Imagine a village, with no electricity, none of the modern gadgets, we are so used to, that we can’t imagine our lives without them. Imagine a place, where people still listen to transistors, and to fetch water every day, they travel some 20 odd kilometers. Imagine a land, where agriculture, and vedic chants are the only education that you receive. Imagine a young girl, thrust into the chores of the day, the moment birds start to chirp. Imagine the India, all of us are unaware of.
We sit in our air conditioned cubicles, thinking what has become of our country. We criticize every politician, irrespective of whether he is involved in a scam or not. We blame others, for all the wrong done to us with complete disrespect for this brilliant machine, called the human mind. We forget what we are capable of, we forget what we can become, and we forget what has become of us.
A girl, not more than 18 years of age, wakes up one fine day, and finds her mother to be ill, discovers the burden of household chores to be thrust on her. She finds that the utensils are dirty, clothes need washing, the house needs cleaning, her younger brother, needs lunch for school, and her mother needs tending to. She has never been to school. She doesn’t know what it’s like to be in a school and learn multiplication. However much, the local shopkeeper hands to her as change, she accepts, when she goes to buy grocery and vegetables. Oh yes, and the lunch needs cooking. She sighs, exasperated. She appears down, but not out.
She takes a deep breath, and gets on her bicycle, goes to get water, goes to buy grocery, goes to buy vegetables, comes back, cleans the house, fixes up something for her younger brother to eat and goes to drop him to school. She is brave, she will not back down. Her father goes off to work, without lunch, she feels sad, she feels her insides churn, but no time for moping, she sits down washes some clothes, gets some medicines for her mother, and by the time her brother comes back, the chores just got done with. She gives him food, makes her mother eat, does the dishes, and round and round the hands on her wall-clock roll.
Its 9:30 in the night, everybody plans to sleep, everybody lays down, she closes her eyes, but sleep doesn’t come to her. She starts to THINK. A bulb lights inside of her head, she has an idea. Suddenly, she realizes, she is going to do something, something that might transform the country.
The next day she wakes up, her mother feels better, commends her on the brilliant job she did the day before, but she is not satisfied. She wants to make life easier for her mother and the billion other mothers around the country, who are bound by the grind of their daily chores, one’s who can’t afford the fancy electronic equipment we’re so used to, can’t even afford the huge electricity bills.
She takes her bicycle to the local repair shop, with an unusual request. The person who owns it, respects her dad, so gives in to her requests. She gets the front tyre and assembly removed, and replaces it with a sealed metal box. She connects the chain, to the outside of the box, which, in turn is connected to a porous metal cylinder, inside the box, and gets a tap installed at the bottom. The top is hinged, and gets a latch.
She makes her own washing machine.
She tries it out, puts in water, some detergent, fills the cylinder, with dirty clothes, pours some water, and shuts the top.
This is the moment of truth. She gets on the seat, and pushes the pedals, she pushes to break free, she pushes to prove herself, she pushes hard, she pushes for the world to know, she pushes for her mother’s pride, she pushes and pushes, and realizes she has done it.
She has done, what we sitting in the comfort of classrooms, engineers, couldn’t even think of. She has made washing clothes easy, at a meager cost. She has inspired the age of frugal innovation, something, everyone our country is capable of doing. India, doesn't need to shine, it needs to dazzle. Think, with that muscule of yours called the brain, what you’re capable of. This girl has earned my respect, and the whole nation’s. Isn’t it time you did too?
“Its noisy”, she says about her washing machine, “but even the universe started with a bang.”
I urge you, to break free from the shackles of society, break free from traditional mindsets. Think. Soak in no more negativity from the multitudes of scams around you, the politics, the petty activities of those, that are not gifted. Do some good for the nation. Soak in some pride and be what you aspire to be. Stop thinking of where China and US are today, but think, where can India be tomorrow with your help. Immerse yourself no more in what the world around you says to you. Some body famous once said, “If people tell you, what you’re doing is madness, you’re on the right track.”
Soak yourself no more, in what by-standers say, for they forever, will be bystanders. You are gifted, rise above petty hurdles, rise above those, who can’t or won’t. Soak yourself, no more in self-doubt, immerse yourself no more in compromise, strive for what you deserve, soak no more in MEDIOCRITY.