Yes, I Cried
Yes, I Cried
Like they show in a Dharma Productions' movie I too have had a few emotional moments. That day when I sneaked a run of an outside edge on the last ball and won a match for my sparsely populated Shradhha Society. That night my grandma asked me to give out two blankets to the children of construction site workers in the locality. That day my cousin sister brought in a pup, in our house that already had three dogs (not including the author). That day when one of my best buddies lost his dad and missed his HSC exam. That look of pride on my father's face when he saw the muti-storey building where his son works (fakes). That day when my bro looked me in the eye and lied to me, as convincingly as he could, as to how it was not my fault. That moment when Sachin came running down the ground and his hand (and head) held up after we had beaten the world. Many, to sum it up. But nothing really ever broke me down.
I mean I have felt euphoric, felt proud like never before, been as low as our salary levels but on an emotional scale it had been still not as intense. Not until yesterday morning when I went to that small shop in the neighbourhood that buys old newspapers and stuff. Packed a whole lot of old magazines and newspapers in a bag and brought it to this shop. A kid, presumably of the guy who runs the place, was playing around in the grime, with used plastic bottles and some covers of old books. Little by little the guy started putting the papers on the weighing scale. Something caught the kid's attention. He ran towards the scale, gently pulled out a few sheets of paper when his father was not watching and took them to a corner. It was a single room shop and there was no place for a child to hide his treasures but he did his best to keep them out of sight of his father. Brought a pair of scissors from some where and started cutting a picture of Sachin from an old 'The Hindu'. The father saw this, slapped him, snatched the few papers, put them on the scale, told me the weight and paid me.
At that moment something snapped. All that emotional control and fake manliness came down in an instance. I called the kid, took him to the nearest 'Posters N Prints' shop and bought him a huge 2M Tendulkar Poster and then came home and cried. Like actually shut myself in the bathroom and cried. For minutes.
I am an asshole, and I know that. This is perhaps the first time I did anything for a total stranger without hope of anything in return. Why, I have no clue, but with tears rolling down my face it dawned on me, well at least so I'd like to believe, the importance of whatever that happened.
We all have stayed at that topographical point of being a kid. The days when the feeling of liberation came from much varied ways than just kicking a beer bottle on the street at 12 A.M. coming back from office. Infact if you observe carefully, even now we divide the time in two parts - being a child and missing our childhood. Back then we all had a dream. Dream of being an actor, a cricketer, a writer, someone popular. But few years pass and the *common sense* prevails. Then life becomes a motorized machine. You assume that you have got the Admin rights to your life and thats exactly the moment you actually lose them.The difference between 'ought' and 'should' is dissolved. And an automation takes decisions on your behalf. To cut the crap, we grow up and we lower down our neck to get slaughtered.
Anyway coming back to the incident, my act was not about pride or self confidence or patriotism or nationalism. Heck it was not even about my position in the society or proving myself. I guess it was about giving hope to people who can afford nothing but dreams. People who cannot even afford a recent newspaper to see a picture of their heroes lift the cup. That kid I met yesterday, well he could be the next Dhoni or the next Sachin or may be not and will just end up like his father. Point is, at this moment, to him at least, anything seems possible. There are two hurdles in acheiving a dream. First you have to 'decide to dare' and then you have to 'dare to decide'. We all jump enthusiastically over the first one but are too lazy to cross the other. The least we can do now is to help others to step over.
I used to brag to my brother, about how I am biologically incapable of shedding tears and how even a victory in the world cup finals or the news of announcement of Sachin's retirement, will bring me to tears. Well, it didn't, not directly. But I think I owe him a confession and that blue striped PRADA t-shirt.