I sometimes wonder if I am the exceptional case because I’ve heard that guys have the inherent ability to sometimes just sit alone in a corner and think of nothing. I mean just blank and empty mind. That is never the case with me.My mind is like a driver less steam train chugging on an imaginary rail track.I need to constantly think of something innovative so that my steam train doesn’t run out of track and wreak havoc in my social life. It’s a monster that I created whom I have to feed every minute with thoughts,no matter how stupid they are. Nonetheless my mind gives me courage,strength and all sorts of ammunition demanded by me. Socrates once fought with an entire conclave of scholars who held that courage means sticking to your post even in danger. Socrates simply asked,what if good strategy demanded that you leave your post. The baffled conclave then agreed to the definition proposed by Socrates which said”Courage is the ability of our mind to do what seems right even in the darkest of times.”
I still remember the incident a few years back when I wanted not only courage but hope too; and guess what I got both and that too from unexpected quarters. I was preparing for my 12th examinations then and me and my friends decided to stay till late in our college. I was 17 then and now when I look back I understand why people say that teenage years are the most volatile years of your life. As usual our group study in our college classroom was more of a group chat than study. We didn’t have Whatsapp and android phones then and maybe that’s what made those years, one of the best years of my life. Everything was hunky dory when suddenly my old Nokia phone rang. It was my mom’s call and she sounded a bit different from normal. She spoke like she was reading out of a script. She asked me to come home immediately. I asked her if everything’s alright. She reiterated her message and hung up the call.
My mind warned me that something’s definitely wrong. I boarded the earliest train to my destination. I was home within 20 minutes. As soon as I reached home, I saw my mom and my sister seated on the front porch. Their faces looked terrified and were constantly staring at a distant wall. I thought my mom just had a huge fight with my dad and she’s apparently still mad about it. But I couldn’t find dad anywhere so I silently asked mom”Where’s Dad?”. Mom said with a firm but sad voice “He just had a low blood sugar attack. He collapsed on the floor and had to be immediately admitted to the hospital.” I could have bet this was the worst thing that could have happened to me. Luckily it was nothing serious and all my relatives rushed to the hospital . Mom came back home to arrange something for Dad to eat after she was convinced he was fine.
I thanked God that I never got here an opportunity to show my courage because anyway why would I ask for a perilous situation.Better to stay away. So, since my dad was a government employee, I was supposed to travel to the Government Health Scheme Office to reimburse the medical bills. My sarcastic mind said that finally my Dad gets to actually avail the benefits his job gave him. Anyway, I was travelling in a local train and it was quite a long journey. As my destination neared, I stood near the door just to get some fresh air. As usual,a coach ahead I could see some assholes were doing stunts waving their arms out. I quietly ignored their stupidity and let the two assholes do their stunts.
The next thing which happened, happened so fast that my awesome brain couldn’t process that much data within seconds. Apparently, the assholes thought they were an exotic Russian ballet and were gracefully waving their arms dodging the railway poles. The pole dodging continued for a while and the fun ended when one of the asshole forgot to lower his arm on time. The impact of the incoming pole on his arm was so huge that it shook his body like Shakira and he collapsed. Physics laws say that a fast-moving train creates partial vacuum under its wheels, so as per the laws the pole-hit battered asshole collapsed and got sucked right under the wheels. The next thing I witnessed, a six feet tall guy turning into mayonnaise. Blood splattered all over the outer body of the train compartment along with a few droplets on my jeans.
It was my turn to shake like Shakira. I moved away from the door and sat inside trembling like anything. The blood droplets on my jeans were too few to be noticed but at that moment I felt like tearing off my pants and running back home naked. None of my philosophy on courage seemed to work at that time because life had just thrown at me the worst day one could ever have. I couldn’t sleep for the next few days which were really gloomy. Somehow the streak of bad days were just not ending. The following week my college office called me up asking me to come to college immediately. I obliged and went to college.
I was called in the principal’s office along with my friends. My friends told me that some documents were missing from the office and principal suspected that one of us stole it. Now to start with, we were the only guys in college last week when it all happened but we were nowhere near the office. Anyway why would we even think of stealing some worthless documents from the office. But the principal was an Indian version of Adolf Hitler and he ruled the college with an iron fist. So he pulled up everyone who was in college at that time. My class professor who knew me and my group came in to interrogate all of us. For some reason, my friends were perspiring and trembling as if they were the perpetrators. Me on the other hand was just confused and a bit embarrassed because this was my first meeting with my principal and that too for an interrogation. I just convinced myself that this was just one of those bad days and I have no option but to suffer in silence.
My class Professor called me in the principal’s cabin and it all started. Both the principal and Professor were looking daggers at me. I was supposed to be scared at that time, but I just maintained eye contact with both of them. Maybe that is what courage is, my mind said to me. Professor without asking me a single question turned towards principal and said “I know this boy well. I don’t think he has committed this crime…”. To my surprise, even principal nodded and asked me to leave. I left the cabin with a blank expression. My mind blacked out in the same way as it did when I witnessed the accident a week ago. The only difference was that this time was smiling and wondering what just happened. A professor who just taught us a few chapters and a principal cum dictator who probably never saw me, just looked at my face and gave me a clean chit. My brain tried a lot to think analytically and then established the fact that my face looked innocent.
Nevertheless the past two weeks made me learn a lot about how complex life can be. Everyone goes through bad times or ‘blood’ times as in my case ,where so many bad incidences occur that you just lose hope in everything. But just when you have lost all faith, a ray of hope arrives from the most unexpected quarters. All you need to do,as Socrates said, is stick to your post no matter whether you’re facing good times or ‘ blood times’……