Is it really a small thing?

Written By: / Articles / Saturday, 29 May 2021 19:17


By:Heishnam Lakeshwar Singh
Head (Academic & Admin), JCRE Global College Babupara, Imphal


Today I went to a stationary store and saw a very common practice happening around. I saw a guy manipulating the bill of purchase with the salesperson. He looks gentle with nice attire and age must be around 40. He seems mature and working in an organization, may be government or an NGO or a private organization – I don’t know. He was taking print out of some documents and also taking some stationery items for his office work. The total bill came around Rs. 400/-. I was waiting for my turn; I had to take out few photocopies. And while waiting I became a witness of a crime, which is considered as small or most often not considered as a crime at all.  The store owner asked whether he requires a cash memo or bill of purchase, the gentleman replied, yes he requires but he stops him to write the exact amount. In front of me, he was instructing the store owner to write the bill with fictitious data, he was taking only one rim of A4 paper, but he was letting the store owner to write 4 rims, like that he increased the Rs.400/- bill to Rs.1200/- bill. He didn’t have any shame on his face and the store owner’s facial expression was very normal, as this incident is already understood incident and they have some common understanding on this. Most of us never thought on this, considering it is a small practice, and it becomes so common that people started thinking it as kind of socially and morally acceptable behaviour.
You must be thinking what am I talking and why I am putting my head on this small matter? The amount is small; therefore often we are ignorant of such matter. But it is not a small matter, how come compromising our personal value because of few bugs can be a small matter? He compromised his integrity (personal) for only Rs. 800/-, how cheap he becomes and I am sure there are thousands of us doing this thinking the amount is small. I happened to heard people giving excuses mentioning their hard labour for doing such cheap things, but that is just excuse, he was hired and given salary for his work.
There are stories, one example - my late Grand Mother once told me, before the govt. employees’ salary was given through bank, they had to collect the cash by standing in the front of cash counter with their pension book. The authority didn’t tell them to stand in queue; the reason is they give first priority to the pension book which consists of few bugs inside. Therefore they used to insert few amount to the pension book while giving it for processing, it becomes so understanding that they don’t have to speak a single word in such transaction.
There are so many such small cases happening around, and we are always ignorant of it. The biggest problem with the majority people living in our society is their self-worth is very cheap; they sold their personal value in few notes. Because of this wining an election in such society is not difficult, they can buy most of them with money. The only matter is money, whether you have it or not. 
Medium of Education - in English or Mother Language?
People think Students who studied in English Medium has many advantages over those students who studied in their own mother language, because English is a global language and it enhances the rate of employability of a person. I don’t know how far the statement is correct.
I agree the part that learning English enhances our employability rate in this globalized world. But I don’t want people to forget few benefits or advantages of studying or providing education in our own mother language, especially to the growing up children. Education is not learning language, it is not learning speaking English or any other foreign language. The actual purpose of the education, as Swami Vivekananda said, is the manifestation of the perfection already in man. This statement seems very simple, but its meaning is deep and explains the actual purpose of the education. The purpose of education is to provide knowledge and developing wisdom to the individuals. Like water and mineral is to the plants, education is to the human being. A well educated person knows his responsibility towards the society, nature and his surroundings. In different civilization era the mode or system of education might be different but the purpose of education remains the same. It all started with understanding, understanding is like absorbing – plants absorb water and mineral for growth. Likewise young mind must absorb the best things to become a good man. And how well we absorb defines how well we are educated. Language is a medium through which the knowledge is pass to our mind, if it is in some foreign language which we do not understand properly, how much I will able to absorb and understand?
There are more than 100s of English medium schools in Manipur. Among these only few are considered as good institution, which means teachers are good and explain properly to the students. What about those students who are studying in English medium and teachers do not take regular classes? May be that is the reason of mushrooming tuition culture in Manipur, in-fact taking tuition becomes a necessity in Manipur. Manipuri medium schools are dying and most of the Manipuri medium institutes were already converted to English medium. People think it is a good change, but I doubt on this.
Studying in foreign language also reduces our habit of reading. How students will be motivated to read when they cannot understand what they are reading? This must be the reason why many of us do not read.
