mAvErIck spEAks

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Soul Searching

It happens at times that you encounter a face and that face changes your thinking, at least for a time being and urges you to give little more that usual thought to the issues pertaining to life, its reality, its purpose and life’s other unsolved mysteries.

While shuttling between my work and home I cover a long stretch between Delhi and Gurgaon and the stretch is full of traffic junctures, busy markets and cross roads. More than often I see faces that are capable of making me go on a soul searching.

This morning I had such an encounter.

An old man in his late 60s or may be 70s; with his basket in which he had some 3 dozens of bananas to sell, barefooted, he was sitting on his pair of worn-out canvas shoes to save his already soiled dhoti, probably the only dhoti, and a ganji.

In a country like India, where poor and poverty isn’t scarce, it’s quite a usual sight. But there was something about that face. It was a weary face. Time had left many marks on it and it was visible. It invoked pity.

A quick calculation told me that after selling all his bananas, he may earn some 15 or 20 bucks and that money would get him his day’s meal.

This was the face for today.

What I kept thinking in the latter part of the day was that when man was born, the nature was at its disposal. He was a free spirit. And then, man introduced money-currency-moolah; call it whatever, it meant power - the power to buy things for consumption. The greater the power, the more capable we become. And those with lesser power or no power live an insect’s life; a foot can stomp them anytime; time’s foot.

What have we done to the world.


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