The Genius Rebel
The Genius Rebel11 mins 500 11 mins 500
Vish always wondered what is wrong with the world around him. Actually, his name is Vishwanath Sharma. His parents and siblings call him Vishu but he never liked his name. As a compromise, he settled to Vish.
He would respond only when others call him Vis or Vish. His parents were against the word Vish which means poison. Once they expressed their dislike, Vish became even more insistent on being called Vish. His family never understood his ways but they had no skills to convince him with their ideas and practices because winning Vish in arguments or discussions is out of the question.
The knowledge and oratory skills of Vish are far more above their levels. In fact, no one could ever win a debate or a competition with him. His I.Q. is very high. Always excellent in academics, he needed no coaching or guidance to solve any complex problem. Everything is a child‘s play for Vish.
So, thus there is no question of anyone countering or teaching him anything let alone his family. However, one cannot say that Vish is a happy being. He simply cannot accept the things as they are. Everything looks so remote and old fashioned to him. It is not about just his surroundings, the whole world is like some boring entertainment piece for him. The world, its ways, all the pleasures and pains of people look like a silly game something that is unnecessary and unwarranted.
For the family and friends, he is a rebel. But that is not the case. Vish is a man from the future or at least he thinks so. Whenever he watches some science fiction of the future he enjoys it. He feels connected to it.
Vish started believing that he doesn’t belong to the present era and he is someone from the future age maybe 500 years into the future. He always feels out of place with everything and everybody.
But his real problem is, he has to stay and live in this very world. Many times he starts wondering there might be some planet where he could meet people of his level.
There is only one thing that he enjoys the most amidst all his agony. And that is sports. He plays and enjoys all sports. He is good at every sport he plays and in fact, he is excellent.
In fact, he could have taken sports as a career and would become a national pride but the problem is, he cannot stick to rules. He lacks patience. He cannot obey any coach or any sports administrative body which has a set of its own rules and discipline.
Hence sporting career is also out of his life. However, he is popular for his talents and everyone admires and likes him. He takes many challenges and bets and wins each of them. He makes a lot of money and people’s admiration for that. He has his own local fans. However, all are scared of his temper. Still, he is a hero for everyone.
Silently Vish looks for inspiration and motivation for his life.
He thinks he cannot have a normal man’s life like having his own family and children. He doesn’t even have the ambition to achieve anything. With his talents and skills, he does some part-time jobs and special assignments which fetch him good remuneration. Money, resources and survival are not a problem for him. His sole problem is adjustment in the present world.
Secretly he met some monks and mystics to know and understand the purpose of life. Even they couldn’t give him satisfying answers or solutions. Then he understood that these monks, mystics and gurus can guide (or misguide) people of average intelligence who are mediocre at all levels and not him.
Amidst all this, he takes care not to hurt or insult anyone especially family and friends. Vish accepts invitations, attends parties and events, plays games gives speeches and tries to be part of the events as long as he is there. But that is all there is to it. At heart, he is a lone man looking for inspiration, challenges and amusement matching his level. Even his family and siblings are not aware of his inner thoughts.
Vish decides to explore the nature and its mysteries to understand how this existence deals with those ever posing challenges in front of it. He travels widely across the country and many regions of the great Himalayas. This quest brings some peace to his anguished soul as he gets some kind of enlightenment about the ways of the universe. He comes back as a calm man yet there is no happiness. The hollowness of the soul (maybe due to lack of a companion) is felt by him.
One evening, he set out to wander in the neighbourhood and after an hour of walk, he decided to relax in the garden of the neighbourhood. He sat there maybe for half an hour lost in his own thoughts when he was startled to find a small child saying something to him.
“Mister, why are you so sad? Do you have some problem?” said a child around 8 years keenly watching Vish.
Vish gets shocked at this kind of question as no one till date had asked him such a question. ”Me, and problem, No way!” was the spontaneous reply.
“Then why are you so sad? Have you lost something? Or has someone dear fought with you?” again the child quizzed. This question troubled Vish even more. No one has ever seen Vish to be sad or had ever dared to ask such a question.”
“How can a child barely eight years say that to me? Maybe this boy doesn’t know who I am? Let me have a chat with this boy”, thinking this Vish decides to have a small chat with the boy.
“What is your name my dear? Do you know who I am? And what makes you say that I am sad” Vish counters the boy.
The boy smiled. He puts his hand on his chest and says,” I am Apoorva. I know you. You are our hero. No one can beat you in any sport. All my friends talk about you. I also admire you. I saw you many times before. But I never saw you this close. Oh my god! I am so… happy. Can I shake my hand with you?”, the boy says all this in one breath.
“NO problem dear. Let us shake our hands. Nice to meet you, Apoorva”. Vish extends his hand for the handshake. The little boy first wipes his hand with his shirt and extends the hand. Vish held the child’s hand firmly. The hand was a little cold. He noticed that the boy’s face was glowing and looked very cute.
Some emotions were running through Vish which he never felt before. Now again he posed the question about his sadness. “Apoorva, what makes you think that I am sad? I am not sad,” says Vish to the child.
