“Hope is a good thing perhaps best of all things, and good things never die.”– Shawshank Redemption
Mr. Bhide is my next door neighbor. Married with 2 kids, Bhide works as a Senior Clerk in Accounts office where his father worked a few years back. Bhide has his own regrets about his life. One of the prime regret is why he could not master Maths, History and Drawings in his schools days while his bench mate Kale had enviable blessings from the lords of these subjects.
Bhide tries a lot to untangle the figures in mathematics, tried to memories when exactly the Indian Freedom Struggle started and also splashed colors on the paper hoping that one day it might turn out to be a comprehensible painting. He never managed to do that. Kale on other hand managed everything and is working as an engineer.
Bhide could have digested this failure but it was very sentimental moment for him when he heard that Rati their classmate finally married of Kale. Bhide often went into deep thoughts, why she dint even consult me before making this decision, she was such a good friend of mine. To Bhide could do nothing but remember the cups of coffee they had together in the Cafe Araam near the college. Bill of course was paid by Bhide. I would have given the right advice if she had asked me, Bhide mummers to himself even today. Why just advice, for her I would have married to her as well.
Now Bhide doesn’t even get to see her smile is a distant thing. As an exception he did see her passing in her car while he waited for the 456 Bus one morning. Bhide married to a girl decided by his father who brought Rs 5000 in dowry. This money was utilized in repairing their old ancestral house. The girl (or woman) was Shanta dark fat and short lady. But Bhide does find her beautiful when she applies a little makeup.
“A good pair of sports shoes doesn’t make you a good runner.” -Bhide
This thought originates from Bhide’s own experience with athletics. In college Bhide participated in the running coaching classes with a determination to be a good runner. He bought the best pair of shose by saving money. At the end of the coaching he got a humble suggestion from his coach which he verbally interpreted as above thought. Fernandese and Raghu turned out to be the best runners despite of their ordinary shoes.
But Bhide’s entire family history (as told by Bhide) is evident of fact that they never gave up fighting despite of the humiliation and betrayal they received from everyone. His father could not study further because they were poor. (But knowing the intellectual level of his father, I don’t think he would have passed graduation even if he had money). Bhide too is still standing tall to all the odds.
His juniors became his seniors in last 5 years. But Bhide romantacises how he scolded them when they weer junior to him. He is the center of attraction during tea break among his colleagues for such stories.
Bhide has not given up drawing either. He takes up his children’s pencil and paper to draw lines on the paper. In those erratic lines he searches the face of Rati. Some times he feels like bringing a small rose to his wife also who views it as waste of money and complains to her friends that she never got true love from her husband.
Bhide has bought good shoes for his son and daughter hoping they might turn out to be a good runner. While playing badminton with them and defeating little kids he tells them false stories of how good athlete he was. He knows that after a few years his kids will stop believing those stories. He tells his versions of stories to his kids by combining them with dubious facts he remembers from history. It doesn’t hurt him when his daughter corrects him. In fact nothing hurts him now.
He hopes that he too will get good promotions one day looking at his honesty and hardworking nature. He plans to buy a car from that and pass by the same bus stop where he waits everyday. No one offered him a lift any day but he plans to do it for his old friend, though most of them already have one.
Bhide might have many regrets but he is still living his life with a hope that it will only improve. His hope is not a virtue nor a special quality its just a consequence of the fact that he doesn’t have any choice with his life. he cant put it in words but I cant put his philosophy about life in words ” If you cant get what you want in life, start believing what you have got is what you always wanted”