This is the story of a man who is no great personality like Virat Kohli or Salman Khan or Modi. Neither this is a story of fame and fortune but in many ways is a reflection of the million people who are leading a marginal life. From these common people, there are a considerable number of people for whom poverty is a life-long battle.
Harpal Singh is yet another common man, whose uncommon story will definitely make you think about a lot of habit changing processes “The Unending ‘Poverty”.
When Harpal, was a young man of twenty-two he came to Delhi with high hopes of becoming a script-writer. He wrote scripts in Hindi and used to rehearse with his friends on the footpath in Connaught Place. He had written, and performed in many plays at the Shri Ram center for performing arts, and was enjoying his work quite a lot. However, this did not happen for long as loving a work doesn’t mean good money and when money is vital to meet ends, this passion and hobbies cannot sustain for long. Hence, like many others he was not able to earn enough to keep up with the challenges city life confronts, unfortunately after a few months he had to take a harsh decision and have to return back to his village in Kanpur.
The moment he reached his hometown his parents got him married to a seventeen-year-old girl. Indeed this is a good news but at the moment he was not ready to take up the burden of marriage but no one took him seriously and the pressure of earning shoot-up many folds and his hopes of pursuing his dream to become a great script-writer got crushed to pieces.
Much reluctantly did a short course and got employed temporarily as a technician. The work did not interest him at all, but leading sustainable life became his focus. On the other hand, the enthusiasm and fascination that flowed through his veins when he was working as a theatre artist suddenly died down, and this city of Delhi which was still new to him appeared unusually dull and grey.
Frustrated he went back to his village after working as a technician for a few months and allured by the prospect of earning quick money he got involved in the trafficking of alcohol due to which he was apprehended and sent to jail a number of times. As he rotted behind bars, his family too sharing a similar fate were experiencing acute financial crisis forcing his wife and children to look for work in order to overcome the dire state they were in. Things became tougher by the series of the wrong decision he had been taking and lack of determination and not overcoming the fact that he can do both write and can be a technician too at the same time!
One day fed up beyond measure with the present life he decided to walk away from the alcohol trafficking business, thus determining to lead a righteous and honest life. He was greatly moved by the abysmal condition of his family with his children deprived of school, and all joys that childhood offers working as laborers in a small granary.
He shifted to Delhi once again in the hope of a good job, and this time along with his family comprising of his wife and three children. After several refusals and dejections, he finally got employed as a guard and thus has been in this profession for the last twenty-five years in the Vasundhara Enclave area of New Delhi.
This state of stability did not happen for long and due to the anxiety for better future of kids, He started drinking heavily and before he could even realize in which deep pit he has rolled into. His so far maintained life started to collapse. His financial state deteriorated as he was expelled from his job, and his wife was forced to work as a house-maid.
Again he fights for the comeback and understood another lesson that being anxious about the future is not going to help but working towards it indeed will. He has resorted to yoga which gradually helped him became calmer, composed and real person. With these qualities, he made a comeback to his normal state again by facilitating his effort to quit his addiction. He won back his job by becoming regular in his duties and swore to himself that he will keep his will-power strong. His dream now is to see his three children living their dreams.
Poverty has been an issue for our nation since time without beginning it seems, and today nearing seventy years of independence there is still a long way to cover towards improvement. A massive section of our population is still under the below poverty line with no roof on their heads, and two meals a day being a tenacious struggle numbing all dreams and aspirations. Street vendors, urchins, house-maids, rickshaw, and e-rickshaw drivers possess a fading glint in their eyes conveying a strong message that their hopes have reached their limits. Those born in affluent classes even though see the apparent reality in front still so preoccupied with their own image, appearance and meaningless pleasures they have become blind to the plight of their own countrymen, with eyes open as wide as two banks of a river. The smell of their under-arms, the gaps between their teeth, curves, and muscles is what matters the most and is considered to be one’s topmost priority rather than pondering on the question of elevating millions living in dire states of misery and helplessness.