In this blog I am not saying English is not important and we should not learn English. In-fact it is very important, we all must know it and encourages others to learn it. But this should not covers the importance of mother language in education, especially to those young minds
Who is a Slave Worker?
When I was a kid, my mother used to say there are two kinds of worker, one is slave worker and another is working for self. The superficial meaning of the statement says if you work for somebody, you are a slave. However, it was not the point my mother wanted to make. We all have to work for others, even an entrepreneur also has to work for other stake holders. Work is a service we do to fulfill the needs of people. The better we fulfill their needs, better we are paid. Fulfilling their need means we are working for them, isn’t it?
Then, who is a slave worker in this 21st century? A slave worker is a person who thinks he is a slave, he doesn’t want to work but his condition or whatever the reason compels him to work, the work he doesn’t want to do at all. He works only for the money, and therefore he does only those things his master told him to do.
It may not be possible to own a company, but there is always a possibility to own my job. If we do not own our job, it simply means we are a slave. Nobody can make us slave; it is our attitude that makes us slave. We are misguided by our society which gives more importance to tangible and materialistic things. We think the person who owns a lot of money is the real owner or the most independent person. But it is not. In reality the most independent person is the one who owns himself.
An independent person owns his work, he has his own personal goal and he works for it. He controls the situation, he doesn’t allow situation to decide his life. He doesn’t work just for bread and butter. His self dignity is so high that he doesn’t allow others to make him feel small. Remember slaves do not have self dignity. He is not afraid of being different. But it doesn’t mean he is arrogant. Whether you are a slave or an independent person is not decided by for whom you work, it is decided by how you work.
A Magic Elevator
I was walking in a busy street of Fencybazzar, it is the busiest and oldest place of Guwahati Market. Most of the buildings are old and I can see lots of red colour stain everywhere and in every corner of the street. While I was crossing a narrow street in between two buildings I found a little strange place, it caught my eyes. An old man was sitting there next to him there was an elevator lift. It is quite strange to find such nice lift in this old place. Nobody notice that place, everybody was crossing that narrow street hurriedly because that place stinks. I approached that place; it was hardly 10 meters away from the narrow street where I was standing.
I saw the old man was staring at me and inviting me for a friendly chat. When I was near to the elevator, he smiles at me as he knew me. He didn’t ask me why I came there. Instead he asked me, ‘do you know where this elevator leads to?’
‘I don’t know. It is quite strange to me that in this old building how come such a nice elevator functions.’ I replied.
The old man with a matured smile on his face replied me ‘Because it is not an ordinary elevator and you will get the answer of your curiosity when you know where this lift will take you.’
This old man wore very simple dress; he looks AamAdmi, not the AAP one. He also seems a man with wisdom, considerate and kindness. There is a saying in Manipur that there are two kinds of old man, one kind is known as “Me ahanlai” which means “Old man who is God” and another kind is “Me Ahanyong”, which means “Old man who is Monkey”. The basic explanation of this saying is the old man who guides the young people to the right direction with wisdom he had accumulated in his long life experience is comparable to God, where as the other kind of old man who misguides the younger ones, hate them and envy them is comparable to Monkey. This Old man looks like the first kind. 
As continuance of our chat I asked him “in which floor this lift will take me?”
He laughed and said “this is not an ordinary lift that will lift you to second floor or third floor.” He whispers, “It is a magic lift, which will take you to a new world.”
Where, in what kind of world? I inquired.
I didn’t believe him at all, I thought this old man becomes lunatic because of old age. Speaking all strange things, but I was enjoying talking with him because he talk so nicely.
“The world where you want to live, the world that’s model is inside in your mind.” He replied.
I am not getting you.
This is magic lift, this lift chooses the people, and people cannot choose this lift. Today it chooses you and giving you a chance to live in the world where you want to live.
“There is only one world, the world where we are living now. Are you talking me this lift will take me to another planet like Hollywood movie?” I laughed.
He smiled and said “while you are dreaming don’t you think that you are in real world? In your dreams you created a world made up by your mind and that world is completely yours. In dreams your mind travels there, same way through this lift you can travel to your own world, not only your mind but also your body.” 
Wow! That is interesting. But what is the use when I know that all the living beings and things there are actually me and created by me, I will get bored after some time. By the way is it possible to return back into this real world? I asked. 
