man in the crowd. Amitabh Bachchan would have been a writer and Sachin Tendulkar would have been a teacher for instance.
Remember there is no institute in the world that can make you a brand, a celebrity, a legend. The only wonderful thing that can do wonders is the “Desire” you have.
- Amit Roop