Whose fault is that!!
Short story by Ganesh Manchikanti (Infosys)
It was a normal day, all our friends gathered at our place for a cup of Tea, only to realize that we had run out of milk. After slacking and initially refusing to go, Mohammad, my roomie and I planned to get the groceries required.
Once we reached super market, our attention was caught by the sight of a small kid selling milk packets, Mohammad, intrigued, said we could buy from him, then we advanced to the place where the kid was stationed and was selling the milk packets and enquired him for the price of the same. Then started our conversation with him, we are amazed with his replies to the questions being put forward to him by us. His composure, his sensibility, his humility and his way of speaking left us amazed, because it is not expected from kids of that age. It was way more mature than his age suggested. As we were about to leave the place, we just put forward one final question to him. We asked him as to what his dream was? The reply left us in complete disarray. His reply was ”I want to study but this society is not letting me do that”. We were shocked by this reply and started wondering, how could a 7 year old kid question a society like that? Not that he isn’t entitled to, but doing so at that age was something that was completely unheard of.
We were dumbstruck when on news we heard of an explosion in the same Super Market where we had been in the morning to get our groceries. This reminded us of the kid with whom we had interaction in the morning. We were a bit worried for the kid and wanted to know his well-being. This led us back to the Super Market to have a look. The place was a total mess. It was blood everywhere. One color dominated everything there. It was red all around. The victims of the explosion were in excruciating pain calling out relentlessly for help. The scenes there would have sent chills through the spine even for the toughest of men, hence it was no surprise that we decided to move back to our flat as soon as possible. We were back home only to be haunted by those visuals we had seen that were engraved in our memory. The spot of the explosion and the failure of finding the kid there left a lump in my friend’s throat.
The very next day in the headlines, we were so surprised to hear a news which left us with no clue on how to respond to it. It was about that kid! As per the initial investigation, it was found out that he was involved in the bomb blast. We were not able to take digest this part, and so questions started raising in our mind. What? When? Why? To find solutions to our answers, we started our own bit-part investigation about that kid and we wanted to know what motivated him to do that. To our surprise we ended up in knowing so many facts. My interest in journalism made things simpler. We went to his place and started knowing about that kid, he was from a backward class who was not allowed to enter the school, but still he would be standing outside the class room and trying to learn the lessons being taught. He observed everything differently and whenever someone would discuss something with him he was very specific in his answers, then we realized whatever we thought might be correct, someone motivated him to take bag and keep that in the super market, in return he would be offered the chance to go to school. His determination to study and get educated affected him in a negative sense.
All these thoughts were running in my mind when I suddenly woke up. “Ohh!!! that’s a dream, I could not believe what has just happened in my dream”, I said to myself. Then I started to write everything down in case I forget. Everyone in my house started giving weird looks to me because that was the day for my interview in one of the famous English Daily. Everyone thought my actions were because of the tension I was going through about my impending interview, but I was worried about that kid in my dream.
Finally with many thoughts running in my mind I attended the interview, I answered to the questions being put and at last I told them the story of the kid in my dream and asked them some questions, Who should be taking the blame for all this? Is it the society? or the kid himself? How far can we accept that the kid’s idea to study caused this, should he be left education less? When we can expect that these age old social, rather unsocial practices like untouchability, would come to an end?
When I started asking these questions, everyone in the panel looked uninterested. Seeing them not in a mood to answer the unsettling questions put to them, I said this is how I feel when I look into the news, everything I hear seems to be irrelevant. So, to become a journalist I should start preparing myself asking questions that matter and that can bring about a change in the society. To this explanation of mine, everyone looked amazed. Eventually I ended by saying , “I want to put an end to this, so I want to be a journalist who should be questioning everyone and relevant to the situation. For that change I am here!!! “, which brought about a rapturous applause from the panel and a smile on my face.