Chaiyla bhiti vatte re…

This is the tale of a person who symbolises height of simplicity. Simplicity on the verge of stupidity, where the line between simplicity and stupidity becomes almost invisible. I know this boy since last 19 years when we were in our junior college. The boy now a man, a father of a child, though inertly has remained the very same, the same diffident, uncomplicated and very kind hearted. Time has changed and such kind of persons are named as plain foolish.

The story begins in 1991 when we met during our college days and we discovered that we were residing in a nearby locality. Since our college was far away, we became partners, as we kept on meeting a friendship developed between us. The boy was very simple one, was very low on confidence and was dependent on others for most of his needs. He soon became very popular because of his nature, he thought he became popular, but he was actually a subject of joke as soon as he turned his back. Most of the times, i would tell him that he was being subjected to petty jokes, but the boy never minded and turned back to his old ways. Economically, we were sailing in the same boat, our fathers were both retired and the condition back at home was not that rosy. We played together gully cricket, roamed together and enjoyed every bit of life, which was as simple then.

Days moved swiftly and events turned at a very fast pace. Those were the pre-liberalized days, the winds of liberalization were just around the corner, competition was stiff but was not nerve wrecking as it is these days. My father in particular had made up his mind that i should get a government job, as he did during his times. So every fifteen days, he would bring some kind of forms of competitive exams. Those days Staff Selection Commission, BSRB, Railways, Defence were the boards where recruitment exams took place. And in one such occassion, my friend brought two forms of Staff Selection Commission. I was reluctant to fill since it was our XIIth standard, i asked him to concentrate on HSC exams. But the poor fella wanted to fill the form, and since he was not much conversant with train travel then, he insisted me to fill the form and select the same exam centre, so that I could accompany him. As luck would have it, we got the same centre. I was at my casual best for this exam, as i was not much concerned about job those days, i wanted to study, the boy, brought number of books to study, toiled day in and day out. I merried while he studied. I firmly believed then that you will never overcome your fate. I do still believe to quite an extent.

As things turned out our exam centre was Kirti College at Prabhadevi, the boy was very very tensed, chewed all his nails, spared the foot nails though, and was acutely perspiring, i was not much interested in this exam so i did not feel the pinch i suppose, as we entered the exam hall, we were told that in all 11 lakh candidates all over the country had applied for 1000 odd vacancies. I felt bit more relaxed, and the friend a bit more tensed. Same situation two varied reactions. “chaiyla bhiti vatte re…” was his hallmark sentence, it continues even today….

As luck would have had, the boy who least wanted to get selected, passed the exam and the boy who desperately needed one failed. But for this gem, he did not feel bad or jealous, he was enjoying my success. He prayed for my success in the second round. We were told that now 40000 applicants were remaining for 1000 odd vacancies. The friend, accompanied me for the second round of exam, stood outside the centre in the sweating heat for three and an half hour… praying for my success…

His prayers were answered… I passed.. My rank in 11 lakh candidates was 428. I was told that i would get a call letter from one of the central government office in three months time to join for job. My Happiness knew no bounds, my friend was happy too..

As things turned out during those very crucial days, my dad passed away just a month before he could see his dream realized…. he desperately wanted his son to be in a government job… the only consolation was that he got the news that i was selected and would get a job very soon… he rested… in peace….. The irony was that when my dad expired, this friend of mine was on the bedside and i was at home to collect some papers…. The irony was when my friend’s dad died… i was at his bedside…

We grew up, my friend also joined some private company, but for his hesitant and diffident nature, he could not match up and ended up changing jobs. As luck would have it, today i work in a central government organisation of repute and bang opposite my office across the road is my friend’s office, a BPO, where he works as an insecure supervisor… not secure about his tomorrow…

We boys… almost knowingly grew up as men.. we were married and both of us had kids, i have a son and he is blessed with a daughter.. but for his nature, today his wife stays at her parent’s house and always cribs about the infirm nature of her husband, the friend still has not changed his tagline “chaiyla bhiti vatte re…”

How can a person remain so same, so diffident, so simple, so stupid… how can a person not learn from his experience and grow up…. How can a person be so confused so as to rely on others to take crucial decisions of his life… Just yesterday i had been to his in laws to broker a peace…. His wife could not miss the opportunity to show the distinguish between both of us…. Somehow, i was able to broker a peace… only to hope that it does not remain a short time affair…

We were sailing in the same boat, though i might not have yet achieved what i had dreamt, atleast i never was a diffident person, i dreamt and i achieved most of the things i set for, i never cribbed for what i could not achieve or felt envy of others who achieved it. I kept on analysing myself and kept on adding new traits in my personality. My friend remained like a brand new car, which was covered, not driven, it collected dust, its parts junked as days passed by. Time is changing very fast and a person who adapts to it will survive…. others will only say with utmost insecurity “chaiyla bhiti vatte re…”

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