“Mama, I have hired Anil as a driver. You know him; he is Bina’s son.”
“Who is Bina?”
“She was our housemaid….about twenty years ago.”
I was a pampered boy; had everything a boy of my age could dream of; went to the best school; was good at studies; had immaculate manners; made my doting parents proud of me.
But I was jealous of Anil. He was of my age, may be a year or two younger. He would often skip school to accompany his mother. He was not allowed to enter our home. But that did not bother him. He loved flying kites; was very deft at playing his top; he was an expert juggler of marbles; and what he had fun with street puppies. He was as carefree and contented as any boy his age could have been.
One day I asked him to come to my room; I just wanted to show off. He was awe-struck but only for a few moments. In his eyes everything that I had was no value in comparison to his top and marbles and kites and street puppies.
That day I wished I could fly a kite and play a top and roll marbles and roam in the streets with a stray puppy, unmindful of the dirt and the heat.
We have done exceedingly well for ourselves. Both my wife and I are star performers in our organizations.
But sometimes I think that, deep down, I am still jealous of Anil.
Even today Anil is as carefree and contented, and as unmindful of the dirt and the heat, as he was as a young boy. He still loves to fly kites and play with a top. When I see him with his two sweet kids and his homely wife, I begin to harbour doubts about our own journey.
Should I not be jealous of him? No?
A post for A to Z April (2015) Challenge.