Thursday, March 05, 2015

Let's Look Up To Optimism

I was tired, angry and frustrated. And I had my reasons. No, I am not the type of guy who keeps complaining about every little thing in life, but when dreams do not get fulfilled, it does hurt, very badly.

As days and weeks passed by, the wait was proving to be an unending one. Jobs interviews were turning out to be an irritating affair, and with every passing failure, my confidence was diminishing bit by bit. When would destiny smile on me? When would I be able to hear the precious words ‘You are selected’?

I had neither a clue, nor an idea as to what to do next. I stopped talking to people, my family and my friends. I stayed locked in my room, all day, contemplating about what life has to offer. Was this my fate? When would the sun rise?

Another failed interview and I was on my way back home. It was a hot May afternoon, and I was thirsty. I stopped outside a road side stall where lime water was available for a few rupees. A little boy, who was probably in his early teens, manned the shop.

I asked for a glass of cold lime water. He obliged and I paid him. He then pointed towards his left, where a food stall stood, asking me if I wanted anything to eat. Towards his right, I also noticed an ice cream cart.

“Do you manage all these three shops all by yourself?”

“Yes Sir,” he said.

“But what about your parents? They should send you to school. They can take care of these shops.”

He was silent for a few minutes, and then replied, “Sir, my father is blind. My mother is sick and weak. I cannot let them work in such conditions. I am their only child, the light of their future. I have big dreams, for me and my parents. But we are born poor. We cannot afford medical facilities. Hospitals charge a lot. How can I get the money? The only way is to work, and that’s what I am doing. I go to morning school, and then work from afternoon to night, saving whatever little I can. I will be a doctor when I grow up, treating my parents, and every poor person in this country free of cost.”

I was taken aback by his firm resoluteness. Here I was, wondering about job interviews, sitting in my leisurely home, having all the basic needs of life, and yet stooping down with minor failures. On the other hand, this little child had a smile on his face inspite of facing such hardships and struggle at such an early age. When I was in my teens the only worry used to be regarding my mathematics home work, but this kid was handling personal turmoil each and every day.

Suddenly, out of the blue, he asked, “Are you upset about your life, Sir?”

I was numb. I nodded.

He smiled again, and said, “Don’t be. Life actually moves in a rhythm. After every low, comes a high, and vice versa. You might be experiencing a bad time now, but tomorrow will be a new day, a new dawn. Trust me Sir, life isn’t as bad as it seems. There are people who are worse affected than you and me. But we have to go on. If we don’t move through the dark, how can we come out in the light?”

His words left me amazed, a small child talking like a sage. “What’s your name, boy?” I asked.

The smile never left his face throughout our conversation, “My friends call me Chhotu. My parents have named me Swapn. They say I will fulfill their dream, someday.”

“So you will,” tears welled in my eyes. I left the place before he could see me cry. However, these were not tears of grief or sorrow, but instead they denoted a fresh enthusiasm and a mystical feeling of peace. I felt an ambiance of optimism all around me. People have struggles, but that’s what makes them strong. I decided to work harder, with renewed vigor. I sensed that good times are near, and they will approach soon.

Next month I got a job in a big multi national firm. My dreams were finally taking shape. After a month of joining, I was transferred to another city where I worked hard and grew higher up in my career.

A few years later, on one of my visits to my hometown, I was walking down the same path where I had met that boy on a sultry May afternoon. He was nowhere to be seen. His stall too was not there. I walked towards a neighboring shop and asked about the whereabouts of Swapn.

“Ah chhotu. Sir he has made us all so proud. He was offered a meritorious scholarship by the Government and has joined a medical college. Very soon he will be a doctor,” the shop owner beamed with pride.

I smiled, I laughed, and danced. Life indeed is about courage, strength, hope and optimism. Do not be scared of the dark. Instead, endure the pain, ‘cause the light isn’t too far ahead.

I looked up to the skies. The heavens rained in joy, drenching me and the world in new promises of tomorrow.

This is my official post inspired by - Look Up.


  1. That was a beautiful tale laden with optimism, faith and hope. I loved every trance you showcased here. :) :) What's up Greeny ? All busy with life . Huh ? :) :D

  2. that was really touching. It is very saddening to see kids toiling like that.

  3. Really touching post. Thanks for this.

  4. this is a very cool story...and what a wise boy...
    he knew...and he shared...because he could read you as well
    he will go far, i am sure.

  5. Wonderful tale. Yup, we just need to look around, ahead, and up....Beautiful!

  6. Sweet story it is.. loved the way it was flowing.. and how brief yet so completely described each and every thing was.. Well done Amrit :)


  7. A powerful tale and it depends on our attitude. You write and with the right mindset, we can conquer the world. I also keep getting frustrated with life defeat and wonder whether there is light at the end of the tunnel but looking at those innocent beings, hope is rekindled.