Society & Lifestyle
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The Journey: The Halo Dreams
|by T. A. Ramesh|
Continued from "The Confusion .... "
Balu came forward with an idea and said, 'All the topics can be discussed one after the other. Let us choose one from those topics. For that let us write them down on small pieces of paper and one piece has to be picked up by anyone of the Haloens. That is the point. Now, who has to pick it up?'
Vaithianathan thought of something for a while and said, 'I find it difficult to say any point on any of those topics. I have to think much and so, for this meeting I want to be a listener rather than a participant.'
This was found to be a consoling thing for Selvam and Gopal. So, Selvam said, 'I am not a good talker. But other friends have to bear with my monotonous and dry talk.'
And Gopal said, 'I can talk well in my topic and not in other topics chosen by you. So, there won't be much for me to contribute, if the discussion starts on other topics.'
At that moment Kannan came forward to pacify the Haloens. He said, 'You see, my friend, you should not feel that we are going to have a debate like discussion. We are going to have conversation only. We need not be specific. We have to give the opinion we have. The conversation should be congenial and lovely to everyone. Otherwise, we need not talk on difficult topics. Let us see that what topic is liked by all. I am ready for any topic not that I know much but that I think I can offer my views in a general way. Let there be mistakes. We can correct ourselves. What is there in it? That is all.'
'Don't say like that Kannan,' said Balu, 'we need not select another topic. We can modify the already said topics. That will be the best thing that can be done. We can do that in no time as we go to some hotel and have a cup of coffee along with some tiffin.'
This plan was agreed by all. So, they left the botanic garden and soon reached a small restaurant near the park. They settled themselves around a good table and ordered for potato chips and hot coffee.
Then the conversation was on why they had selected the topics they declared in the garden. That was opened by Vaithianathan.
'We are happy today. We don't know how the future will be. Once we get a job, we will be scattered to various places. Then there won't be much time for us to meet together like this and spend the time exchanging our views of the heart. That is why I want to express what sort of a life I like to lead!'
Next Kannan gave his view. 'I already have a sound experience in life. We don't know what will happen next. I have you as my friends. It is a fortunate thing for me. I am able to forget my worries and troubles when I am with you.
Without friends one will be like a brute and he will not have good people to talk to and get encouragement for pulling on his life further. Moreover, one can earn as much money as one likes in whatever possible way, but it will be very difficult to have good and worthwhile friends. Even if you lose everything in life, you will get solace and ideas if you have gentle friends. That is why I would like to select the topic ' Friendship.'
Selvam and Gopal consulted among themselves and Gopal said, 'We have informed you why we have selected such topics, when we were in the garden.'
Then Balu said, 'In the name of religion many political parties have come in our country. They are neither preaching any morality nor doing any useful thing to our country. They are just deceiving the mass and filling up their bellies and pockets, when they get elected in the election. These people should be severely dealt with. Religion should be saved from the goondas. That is why I selected a topic like that.'
That conversation turned on personal things and again shifted to the life problems. So, they all liked to know what life was actually like. They decided to have a general talk on life that evening. The time was 6.45. The Bill for the tiffin came to the table. Kannan paid the Bill. They came out of the restaurant and made their way to the beach.
It looked a fresh thought had to be infused in the minds of the Haloens. Kannan paved the way for a long conversation.
'Again it has to be remembered, my friends, that the halo is a luminous reflection of the Moon's outer rim falling on the moisture in the atmosphere creating a unique sensation to the onlooker. The foundation of our friendship was laid on the day when we saw the luminous halo of the Moon in the sky at the first meeting in our park. Mainly due to this beautiful natural phenomenon which gave us a unique pleasure on that pleasant evening we selected the name, THE HALO to our group.
The Halo is the symbol of maturity of knowledge or wisdom. This Halo is a unique beauty that has to represent and interpret what is our group whenever we happen to see it as time passes on. In so far as the things that issue out of our speeches and writings from the confluence of our thoughts we should be as creative, inventive and innovative as the fine Halo. So, dear Haloens shall I expect the process of our intellectual thought to be true to my interpretation of our Halo?'
Vaithianathan appreciated this view and said, 'Mr. Kannan, your explanation regarding the importance of The Halo is sharpening our brains. In this connection, I can say that the topic ' Life, which we have chosen just now is an aspect produced by the nature of other topics on which we are interested to have a discussion sooner or later. I think we can start talking on this topic.'
