13-Apr-05 (Created: 13-Apr-05) | More in '05.10-Letters To My Daughter'

A man and his pride

Once upon a time there was a man. A rare bread, certainly for modern times. It was a time when pace was slow. It was a time when each event in the heavens was significant, recognized and moved on. For instance there was a keen sense of when Sun was up and when it was down. It was a time when you could tell how angular the 7 sages constellation was apart from the Northstar, called "Dhruva".

This man was not cunning. He has no means of scheme in his mind. He has no intentions of get rich quick schmes. He is what you call a very honest man. He had a reasonable amount of land and considered himself rich among peers. Ofcourse there is every reason for the peers to think otherwise. Nevertheless it is fair to say that such a thought never crossed our subject of this episode.

He felt himself so rich he made a promise to his son that however long he wants to educate himself or remain in school he would support him unconditionally. His son went through ten years of schooling, perhaps stumbling through the way. His son then went to a town nearby for the next two years to be taught in English. Instead apparently the only thing the school taught him is how to light up long tobacco filled foreign cigarets. The man, in the coming years, would recite a connected episode again and again to his grandson.

One day the man went to visit his son. The son is not available and the man walked into his room only to find bags of smoked stubs. He would recite this story now in a glee. Nevertheless he went on to support his son untile his son decides to get married and save the man of any futher expense.

On a summer night, in an open ancestral home that is degenerating faster than the man himself, he narrates this to his grandson with apparent joy and makes him the same promise which goes "If we were to sell all the land, we would do so, if you were to continue your studies, how ever far you wish to". The grandson noticed not a wish in his grandparents voice but a sense of pride that he would be able to support a dream as long as he could.

It was gladly concluded that the grandson studied so far that he had wisely spent every rupee of his grandfater until the man said, "I never thought you could study that long, perhaps you could look for a job now".