CLING ON & SHARPEN – ABIN LESLY

Author : Abin Lesly
Company : THOUGHTLINE TECHNOLOGIES, PHASE III
Email : abinleslyva@gmail.com

CLING ON & SHARPEN

Yes,Indeed , Today  is one of the best days in my life; not just because of the recognition I received but  I know that I have set a path ahead for people like 20 year old Rohan, confused and anxious on how to move forward in life.”  Rohan replied to the  reporter who came for an exclusive interview later that evening. Expecting some sensational stuff, the reporter jumped onto the obvious question “Sir, Having touched your  Dream, we would like to hear that awesome story behind ”. Rohan’s  face lit up; He knew that was coming. With a smile on his face Rohan started off “ My friend, Its been a long journey. I would love to tell you but only if you won’t cut me in between” . “No Sir, I want to to hear it to the core without missing a single bit and I know that many are waiting for the same”.”Hahahaha…I wish I could tell a story with lot of twists and turns but then that’s not mine. Mine is that of a common man without any extra ordinary talents.  Let’s start from the very beginning. There are not much memorable moments in my childhood . I remember shifting schools very two or three years not because of my behavior but my father would receive work transfer every now and then. For places within the state we would accompany him, else he moves alone. So when we finally decided to settle down at Cochin, I couldn’t find  a so called ‘gang’ or friend circle. People thought I was either too old or too young to join them. Like every other  student , I had no clue whatsoever about my future. Final exams were over and all of a sudden there was a huge cloud of confusion around; Everyone took either engineering , or medicine. Son to an innocent man who faints on the very sight of blood, I knew that medicine was certainly not my path. I was offered a seat at a private engineering college in Trivandrum. It was at the last allotment that I finally got a seat. I had some serious conversations with God before the final allotments ;it was only God’s grace that let me in . I had nurtured a special relationship with God , infact he was the only friend who stayed with me throughout, all others were for a two-three year contract.. College days were really memorable and went by quick and fast. I learned to make good friendships, also to share and sacrifice which are the fundamentals that one learns being in hostel.  Having strong inferiority complex ruling within, I never thought of having girlfriends. I kept a rude face to them. It was only after college that I made some valuable friends who happen to be girls. Some of them are still in touch. They would tell me how much fearful they were to come besides me. They thought that I was some kind of an anti-feminist or something. Even now, I laugh thinking how foolish I was. After college, I was desperate to find a job. Appa was retiring and I was under huge pressure. I managed to finally find one at Technopark, the IT hub of kerala. It was a small but relatively growing firm with an employee friendly atmosphere. I found it very difficult to sync with the Techie culture ; I wanted to live life freely and enjoy. There was always a filmy imagination within me about park and its life. There were only beauty,fun and smiles here in my dreams . When I came to park as part of College visit , I was amazed seeing the culture this place nurtured. Beautiful scenaries, Well engineered buildings, Disciplined and neatly dressed people moving around, Foodcourts and clubs. It had basically everything that one needed. A place where people from different cultures and tradition come together and built a new culture and tradition. I wanted to be a part of it. Two months after working here, all my crystal frames broke down. It was like the poet says, ‘Though made of gold and beautiful, a Cage still remains as one’. People outside mesmerize at its awesomeness but those inside are actually prisoners. That was how I saw it. I think many Techies see it the same way. This made my life at park as that of a prisoner’s, On top of that I always wanted people to respect and recognize me everywhere which never happened.  I thought that I was the ‘Cool-guy’ around for sometime but suddenly was surrounded by more handsome and much more beautiful people. Soon, I found myself sitting alone with a coffee cup and opposite to my table a group of people having lot of fun. People talked less and tried to avoid me because I never gave them the respect they wished. I was always searching for mine.