As a continuation of that view Balu said, 'It is really an interesting evening because of the enthusiasm of all the friends of our Halo. I think it will be well if we proceed with this topic by the question and answer method so that we may not enter into the quagmire of unnecessary and vague talks like the old people do.'
To put forth his things clearly, Gopal said, 'To have interesting talk on this topic, we should not have a strict rule. It will be difficult to proceed well after sometime if we adopt only one method. It is not difficult. But the thing I like to point out is that this topic is a contemplative one and there should not be any misunderstanding over anyone, if one goes wrong anywhere. If this is agreed upon, then the talk will be congenial to everyone.'
Supporting this view, Selvam said, 'The question and answer method is good. But if anyone makes any mistake, it should be corrected in a mild way, or the answer should be given by somebody else in order to keep the continuity of the talk get unimpaired.'
Therefore Kannan said, 'We are going to have a conversation only and not a debate. So, there need not be any condition or remarks that have to be followed. Let us be free and forget about the odds we come across. It is not going to be the ideal or the permanent thing. It is only the view, we are going to express upon life, in general.'
The inspiring talk of Kannan gave the impetus to the friends to probe, explore and discover life and to find out what is interesting, innovative and creative in life. While musing over these things they reached the sea shore. It was a Full Moon day. The sea was well exposed by the Moon light. The Stars were bright. Two ships were seen anchored at the distant sea. The broken parts of the iron rod pier protruding out of the sea for a small stretch were offering a new kind of sensation to one and all to look at them more curiously than before. The image of the Moon lying on the dancing waves below the broken iron protrusion gave a quivering artistic beauty to the whole place.
Kannan and his friends sat down on the sand seeing the beautiful scene. It became a necessity that Balu had to start with his questions. So, seeing the Stars, Balu asked Kannan, 'What is life?'
Kannan answered, 'What we live is life. Whoever one is, one likes to have happiness and peace. So, happiness and peace are the aim of life. If the world is full of miseries, then nobody will like to live. Therefore, it can be said that the work one does makes one's life.'
Everyone was internally arguing about the merits and demerits of that statement. But there was no criticism from anyone.
Then Selvam put a question in general, 'What is the way in which one should lead a life?'
It was a question open to all. There was a pause for sometime. Then the answers were systematically voiced by all one after the other.
First, Kannan said, 'We are one among the society. We should go according to the society and at the same time we should fulfill our aim. This way we can avert quite a lot of clashes and it will be easy for anyone to overcome the obstructions on the way of our progress.'
Second, Balu proceeded, 'We are the master of our own Self. We have every liberty to live in the way we like. We should not expect more and anything from others. We have to work in our own way and get satisfaction in life.'
Third, Selvam said, 'We should know how to move with other people. We should know how our neighbor is. We will then have knowledge about the world. Then only we can avert troubles and can lead a life we prefer.'
Fourth, Vaithianathan said, 'Discipline is important in life. Society will not do anything to individual's life. So, we can lead a life not by copying the life our society leads but by following our own conscience. We can even lead a life away from the society and alone in the society. Then only we can develop ourselves and be a model or an example to the world. That is my way of living.'
Fifth, Gopal said, 'We should lead a life by making use of our education. We should eliminate the evils of our orthodoxy both in the community and in the society. It is not necessary that we have to obey to elders always and prove ourselves to be good people. It is a sheer hypocrisy. We should fight against conventional ideas and habits and fulfill our ideals. That should be the motive of our life.'
All the views were quite interesting to each and everyone. They thought that their opinions would guide them where they were right or wrong. So, they came to the conclusion that 'life is a kind of adventure or a kind of exploration, which everyone has to experience in order to understand the importance of it as time passes on.' With this view in conclusion the get together came to an end.
The next Saturday evening Kannan was walking on the pavement towards the Venus Caf'. People were seen moving in and out of the show rooms and the shops. He stood in a place for a moment to see the movements of the vehicles in the traffic there. Then he went on with a steady pace observing the fashionable people, cars of different models and the fanciful articles of each and every show room in that street. At last he entered the Venus caf' and took a chair in one corner of the hall.
'What do you want, Sir?' asked the waiter in white uniform dress with a green turban on his head.
'Please come after a few minutes,' said Kannan, 'I am waiting for my friends.'
