Quest For Next
Quest For Next
This is the 21st century and all are very busy in running after our goals. In the center of the city Narendra is sitting in his old house alone. He is now 90 years old. Staying alone in this house with only some little hopes and more old memories. He laughs and sometimes wonder when the "Quest For Next"will be over? The time is on its track.
Narendra leaned back on the chair and closed his eyes. He went back to the past. He could remember things since he was five years old. Those days this house was surrounded by the beauty of greenery. Backside was the garden of vegetables. Left side of house was having a beautiful pond. The right side was a narrow road. Front side the garden of flowers and middle of that a passage to go out from house to the main road. Still he remembers the happiness used to get people to catch fish from the pond and swimming in the water. The fresh vegetables his mother used get from the farmer in the back side and the taste was really awesome.
His father used to take him out from the house through the passage of the garden to the main road and from there to the school. While walking through that passage he used to touch the flowers and feel the softness with a lovely fragrance. His father let him sat in front of the bicycle and drove him to school. He had the most precious time during his school days. The teacher used to check our nails and shirts as soon as the prayer was over. There used to be a line and after the checking, they were entering the class room. This was done to teach us the lessons of cleanliness. There used to be a big play ground where they used to play different games.
Now the things had changed. The backside vegetable garden is replaced with a multi-storied building. No cultivation of vegetables and no fresh vegetables. The pond on left side now is no more and big market complex is there giving all sound and air pollution instead of water, swimming, fresh fish. The flower garden in front side had left a small concrete road in middle having flats on both sides. Only a small place is left with few flower plants as Narendra loves to spend some time with them. His children had decided and made these flats built for commercial purposes. All these are the result of the "Quest For Next".
The school where he had his first education now looks like no man's place. Building of school is been damaged. The playground is no more in existence and it became market place. In one corner people are throwing garbages and it gives stinking smells. Teachers are less and no time for them to check the nails, shirts of kids.
The teaching of cleanliness is now only a small theoretical talk and no practical training. The number of students are now is very less as the new private schools are attracting all. This is another effect of "Quest For Next".
Narendra remembered though he wanted his two sons to be admitted to his school, but due to his wife's pressure, he made them admitted to the newly built private school. His children were doing well in school. He remembered the day his wife forced him to go for a scooter. She argued being an administrative officer of class -1 category it didn't suit to ride the bicycle. His children too were on her side. Then Narendra booked the Scooter and purchased it after six months, when his serial number came. He became so much habituated with scooter that for the smallest distance too was going by it. The bicycle of his father is still standing in a corner of the garage as if waiting for its rider.
Then the time was having its run. Narendra's sons completed schooling and got admitted to the best college of the city. On their demand and wife's pressure, he gave them the newly launched scooter.
By this time the back side and left side of his house was been replaced. No vegetable garden and no pond for swimming. Also the number of two wheelers were been increasing everyday. The fresh air of the city started getting disturbed with solutions. His sons gone for Engineering course and their scooter was left here. They completed their education and got engaged in multinational companies. Now they are out of the country. They never had the interest to go for government jobs. Always they used to argue that no scope for a better lifestyle in government jobs. Probably they were forgetting that the lifestyle they were searching could be there only through the help of the government job of their father. All of them were in their colourful world and that made them selfish. Always thinking of new life, new amusement, new place. Narendra was a silent witness of the destruction of nature in the name of development. All were in the "Quest For Next".
Narendra got his both sons married. For three-four months it was a happy family with everybody being there. Then both the sons left Narendra and his wife and taken their family with them. They were very busy with their work. Then some happiness added to Narendra's life, when he bacame grand father and wife grand mother. They both had gone to their place to see their grand children and came back. The place of their staying was made him suffocated and he returned with his wife. By that time Narendra was also retired from his job.
Both of them were staying alone and passing the life. The emptiness of love, affection, and caring was always asking him questions. Then the dreaded night came in his life when he lost his wife. It was unbearable for him. He had waited for three days for his sons to arrive and to complete the rituals of his wife. The rituals after death also have to wait. After completing all the rituals both his sons told him to have separate flats on both sides of the front of the house to replace the flower garden. Narendra was silent as his pains were unbearable. They gave the job to a builder and left for their workplace. Everything around Narendra was changed. The vegetable garden, the pond, the school, the cleanliness, the teachings, the family life, the lifestyle, the environment, the relationship, the culture, his own children, and his age.
Now he is alone. Narendra is having everything, but not the taste of fresh vegetables, the sight of catching fish, the soft touch of fresh flowers, the love and care of teachers, the argument and logic of his wife and his children and grandchildren with him to enjoy. This was giving him so much pain that he could feel that his legs are going paralysed. The tears are rolling down from his eyes. Only he was wondering when this "Quest For Next " will end!!!!