A life of choices
“Our choices make us who we are.” We hear this many times, sometimes from our elders when while sipping a cup of tea they tell us their experiences, or from a friend who found out that pursuing a career in IIT was not her best decision or maybe even from the 5 year old kid next door who repents not choosing the chocolate ice cream instead of the chocolate cake his mouth is covered with. So what do we do then? We lend a supporting hand and say how sorry we feel for them. But we never take out the time to actually sit and realize its significance in our own life. We choose not to think about our decisions until we ourselves face the problem.
The choices we make define us as a person. The people are not good or bad it’s the choices they make which are good or bad. A police man is well respected in the society but if he chooses to accept bribes from culprits he becomes a man that the society looks down upon in disgust.
Rohit hadn’t studied for his biology exam today. He wasn’t worried. “I have my ways,” he thought slyly. He had convinced the class topper, Preeti to let him cheat off from her paper. In return he wouldn’t tell her parents that Preeti wasn’t taking extra classes in the evenings instead she went to football practice. Her parents never liked her participating in “things meant for boys”. Preeti was nervous. She had never cheated before. She could choose not to help Rohit but then her parents would know and never allow her to go to the Zonal matches.
The bell rang and everyone settled down in their seats. There was a hushed excitement as the teacher passed out the question papers. Sweat dripped down Preeti’s brow. She was tense. Behind her, she heard Rohit coughing to get her attention. She felt that all eyes in the room were on her only. She saw the teacher standing over her. Oh God…busted…! What will she say now? The teacher smiled and said, “Relax Preeti, why are you getting so tensed? You are such a good student.” Preeti managed a small smile as a reply. The cough was heard once again. She turned around and stared at Rohit’s raised fingers. The second question, “Describe the functions of the pseudopodia.”
Preeti was facing a torment of emotions by now. This was wrong, she shouldn’t do it. And she didn’t…she chose not to go the wrong way. Her parents would understand. She will make them understand. Rohit could do whatever he wanted and for now, he could figure out the role of the pseudopodia.
Kabir was running blindly. He had no idea where he was. He pushed past the crowd. He just knew that he had to run away, away from the world he knew too well. A place where nobody understood him. He wiped away the tears forming in his eyes. He was frustrated, angry and exhausted. Today, he realized how cruel the world was, where only those with big surnames could get their way. He had studied so hard for his dream job and when the time came no company would employ him. All his friends, the sons of rich dads had a job but no not him. His degree in MBA wasn’t required by anyone.
He was short of breath and had to stop. The crowd on the roads was getting thinner and the rikhshawalas and chaatwalas were calling it a day and packing up. He had nowhere to go but he was certainly not going to turn back. He saw the beggars lining up on the footpath and laying down on the torn rags. He went up to them and was given some space where he could curl up.
The next day when he woke up, he saw a few men staring at him. He gave them a disgusted look and told them to go away. One of them lifted him by the collar and started asking questions about his whereabouts. Kabir was scared and timidly answered all the questions. The gang started laughing. They laughed at his problems. One of them took something out of his pocket and gave it to him, “Take some of this. You will feel on top of the world.” And he did.
Kabir was now an addict to drugs and alcohol. He rarely thought of his family. Instead of going back to improve his life he had chosen to take up gambling. He worked in a local bar with his new gangster friends and occasionally took up small assignment such as stealing wallets at the railway station. Little did he know that day by day the drugs were taking his life. Each waft of that dreadful white powder brought him closer to death. Until finally the day came.
He had quietly taken off the gold watch and the leather purse hanging from the back pocket of the man with big moustache waiting for his train. The man was running behind him. But Kabir was fast, he had years of practice. He knew he would get away.
But death was faster. He was running on the tracks now and the man was right behind him. He felt a sickening pain in his stomach and then his head. Slowly, his whole body was overtaken by this pain. He fell down on the tracks. He saw his parents dancing along him on his birthday; he could hear his little sister cheering for him at the graduation ceremony and the laugh of his baby brother when he took his first step. He was at peace and then all went black.
An ambulance rushed to the hospital only to announce the patient dead on arrival due to excessive nicotine in his liver. The family was informed who still curse their son’s choice to go the wrong way. They had searched everywhere for him and didn’t expect to ultimately find him dead.
Preeti’s choice had led her to a better life in which she would have no regrets but all the wrong choices of Kabir had torn his family apart and led eventually to his death. This shows that the choices we make along the journey of life leads to the destination we end up in. So, choose wisely my friends there is only one life we have got.
“It is our choices that show us what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” – J.K. Rowling