                                My life was entering a stage of ‘Robotisation’ . I found failures both at work and in life. Speaking of friends, there were two, an old clock and a pillow. It was an automated journey without a purpose. My travels were restricted to Room-office shuttles day and night. Deserts started appearing on top and forests began to grow on my cheeks but I never felt necessary to look clean. My phone became a silent partner ringing once in a while with the family tone. I dint take alcohol but was alcoholic, dint smoke but was pathetic than a chain smoker. I preferred staying in my room during weekends except once or twice when I went for a casual visit home. My only connection to the outside world was Shiva, the fast food guy. He was a very polite and friendly to me but that too for a reason. Probably, I was the only regular customer he had and the tester to all his experiments.  It was not a problem for me because everything tasted the same. My tongue had already lost its taste just like my life. I preferred to stay long at Office with computers but not to anyone’s benefit. I just dint know what to do after work. At the age of 25, I was already adopted to an old man’s lifestyle. My health deteriorated and I felt that I was losing physical power. I dint know what kept me alive.

                It was August 14th , when God decided to change everything for me. As 15th was a national holiday, I planned ahead and booked a ticket back home. I left office early to catch the evening Madras mail. Being just a two day off, I dint carry much of a luggage with me. On seeing the huge crowd, I felt happy having booked the seat. One seat next to me sat an old lady, who kept on murmuring something which was a habitual process of people in that age. It was almost the departure time, when someone jumped in and asked me to help with the luggage outside. Recognizing a female tone, I did what I always did in such situations, turned my face aside; but she pulled my hand and there was a sudden pulse of energy shooting from her hands to my whole body. I dint know what was going on, seconds later I found myself carrying her luggage one after the other onto the compartment. The train signaled and started off before I could enter. I had to run and make a risky jump to catch on. After settling down her goods, she sat next to me and went for an intro “Hi, I am Priya …that was great help, sorry to bother you..” and blah-blah. I looked at her with an angry gesture and I thought that paid off. She suddenly became mute for a minute before she started the song once again. I felt like sitting in the hostel  TV hall during first year and listening to a program that I hate the most. The thing is I want to get away but seniors wont allow me to. After several failed attempts, she finally decided to leave me alone. When the train reached kollam junction, I went out to grab some snacks and a bottle of water. Coming back, I noticed that the old lady was far asleep and the ‘ girl next seat’ was reading a book with music in her ears. Multitalented , I thought. After eating some , I kept the snacks and water besides me. Immediately she grabbed the lays packet , started having some and paused to drink from the bottle. Everything was over in a minute. I wished to slap her but held on .She started again “I dint have anything from morning. Sorry about that”.I kept silent. She focused on the book for a minute and came back again “What a waste of time. I  regret having wasted my money on this book”. I couldn’t stand it anymore. It was Paulo Coelho’s ‘Like the flowing river’. I asked her to keep silent if she did not understand the inner meanings of what was written. I was a great fan of Coelho and  admired the way he conveyed deeper thoughts in simple ways. She dint seem to give up and soon we were into a big argument.”Ok. Tell me what deeper things you got of this book” she asked in a funny tone and I began explaining about the inner meanings of each word written. She listened to me with a little child’s anxiety and I noticed that her eyes were sparkling. Later, She apologized for what she had said.”You must be a good reader..right?” She asked. “I used to read, not anymore” I replied.”I think you can be a very influential writer too” She said. That struck deep inside my heart where I had long buried my Dream. I started telling her about my Dream of becoming a writer. I told her how I wished to sit  next to someone who is reading my book  and telling his friend how influential it is, without even knowing me. Speaking of my dream, I would like to tell from where it began. I never thought about writing books, before my class teacher, Seema miss who also happened to be our house teacher asked me to join for the Inter-house short story writing contest. She might have wanted to get some points of participation for the house ;  I don’t know whether she actually saw a writer in me. Anyway that was when I started my writing skills. I ended up getting first in the school level and in the regional level CBSE youth festival. All of a sudden, I became passionate about writing books , but before making an attempt I wanted to place the right foundation. My teacher suggested some books to read and I trained myself to become a good reader. Somewhere between final exams and the urgency to get into college , I lost touch. I tried scribbling something during college days but couldn’t complete my works. I told all these to her and I dint know why I was doing that, the only thing was that I started getting relieved.  