“Yes Darling I love you. I love you more than anything in this world. I can spend my entire life just to make you happy. My destination is you and ultimate destination is your heart. This journey will continue for ever. See what I got for you.” Ricky said and gave one beautiful looking and smelling box to Pinky. Pinky opened the box and all the marks of frown, sadness, displeasure, anger that she was carrying on her face, since Ricky came to meet her, due to not calling her when Ricky went to bed last night, vanished in a snap. There was a nice iPod in the box and Ricky explained, “You know, I sold the watch that my father had gifted me on my 18th Birthday to buy this beautiful gift for you.”. “Ohh you are so nice Ricky. I would like to get you as my partner in my every birth. But you should not have sold the watch you loved so much.”, Pinky said. “I can sacrifice anything for you Jaanu. If do not value any emotions or any living being or anything in front of you. I value you the most. I can sacrifice my life for you.”, Ricky responded with great seriousness. “You should never utter this kind of word ever again in front of me. Nobody valued me as much as you do Ricky. My entire life, every moment and everything that belongs to me is yours.”. This discussion continued where by words Pinky and Ricky tried to prove that one loves the other more. This debate was never ending and they had no interest to win or lose as well.
Overhearing lovers is not my pastime but I was waiting to meet one of my friend’s sister to give her the packet that her Parents sent through me. She was staying in one ladies hostel of a reputed Engineering College. I informed the security guard and waiting outside for her to come. I could not avoid listening to this conversation as there were complete silence everywhere and this conversation was the only audible voice at that place.
Thankfully the conversation went to another level and they started communicating their interests. “You know I am following a famous Hollywood star in Twitter. I do not consider these Bollywood stars worth following. I get to know so many interesting things about them. I would love to meet that great personality once in my life time. I have the maximum followers in my twitter account among all my friends and relatives.” Ricky said. “I do not use Twitter much. I love Facebook. I got back in touch with so many of my primary school friends. This is one wonderful social networking medium. I like Bollywood page as well as the most famous Fashion house page. You know what? My roommate and me sometimes chat through Facebook.” Pinky said and they both laughed loudly.
Security guard came to inform me that, “She said it will take her 30 minutes to come. She apologized for the delay.”. I was not in a hurry. Pinky went inside saying Goodbye in 100 different ways to Ricky as soon as she saw her superintendent was coming towards the hostel and she said that her superintendent does not like people talking near the hostel gate for more than 15 minutes. Ricky started his bike and went. There was one old man sitting just next to me. He uttered, “I wasted my life on these useless people. I do not see any hope in revival of the feeling that I had dreamt, acted on and died for. I could have enjoyed a great family life, government Job as ICDS officer and a good pension. But I was a fool.”.
I could not stop asking him, “Uncle, What happened? Why are you upset.” He turned his face towards me and I saw tears in his eyes. I could see that he was crying since a long time as his eyes were swollen, red and his shirt collar was wet as well. At the same time my friends sister came our of her hostel and said sorry for making me wait in front of the gate for so long. I convinced her that it was not boring at all although I did not tell her about the conversation. I handed over the food packet that her parents had sent and got ready to leave. I looked everywhere but could not find that old man any where. I went couple of steps in all direction to find him but had no luck. Then I started my car to leave home.
On the way through the ring road I saw the same old man walking with great difficulty using his walking stick. I stopped my car and offered to come with me. I told him that I can drop him wherever he wants to go. He thanked me and said, “ No thank you son. I have no place to call as destination. You may continue without any guilt. I will go by walk.”. I insisted as it was a sunny day and it feels like he has severe pain in his leg. I stopped my car and came out to persuade him more. He finally agreed to come with him. He said that he is new to this city and he is just roaming around. I guessed that he has no place to stay and no money as well. I took him home as I felt there is something great about him which needs to be understood despite his disagreement. He was having long beard and clothes were very old. I offered him a new pair of Kurta and Pyjama which I had bought for Dussera.. Although this one was one of the 5 pairs that I had bought for myself. He somehow accepted it. He took bath and wore the new dress and came to the drawing room. He was still limping. Upon my request he showed me a very old wound on his thigh. When I asked, he said that he had one plane accident. I was surprised to hear this. I could never imagine that this beggar like man had ever ridden an airplane but I believed him. When I enquired more about the accident, he said it is a very old wound and my only symbol of pride. So, I would not like to discuss more about this.I acknowledged and asked him the reason why he was crying. He tried to keep mum as much as possible but my repeated questions in various ways to know who he is and why he was upset made him speak a little.
“I can only disclose one thing to you is that I had spent my entire youth for the country that you call now as India or Bharat. I was known for my guts and courage. I had imagined a Bharat as well as a new world after second world war that would value the valuable and ignore the waste. I tried to remain in silos for past 5 decades doing meditation in a forest in Kerala till I got the news that India is shining and is growing very fast. I could not stop myself to see the new Bharat, my dream Bharat, the Bharat for which I have scarified my entire life, family, luxury everything. I started Bharat Darshan and this is my 22nd day. I can not continue more. The entire nation looks like running on false, using untruth to achieve pseudo success. Every generation is eating the share of the next generation. Every possible way of division is explored by leaders. I thought may be the grown ups are bad so went to see the upcoming youths but there I saw more fallacy than value. Emotions, Money, Words, People, Culture, Tradition, Values or Nation, nothing seems valuable to the current generation and the upcoming ones. Only self , current and entertainment are valued. It seems they are scared of everything including self. There is no ideology that they follow rather they follow some people of least importance to mankind. They disregard everything that is either time-consuming or not interesting. They expect life to be like an 3 hour entertainment show and they remember values only during breaks.” he said with great sorrow and tears were flowing continuously. I tried to explain that everything is not that bad. There are many good people and reason for smile are there. He did not argue much and wanted to sleep as he is very tired. I opened my guest room for him to sleep and kept the bed switch next to his head so that he finds it easy to go to toilet incase he needs to. I was tired so went to sleep. I was not able to understand how one person can spend his life for this. I thought of asking more questions to know more about his life the next morning.
As soon as I woke up I went to his room but found the Kurta and Pyjama that I gave to him were neatly folded and kept on the bed and he was not there anywhere. There was a letter on the pillow.
I was not as disappointed with your generation as I sounded yesterday. I somehow could control my emotions. I have no regrets for my service to the nation. Even if my efforts go waste for 100 births, still I would like another opportunity to serve mankind. I can see there are many who are as genuine as a true Bharatiya or a true world citizen should be. I have great hope that this Nation will reach the dream destination that we have dreamt. Do not worry much about me. I will go back to the forests to continue Meditation. Thank you for taking care of an unknown without any expectation.
With lots of blessing,
Subhas Chandra Bose
– Stray Dog