What you are Ashamed of
June was nearing its end. It had been predicted that the monsoon would begin in the next two to three days by the Meteorological Department. However, there was no relief from the scorching heat because the clouds in the sky weren’t allowing the heat of the atmosphere to escape.
Because of this, the temperature had become very high. From then on, the moisture took a toll on him. The effect of the cooler and the AC had also diminished.
In the evening, when I came out of the office to get some food, I was frostbitten by this sultry heat. The sweat was not dripping off. The problem was exacerbated by stickiness.
It is good that because of A.C. and involvement in work, we do not realize that when the day passes. I used to feel hungry in the evening while working. The food brought from home used to be disposed of at lunch itself. So one had to go out to satisfy the hunger.
On the sides of the roads, there were countless vendors selling roasted grains of maize. Evening food could be only roasted grains of maize. For a moment, it was enough to satisfy the appetites of both the stomach and the mind.
There was a competition among the vendors to see who could see the customer approaching. They started to use each other to attract the customers by making noises. I kept on moving on.
A short distance away, I saw a vendor who was sitting very calmly. He probably wasn’t in a hurry.
The maize near him appeared to be of very good quality. And he was not even making noise like the others were making. Perhaps he had confidence in the quality of his corn. While making noise here, I got a little irritated by the other vendors. So I decided to take maize from him. I stood up after ordering corn.
While heating the corn, he asked me,
sir, what do you think about what is happening in Maharashtra? Uddhav Thackeray’s government collapsed in the same way as the BJP’s almost two and a half years ago. History is repeating itself. Isn’t this surprising?
He probably expected an agreeable answer from me. I was very hungry.
I said, “Hey brother, whose government comes now, whose concern is it?” Why are you worried about the rise and fall of governments? You have to roast the corn. Don’t you do your work? Why do you put your mind here and there? Do you alone bear all the burden of the country and the state? I said, looking at him with a sly look.
Maybe my words stung him. He laughed and said, “Sir, this is democracy; even a Tea Seller can become Prime Minister.” Please tell me whether a citizen has the right to be politically conscious or not. One gets to know about the events that are happening around the country.
I understood. I didn’t even get my point right. With a view to pacifying him, I said that one should be politically informed and also that there is no wrong with having an opinion about what is happening around us. But what about you? Keep this in mind: money is coming from selling corn to you, isn’t it? This is what you have to do. Put your heart into this. That’s right for you. This should be your concern and not the rise or fall of the government.
He replied, “I am roasting the corn now. It is not necessary. I will continue to do this for the rest of my life.” I am a graduate. I am also learning shorthand typing. Somewhere, a job will be found. If not, I will go to some court and set up my shop. I will earn enough to survive.
I was born poor. What is my fault in this? I also have the responsibility of my younger brothers. That’s why I have to do this. But who doesn’t have problems? I have to move forward. He continued with his words.
I was both happy for his confidence and sorry for his miserable condition. By then he had heated the corn. I paid him the money and started moving ahead with the corn. But one thing has been bothering me till now. What is such an educated boy doing over there?
In the end, I could not resist myself. While walking, I asked him, “Are you not ashamed of selling corn like this after graduating?”
His answer bewildered me.
He said, “Sir, I did not cheat anyone, I did not lie, and I do not even have a loan. Then what is the shame?” I only make money through hard work and honesty. I am not doing any wrong work. What should I be ashamed of?
While working in the office, his words sometimes force me to think, “I did not cheat anyone, I did not lie, and I do not even have a loan. Then what is the shame?”
His answer made me a bit restless. Doesn’t every man sitting in a high position in the office lie, cheat, and dishonestly? And if he does, why isn’t he ashamed?
Leave aside the matter of others, the important thing was, have I never lied, never tricked anyone, never cheated in my life? And if so, have I ever been ashamed? And the answer was clearly negative.
I may have made a mistake in judging it. However, even in this mistake, I did learn a lesson in life. It is not always correct to evaluate someone by their work and status. The character strength of a person defines him in the right way.
Before preaching to others, it is necessary that one look at oneself once in the mirror. Are you providing it to someone else because you are not in need of it?
Ajay Amitabh Suman:All Rights Reserved