The Exam of Life
Why are you so restless, my mind?
Is peace that you seek so difficult to find?
Why do you tumble through ups and downs?
Why do you care about the smiles and the frowns?
"Sir! Please! For my Children..." (Bhaiyya! Bachchon ke liye kuchh de do). These words awakened me from a nap, only to see a pair of hands been spread out in hope of money. I raised my eyes to see a lady, very poorly dressed along with a child, maybe in his tens. I took out a rupee coin and gave it to her.
It was a lazy afternoon and waiting for a train on the platform made it even boring. And after a very busy Christmas, one requires a short nap for sure. But as my sleep was already broken, I decided to take a walk down the platform. Then I saw a bunch of coolies (the people who carry heavy luggage for people) discussing the recent India-Pakistan cricket match. They seemed to be enjoying the rare respite from the work they do.
The jolly mind of mine turned pensive. I was happily rejoicing the long awaited results (which stated that I was amongst the toppers of the class), the eagerly awaited holidays and the ever delicious home-made food (one of the two reasons I want to goto home - the other being sleep). But now I was filled with questions.
"Look at yourself, Arindam! What do you do? Feed yourself over a huge scholarship! And why did you get the silly scholarship? Because you cleared an exam. Does clearing an exam make you so eligible that you make your living virtually without efforts for the next 5 years of life? Where does the money of your scholarship come from? From the government. More precisely, the tax payers. That includes the coolies sitting there, the vegetable vendor who comes to your house daily, the auto driver who drove you to the station."
Very true! It is eventually they who let me study throughout at subsidised rates. And for all these favours, what do they expect in return? Development. Why is it that the lady had to spread her arms in times of need? I believe that I still have something to do to make the people here proud.
The problem of the country starts only when the brighter lot of the country flees away from the responsibilities. If I use the advantages given by my people for my own benefit and luxury I would be a parasite, a cheater.
So what, if you were born in a dirty lake? If you run away from the lake into a cleaner one, the lake remains to be dirty. Why not clean the lake instead to make the lake realise its true true identity?
"Try to make others happy; happiness for you is born out of the happiness they get."
Yes I topped my class and a handful of people congratulate me on that. But I await the day when I die - May the world congratulate me on succeeding a exam - the exam of life...