For him it seemed that the caf' was the best rendezvous for young people. The cigarette smoke was occupying the whole area. It induced everyone to start smoking, when they entered the caf'. No one bothered about the injury it did to the lungs. It is one of the aspects of our modern civilisation. After a few minutes, Balu arrived there, sat by the side of Kannan and proffered a Wills Flake cigarette pack. He also took one cigarette. Balu showed the burning match stick to the cigarettes and they started smoking.
'It is better to smoke than to inhale the black smoke emitted by the people around here. Where are our friends, Balu?'
'They have gone to Gopal's house and will come soon. What shall we have in the meantime?'
They ordered for a plate of potato chips. By the time the chips came to the table all the other Haloens had come there and exchanged wishes among themselves. Then glasses of cold water came to the table. The waiter got orders for vegetable cut-let, egg-omelette and hot coffee from them.
There was decisiveness and finality in the way Kannan pressed the cigarette butt into the ash tray. While slicing the vegetable cutlet, he spoke, 'I have obtained an appointment letter from the office of THE TREASURE magazine this morning. I am supposed to report to this office next Monday. After meeting the proprietor of that office in Madras, I shall know the names of the places I have to visit in South India. Then only it seems, a programme can be fixed by them.'
After eating the last piece of the vegetable cutlet Balu said, 'The way it goes, I think, you may have to write reports on the places you are going to visit. What is the idea you have regarding this?'
'The proprietor of THE TREASURE knows well about my taste in writing. More than this he knows also that I am interested in writing something new and innovative. He is a man of such thoughts too. So, there shall be something special in this appointment. But I feel that I will be writing only articles with some modifications according to his editorial policy.'
After giving his reply to the question of Balu, Kannan drank a mouthful of water from the glass in one gulp. He dragged near to his side one plate containing egg omelette and started applying pepper and salt to the yellow stuff. Tasting a small piece of the omelette, he turned to Vaithianathan who had started eating egg omelette before everyone.
'What Mr. Vaithianathan,' asked he, 'you are not saying anything today like Mr. Gopal and Mr. Selvam? Say something interesting. I want to hear your views very much.'
Stopping his busy activity for a while, he said, 'It is a remarkable thing for me to be in your company. I like to listen to you. My dilemma now is that I have to choose between law and job. I have applied for the law course here. If I get a job I shall discontinue the course and go out somewhere like you and work for my livelihood. That is the position of my story now.'
But Kannan said, 'There is no dilemma in your case. You can continue your study of law in the correspondence course even if you join in any work anywhere or by taking study leave after a few months perhaps.'
Disappointed Selvam intervened in their talk and said, 'All are going out to some place you like. But what about the meet of our Halo' when and where and how?'
In that connection Balu said, 'I wonder Selvam is also much concerned with the break of our Halo! I would like to say that I may also go out of home if I got an appointment in the government office as I have written one UDC Exam recently. This is mainly because I am not satisfied with the present salary I am getting and another thing is I can be away from my troublesome relatives of my family.'
'So, I am the only person who may have to look after The Halo with Selvam in this town, it seems,' said Gopal in a pathetic mood.
Again to maintain the good tempo of their talk, Kannan said, 'Humour is the spice of life. Nothing is great unless there is a sense of humour. Our group is not lacking this sense. That is good. We have to keep this situation up forever. But at the same time we should not forget that our motto is integrity of thoughts, words and deeds. If we think one thing and say one thing and do some other thing, it will not be becoming of a good Haloen. So, Gopal you should not forget what you have just now said and should not fail to do so even if myself, Balu and our Vaithianathan leave the town immediately.'
By saying so Kannan with a suppressed smile looked at Selvam and then at Balu. Before anyone raised his voice, the waiter stood before them and waited for further orders. With the consultation of his friends Kannan ordered the waiter for hot coffee and a few more glasses of water. Then Kannan took up the question put forth by Selvam to offer his opinion.
He said, 'The question Selvam has raised regarding the meeting of our Halo is relevant. You can continue the meetings in the Sundays as usual. The thing is one has to put down in writing what you have discussed and post it to me so that I can write my views too and send it to you for your perusal. I will be meeting you in paper rather than in person. So, there is no incumbent to be dealt with and we can very well enrich our knowledge, develop our character and make ourselves have a clear voice over any issue. By this way we can develop our personality, which is quite unique to this Halo!'
