7 August 2011

Lost and Found.

I found this passage in my CAT Handout. Must share :

"No matter what people may profess to - ethics, values, beliefs, integrity - money is the life, and idealism is but a glorified euphemism for the helplessness and inability of a man to get rich."

And here is what I have to say :

It was a drab morning. There was nothing new and nothing special. It was like any ordinary morning. Rahul was walking towards the backside of the building. With each step, new thoughts entered his head. He wasn't sure if this was right or wrong, the best thing or the worst thing, but he had to do it. Because no one else would.

Manoj was waiting. He gave a slight nod when Rahul came. With a cigarette in one hand a glass of cold drink in another, Manoj said, "What's up?" He didn't mean it, but there had to be someway of starting the conversation.

"I'm good. All set?"said Rahul.
"Yup, You set? Are you sure?" asked Manoj
"A 100%?"
"Let's go then?" said Manoj.

And they walked towards the main corridor where all the classrooms were. A weird sense of doubt and uneasiness engulfed both of them. Even though Rahul was ready for it, he felt a little iffy. He couldn't understand if there was a better way for it. Or if we could do something about it. Manoj's fate was in Rahul's hands, so he was even more worried.

They entered the biggest classroom on the ground floor. There were about 40 people in that room, all awaiting the same end as the two of them. Everyone was eager not for what was going to happen, but for it to just happen and be over with. They all took their places and the most senior of them said,

"I welcome you all to the Annual General Elections of the Committee. We've discussed and made everyone aware of the rules of the election in the previous meeting, if however, anyone has any question, please ask right now."

No one rose their hands. Everyone was fully prepared for this. They had left no stone unturned or unclarified. No one wanted to run the risk of losing.

"In that case, I now call upon nominations for the post of President," she said.

The first person to raise his hand for Naresh, "I'd like to nominate Sanjay."

Rahul shut his eyes and put his palms on his hands. If Naresh is going to vote for Sanjay, then all of H Block people are going to vote for him, he thought. All who were contesting had done the calculations, and on everyone's analysis, Sanjay was going to win. A spineless and impotent imbecile was going to win. And nothing could stop him.

"I'd like to nominate Manoj," said Madame President herself.

Rahul took a deep breath. He wondered how this election could be fair anymore. If the outgoing post holders would make their choice obvious, how is merit going to be the only criteria to judge? Is merit the only criteria to judge? This perplexing and paradoxical situation, made him question himself. 

"I'd like to nominate Rahul," said Aakriti.

That was the final nail in the coffin. Rahul knew that Sanjay would get more than one third the votes. He knew that his votes would be lesser than Sanjay's. He also knew that his votes would be more than Manoj's. Everyone knew this.

"Are there any more nominations? Last call for nominations!"

"I'd like to withdraw my nomination," said Rahul.

He did it. He let it all go away. It wasn't worth it, he thought. Rekha looked at him and even though she understood why and what he had done, she did not like it. She couldn't believe this. It was wrong. It was incorrect. But something kept coming back to her. Something she kept denying. That in fact it was the right thing to do.

Rahul somehow got up and left the room along with the others. The room was to be now used for the ballot casting process. Outside his friends looked at him disappointingly. They were shocked and amazed at what he had done. They all knew that it was in the best interest of the committee, but could not understand why he had to do it. Why couldn't Manoj step down? Why should the best candidate step down so that the worst does not get control? Why did he have to sacrifice?

Rahul had a half smile on his face. He did not regret his decision. But he felt a strange looseness in him. A sense of numbness in his body. He couldn't believe this was real and happening. For the first time in his life, he felt sacrifice. He felt what giving up. He felt he had lost the world. But he stood there.

Elections ended peacefully. Manoj became President by beating Sanjay 24-16. By God's Grace, the lesser of the two evils prevailed. But good was still a long way to go.

Even years later, Rahul could never get over this memory. He always wondered if he could have managed a tie with Sanjay, had he stood in the elections. He wondered about all the lies he was told in order to step down. He just could not get over that. He didn't regret it. But he just wondered. Like we do. The answer we could have written. the one mark that we could have got. The one page that we could have read. The one form we could have filled. And the one life we could have led if we had done all that.

To Friendship. I hope there is something like that. Happy Friendship Day.

Song : The Only Moment We Were Alone by Explosions in The Sky.


Navin said...

You kids take stuff way too seriously

Devna said...

Go play 'Grown Ups' somewhere else.

Rohan Chawla said...

The benchmark being?

Rohan Chawla said...