The boy was about to say something when some children came running to Apoorva and said,” Appu, your mom is looking for you. She is calling you. She says you have to go to a party tonight. She wants you to rush to your home and complete schoolwork before you go to the party. Come, let’s go”
Apoorva leaves with boys. Before leaving he takes a promise from Vish that he would come there the following day to continue the conversation.
“Now I have to wait till tomorrow to know how this boy got to know about my sadness” Vish had a sigh and left the garden.
Now he is no longer sad. He is filled with curiosity. That night, he could not sleep well. In the morning, as usual, he set out for jogging. En route, he ran past a chaiwala( tea vendor) whom he saw every day. He decided to have tea after completing his daily exercise.
The tea vendor was a bit surprised to see Vish at his stall. “Good morning Sir, what will you have? Please sit on this bench” said the chaiwala. Vish asked for tea and the chaiwaala gave it to him.
The chaiwala then wrapped two buns in a piece of paper and took a glass of tea and went to the other side of the road. Vish was watching him. There was a tree and he saw a man in rags and with unkempt dirty hair sitting under the tree. The man looked like a beggar and did not seem to be in his senses. As the chai waala gave the tea and buns the man eagerly grabbed and started having them.
Now Vish recalled seeing that man every day at the same place. He got a little curious and as the chai wala returned to his stall, he asked about the man. The chai wala said that he also knew nothing about him. He gave that man something to eat every day. That man would sit silently and would stare at things aimlessly, or sometimes laughing to himself and sometimes tears would roll down his cheeks. He wandered here and there and would come back again and sit in that very place. The chaiwala said that the man’s relatives must have brought him and abandoned him there.
Vish thought for a while and took out one thousand rupees from his wallet (he always keeps a wallet and some money with him as a rule) and giving it to the chaiwala, he said” Can you get a pair of clothes for this man? Also if you can arrange for this man’s hair cut and bath it would be better. It seems it has been ages since the man bathed. I will bear the expenses. I will bear all the expenses.”
The chai wala said,” that is not a problem, sir. I myself wanted to that but, will that help him? When he looks decent and clean will anyone take pity and feed him? With a decent look what if when he stares at people like girls or children others treat him as a pervert and beat him. This man is defenceless. And how long can that cleanliness last? Such thoughts stop me from doing what you want for him. But if you insist I can arrange for what you have asked”
Vish thought for a while and said, “Then how can I help him? I really want to help this man”
The chaiwala said “Taking him to some good asylum and exploring treatment options and planning for his rehabilitation are the best things for him. I was thinking about all these things over the past few months. But I have neither money nor resources or approaches to do so. I barely meet my both ends with this tea stall. I was praying to god that some rich man with a kind heart come this way, look at this man and do something for him. It is really painful to see a young person like that.”
Vish listened to the chai wala with full attention. Being a genius he is, his brain has already started chalking out a plan for the helpless man. He then said,” Okay then let me see what I can do for him. Now there are two people thinking about him. Let us discuss about it tomorrow. By the way, my name is Vishwanath. May I know your name?”
There was respect and politeness in the manner Vish said those words to the chaiwala.
The chaiwala said,” Sir, you’re a very well-known person here. All the kids and youngsters admire you and talk about you. How would I not know you? I actually felt honoured with your today’s visit and all this exchange. It is like a dream for me. My name is Anand. I am a High School pass out. Sir, you have made my day today in many ways. Thank you, sir.”
“The pleasure is mine. It is nice meeting you. I will come tomorrow with some plan for the man.”, Vish said this and took leave from the chaiwala.
As he walking back to his home, Vish found that something was changing within him. On the way back, he saw one old man trying to reach out the branches of a creeper with some sweet-smelling flowers.
Vish looked at the old man who was barely able to stand firmly and said, “Can I help you, sir?”
“Sure, please pluck out those flowers for me. My wife was asking my grandchildren but they are too busy to pluck flowers for her. Now I want to get these flowers for her and for the smile she gives me in return. And don’t hesitate. This is my own house.”, the old man said. And when Vish obliged him the old man thanked him. More than the words it was the smile on the senior’s face that gave immense pleasure to Vish.
As Vish reached home some new revelation struck him. As if his ever tormenting questions are answered. He understood that if you look at others with attention and concern, you can see if the other person is sad or not. It is not rocket science. In his case own attitude kept people from coming close and expressing freely.
Vish met Apoorva in the evening as promised and made acquaintance with him. He decided to spend some time with children whenever it is possible.
He started understanding how people care for their own people and others. They do so to help others which in turn gives them satisfaction. In that process, for a while, one forgets about his self and thinks about others. One need not be a genius to do his little part in the world. And there are many problems that even geniuses cannot solve. He realized he could use his skill in many areas which would help others as well as give some peace to his own self.
He understood how one can get inspiration from many sources provided he is ready to receive. Vish has decided to be alert towards the surroundings and people around, be a sensitive and sensible human being. His mind has already chalked out Blueprint of Social care campaign aimed at making a better society
And now, the Rebel, the self-declared future man, is transforming himself into a fine human being working for the better future of mankind.
Vish becomes Vishwanath