The table was cleared and cups of coffee were placed for all to enjoy. Everyone took one cup and started sipping the hot flavoured coffee. Balu, who got some ideas, put forth his suggestions to them.
'It is a good thing if we write down what we discuss every week so that we can understand how far we have progressed in our way to attain our cherished goals. In addition to this every month we can publish a magazine for our private circulation. This will be an interesting work for our Halo. As you all know that 'Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man and writing an exact man!' we can start this magazine work from the next month onwards so that we can slowly develop our integrity of thoughts, words and deeds. This will make us perfect one day.'
For clarification Vaithianathan asked, 'It is interesting to hear your new suggestion, Balu. Could you explain the essential features of this magazine?'
In his explanation Balu said, 'This magazine is just like any other simple magazine you can find in our town. The objective of this magazine is to express what we know, feel ad what we like to criticise, comment and correct. You can write anything you like. This magazine will contain one Editorial, articles, newspaper cuttings, etc. The topics we discuss every week can be written in the form of a report which will be included as one of the articles of this magazine.'
Selvam had his own doubts. He enquired, 'Who is the Editor and who is the Reporter for this magazine?'
In reply Balu said, 'Anyone can be the editor and anyone can be the reporter. I have said about the feature of the magazine and we can all decide who the editor will be and who the reporter will be.'
'I don't think that this will be an easy work,' opined Gopal. 'Some are interested in writing and some have no taste at all for that. And besides, where is the time to write when we have got so many works at home and out?'
Balu said simply, 'Where there is a well, there is a way! Let us see what Kannan can say about this work.'
In order to make his point clear Kannan said, 'This is not bad! Magazine is a wonderful media to exchange our knowledge and ideas! There should not be compulsion over anyone. It should be a voluntary work. No serious thought is necessary for this work. This is a friendly magazine and is meant for limited circulation only. So, who bothers if anyone goes wrong anywhere'? Size of the articles can be left to the privilege of the contributors. Everyone can become an editor one by one and so also for the post of reporter.'
Balu said, 'This is now clear to everyone, I think. So, let us choose the first editor and the first reporter for the first issue which will be released on the first day of next month.'
'By the way, what will be the name of the magazine?' asked Vaithianathan.
'Why? It is the name of our group ' THE HALO,' swiftly said Balu. 'THE HALO is the name of our magazine too.'
In support of that name Kannan said, 'Let the editorial work be allotted to Balu as he has suggested the wonderful idea of starting a magazine for the improvement of this Halo group and let me take up the report writing work for the first issue. And other Haloens may contribute their articles. I think Vaithianathan can be the Associate Editor to compile the magazine. In the second issue Selvam and Gopal have to take up the works of the Editor and the Reporter respectively. And the cycle has to be continued by turn. This will be a kind of child's play and so, there won't be much difficulty for anyone.'
All accepted this proposal. The waiter brought the Bill to the table. Balu paid the bill. The wall clock of the Venus Caf' showed 7 p.m. The Halo group left the Venus Caf' and then straight away went to the Bharat Library in the White town.
They saw the young and old people of the Ashram were hurrying to the play ground to perform the meditation work. The purity of the mind and the body were keeping them fresh and free and were slowly leading them to the state of spiritual enlightenment as days passed on. The white town area was also occupied by the French and Anglo-Indian people. In some of the houses, which were quite colossal, notes of different musical instruments were heard. The young people were seen playing cards with glasses of some drinks they preferred. The place was quite calm and serene. The Bharat Library was a tall roofed building near a good old French church built nearly two centuries ago.
The Haloens put their signatures in the reception booth and entered into the Library hall. The chief librarian, a stout and tall old man by the name Ganesan was writing something. His smoking pipe was lying on the table near his left hand. When he saw them, Mr. Ganesan invited them and showed them to sit on the chairs around his big table.
Mr. Ganesan said to Kannan and his friends, 'First of all I have to thank you very much for your out standing fund collection for the development and the extension of this library. This is an official thanks to you Kannan. Personally I convey my hearty wishes for your literary ventures!'
Kannan cut short the matter. While briefing his opinion he said, 'This is only a common thing when education develops enormously in our country. For this, such a great praise is not necessary. Though library is a part of educational equipment, it has to improve and develop much to shackle off the ties of ignorance in our country. This will go a long way to eradicate poverty and curb diseases.
