As we were laughing in the bus, he remarked, "Dude, do you remember how it was for us at the beginning of 11th?"
I did remember. And it brought back a lot of memories...
At the beginning of my 11th, I had reached the end of my 6 year long life at my previous school. That meant I was leaving behind the best school, best group of friends, and above all, a sense of happiness and comfort. And what did I have to look forward to? Nothing. Nothing other than studiying.
People - including my parents, over zealous teachers and pessimistic classmates - kept reminding me about how much I had to study, how serious I had to be in life, and just how useless it would be to go in search of fun and happiness.
So what was I supposed to do? That's when I thought of the "Bat and Ball" story. It's completely fictional, though it can obviously happen for real. Read the story, and hopefully you'll understand what I mean...
An year ago, I had to go to my ancestral home in India, and stay there for an exceptionally long two months. I had nothing to do, except walk around the house and spy on my neighbours. That's when I saw something interesting in the house next door. An NRI family had arrived, among them a kid of about my age. He seemed really frustrated that the house had no television, computer, MP3 player - heck, it didnt even have regular electricity supply.
So I spent two weeks, watching the kid from my first floor bedroom window. He was lying in his room, having nothing to do at all. There were a few dusty books in the room. And two other things. A cricket bat, and a cricket ball.
The kid got so used to the idleness, that he didnt mind it after a while. Finally, he left with his parents, after wasting his two week vacation.
Next up, was another kid, probably a cousin of the first. He reacted in the same way when he came to know that there was no modern entertainment facility around. But this guy, being a bit more sportive, decided to toss the ball around, and hit it. That is, until he broke a vase. That stopped his cricketing exploits. He too was glad to leave three weeks later. Though his vacation was probably boring...
Finally, the third kid arrived. This guy seemed different from the rest. Sure, he did fuss about the same things as the other two, but there was a difference. On the second day of his visit, he picked up the cricket bat, tossed the ball in the air, and a smile formed on his face. He then did something that surprised even me.
He went to the neighbouring houses, and asked if there were any kids of his age, who were interested in playing. They were a bit surprised, and besides, they didnt have any stumps. Didnt matter for the kid. He asked them to meet him in the field behind his house.
Within an hour, about 16 guys, including me, were playing cricket. It was funny, because we used coconut barks for the stumps, and the players were either too small for the bat, or too big. But surprisingly, we played. Till Sunset. And what was more, we decided to play the next day as well. In fact we all played for the next two weeks. It was the best two weeks of my vacation.
I thought about this later. And here's what struck me.
The world around us, is filled with the three type of kids. There are some, who complain about how unlucky they are, and do nothing to change the situation. Then there are some, who try to make the best out of their situation, but loose hope after a while. Finally, there is the third kind. The people who set out to change their situation, so that they end up creating memories, fulfilling dreams...and in simple terms, stay happy.
My friend told me the following, just one week after entering 11th grade.
Sure, sometimes life does seem to be crap. Because, like the three boys in the story, we dont get a computer, television, or even an MP3 player. But you know what? Sometimes in life, all we need to have fun....is a bat and a ball.