Return Gift8 mins 33 8 mins 33
It was celebration time for Ankush. He had been rewarded with a big promotion, a hefty bonus and a large pay hike. So he had booked a banquet Hall in a resort on the outskirts of the city. All his colleagues and friends were invited. The party continued till late into the night. It was eat all and drink all type. Ankush had not been a miser and poured his heart out and had loosened his purse strings. The realisation dawned on Ankush that it was well past midnight and he had to go home. At home his aged parents must be waiting. But after having drinks a bit too many he was not in a position to drive. He had sent his driver home as it would be late into the night. But he would be so much inebriated he had no idea. His dilemma was solved by one friend who still had his driver in waiting. So with his help Ankush was dropped at a crossing near his home from where Ankush would walk home the rest of the way because he wanted to look normal and not drunk so that his parents would not doubt him.
But after walking a few steps Ankush felt that the going was becoming heavy and his head was spinning like a top. So he decided to sit for some time by the kerb on the pavement. After regaining his composure Ankush would get up and walk home which was just a stone's throw away.
But Ankush failed to get up. On the contrary he let his body lie down fully sprawled on the pavement. It felt so wonderful and relaxed on the ground that he fell into a deep sleep. He was lucky that he had managed to let his body on the pavement and not on the road. Because then he would not have been spared by any speeding vehicle on the dark road. The lights were somehow not lit up and the street was pitch dark. He fell into a deep sleep and started snoring very loudly and uncontrollably.
Ankush would have lain there all night but for Dhana the rickshaw wallah.
Dhana or Dhananjay had just safely deposited one late night equally drunk reveller to his home and he was now returning to his pavement dwellings. Seeing a man sprawled out unconscious on the pavement, Dhana thought it best to take him to his hut which was few metres ahead. Dhana himself had taken a few pegs from the country liquor shop which he had shared with the other rickshaw pullers. But still he was in control of himself. In his hut his wife was amused to see two drunkards. One was his husband who drank to forget his sufferings and the other the well off stranger who had enjoyed the drink to celebrate his wealth. His wife thought such is the paradox of the menfolk. This is life. One celebrates his plenty by having the drink and the other tries to dream of being wealthy some day through the help of the drink.
The next morning Ankush found himself waking up from a makeshift bed on the pavement. His hangover was almost over. His eyes first fell on Dhana who was smiling at him. Dhana narrated last night's events to Ankush. Now Ankush was really worried. He must get home. He thanked Dhana profusely and gave him his visiting card to get in touch with him in the time of need. Ankush sincerely wanted to help Dhana in anyway he could and expressed his desire to him so. After all he had saved Ankush from a huge would be a calamity.
On reaching home he found his parents looking very worried but they were much relieved to see their son safe and unscathed. Later on confidentially Ankush opened up to his mother what had happened to him. His mother listened calmly and lovingly advised Ankush that it was time he did a deep introspection that what he was doing was his doing or there were other things destined for him. This word from his mother had a deep impact on his mind. For few days he couldn't get over this thought. Then one day he confided in his mother to further guide him in the matter.
Ankush's mother was active in a peer age group which sometimes did meditation through the aegis of a Yogic society. After consultation with this society she took Ankush there. In this society Ankush was put in a regimen of yoga exercises and meditation in the form of Kriya Yoga.
For those who are not aware, Kriya Yoga is a meditation technique which takes us inside to silence, to a level of no conflict. The techniques are based on the breath the awareness and the energy centres (chakras) in the spine, developed and tested through thousands of years based on a rich and ancient tradition.
Ankush's inner conflicts calmed down slowly and he left the consumption of alcohol totally. He found himself to be at peace within himself. He found that he was able to manage stress better and workplace conflicts stopped bothering him. He now could override any problems that came his way.
At the same time he was very grateful to Dhana the rickshaw puller. Because of him Ankush had found a new meaning in life. Ankush regularly called upon Dhana and enjoyed a cup of tea at their nearby tea stall. Not to directly intervening in his privacy, Ankush tried to learn the type of skill set Dhana and likes were having and how best to improve their lot. Ankush was determined to improve the economic and living condition of the vast majority of people like Dhana.
Ankush now was in a very senior position and so he had at his disposal the idea and the source of wealth and the technique with which he could do something which would improve the life of these unfortunate people. Ankush knew that basically the lack of opportunity was the cause for these people to remain impoverished for ever.
During the trial period in which the idea was taking shape, Ankush was totally devoted in getting the infrastructure in place. He had discussions with people and professionals from every corner of the society. From the bankers to the marketing people, the technical team and the employment bureau all of them Ankush brought in the loop.
Very soon the idea took shape. A software application was developed. It was a big project. So a company was floated. Ankush resigned from his cushy job and took on two trusted friends as partners. Initially they all put all their money in the venture. It was a tremendous leap of faith. Ankush and team knew that what they were doing was going to change the pace of employment generation in the country forever. It was going to be a great service to the nation.
The company that was floated had to be tested both by forward linkages and back testing. It had to be mapped with various skill development centres throughout the country. A registry had to be created to record the labour force of the country. Mainly it was set up as a semi skilled and unskilled repository of the labour force of the nation. The employers were also brought under the umbrella of the company. And the people seeking jobs with the companies offering employment were to be matched. So advanced data analytics was to be made use of. The company for it's own need also needed large number of employees specially the people with the technical know how, the data analysts.
So it was going to be a dynamic company with all the potential to be a high growth generator. Considering the benefits of a huge demographic dividend of the country with the characteristic employable population distribution being skewed in favour of the young. India being a young country considering huge employable population. Such was the promotional content developed for the company which Ankush and his team showcased in a road show amongst the potential investors. This generated a lot of enthusiasm and resulted in generous flow of investments.
The stage was set for big bang journey ahead. The government was also very enthused to be a part of the project. There was big write ups in press and the electronic media was working non stop covering the development.
Amidst all this high voltage set up and drama, Ankush did not forget Dhana because it was he who was the catalyst for this change. Had it not been for the fortuitous meeting of the two on that ill-fated night nothing of this might have taken shape.
Dhana had been invited to take the centre stage on the show with the investors. He was portrayed as the archetype Indian unskilled Labourer who would be the prime beneficiary of this programme and with whose help the engine of growth of the massive Indian economy would start chugging. Dhana never had to look back again because his employment status would change leading indirectly to a change in his economic standards. He and his family had a better and a certain future ahead. This Return Gift to Dhana from Ankush was a unique one bearing all the hallmark of a visionary that was Ankush himself personified.