My point of visit with my friends to your office at this hour is to inform you that I have become a journalist. I have got an appointment in THE TREASURE and so, I won't be available here from the next Monday onwards. I may or may not come here for the inauguration of the new extension of this library.'
'But Kannan,' said Ganesan, 'the construction work will take time. I never thought that so soon you will have to leave this place. But any way the profession you have chosen is praise worthy one. Usually journalists are called the fourth columnists because of their social importance. It is an old saying that doctors burry their mistakes, lawyers hang them, but journalists put them on the front page. This is because journalists are quite frank and point blank in conveying truth to the public whenever they came across anywhere in the world. It is said of the journalists that they have the soul of an artist and the mind of a scientist. So, it can be said that journalism is the science of art. So much is there for journalism. And I wish you success in all your ventures once again!'
'It is giving me much inspiration, Mr. Ganesan. I thank you very much for giving so high an importance to this profession.'
Taking out a paper slip, Mr. Ganesan wrote something and handed it over to Kannan. While he was going through it, Mr. Ganesan proceeded with his talk.
'This professor working in Lords College is a friend of mine. Please meet him if possible. He will guide you on matters which are testing you much. He can talk on any subject hours together. I hope you can understand and make use of him.'
The Halo group took leave of him and left the office in no minute. 'Bhoom! Bhoom!' The horn sound of a Ship leaving the port was heard. They were also walking towards the port office. On their way they asked what supper would be available in the Chinese restaurant. Then they continued their walk.
'It is not necessary that I should meet Mr. Ganesan,' said Kannan to his friends. 'His voice is quite inspiring. Whenever I see him and hear his voice a sense of responsibility comes to me and invigorates me to do some mighty work. It is known that 1% of inspiration and 99% of perspiration are required to do a work successfully. This one percent of inspiration is the drive required to make 99% of hard work to yield the result ' a thing of achievement. This one percent inspiration is obtained from persons like Mr. Ganesan. That is why I called on him today.'
Vaithianathan said, 'Your departure is going to be felt very much by us. Though we may write letters to you, it would not be as interesting and effective as personal discussion.'
Balu opined, 'That is correct. But we cannot hope so always. We are not born together. When we die we are not going to die together. It is quite natural to everyone. But promise, friendship and love are irreplaceable. We have to stick to it. If we do that, it will be sufficient and that is the thing we are expected to do.'
Then Kannan opined, 'Wherever I go I consider myself to be the representative of THE HALO. Whatever I come across I shall share with you. I will act according to our motto and I shall send all possible useful information to you for your development. That will be my prime work in this mission.'
When they reached the port, they made their way to the sand. Most of the people were getting up and leaving the place. When they settled there, Gopal lit a cigarette and gave the packet to Balu, who proffered them to rest of the crew.
As the smoke was coming through his nostrils Gopal said, 'That Ganesan has also attracted me much. I have seen him smoking his pipe very often. I like to enjoy smoking the pipe one day.'
In retaliation Selvam said, 'I am not much old to smoke pipe. But cigarette is handy. What do you say Kannan?'
With laughter Kannan smoked for sometime. He said, 'It is left to the individual's choice. Anything is preferable to me.'
Time was moving without notice. One hour passed. The friends got up and left for the Chinese restaurant. They enjoyed the supper listening to some French light music. Then they The harbour was bright with lights. Loading and unloading work was going on. Small motor boats were seen nearing the harbour and stopping there safely. Some people came out of the boats. Diesel Locomotive connected with a chain of goods wagon started moving from the harbour. A few more people got into the motor boats from the pier. Two motor boats started the engines and left for the three ships anchored a furlong from the pier. The sound of the Locomotive disappeared soon. It was silent then. The motor boats were tossing up and down on the lulling water. The sea was dark. The lights in the ships were shining like yellow diamonds. The breeze was heavy and cool.
They left the place in two cycle rickshaws.
The time was 03.30 hours. He woke up from his bed. He had his shave and brushed his teeth. He opened his leather suit-case, which was containing all his dresses required for an indefinite stay anywhere and placed his tooth brush, razor packet and after shave lotion in the corner gaps. After having a hot bath, he cleaned the soap box and dried it well; then he combed his hair. Whistling a tune he stuffed the leather suit case with the soap box, towel, well sealed hair oil bottle and locked it. Then he took out a brief case from his wardrobe, kept some documents, and checked it. Then he took out the other contents of the brief case and with a satisfied gesture, he locked the ward robe. After wearing his black shoes he went down to the street.