He smiled and said “what is real? How much confident you are in saying this is the real world?” He saw my confused face and didn’t give me time for answering his question. He continued saying “in your dreams you do not have control over your friends, enemy and things around you, you don’t even remember that you are inside your dream. In the same way once you entered to this world of yours you will start thinking you are living in real world in the same way now you are living in this so called real world by you. And it is a one way trip.”
It is very confusing, I responded. 
Yes it is. He was smiling and looking at my eyes. 
I was silent for few second then I asked him, “my mind is in my control and if I think of a beautiful and peaceful world with full of magic creatures, where all the people are humble and kind and give respect to each other and to the entire creature, will this lift take me to that world?”
It will lead to the world that your mind is seeking, he replied.
How many have already traveled to their world through this lift? I inquired.
He said, “many, I cannot count now. But in last ten years ten people were traveled to their desired world.”
Are they all happy in their respective world?
“They got what their minds were seeking”. He replied
Are they happy? Please answer my question. I insisted him to answer my question directly.
He laughed and said, “What should I say, they got what they were looking, that should make them feel happy, but if they are not happy that is not my fault. They got what they asked.”
All the ten people were unhappy with their own world? I was amazed. 
One boy, an orphaned and he was only 10 year old when he came here, is living very happily in his world. He replied.
Why other guys are not happy, everybody wants to live happy life and why should they create a world that will give them suffering? I asked. 
Because they live in fear, the reasons why insurance companies are doing so well. He laughed.
Why that boy was happy? I asked.
Because he is a boy, didn’t see this world much. He was not infected yet with fear. And he believes in magic. 
If I go there, will I be happy? I asked.
“Up to you and your mind. Even though you say of good things, you have the desire of good life, if your mind always reminds you of miseries of life, the badness of people, mistrust shown by your friends, misfortunes of your life, failure etc. your mind will create a world with all those elements. It is up to you whether will you be happy or not into that world.” He smiled.
“It seems, that world is not going to be much different from this world.” I replied.
“Which one is the real world?” He asked me with same usual smiling face.
I replied ‘well let me believe the world where I am living now is the real world’. 
He laughed.
Blah blahblahblah!
There is a philosopher hidden in each and every adult human being. Though people do not express this hidden philosopher every time, sometime this hidden philosopher comes out and give us the chance to see the life we are living and also provide us an opportunity to kill our non-busy part of our life by engaging our mind on trying to answer logically the illogical questions and putting effort on rationalizing the irrational life. It is also true that after some time we will forget every philosophical thought and conclusion that we arrived at and start indulging in the usual day-to-day activities. 
I would say that this moment of our life is one of the best moments in which we often do not think of our desires, wishes, happiness, sorrows and expectations of other people over me (we often feel sad because of other’s expectations – expressible and inexpressible). The most common question we encounter in such a moment is “what is the purpose of our life”. Since time immemorial people have been answering this question, there are lots and lots of philosophical books on this. But when we try to answer this question we really don’t refer to those books, we have our own philosophy and answers to answer this question. It has a very vast scope as our mind can travel anywhere and there is no limitation. 
The best thing to think in such a moment is about our own personal life and seeing it without any judgment. In such case we do not feel sad of those things we lost, we are not elated about achievements and success we got, there is no regret and there is no expectation of this life. But there is a strange feeling of satisfaction which is difficult to express in words. We think of those opportunities of our career we missed, those valuable moments that we wasted just because we were lazy, those beautiful ladies once we think of proposing but never proposed and those happiness and special moments that always give us smiles. We also think about those special and unique people who cross in our life and give us special memory and also remind us that we all have our own paths to travel. We are so different, some people are honest, some are cunning, some are extrovert, some are introvert, some are very funny, some are very boring, some became very close to us, some just don’t get adjust to us, and some who are close yet not close. We also think of the culture we follow, the rules and customs we are forced to obey and the changing nature of such things. Sometimes we feel our life is very soft and delicate, we are so dependent to everything and sometimes we feel we are very strong and smartest being in this universe (though individually we don’t feel so). We also think of relationships the named and unnamed, the rational and emotional, the true and false and the confused and clear relations. Sometimes we also confused with the words ego, pride and dignity of our lives and how it shapes us.

About the Author

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 25+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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