आदमी क्या है? What is a man?
He is a question asked by himself.
I ask this question occasionally. It is appealing to my mind. It makes me feel like a erudite man.
One couldn’t find answer at home. You can find questions or comforts at home, but the world outside has answers. So i stepped out.
Who am I?
This thing was on my mind. Constantly. It was there when I reached the limit of my village and looked at the road.
The road. It’s always been there. Answers to every journey and destination. Maybe the road can answer my question.
I walk. And I walk a little more. Sweat makes me feel sticky. The wind ain’t blowing and stench of sweat is everywhere. It is in my hands, my hair, my clothes, everywhere. It is in my mind and the things I say. It is in the roadside flowers and overgrown bushes.
I see a tree and decide to sit down.
I didn’t walk much since the start. Village is still visible from the road, even though the houses seem tiny. Only two and three storey houses can be seen. The smaller ones seem lost. It is irony how the home of a man exemplifies him. A big man has a big house, and a small man has a small house. I am free to conclude it all here, that a man is the house he lives in. But something tells me that exceptions are always there. I have rested enough, and I shall walk again.
I walk now. Cars, buses and bikes go by me. They are fast. So fast they make loud sound while their wheel spin. Fast and fast. Vehicles have got people in them, going to their destination. I have seen many vehicles. And If I had choice to own one, it’d be a car. A car is a nice thing to have. And I’ve realised that those who have cars, are happy. No one cries while driving. Also, a car is nice. It has got AC for summer and heater for winters. It also prevents rain from making people miserable. If I had a car, it wouldn’t be one of those cheap Suzuki or Hyundai. I’d have a BMW or Audi. I’ve seen them. They are big and nice envy-inviting vehicles. It’s too much, I know very well. But if I am a beggar in this big world, then I’d be a beggar with big wishes.
Roadside, there are fields. I look at them and they are green with occasional black. The black thing is men working in fields. They are black but shiny. They gleam against the sunlight. I’m sure it’s not water but their sweat. Like mine. But their sweat is glorious to look at. It’s shiny. These black thing ain’t any star for sure, but stars are overrated anyways.
I have stopped now and I rest under a tree. It’s a signal. Train is yet to come and it will take a lot more time to go. There is time. Lots of it. But people have started gathering at each end of the signal, with a railway track being the limit line between them. They seem anxious. Sure, destination is afar and road is long. But they can wait. They should wait. I am doing it. I choose to wait because it is the right thing for me. A man is the choices he makes and has made. Maybe it’s all there. A man is the sum of choices he made. This definition seems nice. But what if someone else made their choices? Like the people at this signal. They didn’t choose to wait. It was the choice made by the signal-man for them. Terrible or nice, no one can say. More things can wait, and should wait. But choices can’t. They are urgent and ugly.
Train has gone. People have gone. And I walk now. I have been walking for a long time. I feel hungry now. I need food. There are shops roadsides. They have shiny plastic pouches. Colorful. They have food, or atleast edible things. I check my pocket. No money. I look at the men. My eye pleads, but my voice doesn’t. I just stand and stare at them. I catch their sight once in a while. It’s all in eyes. I want food and maybe they want to give it to me. But money is needed. And I don’t have money.
I sit down and question if I should push on through or go back home. I would like to continue but I am hungry and have no money with me. Even if someone gives me food now, there is no sure way to know if I will get food again ahead. Journey, destination and everything is nice, but a man with hunger and without any money is useless.
I am going back now. Home has food and money. And money isn’t needed at home for money. Father has money. And if I am hungry at home, then I don’t have to ask anyone for it. Maa knows it when I am hungry and I need food. Home is nice, but the world isn’t. The world can be nice, only if there is no hunger. I want to raise questions now, but my hungry stomach has one of its own now. Home has its answer.