The man, who was going to look after the house was standing there; he said a few words to him, handed over a few letters to him and said 'Good Bye!' to him.
As the luxury bus started moving Kannan saw that the time was nearing 05.05 hours. He relaxed himself well and lit a cigarette. Outside the bus the place was still dark. The Sun had yet to come. He slowly visualised what had happened when he was to leave for Bangalore from the Mysore Railway Station a few months back. A flash back of what had taken place at that time appeared on the screen of his mind'
The incidence started in the Mysore Railway Station. The Mysore-Bangalore Passenger Train had not yet come to the Platform No. 1. After taking a cup of hot milk, Kannan stood near a Book-Stall. Various periodicals, magazines, newspapers, novels, etc. were exhibited there. Among them he chose a fortnightly magazine, THE TREASURE. The train came to the first platform at 21.05 hours. He got into the II Class compartment and settled himself by the side of the window.
Opposite to him a middle aged man with a well grown moustache sat by the side of the other window. Kannan was already going through one the articles of THE TREASURE. The middle aged man casually looked at the people in the compartment and curiously observed Kannan while he was silently reading the magazine. Then the man bought a newspaper from the paper selling boy and started going through the current events of the day.
At 22.00 hours, the train started moving from the station as slowly as possible. Kannan closed the magazine and looked at the moving scenes of the stalls, people, the changing railway tracks, the signal post, the goods train standing in the other tracks, the locomotive sheds, the hissing engines, the fly over road bridges and the dark sky with sparkling Stars for a considerable time.
When he was turning over a page, a sheet flew away in the wind to the side of Kannan. The middle aged man received it from Kannan with thanks. Then he offered a cigarette to Kannan and he introduced himself to him that he was the proprietor of THE TREASURE.
'My name is Janakan,' said the proprietor of that magazine. For this Kannan said, 'It is a surprising thing to see the proprietor and the magazine at the same time. My name is Ananda Kannan. You may just call me as Kannan.'
'May I know what you are doing Mr. Kannan?'
'Yes, by all means!' said Kannan. 'I am one of the partners of General Electrical Equipments Limited. Just two days back I attended one business conference in Bangalore. I came to Mysore with a sales representative of another firm just to see Brindhawan Park. Now I am returning to Bangalore...'
With this introduction, Kannan gave to Mr. Janakan one of his visiting cards and requested him to pay a visit to his office if he gets any opportunity to go over that side.'
Receiving the card, Mr.Janakan said, 'So, we are both close neighbours!'
'How?' asked Kannan.
'I am in Madras,' said Mr. Janakan; 'the office of THE TREASURE is in the Mount Road near the LIC Building. I also invite you to pay a visit to our office one day and see how our office functions. It will be interesting to you being a business man, because you have to advertise your products in various magazines and papers. Please don't forget THE TREASURE, If you have an idea of that sort. Our rates are very meagre!'
'Sure,' said Kannan, 'I will avail myself of your magazine for advertising our products one day.'
Putting out the fire of the cigarette by his boot, Kannan turned the pages of THE TREASURE. Again the conversation resumed between them.
'Mr. Janakan, in your magazine also I find a page allotted to the Horoscope. Is it really a believable one?'
Janakan smiled and said, 'Horoscope is just for fun and encouragement to our readers Mr. Kannan. Our motto is service to humanity. This Horoscope, Reviews of Cinemas, Caricatures, Jokes and Political Articles attract many people. But the Short Stories, Articles on Current Affairs and General Topics and Poems serve the interest of intellectuals, learned and literary readers. Our articles reflect the social malaise, struggle and progress. We have introduced Travelogues, Biographies and Historical Literatures too for developing optimistic and advanced citizens.'
'Yes, that is there. They are the vital things necessary for the development of minds and for healthy out look of the world. Everyone talks about humanity. Actually, what is humanity? This question often crops up in my mind when I see articles preaching about it. What do you say about this Mr. Janakan?'
