Friday, August 24, 2012
Arise - Story
This is an old story by Dr Bharadwaja.
I have tried to translate it!
Vamana Rao opened the window. Rangaiah’s building was visible there. Already Rangaiah was having tea standing in the balcony. Radio was telling the news. A car was waiting for him in the front yard. “Luck!” thought Vamana Rao. Immediately his house, poverty, the daily troubles he faces came to mind. “My fate” thought Vamana Rao.
It is a fact after all. The work he does is of a school teacher. This job is not allowing him to die. Leave that alone, he cannot even live comfortably. Vamana Rao many times thought of quitting this job. And then? About starting some small business, looking for another better job, taking to to ascetism and turn into a Bairagi, many such good thoughts came to him. But, Vamana Rao did not put any of them to practice. By the way, Vamana Rao is a married man. He even has two kids.
During the time of this our story, Vamana Rao was deep in troubles. Wife read out the list of requirements and went out. He simply made some sound. Not knowing what to do, he opened the window. There was Rangaiah’s building in front.
Rangaiah was not much educated. So what? He has a dirty lot of money. He continues to earn. He has a lot of popularity around. Any officer, who comes here, has to see Rangaiah as the first act. Many people are afraid of him. Vamana Rao is very agnostic to all such things. No one cares for him. None takes pity when he is struggling for food. It is all his fate.
The enclosure was full with people. Elders were sitting in the front rows. Rangaiah was gaping at the person delivering the lecture. Vamana Rao asked the next man to know who he is. He was wonder struck. He is well aware of Prabhakar’s name. Vamana Rao read a lot of his works. He could not understand them. But, it left a feeling that the writer is a great man. Prabhakar was quoting from Bharatam, Kalidas and sundry others and was talking eloquently. People were listening in silence. Vamana Rao looked at people around. An idea occurred to him.
“Money! Damned money! What if one has a lot of it? With how much money, this respect would come? What people like Rangaiah, the baron cannot achieve, this Prabhakar can! Rangaiah is respected in this place. But Prabhakar is respected all over the country. Money is just not important for a man. Education! Education is needed” thought Vamana Rao.
The lecture went on till 8’O clock. Then the president rose and announced that the meeting is over and the scientific session would begin at ten in the night.
Vamana Rao ate a little food in haste and came out. By then the enclosure was filled with people. Anxiety was writ on every face. Vamana Rao looked for the reason. None heeded him. He came near the dais slowly. People were sitting on mats. Rangaiah and Prabhakar were talking something. Vamana Rao could not understand self. He wanted to think of something. There was excitement in the crowd. He looked on to the stage. Kumari Vasanti was sitting there with all style.
Vasanti acted in 25 hit pictures. All her films made money. People fall for her dance. She is not married yet.
Vasanti got up. People went bonkers. After the president asked them to be calm, she spoke for half an hour about films and acting. There were demands that she should sing a few songs from her films. She tried to evade, but in vain. At last she sang two songs. People clapped and whistled. Some threw flowers and some others money on to her. One or two people even threw cigarette butts. There was confusion around.
A new truth dawned upon Vamana Rao.
“Even education is not important. One should act in films. The respect lacking for the great scholar Prabhakar is there with Vasanti. As many people who know her, even one tenth of it would not know who Prabhakar is. There are millions who adore her. What about Prabhakar? When he was speaking earlier there was not even one, who said, go, read one of his articles. If Vasanti is patient enough, people are ready to listen to her songs for even three days. That is life. All the rest is rust” thought Vamana Rao.
Thus thinking he was coming home. Someone was following him. Vamana Rao noticed him after a while.
‘What?’ asked Vamana Rao. That man poured out his owes. Looks studied up to inter. Could not find a job anywhere. He has tried enough. But, no use. He had no food for the last two days. Not even coffee since morning. Vamana Rao took out an Anna coin from the pocket and gave him.
“I thought something. Looking by this count, what I am facing is no troubles at all. I am a mere school final fellow. It is great if I am earning a few chips per month. I looked at the people and thought something. But, there are people who look at me too---“
Vamana Rao could see that his life is full of joy. He started walking briskly towards home.