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The Power of Hope and Other Mundane Things in Life...

The Power of Hope and Other Mundane Things in Life...

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Published by Vikasendu Agarwal
Just a few Random thoughts....
Just a few Random thoughts....

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Published by: Vikasendu Agarwal on Dec 29, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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12/29/2013

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It was a long time back, I was very young, 10-11 years of age
, class 8/9….The power supply to our house was severed as we couldn’t pay the bill of a
bout Rs. 80/.The flourishing business had collapsed due to some misunderstandings ,Papa was not doing anything for last 2 years and Mummy was too timid to go out and find a job, at least during the initial days. We were left to carry on with very little except the hope and our faith in our capacity to overcome whatever it was or will be. We were a family of Six. Papa, Mummy and four of us brothers and sisters. I was the eldest one, had a premonition that some bad patch is about to start. The elder one of my two sisters , Smita also understood what were we going through. The other two were too young to understand. It would have been a very difficult and unpleasant period of our lives if it were not for Papa. We hardly ever had enough to eat, there was no furniture except for a few wooden stools in the house and 2-3 cots and we used old torn clothes and Raddi papers and Kandas as fuel for the choolha. But never, for even a single moment, we had any doubts in the inevitability of all this or our capabilities to defeat it all. Papa was a graduate of Allahbad University, Political science class of 1968/69,one of the finest brains and a voracious thinker, the best debater and persuader I have seen in my entire life (I met so many of his friends, most of them in the administrative/police services and all said that he was the best and could have easily cracked the Civil services exam had he cared to appear).Even when we were eating 2 rotis a day with green chilli and Onion chutney, he made us firmly belief that money does not matter at all, it is the most useless of all the possessions that humans can have, and truth, righteousness, and our faith in ourselves are the greatest assets that we can possess and also since we possess them, we are the richest. In the cold winter nights, without proper clothes to cover us, and without any electricity or food for the next day, we will all gather around him and listen to his views on truth and propriety and what is right and what is wrong his unimaginable stories of faith and hope and will forget that we have to arr
ange for tomorrow’s food.
 Abandoned by most of our relatives, and not having much
 
social interaction with the society as such, our minds were largely unpolluted. We were fed on a constant dose of an ideology which was incredibly simple and even more incredibly strong. Nothing could move our faith from the truth and nothing could fog our sense of right and wrong. Financially, things went from bad to worse, Papa shifted from Wills to Capstan and later Bidi and even that was on credit most of the times. I used to cry when I watched him smoke a Bidi, the utter helplessness of the situation will so many times take over, but my greatest sorrow was that a person like him is smoking Bidis. That we did not have food did not bother me at all but him smoking a bidi shattered me. Just 2 years back, he was a stylish and successful businessman, having a million dreams and vision and capacity of fulfilling them and we were the aloof royalty in the small town where we lived. Later, his health deteriorated very fast. I think he knew that he will not live for very long, he tried to instill as much of him in me as he could do during the short lucid intervals that he had before my departure to the Medical college. I went to my old place a few days back. It is almost in ruins now and needs a lot of repair. Clicked a few photographs. There was a narrow Barja,a balcony with Iron grill outside our room, that opened out onto the street and the power cables were only half a feet away from there. Many of our neighbors would put a kantiya (Illegal iron hooks type of devices attached to a cable to draw power ) and I remember it very clearly, one day the local line man came and out of respect for Papa
 
and sympathy or our poor condition, suggested that we might as well use a kantiya as the power supply is so close , nobody would even notice it and that when people with so much of money can do it to run ACs, why not us who have four kids studying. Papa felt so offended by the mere
suggestion, he called me and asked “Kya Krsi
han Avtar ka beta chori ki bijli
se padega?”…There was
only one answer to that, a very firm No with so much of hate in the voice for the poor lineman to have suggested it. And so it was.Class 9
th
 to 12
th
 
, I studied in the light of small dhibaries…(Made by
piercing the cap of a bottle and putting a batti in the kerosene oil inside)and so did my brothers and sisters. But such unshakable was the value system then, that never did the thought of getting illegal. As I look back on all those days, and then look around me, I often wonder would it be ever possible for me to bring up my own kids in the same manner, with so much of conviction in the power of Truth, righteousness and hopes and dreams, with so much of communication and understandin
g . I don’t think I’m able to give
to my children even 1% of what my father gave to me. This often makes me feel inadequate and incomplete and I wonder over the strangeness of human brain, how could he have so much of control over our lives and thinking even when he was a penniless sage selling his vision to us and showing us all dreams through his eyes and how I fail to achieve even a small fraction of
it….
 

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