'My dear Sir, you are asking me a simple but at the same time a vital question. Man is yet to learn to be humane' then only he will be called as a human being. Our job is to preach what is civilisation, culture, etc. to make people feel that life is not much hard. Out of necessity man has become hard and even heartless at times. He has to learn that he cannot live by food alone. His heart and mind require suitable food so that he would feel free and try to share his materials with others ' love others by that way, move like a man with other men. By being so he would become a human being rather than a social animal always. To put it plain humanity is mankind endowed with kindness, love, sentiments, concern for others and so on. Our duty is to put it more precisely than before to remind the people of these noble habits people have to cultivate in them.'
'Your interpretation about humanity in general is thought provoking, Mr. Janakan. Now that the War between India and Pakistan ' both East and West is over, a new nation called Bangladesh is born. India has waged this war on humanitarian ground. But the world is not at all aware of the humanitarian implications behind this war ' a moral war so to say. What explanation do you give for the issue, Sir?'
'Our involvement in this war was an integration of morality, humanity and politics. The other party in this war was not bothered in the least about morality and humanity. They were concerned with politics alone. And most of the countries in the world were also so. That was why our efforts were bitterly criticised by the Western countries. They understand our intentions, no doubt, after every country in the world understands!
Russia supported us. It was a different matter. This does not mean that morality or humanity is in Russia. That was also a political manipulation. In view of such intentions, expectations of all countries, we can have the satisfaction that India is the only country which believes in humanity rather than any other orthodoxies of Religion or any political ideologies like communism or capitalism. We are quite clearly out of these spheres of influence.
We are lovers of international peace, non-alignment and non-aggression. These noble ideas take a long-time to get into the heads of other nations. Yet there are exceptions. Their voices are not heard in the bombarding noises of Big Powers! Our intention is great, our pursuit is noble and we have to pursue according to our policies. That is the thing I can say for the present.'
'This means unless one loves one's neighbours and cooperates with them in good deeds man cannot become a human being but only a social animal. Even though we love others unless there is reciprocation from them, peaceful co-existence is not fully possible. Please recollect what the Chinese did when our country extended her hand of friendship to them. So, what is required first is understanding before anything else. Therefore unless we understand the nature and tendencies of our neighbours we cannot make a positive move or do anything constructive towards the development of humanity as a whole.'
'As far as you know, by what means mutual understanding can be developed would you explain, Mr. Kannan?'
'Yes Mr. Janakan, it is a simple one. By way of communication, trade and cultural activities understanding between nations or men could be improved.'
'In this respect both business people and we are sailing in the same boat. This really gives pleasure for us to do our activities with much more interest than in anything else. I really feel proud to say so! I am happy to say so to you Mr. Kannan!'
'Mr. Janakan, when we are seriously going ahead in our tedious professions, our interests happen to get dissipated, you see. This sort of conversation in train or in any get together stimulates our intention. That is what I feel and I fully agree with you, Sir.'
There was a satisfied smile in both of their faces. The passenger train stopped in a sub-station, because a goods train was slowly approaching it in the same track. The Railway Station was dull with dim lamps burning here and there. A steam engine was letting out the steam from the barrel. There was rustling of tree leaves. Darkness was found everywhere outside the station. The time was 12.40 or so.
The proprietor of THE TREASURE looked by the window. He made his way to the toilet. After a few minutes he returned to his seat. He was sitting silent for a while. Then he approached the door and saw whether it was securely locked or not. With a satisfied look he returned and sat in his place.
Kannan resumed the conversation.
'What Sir! You have not said anything about your visit to Mysore or what is your purpose of going to Bangalore again?'
'Yes Mr. Kannan, I have to say regarding it too. We are trying to establish a branch office either in Mysore or Bangalore. We have good sales of our magazine in this State next to Tamil Nadu State. Both Mysore and Bangalore are suitable places for having our office. I would like to meet the known journalists of the leading Newspapers and then the Agents who do sales for our magazine. After this consultation, I shall decide either one of the places for our Branch Office. I may stay in Bangalore for two or three days. If you would be staying in Bangalore for a few days it would be a good company for me.'
'I don't have time Mr. Janakan. Most probably I shall be leaving Bangalore tomorrow evening itself. Thank you very much for your courtesy call.'
The goods train slowly reached the Station. The Mysore-Bangalore Passenger Train got the green signal and started moving away from the sub-station. Both Kannan and Janakan prepared for their beds and started sleeping in their berths. The head light of the train was bright, the night was pitch dark and the train then was moving swiftly with high speed'!
