Railway Stations in India are places where you will find the uncanny, weird, and strange people. The demography of the people in the Railway Station can be classified into two types- the people who are there for a train journey and others for whom Railway Station is like a home. The drunkards, beggars, someone selling cheap gadgets, Chai-wala, Paper-wala…….you will find everyone there.
It was in May 2010, Aryan reached the Railway Station just in time………procrastination was his style, in his words! All drenched in sweat he sat on the stairs waiting for his Train. Feeling thirsty, he decided to go for a Lassi………“Bhaiya, ek lassi dena ”, he got no reply. He repeated the same at-least three times. Eventually, he tasted victory! Finally, the Train arrived. Everyone was busy in checking the coach numbers and all, but for Aryan it was never an issue. Someone who travels with a waiting ticket (that too 300+), hardly needs to care! When you have a waiting ticket, it’s as if you have committed the greatest sin of all times……………It’s like you made a Brahman eat chicken, or you made a Muslim eat Haraam food, or as if you made a Jew taste some Non-Kosher food! You just sit on somebody else’s seat and he gives you that- “Get up you Moron” look.
Aryan spent the whole night standing somewhere near the Bathroom. He found amusement in that too! At-least, you have some interesting people to talk there! Some labors, students, daily merchants, railway staff! So, you get a chance to interact with people of different strata of the society. “They sleep so well near the bathroom as well”, Aryan used to wonder. Once a labor told him- “Soo jaate hain foot-path par akhbaar bichhakar…………….Hum Mazdoor neend ki goliyaan nahi khaate ”!
Next morning he got a place to sit in a coach. He was surrounded with some students, they had just returned after giving some competitive exams. Some came after giving some bank papers and the others after giving SSC (Staff Selection Commission). There was a man sitting just opposite to Aryan, he was holding a walking stick in his hand. His clothes were dirty and sort of out-fashioned. He had some disability in his left leg, also had a couple of fingers extra in his left foot. A few wrinkles on his face, coupled with dusty hair. But that man had a really winsome smile, the smile had the element of authority too! He was modest in behavior as well. Aryan felt as if that man had something special about him! He had a shine on his face, as if he was intellectually enlightened. That man carried so much of positive energy around him!
While the students were discussing the question papers, something weird happened! That man knew all the answers; yeah he could answer any blessed question (except English). May it be aptitude, mathematics, physics, history or geography! Aryan asked the man, “What do you do?”……………..The man gave a modest reply, “I am a farmer Sir, I produce food, not just consume it!”…………….Aryan, “I thought you are a magician, you know any tricks?”………The man smiled and replied, “I know a few with Cards, nothing else. Actually, I love reading, that is my passion and the only source of recreation!”………………Aryan asked- “Are You Educated??”……………….The man became a bit serious, lost in deep concentration he replied- “Always wanted to, but I am not educated. I have studied till 8th only, due to some issues. But don’t you think I am educated, if you talk about education in the real sense! Do you define EDUCATION in limits of degrees and percentages! Don’t you think knowledge matters! Curbing creativity is not real education. I may be illiterate but I am Educated (he announced pompously)”.
Knowledge has no limits. You must always be open for learning, you will always gain. Lack of resources, adverse conditions can’t stop you, if you are determined and really focused. Gain knowledge, share knowledge……….It’s knowledge all around!