The leaves of bad memories make a mournful rustling in the dark. We all wish we could erase some dark times in our lives. But all the experiences of life, bad and good, make us who we are. Erasing any of life's experiences would be a great mistake.
It was the eighth semester of engineering. One Monday morning I was trying to kick-start my scooter to get to college. After relentlessly trying for about 10 mins, exhausted I looked around to seek help. I could see no one except a poor girl sitting on the ground and reading a book. She looked at me with the expression of intending to offer help. I looked at her arrogantly blasted her for sitting and staring at the situation without even lifting a finger. She rushed towards the vehicle but it was quite evident that she had never touched any vehicle till then and had no idea whatsoever to get it move.
Helpless and restless, I decided to wait for my friend. Meanwhile I asked her who she was and what was she doing there. She said that she was Lakshmi, daughter our hostel watchman and was preparing for her exam. “Exam? What exam?” I asked her. She lifted her eyes and said “The IAS exam”. Her answer took me by shock; and that shock gave way to a demeaning smile or smirk as you may call it. That one gesture would’ve hurt her deeply and provoked her to justify her stance. She started explaining that she had appeared for the exam last year, how she missed her prelims’ by a few marks and how determined she is to clinch the top spot this time. I couldn’t take it anymore. As soon as I saw my friend I left Lakshmi curtly and started walking to the college.
Now, to get to the college, there were two routes to choose from
1) The main road that leads from our front gate of our hostel to the college
2) The muddy lane that leads from the side gate of our hostel to college.
Like everyone else we choose the 2nd path as we believed that it was the shortest route to college probably because we could see our college all the time. Where as from the main road, we couldn’t see our college from our hostel as many buildings had come up on both sides of the main road. My friend casually remarked that a civil engineering department land survey had shown that the muddy lane was longer than the main road from hostel to college. It was very surprising and contrary to popular belief.
Strange enough! That day, I couldn’t concentrate on the lecture at all. Something within was disturbing me and I was at unease. After the first hour of lecture I came back to hostel by the same muddy lane and could still see Lakshmi with her book. My mind was turbulent.
In perspective the two different incidents, seemingly distinct but profoundly related….That muddy lane is a fundamental phenomenon that works in all our lives when we can see our destination the journey seems shorter and enjoyable, pleasant and cherishing. All the obstacles and hardships that we encounter in the course of path seem manageable as we are driven by a larger vision of our destination. On the contrary when we do not see our destination journey becomes longer, tiring and unpleasant. That day, for the first time in my life I realized the importance of having a vision in life and foreseeing our future as we expect it to be, because whole world paves way for a person who knows where he/she is going. This fact was reiterated by the other incident of meeting Lakshmi, who had cultivated an unthinkable vision among her peer fraternity and above all showed that pursuit and determination to realize her vision.
Lakshmi couldn’t make it to IAS cadre however she had managed to get a very good rank in (IRS) Indian revenue services and as the time bears the testimony she is the district revenue officer of Nashik, Maharashtra. Looking back I am ever thankful to her for teaching me the lesson “never underestimate anybody’s capacity and dream including our own for “If our hearts can conceive it and our minds can visualize it, we can achieve it”