The darkest hour is before dawn. I wished I knew that when I spent dark nights huddled shoulder to shoulder like cattle in a haystack, with street urchins, goons, vagabonds and whatnot. I, that is, from a highly respectable family from God’s own country, Kerala, in the financial capital of India, Mumbai, knowing not where the next meal would come from.
Success is a double-edged sword. I wished I knew that – when I all of 16 years, earned Rs 35K, more than what a top bank executive took home after 30 years of working the books.
Playing the blame game is the favorite pastime of every one’s childhood. I wished I knew that. Correction: I wished I knew the consequences of playing that game.
I wished I knew that…. That perhaps could make the best title for this book about Me. Or is it about We? The line between Me and We is thin. What happened to me, happens more often than not to all of us. We are like that only. Perhaps. Or maybe not. I don’t know. I am not sure. I wished I knew….
Where do I begin my tryst with life? With my childhood days? But I had none. I leapfrogged to adulthood, straight from school. Family caretaker: That was my designated situation when I graduated from wearing knickers to pants. Sounds interesting, but I would have preferred to be anything but interesting! I wanted to play cricket, chase the birds, get drenched, fly paper planes, and throw missiles into the pond.
My adult life then? I again leapfrogged. I was an early success, and an early failure. One day I was flying in the clouds, and the day after, I was in deep shit.
The roller coaster ride did not end there. I dabbled in business, lost and won. For once, failure came first, and success later. So I had seen both ends of life’s learning curve.
I wonder sometimes, am I destiny’s favorite plaything? At a ridiculously young 17 years of age, I had the world at my feet. Fast forward a little, and the role got reversed. I was down in the dumps. I blew it all. I messed up. I could have been the chosen few, but hubris, or whatever, hurled me to the doldrums.
Maybe it’s good to start at the end. A wiser, richer, quieter, and humbler Joe, a man of the world, successful, bright, smart and ….not at all sorry about the blotting out of his childhood. I have had my fifteen minutes of fame, but equally and probably more important, I have had my fifteen minutes of infamy. All the best things in life can evaporate in fifteen minutes of insanity. You never get to know of it, until you know. I wished I knew that….
Written by K S Murli
© All Rights Reserved.
© All Rights Reserved.