Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Easy vs Good - Short Story

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Am I a good person? the thought shook me to the core. My co-anchor nudged me to bring me back to senses. I was hosting a talk show with some college students on the topic -"Nation and Generation today ". My guest, dean of a state university, had asked a question from the participating students in my show - "What is your aim in life?" Such a simple question. I would have answered - a TV anchor, had it been asked from me nine years ago. But not by this simple looking girl who gave the most different response - "I want to always answer yes to the question Am I a good person?" Everybody applauded.

When I announced to my parents that I will be applying to one of the topmost college in the country for journalism, becoming a good person was nowhere in my mind. Who think like that? We all set our aims in life - getting educated, than winning a decent job, earning lots of money, settle with a nice partner, being socially important, earning more money etc. Everybody was like this in my college too, including me, except her. I don't even remember her name. Just that she had very low IQ and a very weird smile all the time. Even when she failed the exams, even when the hostel warden would scold her for her messiness, even when she knew her roommates and everyone else made fun of her, even when they teased her openly and shunned her from parties. In spite of all this and her strange lifestyle, she was always polite with everyone. Warden told us to be friends with her as her family was going through some tough times. She too tried making friends but failed miserably and after sometime she stopped trying. In my heart, I felt bad for her. And so, if she talked to me for something I would try to be nice to her. Until that night - we were having a fun time and discussing our love interests, when she passed by. My friends stopped her and started asking her about her love interest. She was appalled. She looked like a mouse surrounded by cats ready to devour her. For some time she resisted as my friends humiliated her as usual but then she got angry and started hurling abuses to everyone. It was first time she reacted like that and everyone was shell shocked. In the end she came to me and said she likes only me in the whole batch as I have always been nice to her. They gave me mocking looks and started teasing me along her. My survival instinct triggered as I did not wanted to be castigated as an outcast like her. That day my desires shadowed my goodness as joining my friends was easier than standing alone with her. I wanted her to hate me just like she hated everyone. I started being rude to her when she tried to talk to me. I was the loudest when my friends made fun of her. Very soon people forgot what she told me that night. And she was convinced nobody is worth talking.

I moved abroad for my higher studies and sometime later learned about her suicide. I remember thinking of her as a weak, stupid person that time who took an extreme decision instead of facing life and its issues and not being a strong person like me, who knows how to move ahead in life, be with people who matter and leave those who don’t. Today I have everything I had once desired- a good job, a happy family, friends who matter, hefty bank balance, luxuries, everything. But I am still missing something. "Am I a good person?" the words echoed in my head out of nowhere. 
Before I could answer, I recalled my next desire to have a News Channel of my own.

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