Trophies & a Class X lesson!

It was last week that my mother told me that she had rearranged all the medals and cups that me and my brother had won as kids. As kids, the significance of each trophy was immense. We would dream of that medal. That podium finish. That photograph of receiving a prize from the ‘chief guest’.

I recall winning medals and cups for quizzes, debates, tennis tournaments, essay competitions and such other sundry activities. Even for maintaining a perfect attendance record.

Today, these trophies sit in silence at my home in Madurai. Many miles away. Each carrying with it a memory and an emotion. And of course there is my mother, who tends to these, wiping and cleaning them up as though they were her sons themselves. And not just trophies her sons won many years back.

On an abaxial plane, our lives seem to revolve around such trophies ! Trophies that held maximum significance when on the victory podium and the immediate days after. The halo around them fades like the setting sun’s crimson streak. Sinking into oblivion along with a clutch of memories & a warm fuzzy feeling. The trophy by itself becomes a piece of metal that needs care and polish. The memories remain! Perhaps they are the real trophies!

For me, ‘trophies’ have taken have changed over time. From hard metal to Hush Puppies shoes & Van Huesen shirts. To becoming a manager inorder to be ‘eligible’ for a laptop & fly between cities. The car. The house…These are all trophies in a way. Trophies for breasting the tape.

Many years back in Standard X I had ‘Commerce’ as a subject. We learnt about ‘human wants. And I remember some features that we discussed about wants. They went like this.

a. Human wants are unlimited
b. When one want is satisfied, new want comes up
c. Wants are ever present…

As I write this, I look up to find a sheet from todays newspaper. An ad catches my eye. “50 % off. On-first-come-first-served-basis”. My eyes dilate & wander.

Ah ! Trophies. If only we treasure the real ones. Ourselves. Our loved ones. Our ability to impact. Our planet. Ah.

The Vision Thing !

The Goa air reminds me of Mangalore. I guess the Arabian sea has a different charm. Quite different from the charm that the Bay of Bengal has ! I landed today and have been at work !

As usual, i picked up a conversation with the taxi driver. The scheduled taxi driver played truant and i found this young man called Raju. A very enterprising kid who sold me the ride in less than 10 seconds. As our conversation progresses, i find that he lives with his mother and younger brother goes to school.

He makes Rs. 4000/- per month driving the taxi. “During peak season time, it is higher” he says, but then, it is offset by the lean months like now. He drives well. He is patient, and is extremely helpful.

I ask him his long term plans. He cant understand. I say, “what do you want to do five years from now”. He looks at me through the rear view mirror with a blank expression. And says, ‘Maybe earn two / three thousands more”

I prod him further, ‘have you thought of things like owning a taxi like this and having others work for you..?/ ( just to give him contextual example). I could clearly see his eyes sparkle for a moment. Perhaps he imagined himself as the boss ! I dont know ! And then smiles, “Will you be interested in seeing other places..” A new conversation thread. End of the old one.

When people say, “its all in the mind” many a time i dont pay heed to it. But here was a live example. Able. Capable. Committed. Talented. Honest. Sincere. And willing to slug his butt out. He is HOT commodity in a market where people with such traits are a rarity. In a market which is driven by opportunity.

But then, all this without a vision will ensure 4000/- per month when there is potential for 10 times more. Perhaps a 100 ! Oh ! The vision thing !