Turn the Page, Turn the Life | A Writer’s Battle for Survival | Help Her Win
Turn the Page, Turn the Life | A Writer’s Battle for Survival | Help Her Win

What Is Rafale Deal

What Is Rafale Deal

18 mins

“WHAT IS RAFEAL DEAL?” THEJA asked his mother as they were travelling together in the Etios. They both were sitting on the back, and his father was driving from the front. His father was working as a political activist for the past ten years after he had faced insurmountable loses in the diary business. He wasn’t earning much but he was satisfied with what he was doing. His wife Amudha was a brilliant vocalist and earning up to grand forty thousand per month. That’s the main reason why Vishal able to breath fully, otherwise it was difficult to manage his family.

“Rafale deal is nothing but buying necessary arms from the foreign government. Experts call it imports. Like how we export Assam tea to other countries,” Vishal, his father said. There was a song from zero playing on the Ishq FM, but it sounded mild and soothing. The Etios was running slowly now, since he was very much interested to converse this hot topic with his kid. He was expecting his son Theja to become a great political leader in our country. He was happy that his son had started showing interest on this. Though he was studying the sixth standard, he was willing to learn the politics earlier than he had expected.

“How much our country will spend for it?” Theja asked as tossed his hands in the air and his mouth was fully open.

His mother had rolled down the side window as the hissing wind passed inside the car and it made her long hair sway on her back.

“We spend around sixty thousand crore rupees to buy thirty six latest Rafale twin-engine fighters from France’s Dassault Aviation. These fighter aircrafts will act as a strong back bone to our army. But the sad part is that we have to rely on other countries to purchase such sensitive reconnaissance jets to face the real threat from outside our country. In fact, there are many countries are in pipeline to sell such fighter aircrafts to India. But India chose France because of some close relationship we share with them,” Vishal said. His left hand was holding the gear and clicking it down softly.

“Wow, that’s a huge amount, dad,” Theja said. “Why don’t we invest this money in our country and develop such warfare aircrafts ourselves?”

His mother was stupefied, because she didn’t expect her son would be asking this question. She wasn’t interested her son too becomes a political analyst like his father did. She had strong ideas about how to make him one of the great scientists in the world. Though she liked the way her son tossing the spicy questions at his father, she didn’t want to encourage this habit a little bit.

“Theja, why don’t you talk about the difference between gerund and uncountable pronoun?” she said with a heavy dose of hatred about the topic. Her cheeks turned yellowish red for a few seconds and then became normal eventually.

“Mom, it’s a boring subject. I hate the grammar lessons. It didn’t impress me at all,” Theja said, there was a thick disappoint crept down from his eyes.

“Hey, you aren’t supposed to speak like that,” his mother cast a furious look and tried to heave her hand on him, but revoked it back at the last second.

“What happened to you, Amudha? Let him speak his mind, no?” Vishal said with a surly expression. He didn’t like people who beat children at all. Even the last week, when he had gone to interview a MLA Kareem for writing an article about him, the minister’s wife had started beating her eleven year old boy for not going to school. Vishal immediately rushed to stop her from hitting him. Obviously, the MLA was shocked of his act and scolded him for grabbing his wife’s hand without his permission. Vishal ducked his head down and threw a sorry face and stormed out of that place immediately. He didn’t want to hang on in the house where the people didn’t know how to conduct the children.

“Vishal, stop this nonsense political talks. I am not interested the way you are misguiding our son. I wanted him to become a great scientist, but you…………” she said and threw her face aside. Her hair was tossing up and down on her back, as the soaring wind rushed inside the car again. Her eyes were streaked with little dots of tears like how the early morning fog will hung on the glass window.

Vishal put a gear down to fourth, as the Etios was racing now. It was meant that he didn’t like the way his wife was dealing the sensitive matter in a ruthless way. He felt like driving the car furiously through the signals, without verifying green or red indications. His mind was boiling like the water under fire.

“Amudha, I already told you that we shouldn’t enforce our dreams into our child’s mind. See, they have their own dreams which they would chase down in the future. I think you should better stop nosing with him,” he said, as swiveled the car from impending dash with the opposite royal enfield. It was a sudden stop, even the Etios bounced up and jerked back. Theja’s stomach was little upset by this.

