Saturday, March 02, 2013

Impact of an alternate decision

The story is abstract and fictional.

Homeless. Jobless. No one for support. No one to guide. Alone in the streets of a city that never sleeps. Even the gardener in the nearby society feels that the garden is more important than a stray individual just outside of his society. I cannot blame him though, that's what humanity has turned into. Gone are the days of the Good Samaritan, I thought.

I saw many robbers roaming for their daily bread. What they were doing was ethically wrong. However, who will even listen to someone like me? I saw them stealing and living each day as if its a daily-wage job. I have an easy way out to get out of this rut. And this city promises to make me self sufficient if I follow this route. There are even people in power who will support your activity as long as you support them by parting with a section of your daily wage. Somewhat like taxes for the elite class. The other option the city provided me with is to struggle my way up the ranks. In other words, learn how to do something and work and improve on it. Here, the wage will be monthly and you might have to end up paying tax.

Three years later:

I live in a chawl (small one room house - even considered as luxury in this city). I am working in a small garage with minimum possible wage. No taxes however! I know my work. Some people know me. I have some people I call friends. They are also struggling to grow, yet they all know how to survive one day at a time. No illegal activity. Struggle, survive and enjoy life the way its meant to be.

One day, as I was working in the garage, I heard a lady scream and pointing towards a man who was running away. It didn't take me long to realize that she was robbed. Now, this is normal in our city. People on the same street, who witness this incident on a day-to-day basis, hardly care. You see, if they never cared for a hapless life on the street few years ago, why will they care for a purse? Something forced me to help the lady. I immediately started chasing the guy. He seemed to be a new guy in the area as he didn't know any shortcuts. I somehow managed to catch him and snatch the purse from him. He immediately hid his face using his hands. Though I got what I ran for, I felt the urge to see his face. Maybe he has seen me running and knows me. He didn't want to be recognized. Since I was dominating the scene, I pushed his hands away from his face. I recognized him immediately.

That's when reality and science defied me. I actually saw myself. He was my mirror image - a guy who could have taken an easy way out three years ago! Thoughts started randomly appearing in my mind with no clear understanding. How can this be happening? Meanwhile, he saw my shocked expressing, smiled at my adversity, pushed me aside and ran away. I was left alone with no explanation of the incident whatsoever.

Image: Google Images

Had I taken the robbery route, I would still be alive and kicking in the city and would have earned more in one month than slogging for three full years! I would still have had a place to live, like-minded people as my friends, no taxes, not only know how to survive for the day but also know how to sustain myself during 'slack' period. Win-win situation at one end and a struggle at the other. I chose the other end. Why? Because I thought (and I still think) it's the right decision to make. I still have my dignity, though it hardly matters here, and I don't have any need to fear anyone in the city.

It taught me that I can also survive with ethics in this city. The city where dreams are fulfilled - sooner or later.

PS: I know the story is totally abstract. Thought of writing something different this time. I intended to show the impact of making a right decision even though it hurts in the short run.


  1. The possibility of people remaining true to their ethics, given the current economy and inflation is very less. Those who still live by it are tortured and made to regret and never appreciated. What you wrote is completely true.

    1. Infact even the media promotes unethical behavior regardless of whether they accept it..

  2. Quite interesting and thank God it is an abstract. You know story would be a cliche. It was very engrossing and your point is loud and clear. There's a line in the second paragraph, 'Somewhat like taxes for the elite class.' shows how screwed the life is for those who have and those who don't.

    I enjoyed reading it. You should write such posts more often.

    1. Thanks Saru.. Will try writing such posts more often.. And yes its an abstract.. :)

  3. In the end, what matters is what you feel is right and what is easy and whether you stepped onto the right path!

  4. Very interesting, Binu. One more thing that this person has besides dignity is peace of mind. This is what following the right path can do to you. Great read! Writing the same things differently is a talent that you have, keep at it :)

    1. You are right Arti.. Peace of mind is equally important too! :)


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