Am I Worth It..
A fortunate seven years of my life were spent in Bishop Cottons, one of the most renownedschools of India. Being a catholic school, every morning was met with an assembly whichinvolved, along with varied other activities some hymns. Among all the hymns sung, there is one that recently bubbled up from deep within my mind. It’s titled “Count Your Blessings”and was written by Johnson Oatman, Jr. Here is how the trapped bubble found its way to the surface.On the arrival of the long awaited end of semester one, I was finally on my way back home.Was a bit grumpy that I wasn’t flying; Dad said he wouldn’t spend 15K on my trip back home.So here I was, berth 25, coach S3. Yup I was traveling by sleeper class, again not by choice.In a country proudly owning a sixth of the world’s population, a confirmed ticket is all one canhope for. The extreme congestion due to the excess of passengers over the number of seats, the ever prevalent dirt, the smell from the restroom and even the mega frequent rounds of the snacks dealers and beggars did not bother my mind; there were better worlds it had found. Having found a lonely corner, I sat in the train set to leave from the western coast for the eastern, relishing the thought of the future to come and the fun to be had. We were to leave for Denmark in a weeks time for a vacation there. My flow of thought was suddenlyinterrupted when I felt a bag on my foot.“Sorry”, he said, the owner of the bag. He had the seat in-front of me. He was thin and by hisdressing style, appeared to come from, as was coined by Mrs. Sarabhai, a lower middle class family. Yet he had an air about him, attributed probably to his smart and confident personalityand not to forget, the charmingly blissful smile that defined him. He looked no older than me but his face showed he had seen more.“Hi. I’m Ajay”, he said, raising his hand after the few minutes it took him to accomplish the challenge of settling down as the last passenger in the coach.“I’m Anirudh”, came the acknowledgment from my side.“So do you live here.”“Nope. Studying at BITS Pilani Goa Campus. You?”“I study in Chennai; first year. Was here for a family function. Parents stay at Bangalore.What about you? Where are you from?”Now this was a question Iwas always proud to answer.“Native of Rajasthan, bornin Darjeeling, spent 9 yearsin Singapore, then 7 yearsin Bangalore, then 2 in Kota,halfa year in Chennai and amnow in Goa. Home is presentlyChennai.”, came the swift andperfected reply, in expectationof a surprised response.“I have a similar history, though smaller. We lived for a few years in New York andam now studying in Chennai,while my parents live in Ban-galore.”“I shouldn’t be asking this,but you don’t look like you’re from New York.”“I know.”“Once again, I’m sorry, but I really feel like asking; Anyreason why?”“It’s OK. There is a reason,most surely is. I can tell you,but a disclaimer in advance, it could really get boring.”“Go on. The train ain’t toointeresting anyways.”“Fine then. I’ll begin”He waited for a few seconds,lost in his thoughts and thenbegan.“My father is an engineer. He made quite a fortune back there in New York, workingin one of the multi nation-als there. Five years ago we shifted to Bangalore; parents felt that there is no place like India. Father decidednot to get employed again,but instead explore some other field. Due to the turnof events, he settled down onreal estate. After a few suc-cessful and profitable deals,his confidence rose as did that of his future partners.With time, ambitions andinvestments both grew culmi-nating in a deal that changedall. Due to misplaced trust, we were cheated of a very large sum of money. The other in-vestors, despite being friendsand distant family startedquestioning. In an attempt torepay them, almost all waslost.”There was a pause, and aslight expression of painshowed on his face. His voice had turned low with grief.There was a silence for around two minutes with me not knowing what to do. Fi-nally, with his smile flashingback he spoke.“Faith is a powerful tool. The only tool in-fact that we hu-mans have.” Another pause followed.“After that incident, father went back to employment but in these times of recessiona rewarding job is a distant dream. India doesn’t recog-nize an engineering degree without a MBA for higher posts. Despite the financially troubled times in our life, there was never a time whenour needs were not met, in- fact more than just necessi- ties have been taken care of.”“When I look back at mylife now, all I see is a pair of parents, who throughout kept their calm, and lovedme so immensely while also teaching me the morals andvalues of life; a stage of life that taught me some valuable lessons including the fact that things are not always inour hands and a phase that rebuilt my faith on the longlost saying with some of myimprovisation - “Everythinghappens for your own good.It’s left to you to figure out the good and if you can’t, just wait”. I have everything that Icould want; the best parentsin the world, a lovely family, abunch of ‘to cherish’ friends,some of life’s lessons and faith. There is nothing more I can ask of life. In fact analyzing all I’ve been givenleads me to the question, ‘AmI worth it’. Whenever I ask myself what might I have done to deserve all I have, Isomehow never find an an-swer.” And there rose, but yet again, that charmingly blissfulsmile.If you’re worried and youcan’t sleepJust count your blessingsinstead of sheep- Irving Berlin