‘Living in the Present is a Present”


 Johny was merely 14 years old, a student of 8th standard ,living with his step mother in hut of straws in a distant village.
His mother had died in an epidemic of cholera and father succumbed to cancer. Stepmother brought him up as his own son since she never delivered a baby. She would earn him food, paid his school fees ,clothing etc. Johny too loved her and paid reverence to her like his mother. He did his studies and helped his mother with domestic errands. They were leading a life of poverty yet contentment, gratitude and satisfaction.

It was a Monday morning , Johny departed his house for school happily as he always did. His favorite literature teacher Micheal quoted lines from a Novel “we all are destined to do something special and permanent satisfaction can only be attained when we become successful to realize our destiny”. This single thought had penetrated his heart and was cruising through his immature and innocent mind continuously. This Thinking had turned gingery, vivacious Johny to melancholic one Because he had not even determined his destiny, its realization did seem Far fetched. ”How could One treat a disease without even diagnosing it” Johny mused. He escaped the school in middle and hustled to his home, He was inattentive to his mother and surroundings as if something was running through his mind and pricking him deep inside His Heart may be” a fear -a fear of not becoming a satisfied and gratified grown man”. This fear had shrunken his heart and made him gloomy.
He started cerebrating what he actually wanted to do with his life. Sometimes he considered becoming a doctor because his parents had died of diseases and at times he wondered he should become a merchant so that he could earn enough money to jump from a life of needyhood to a prosperous living, different ideas were sailing in the mind of the young boy making him even more confused and uncertain about his “supposed to be”. Gradually uncertainty was turning into despair, defeatism and disappointment as day passed and darkness arrived.
As it was a summer, so at night he was lying down outside his hut looking at the Sky. He could Discern the crescent, stars ,constellations and galaxies with the same thought running through his mind”. Sometimes he was cursing himself for going to school that day and thinking about students who were lucky(may be ignorant) enough to let go the teacher’s sentence. The night soon started to sleep and dawn was heralded but Johny’s eyes were still awaken.
Days went on with Johny’s fondness for his destiny growing stronger and stronger and same practice of company with lonely sky, constellations, crescent and galaxies continued.
It was a cloudy Friday night ,Johny was outside his hut like every other night looking at the sky. Today sky was not the same, it did not contained or may be showed of what it held, the only entity he could perceive was immense surface of clouds. “Even the galaxies and crescent had left me alone”, the boy esteemed. His eyes had turned red due to awakenings
Next night, Sky showed as before with same set of stars, galaxies and crescent .Initially it didn’t make much sense to him but suddenly despair and pessimism vanished from his eyes and his eyes started to gleam and sparkle ”Contemplating what is in front me” he told himself. One can determine his destiny by contemplating conditions in front of him” since stars were there on Friday night too but they remained hidden because of clouds same may be the case with my destiny boy consoled him as it may be always around me but vague. I need to contemplate the present and for that I need to live in the present away from the worries of past and forseeings of future. “What an intelligent boy I have Become” boy rewarded him with some admiration. He could sleep with comfort that night knowing that now he had some mission in his life.
Next morning, he woke up with his face reflecting plenty of confidence. He prayed that may God help him discover his destiny, he was happy because now he knew about the “contemplating the conditions by living in the present”.
He started to notice every move he made, everything he did, his likes , dislikes, inclinations and interests, What he wanted to do when he was free and what he felt free with.
Within a period of weeks he had started noticing that he had pretended crying in front of his teacher whenever he could not complete his homework to save himself from punishment. Some times he would act as a senior to outrage his juniors, and sometimes he would feign innocent before his mother to get some extra pocket money so that he could accompany his pals to witness the stage drama organized by groups from different cities and when he returned he would imitate the actors and mimic them so fluently as if he had been directed by the same director. He had never missed any opportunity to act but he could not feel it before cause he didn’t think about this deeply. But now, he had started scrutinizing the present that had made him to figure out what actually he was meant to do. “Perhaps I have been sent to become an actor “ he told himself with his eyes shimmering and tears rolling out of his eyes after all he had triumphed in his quest.
How will my destiny will get realized he thought. He considered feeling relax and not to worry about future because living in present had brought him such a magnificent gift of determining his destiny. He slept comfortably.
Next morning he narrated his journey since the day he was plunged into thought of figuring out the destiny till the day he became victrious to ravel the mystery. Mother advised him to surely follow his destiny. Johny seeked help from his mother to realize his destiny. “Courage” she replied, with a note of tenderness in her voice “Courage to persue the destiny and patience to remain stuck to it” she elaborated. Johny felt a bit relieved with the reply. She quoted some lines from “Alchemis”t for Johny “There is one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve”the fear of failure” .”God helps those who help themselves” she added. She caressed his face and kissed his forehead “Go my son and persue your destiny may success and satisfaction kiss your foot”
The boy was packing his bags with mixed feelings of heavy and lightheartedness for at one end was his mother who needed her and at other end was his carrier what he needed the most and had been longing for. Finally he set out for the city to go after his carrier.
He reached the city with no one known there. A teenager alone in the city of immense population with some people seemed welcoming and appealing and other stern and grim with no shelter and food. He slept on the footpath in the night and looked for job in film industry in the day but failed consistently for some days but didn’t give up. Soon started working in roadside small restaurant (dhaba) in daytime which would earn him food and enough money to watch stage dramas in the evenings. what he watched in drama he would implement in his restaurant like welcoming them like that in different cultures and serving the tea and breakfast in typical filmy style. This would make up the mood of customers and he started receiving good tip ,earned even more money and he started watching more dramas to polish and strengthen his art of acting. This went on for months since the day when a film director’s car got punctured outside their restaurant, he waited till repair at restaurant. Johny hovered at him with a smile on his face and gentleman ordered tea. Johny presented tea in his typical dramatic style and had words with the man. The Director got pleased and impressed with Little johny’s dealing and innocence and offered a minor role in his film. Johny golden day had arrived and spontaneously exclaimed “sure !!!”. Johny’s performance was an eye catcher and attracted many filmmakers to cast him. Within a span of years he became one of the most celebrated actors in the country.
Media personals followed him for shows and interviews. Once in an interview he was asked by an interviewer “we came to know principles like contemplating the conditions in front you, patience and courage brought you such success and.,.,.,.,,” “living in present” said Johny interrupting the reporter and recalling the moments when was happy and tranquil and lived thoroughly in present-phase of life before teacher’s sentence and the night which made him capable of sorting out his confusion. “Future makes us worried and past makes depressed, it is only present that brings peace to our mind”.Peace blesses our mind with patience, patience imparts courage and steadfastness in us that makes our dreams come true and gives us a sense of complete gratitude.
“ So the best present we can be given by the God is an art of living in the present”

Sagar Athwani,,,