A new-year resolution
He opened the newspaper. He was going to try the game again. There was a part of his brain that again recoiled in horror, and knocked frantically on his senses to say: “Are you made? Have you completely lost it?”
But as was the case, night after night, he was not going to listen to any of its so-called efforts at pumping some good sense. He was going to do what he had decided to do as part of his new-year resolutions. He looked carefully at the newspaper and scanned for that one name which will stand out today. He waited patiently for the sign. It was going to be there somewhere.. but where was it?
‘He’ in this case was Ravi. Ravi was a young musician in the large city of Mumbai, sitting in a tiny apartment in one of its many by lanes, absorbed by the madness, the rush and the rhythm of life. And what was Ravi looking for in his newspaper? And what was Ravi’s new year resolution that his brain was warning him against? Wait, you will know all the answers soon…
So finally he found what he was looking for. It was in the usual place, where he found it almost every day. In the obituaries, normally those were the places where his heart felt the most touched and where he ended up stopping on most days. Of course there had been days where he had stopped at accident news items, rapes that had broken his heart to even read about, accidents, human right violations and so many other catastrophes that were plaguing the modern human race endlessly without anybody stopping to take a stock of where we were headed.
The person who had untimely passed away was a young school student called Neha. She was smiling in the picture and looked so happy that it was tragic she was no more. There was something more to her death, perhaps it could one of those unfortunate exam-stress related deaths. But surely these were people who needed him the most. His brain shot up as soon as Ravi started getting ready: “Think again! It may turn out bad on one of these days!” Ravi smiled to himself and said aloud: “It’s fine.”
By noon, Ravi was at the memorial service for Neha. He saw that there were a lot of people assembled to pay their condolences. And he saw the grieving parents in one corner. The mother looks totally shocked and disheveled. Her family members were consoling her, but to no avail.
Ravi folded his shirt sleeves and got ahead to start helping out with everything. This was the site of a horrific tragedy where any help would be good. This was a place where people were required to share burden of the helpless grieving family. This was the place where he could make the most impact.