On a bright Sunday morning, Sunish sat back, reading his favorite comic strip, in The Times of India. The cartoon series YOU SAID IT, by RK Laxman, had won the hearts of the masses—the reason was the character.
The common man stood beside each incident in a common man’s daily life. In the real democratic world, the power of a common man is enormous but hidden; surprised by parameters like unawareness, cowardice and moreover ad escapist attitude which prevents a common man from practicing or enjoying his power. The common man desires to be someone very powerful and special, but amidst all this desire, he forgets that he is still a powerful common man, with untapped potential waiting to explode.
Sunish was not a prey to this ideology. Ever since his birth, he desired to be someone very special or rather different. He was born to a lower-middle-class family in the financial capital of India, Mumbai. His family was very simple, but he neither accepted nor exercised any simplicity. He would go out of the way to prove himself special and different, but all in vain.
In kindergarten, he was a popular student. This made him very happy, but no different than others. He was an average student in the primary school. However, he worked hard and managed to become a bright student in the secondary school. He studied very hard in grade seventh and stood third in the class. This was the first time that he felt very unique.
His favorite quote after this success was I AM DIFFERENT YOU SEE.
But not for much longer. He saw that his fame was forgotten because there were other children in other sections who also came third. He was very upset about this. He started taking an active part in sports and cultural activities. He was a very popular boy soon. All the pretty girls in the school had their place in his phone book. He was constantly performing but at the end of the day, he was still a common man. When he looked around, he saw so many boys from other schools who were even more popular than him.
Something had to be done about that.
One fine day, he was made the monitor of the class. He wanted to show the class that he can be the most mischievous boy in the school while being a monitor. The teachers were fed up with this and threw him out of the class. But he could answer any question asked to class from outside and earn a place inside the class again.
He felt very proud of it till one day when this was brought into the notice of the principal of the school.
Sunish, you are the first monitor in the history of school to be thrown out of the class.
Oh yes! Also, the first monitor to answer every question from outside the class. I am an outstanding student.
He never knew that this statement would cost him a lot. He definitely became popular among peers, but also got suspended for a week. His dream of being special and different shattered many times continuously, till he came second in the school in English. He won laurels and even a very positive feedback from his class teacher. He had scored a distinction in his last school examination. After school, he attended the best college in the city, especially to be special and different. He read many books and spoke many languages. Suddenly, things were very different and he was the best student in the college.
He was so popular that he was elected as the leader of the student council. Maybe, maybe this was a turning point in Sunish’s life. He mastered all he did. Worked very hard in life. Chose his dream career and excelled in life. His work paid him well and he was made a team leader, then a department head. He drew a high salary. He was surely on the top now due to his early success. He had reached where he dreamed of being.
Life went on with a series of successes and one fine day he met the light of his life, Roshini. She was a smart girl who joined Sunish’s team. His friendly nature helped him to be good friends with her. He taught her all the skills needed for the business. He always tried to impress her with his achievements in the company, so that she would feel that he was someone very special and different.
Roshini was from a rich business class family and knew the tricks of the trade. She always tried to explain to him the reason why he was presented as very special and different in the company. She always wanted him to realize his own potential as the man he was deep inside. She loved simple and common things.
Rohini, I do not wish to live a common life. I was not born for that.
But indeed, you are living in the love of common people like your own parents. Famous or rich personalities do not influence your life dear, it’s the most common people who are close to you, Sunish.
Days paused and a deep feeling of love had evolved between them. They shared different thoughts but were the best of friends. He was very happy with his special and unique life. He proposed to Roshini one fine day through a greeting card. She knew exactly what he wanted to say. They both accepted each other for their lifetime. Soon a day for the wedding was fixed.
On a summer evening one day, they went for a stroll on the sea-shore. The sun was about to set for the day. Sunish held Roshni’s with both his hands. He looked deep into her eyes for a while, as if he was finding an answer in the eye of the oracle.
Roshini, we’re about to take a big step in life, what did you find in me? Was it my rare talent or skills, or the position I have in the industry, or I am smart or destiny?
I love you because you’re a common man, dear Sunish.
Time stopped for Sunish for that moment. He understood the conclusion of his life. The Gulliver syndrome embraced him, like Gulliver, when he was the tallest and strongest among dwarfs, he felt on top of the world, but suddenly found himself a dwarf in another country, where others were taller and stronger than him but he realized the power of common.
They both embraced each other and looked at the sun going down and from that day Sunish loved the cartoon of the common man.