I told her how my life turned to a workaholic robot and springs started forth from my eyes. She dint know what to do but offered me her  kerchief ;the air went silent for some time. It was after a long time that I was speaking to someone about this and I felt a soft breeze blowing deep inside. I came to know that she too worked at Technopark. I wasn’t surprised of not having seen her before among  ten thousand other robots. She said that she too had faced similar situations and explained how she was able to overcome it. She spoke of the mystery I never knew before. Every person is like me , eager and anxious to get smiles and love from others . The key to this problem is  to first do the same to others. I just had to smile and care for other’s problem. I remembered the bible verse, but having heard it, was more powerful. She explained how I should break the ‘I am a somebody’ feeling and standing on top of  it turn it into ‘He/She is a somebody’. She instructed me to acknowledge the fact that every person in the world is uniquely gifted by God. Her words made a huge impact within me and I was greatly inspired. We started to speak of personal matters, I came to know that she was from my neighborhood town, Trichur. Then, I knew why she was very talkative. I have a friend from college , very talkative and he too is from the Trichur. I was making a new friend after several months of loneliness. It felt good. We exchanged contact numbers before the train halted at my place. I asked her to give me a missed call when she reaches,  which she did late night. I felt like a new energy embracing me. Appa and Amma also noticed the change within me and were happy to see me enthusiastic after long time. Amma even asked me whether I was in love. It was a difficult time to define my relation with the girl I met a few hours before. I just gave her a cute smile without any reply. The next working day, my colleagues were surprised to see a new Rohan , fully shaved and neatly dressed as in the day of interview. I started applying the smile and care technique that she taught me and started getting immediate results. I got a new friend at my table during the coffee break. That day evening I called her to share the joy and we met after the office hours. From then on, we began to meet once or twice every week and mostly travelled home together during weekends. Every time I saw her , I learned something new and felt a lot of positive energy around her .  I started finding new dimensions of satisfaction at work. All of a sudden, I was surrounded with tremendous energy and I trained myself to pass it over to the people I met.  I found more people around my table as days went by , we passed comments, cracked jokes and most of all inspired each other.  Life at technopark was turning out to be green for me. She did not stay for long in my life. She moved onto U.S for a better job. I remembered a saying that goes like this ‘Some birds cant be caged , they just’have to fly’ and moreover there wasn’t  a cage anymore. We maintained our friendship for some  more time through skype calls before we became busy with work .  We lost touch but it didn’t matter anymore because she had already taught me how to live happily independent of situations. I had quite a big friend circle, everyone around were happy and the best thing , I  was happy.  It was during that time that India won the worldcup and sachin appeared to me in TV and said ‘Chase your Dreams’. Priya used to tell me that every dream had a purpose. The dream is to you and the purpose is for others. If you are to lose your Dream , some are also losing the benefit of it. She told me that I just had to cling on to my Dream, sharpen it and god will give me the right moment to fulfill it. Everything around me was inspiring me to write just like Paulo Coelho wrote in his book. I started writing short articles , reports , I  even started writing  letters to amma, and she was fully surprised. Dhwani, a socio-cultural event organized by technopark for the employees to showcase their talents to the world . I realized that this was the right moment . I organized all my writings into a book . Exhibition kicked off and People started sending in responses from all parts of India , there were also offers from publishers. Everything was happening for me and I finally decided to move on. The rest of the story you know. The best thing was not the recognition but the responses from the readers on how my book changed their views and influenced them. That’s when I achieved the purpose of my Dream. And today, I am all the more happy because just after the publishing ceremony today , I got a call from Priya. After a long time she called me to inform that she was going to have baby  and I told her that my new release is about the  person who influenced my life.”.”Sir, but I thought you loved her” asked the reporter in anxiety. After a pause Rohan replied “Yes, I love her and we are good friends.”  Both smiled. Reporter said “Sir, I too have a Dream but I had buried it till now. Today you have filled me with  fresh hopes”. Rohan replied”Remember that every dream also has a purpose , all you have to do is to cling on and sharpen . God will bring you the right moment”. Shaking hands, the reporter left . As his bike went out of sight,  Rohan  smiled on having fulfilled his purpose yet again!

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