Monday, December 10, 2007


I always possessed more than I ever needed. My parents had provided me with all that I asked and what they thought I should have. I had a fountain pen before I could write with a pencil, shoes before I could tie my laces and a muffler before winters arrived. Not to forget to mention they sent my elder sister and me to a residential school in Mussoorie. We had the best upbringing we could ever imagine.

While in school we could walk as far as we could, but had to return by the time the big iron bell stopped resonating, its echoes among the hills. We were not allowed into the girl’s school but knew everything that happened there, told to us by teachers themselves. We knew our house master had our money but we were afraid to ask for it, fully knowing it is our money. We were brought up in a very lenient yet disciplined, restrained yet open, casual yet constrained environment. We lived a very, very sheltered life up on the hills. And as is said about the people on hills, we really were a very straight thinking, simple hearted and content beings. One fine day, we graduated from school.

Or should I say we joined another school? Here, time was our teacher, struggle our best friend, dreams our play time and every situation a new subject to learn. Back in school, the Principal was never to be seen. Infact, he was not supposed to be seen, called or asked for. The mere mention of his name caused chaos. Children ran to their class rooms, teachers ran to their mess and the other staff converted to robots doing things in the best mechanical way possible. He was terror personified. The Principal visited school only in extreme cases, something celebrating or reproachful. God save us if it was the latter. Here in the new school too, we still had to get to see our new Principal. From the serene surroundings of the green mountains we were thrown into the big bad burly world. We had no clue who was running the show. Who was the Principal?

In the new school there was nothing in common with my old school. There was no leniency, no openness, nothing casual. Everything followed a regime, each move was restrained and every thought was constrained. Or was it? I thought to myself there must be something in common between these two schools of thought. As time passed by teaching, struggle helping out most times as a friend and circumstances bringing out new craters of wisdom, things got clearer and better.

I can clearly see the commonality between the two schools. Rather, should I say the glaring difference, the reason of existence of such schools? My old school always taught me to be grateful to others, appreciate a fellow being’s feelings, sympathize with emotions and respect all religions. My new school has taught me live for self, sympathy is for the weak and there is only one religion. We live, pray and die for just one thing.

Hence, I say, there are no atheists in this world. We all believe in God. Money is God.

**** End ****

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