“So what? You mean I should shut up my mouth and don’t speak anything?” Amudha said. It was a snappy reply. She came forward to ask this question forcibly.

“No, no, I didn’t mean like that, Amu. I said he should have the space to learn things according to his interest. Do you understand what I am trying to say?” Vishal said. There was a slight panic stood on his eyes, but he wasn’t going to lose this momentum.

“Mom and Dad, can you both stop fighting like children?” Theja said in a high screeching voice.

Amudha didn’t like the way he raised his voice. She thought he was becoming adamant and rude these days, she feared he would turn like his father and started worrying about his career.

There was splashy tears filled her eyes as she looked at her child and said, “Theja, I am telling all these just for the sake of your good future, but you?” she said in an exclaimed and alarmed voice. Her eyes bulged slightly.

“That’s okay, mom. Be calm, I won’t disappoint you. I swear on you,” he said as placed his hand over his mother’s head.

There was a sigh of relaxation wafted over her face suddenly, she was happy to hear such words. But still there was rumbling worry stood on the corners of her lips. You could read it.

“But……….” She said.

Her husband Vishal tossed away her doubts with his swooping answer, “Amudha, don’t overload your mind with anxious thoughts about our child, he will definitely become a champion, okay?” He tooted the horn since a puppy was loitering on the road without knowing where to go. Maybe it had lost her mother on the way home. Vishal knew he would have run the tyres on this puppy if his eyes didn’t fell on her luckily. But it was a euphoric experience for him. Now he had averted his attention at his wife and son.

“How?” Amudha sounded rather simple. But it was a biting remark.

“Because,” Vishal said before he conceived his thoughts in his brain, “no, you stop questioning me. All I could say now is you don’t have any rights to corrupt his mind. I mean, you should encourage him to grow the way he desired.”

“Dad, enough of your advice. I think you had done everything to keep mom from sleeping tonight peacefully,” Theja said in a slightly notorious, but a funny way. Just to rein his mother, who was already plunged into pool of unhappiness.

There was a rampant voice echoed in the car. Yes, Vishal laughed wildly for a few seconds. He liked to see his wife’s face turn reddish blue over his shoulder, but he didn’t. He knew she might hit him anytime with her balled fist at the back of his head. He hadn’t found a mute button yet to control his wife, but he was still trying to find it.

Amudha didn’t speak as if she had lost her voice all of a sudden. She folded her hands against her bosom and looked out the side window as if the nature was the only solution available to cure the wounds in her heart. She let the wind roar in her ears and kiss her cheeks. She brushed off the tendrils of her hair.

“Fine Dad, I think it’s the time to continue the discussion we have initiated earlier. Now let me know, why we should import fighter planes from other countries instead of start producing it in our country?” Theja asked.

“Because we don’t have resources to manufacture such innovative products here,” Vishal said.

“What do you mean by resources, Dad?” Theja asked enthusiastically. There was a huge anticipation crept over his soul. He moved to the edge of the seat to hear his father responding to this important question.

“I mean, our country hesitates to invest hugely in the research projects. It will take thousands of crores and heavy manpower to design and develop an indigenous aircraft. But we should realize that we are lagging in self-defense and should take an initiative to bring the best in the future, at least. That will be possible only when the government is keen in bringing changes to the defense program. They should feel guilty about shedding crores of rupees in the name of buying a few aircrafts from other countries. Instead of that they should find a better solution to develop it here,” Vishal said sarcastically. He knew he was infusing some new thoughts into his son’s mind. But he wanted him to think over it and ask a few engaging questions to nurture his son’s patriotism.

“Dad, you said we spent sixty thousand crores to strengthen our arm base. But now you are telling me that if we start spending a few thousand crores for R&D, we can able to design and manufacture defense aircrafts our own,” Theja quizzed his father righteously. On hearing this, high electric waves spun over his mother’s head. She turned her head and nodded.

But his father expected this question right away. He knew it was coming. He prepared for it.

“That’s a good question,” his father said as a small smile peeped in his eyes, “It’s because our country didn’t produce great scientists, but only few. Most of the people didn’t want to be scientists because they knew it will take life time learning. Also they didn’t chase their passion but money and end up in misery. That’s what happening now. If every individual follow his heart, we definitely would have produced thousands of scientists who would have willing to work in our country rather than going abroad to sell their knowledge to other countries. It is the most frustrating thing keep happening here. This ugly equation won’t change until this young generation knew what exactly they should do to remove such tardiness in our society. That’s why I always tell you to follow your passion and strive hard. You will find the reward at your feet if you can do that.”