The time was 6.15 a.m. The luxury-bus left Tindivanam without a stop. The clouds in the Sky were clearing away and the Sun beams were falling on the side windows of the bus. Kannan unfolded from the cover a Sun glass and wore it over his eyes to over come the direct Sun beams falling on them. The road was broad and the bus was running with high speed.
At 7.15 a.m. the bus reached Mamondur. There Kannan also took his break fast in a hotel along with the other passengers. He bought THE INDIAN EXPRESS outside a stall there. He settles himself in his seat in the bus and started reading the paper. The bus after a twenty minute halt moved from that place and headed towards Madras.
Just at 8.30 a.m. the luxury bus entered the Mount Road of Madras city. The bus stopped before Safire Theatre. OPERATION DAY BREAK was the movie running in that cinema theatre. A brief note about the picture was written on one of the banners outside the theatre read as ' Assassination of a German Chief by two young British Soldiers ' And what they did when they were surrounded by the German Soldiers ' A Great Decision they took ' See to overcome Suspense!
'I shall see what is that operation in that Day Break,' said Kannan to himself.
Next stop of the bus was opposite to the LIC Building. He got down from the bus seeing that tall building there. Kannan entered the office of THE TREASURE. He approached the receptionist and showed his card to her.
'May I know whom you want to see and the nature of the visit?' enquired the beautiful receptionist lady in her sweet voice.
'I want to see Mr. Janakan. Just a courtesy call!'
The receptionist lady picked up her inter-com phone and said, 'Sir, Mr. Kannan wants to meet you'. Yes, Sir!'
She replaced the phone receiver on the dial. She got up from her chair.
'Mr. Kannan, he is ready to meet you. If you don't mind, I shall take you to his office room.'
The room door of the Proprietor of THE TREASURE was opened. Kannan entered it alone.
'Hello Kannan! How are you?' greeted warmly Janakan.
'Hello Sir! I am okay and I presume you are also so.'
'It gives me great pleasure to see you again. Please have your chair.'
'Thank you, Sir.'
'Well Mr. Kannan, last year only we were able to open a Branch Office in Bangalore. I hope if you are given the appointment of a staff writer in our Bangalore Office, you will resume the work with us.'
'I am glad to hear this news from you, Sir. I like to join your profession there itself with great pleasure.'
'We want a gentleman of your nature and that too a person who has got experience in business line! Your duty there is to write articles as you write letters to your friends and to increase readers and buyers of our magazine in the Karnataka State.'
'I shall do the best I can, sir, with your cooperation and encouragement.'
'Yes! This job is a promising one and it is up to you to develop it to the best you can. Coming from a wealthy family and a person having good reputation in business I trust you will do the best with that spirit.'
'I like to keep my mind free by doing the best work I can in this interesting and noble profession.'
'Okay! You have all the facilities there. We just wanted an able person to occupy it and run it to bring good reputation for THE TREASURE. It is you who has to tackle using your skill to the best you can.'
'One thing I want myself to be clarified, Sir. Why have you selected me for this responsible job though there are a lot of qualified and suitable journalists in our country?'
'One thing I want to tell you, Mr. Kannan. That is, I am a person who has a good deal of knowledge and experience in behavioural science. Though you are born in a wealthy family you have good behaviour, sincere talk, reasonably spirited expression and punctuality. These are all not an ordinary qualifications, which others generally ignore. Not only this, you are a business man and you know how to deal the matters with others. There is a special style in your approach to the matters I observed when we stayed for a few hours in Bangalore. From that day onwards I have been searching persons of your type. When you yourself wanted to join our profession, there is nothing for me to hesitate and so, I have chosen you; clear?'
'So Mr.Kannan, I like to introduce you to my readers through your articles in the next issue onwards. Please write me an article or anything which gave you a firm idea you have to stick to in life or something emotionally touching to the heart.'
'Okay, I shall write a poem that has touched the heart of my friends. It was a best piece I had prepared in my formative period. Being the first article of mine let me introduce myself through this poem to your readers.'
'Please take your own time Mr. Kannan, sit comfortably anywhere in my office and finish writing what you have in your mind or develop what you have already written and give it to me. Then we shall have lunch together and let us think about the programme you have to follow for THE TREASURE in Bangalore in the evening. Please carry on with your work.'
Saying so the proprietor started reading the papers he was holding in his hand.
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