March 24, 2011
Do we really know anything about Life?
This question reminded me of a story, which I thought of sharing with you readers.
I work for a small company where I get to meet people from different parts of the world, of different age groups, different religions etc, and the only thing common between us is that we are all human.
I knew one gentleman, Andres, who comes from Hungary, which also tells me that he is always "hungry". Hungary lies in central Europe; thanks to the geography I studied, I still know the locations of some countries, even though I don’t know the location of my aunt’s place in Mangalore. This is today’s generation - we give more importance to geography than relationships. Anyway, back to Andres, he is in his mid-50’s, to be precise, 56 years old.
Let’s go back in time, Andres was in his mid-20’s when he graduated from a well-reputed petroleum engineering college, a rank holder in his days. At that age, a handsome, charming, intelligent guy would definitely have a girlfriend and he too had one, named Maria, she in her 18th year, a beautiful girl who had finished her schooling.
He was a smart lad and got a break in a service company where he worked as a tool service hand, assembling tools, and then sending it to Rig for usage. He progressed in work, and as for life, he delayed his marriage, as he and Maria wanted to enjoy their youthful days and were in a live-in relation. He moved from one job to another, getting promotion after promotion, with his salary package increasing every year, and so also his desires.
He loved Maria very much and wanted to keep her happy. And he thought happiness is all about material satisfaction. He built a 5 BHK apartment, bought a brand new Mazda Sport limited edition car, and every other luxury for Maria.
17 years into live-in relationship, they finally decided to get married, at the age of 40. In the meantime, he got a job as a field specialist engineer, 5-5 rotation-based.
(To those who don’t understand rotation, it means an employee will be on duty 24X7 for five weeks and the rest five weeks he will be off at home. During the five weeks when he works he will receive a daily bonus of 150 dolllars along with his base salary).
Andres was excited in the beginning - new package and more money, so more happiness. In the meantime, he decided that it was the right time to start a family; his wife became pregnant and the time came for her delivery, but he couldn’t make it as he was on duty 24X7, 5 weeks, making 150 dollars, thinking he was buying happiness for his family but missing the most memorable moment of his life, the birth of his first son and being a father.
Life went on and so did he. In no time, his son was in first standard, and at the same time his wife was diagnosed with cancer. Sad, but true. That's life - the moment you think you are driving along a smooth road in a beautiful weather, the tyre turns flat. You have the smooth road you have the beautiful weather but you are stuck with your punctured car.
So was he. He was in a dilemma whether to quit his job and stay home with his ailing wife and kid or stick to his job, so that he can provide the necessary treatment for his wife and good schooling for his kid. He was at work not because he had insufficient amount of money for treating his wife or sending his kid to school, but because he was worried about the future. What if the money runs out, how will he treat his wife and provide education for his kid?
He chose the latter, did his job and the off for 5 weeks, sat with his wife and spent some quality time with his kid. Deep down in his heart, he had regretted not getting married early, of not having a family early. Looking at his wife he lost courage but his son was his hope. One fine day, Maria said to Andres, "Can't you quit your job and stay with me for this year?" Andres replied, "Maria, I promise this will be my last year at work, from next year we will stay as a happy family, I will be at home cooking food for you, giving u medicine and personally taking tuitions for my child. I promise. "
Promise is a word which has a lot of meaning, but it's better in dictionary than being used or said. Andres couldn’t keep his promise, not because he didn’t quit his job after a year but because Maria didn’t live long enough to make him keep the promise. She died in two month's time, and Andres was called back from work on emergency leave.
Life moves on, friends, and now, it’s going to be almost a year since Maria died. The reason for sharing this story is, two weeks back, I met Andres. He has reduced in weight, very lean, smoking cigarette after cigarette. I was sitting in the canteen and I decided to take a seat beside him. He smiled at me, I didn’t know what to say. I looked at him with a sad face and said, "Sad to know about your wife’s death." And he looked at me and said, "You know what, my friend, I have done everything in life - I have a beautiful house, bank balance, good education, a nice job, a dear girlfriend who turned to be my lovely wife, a cute obedient kid - I had every luxury in life, But I forgot to do one thing.
Came the reply with tears in his eyes - "I FORGOT TO LIVE MY LIFE WITH MY FAMILY,"
That’s what we do in our life. We go for everything, more desires, more wants, we get everything in our life but in the end we forget to live our life.
Today, whenever I see him, it reminds me of an engineer having accomplished everything in life, but still has nothing. How many of us are like him? Who knows, some day this same story may repeat in our lives.
I thought it worth sharing, and by the way, it’s a true story.