Taking Life, One Day At a Time
exams were over. The fields of Fun Nagar’ had been quite silent
of late owing to these examinations. Fun Nagar, located in north
Mumbai was a colony where Rajen lived with his parents amidst many
such other families. Rajen looked forward to two big months of uninterrupted
fun. Clearly, nothing could be as much awaited as the summer vacation
by Rajen and his pals.
The time had come-
for them to sit in groups and pass afternoon hours sharing their
dreams and pursuits for them to go to the playground and discover
the Tendulkars in them, for them to visit their relatives’ place
and have the time of their lives. Rajen’s parents also would impose
no restrictions, now that the exams were over. Not that Rajen needed
any restrictions, for he was a dedicated student who understood
his responsibilities. While he didn’t take his studies lightly,
quite ironically, he wasn’t clear about his career as well. Rajen
had just another year left before he would enter his X standard-
undisputedly a very important year for anyone’s career.
Rajen was an average
student and had no clear plans about his career. He was a happy-go-lucky
child, taking life one day at a time. He used to approach studies
differently. His pursuit was knowledge. Competition couldn’t ruffle
him in any way. He also was an ideas-student. He liked to think
strongly about how major discoveries happened and what was the origin
of breakthrough inventions. This uncertainty and randomness was
a bit disturbing for Rajen’s parents who wanted him to think more
seriously about his career.
His goal in life was
to marry imagination with knowledge to result in social benefit.
He strongly felt that every educated person should take up the responsibility
of at least turning one illiterate person into a literate one. This,
according to him would end partly exploitation of uneducated workers
who had to work as liftmen or watchmen.
He didn’t see any
worth in such jobs. He was often trying to unscramble how if technology
had made such great breakthroughs, we still needed people to sit
at one place the whole day and act as a watchdog. He also used to
frequently visit the nearby newspaper vendor and chat with him for
hours trying to understand from him, why he had only inclination
to sell and not read the newspaper. He had partly succeeded in his
pursuit by making the vendor read at least the local supplement
that accompanies the main paper everyday.
The day after the
exams got over, Rajen took out a pencil and a paper and started
drawing cartoons, much to the amusement of his mother. His mother
gave out an instant reaction, “Rajen, this will lead you nowhere.
Your sketches are not going to be auctioned for big sums of money.”
“Mummy, let me live this moment,
let me quench this thirst
let me not worry about the future
let me live the present first!”
”Oh, there you are Mr Wordsworth, with one more of your silly compositions.”
“What is silly?
Sparrows will chirp,
Birds will fly
Writers will write
So, please don’t sigh!”
“Decide what you are – a social activist, an artist or a writer
or a professional Mr. Confusion?” “Let me follow my heart, it will
take me where I have to go.”
The vacations ended. Rajen set his heart free and did everything
from writing poems to drawing sketches to urging uneducated people
to enroll themselves for schooling. The classes for Standard X began
and also started the lectures on profession- you should become an
engineer, they get paid well you know- said the nieghbour Mrs. Bhushan.
“You should try your hand at architecture- with the no of celebrities
increasing, this has ample scope you know” foresaw Mr Rawat, Rajen’s
“How about earning a living out of playing marbles?” “What”- The
shock was evident on Mrs Bhushan’s and Mr Rawat’s faces. Quite predictably,
they didn’t take this very lightly and got annoyed. Mr Rawat told
Rajen, “You have no sense of seriousness for your life. You will
have to pay a price for this. Mark my words.”
Rajen didn’t bother. He kept studying the way he used to. He wondered
often whether it was such a big sin to be interested in almost everything.
He involved himself in whatever he did and couldn’t find himself
doing just one thing all his life. Time moved on. His results for
SSC came out. He secured 80% and his parents were delighted. Let’s
take an admission for Science stream. Rajen refused. He said that
he wanted to be a freelancer- write short stories, draw, do some
social work here and there and so on. His parents were unhappy about
this. However, Rajen had already sent his works to many publishers
and his illustrations had also been posted on the net. Rajen was
confident that he would get the break he needed.
One fine day, he got
a call from a venture capitalist company (which had been impressed
with his unusual and useful thoughts) called ‘Heartforart’ and offered
him a deal- he would have to do what he loved doing- sketch, write
poems, enlighten people etc.
This would be for
a government project in order to increase literacy and promote art
as well. This would create the much needed awareness for taking
up jobs that one would like to do and not just do a job for a living.
Rajen was excited. He was off for a 5 year period to the quarters
of the company, ‘Heartforart’ at New Delhi, where he would continue
his pursuits with greater freedom and conviction. His parents felt
happy for him. His mother said, “Finally, my son has found a place
which deserves him.
My best wishes are
with you – My Wordsworth, Michalengelo and Anna Hazare all rolled
into one!” Mr. Rawat was speechless when he accompanied others to
see off Rajen at the airport. “Hope you take your life seriously”,
he told Rajen. Rajen nodded while accepting the wishes and said,
“Sorry, I take life one day at a time.” It seemed that Rajen’s heart
had finally taken him where he wanted to go.
Contributing Story Teller
Niranjan Turakhia is a 28 year young poet and has lately
been dabbling in short story writing. I am thankful to Contentwriter.in
for providing a good platform for writers like me