His wife felt like get down from the car, she wasn’t impressed with the discussion. She thought it was unnecessary to speak such details with her kid. She didn’t have a faith that it was possible to bring change just like that. But Theja was interested and he wanted to know more about the present truth pervades in our country. His father’s response had shed some light in his mind but it only made him feel bitter about the existing fact.

“What should a kid like me do to change this awkward strategy, Dad?” Theja asked enthusiastically.

“That’s simple. Just keep doing what you love and focus on your goals tirelessly. Persevere and never give up from what you are striving to achieve even if thousands of people come your way to tell what you are doing is simply a filthy stuff,” Vishal said with a malignant voice. His head was turned to look at his wife, but only for a quick second.

“Dad, I want to become a scientist,” he said.

There was a thunderous happiness seeped into his mother’s heart. That’s all she wanted. She heard the magical word from her son. If her son would have been in the house she would have lifted him up in the air and swiveled around her. Or, she would have given him hundreds of foreign chocolates which she stacked in the fridge.

“That’s my boy,” she said with a gritty smile. Her eyes immediately went to meet her husband, who turned to see her over his shoulder. He threw a puzzled look, asking for explanation from his son. Then he plunged into driving again.

“What’s happening? Why do you want to become a scientist? I think you just biased by hearing my comments,” Vishal said. He stopped in front of the red signal, which indicated forty seconds to wait. The school was just a turn away from here. But it least bothered him. He was immersed in the conversation like he was a monk discussing about the wellbeing of others. He thought his son would tell him he wanted to become an engineer or doctor, but his response made him to sizzle and prompted to ask more.

“Yes Dad, that’s true. Because I had a vision to manufacture defense products in our country and distribute it to other nations. Like what the United States, Russia and France are doing now. I wanted to prove that we aren’t lack of any technology. I wanted to lead the company and inspire many young minds to chase their own dreams,” he said with a touch of genius. His mother wasn’t able to sit on the seat on hearing such a befitting reply. But his father didn’t convince with his answer, he had expected more from him. Still as a father he was proud of hearing such a lofty dream of his son.

The red signal was showing twenty seconds more to wait now. On each second, the bikers in the front were squeezing the accelerator as if they were ready for the F1 race. You could hear the billowing noise from their bikes. The sun was mild and soothing up in the sky, as few drivers in the cars which were idling adjacent to the Etios, drew down the side glass windows to let the cool air sneak in. It seemed like they didn’t have any interest in the air conditioners. They might have felt the chillness in the air was better than the humming ACs.

“That’s wonderful to hear, my boy. Do you know Elon Musk? He too had a tremendous passion to start his own space exploration company to launch satellites, but his dream was blasted by everyone who heard him initially. They even thought he was weird to even think of that possibility. But what happened in the end was the history. He had kicked off his dream by sending the first privately developed liquid fuel Falcon 1 rocket to place a satellite into Earth orbit. It’s a huge success. Nothing had stopped his dream to become a reality. He won finally despite so many setbacks and hurdles along the path. Yes, initially the three rockets sent by SpaceX were shattered. That meant all his savings and investments were collapsed and he came back to the bottom of the place, it was a difficult phase of his career. He didn’t even have money to launch one more rocket again. You know what he did? He had purchased the refurbished rocket with the little money he had that time. But God knew how much strength he should have had to do such an arduous task. He trusted in his ability and it made a big impact. Bang, he had succeeded in this attempt. Now you could see many more rockets going up the sky from SpaceX’s launch pad. Even NASA is ready to invest on it. That’s the way you should fight,” he said.

The people were blowing the horns as the signal turned red to green. He would have continued talking but his wife had interrupted him saying he should start the car. He immediately put the gear and drove the Etios.

“That’s really inspiring, Dad,” Theja said, as his eyes showed the gratitude towards his father.

The car had stopped just behind the school gate. There was a big neem tree grown up from inside the campus, and it branched longer even to touch on the road. But it was beautiful to look at as it gave shadow for the people to shelter under it from the sweltering sun.

“There you are,” his father had come out and opened the door for his son, who bounced off from the car and got excited. He held the pink color lunch box in his right hand and the backpack was weighing down on his back.

“Bye Dad,” he said and waved at him and turned his head to see his mother, who beamed from the back seat. She didn’t wave her hand but her eyes were still wet after hearing her son’s response. She thought her son had grown big already to talk about his future. Probably, she didn’t aware how this computerized generation was functioning in a rapid speed just like a machine. It is still debatable to call them machine though.

It took twelve years of hard work and dedication for Theja to become an aerospace engineer in IIT, Bombay. He had never expected his dream would be real just like he had dreamed. It was a fascinating reality for him when he had clutched the convocation degree in his hands on the farewell day. He got a gold medal for being the topper and already he had published four papers in the leading science journals like Present Science and The trends of Aerospace. Also he got patents under his name. He was proud about what was happening through him. He knew the importance of him and the way he had applied his knowledge in developing armaments for our country. He couldn’t wait a moment to kick start his own company, which had been already recognized by the central government. Even they were willing to invest more than thousand crores in his company, only because they had trusted him and they believed he was the young icon, who can bring tremendous change to the nation. What else a government needed than a strong minded person who was ready to serve for his country day and night? What was the biggest surprise was that the US dangled carrots to catch this fellow to serve for their country, when he had designed octo light engines aircraft which can propel its speed ferociously than any other fighter jets in the world. His design even made the Lockheed gasp on him. Actually, the aircraft can cruise at the speed of two thousand kilometers per hour, which was something a great achievement in the aerospace industry so far.

The director of the college spoke in the mic, “Dear all, I had always thought my students should be willing to take their own decisions and shouldn’t be biased by the society. Today I am proud to say that I have found such a person in this college. I know that not only me but everyone in the world knew how valuable this young guy Theja is. I only request the politicians and businessmen that they should take care of the students who are coming out of various colleges with big dreams. Everyone should support to let these bright students do their job relentlessly. That’s very important to create a momentum which would lead the country to prosper. I never believe in accusing one another, but I believe strongly in personal change which can directly impact the growth of our nation. So, let’s give a vibrant applause to the guy who is already a shining star of our country,” there was little spasm on his cheeks. The students roared with applause. This recognition only made Theja to work harder than he did earlier, he almost felt like shedding tears as he had clenched the degree certificate in his right hand. His father had seen his son’s emotional outburst from the second row, but his mother didn’t notice this. Theja did have a girlfriend Sreesha who was sitting next to his mother, who wasn’t aware of her. He didn’t convey his personal thoughts to his parents yet. He might say tonight that he was interested to marry the girl whom he was dating for more than three years. He knew she wasn’t only beautiful, but intelligent queen too. He wanted to thank her because she had always kept encouraging him to do what he wanted, even though she was little upset for he unable to spend time with her. But that was part of an advanced life, and she knew she had to have patience when it comes to love and affection. She started learning this art. But this moment she was going to shed a few tears because her boyfriend was the man of this celebration. What else a girl wanted to see than his boyfriend is praised by everyone. She felt like flinging herself on him on the stage and hugging him tightly and pour kisses on his chubby cheeks. Yes, Theja was still a chubby guy. She wanted to show this world that he was her boyfriend and she wasn’t going to let other girls’ eye on him. When it comes to love and feelings, she would never give up her desires. She had a burning love with this prodigy. That’s for sure. People might call her possessive girl, but she wasn’t going to worry about it. Who else is going to care about my Theja than me? she thought and a happy tear nudged past her soft rosy cheek. When Theja had looked at her, he gauged the exploding feelings in her. He gave her a warm nod. That’s what she needed, a gentle look from him, she felt the heavy burden on her soul was removed suddenly. She was eased. She threw a happy face and shook her head looking at his eyes eagerly. Theja knew what she had meant. He came down from the stage and his legs thrust forward to seat next to her. His mother thought he was going to speak to her, but she wasn’t shocked about his attitude either. These days she had learnt how to be a good mother and understand her son’s thoughts. She was eagerly waiting to know who the lucky girl that Theja liked to clasp her fingers. On seeing Sreesha, her face bloomed and sent a warm smile to her son. Her husband knew she had already accepted their relationship. He was the happiest father right now.


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