A utopian encounter!

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 23 Sep 2018 10:45:31






By Vijay Phanshikar,

MEETING the group of youngsters -- all college-going boys -- is certainly a great experience. They seem fired by the idea of excellence. They are inspired by something that demonstrated itself in their collective and individual conduct. They all look bright and well-dressed and feeling happy about themselves. Right at the first sight, they give a very good impression of themselves. 

They get noticed because of their bikes -- all of same colour, same make -- parked absolutely neatly outside a coffee-and-snacks joint. They are standing nearby, in a neat circle, sipping coffee, talking, laughing. None is speaking loudly or shouting, none is doing anything that would cause trouble to others around. But what attracts attention are their bikes -- except different numbers, all bikes look totally similar.

Amused by the unusual sight, I ask who the bikes belong to. One of them says, “They are our bikes. All of us here. We are friends. We bought the same model with same colours. There are six of us”.

They do not mind one joining them for a little exchange. Their story is really heartening, to say the least. They are in a degree college, in different classes and different levels. They go to college together, and return home together as they live not far from one another.
But if the similar bikes is not the only distinction they share; they share something brighter as well! All of them seem to take care of themselves  in absolutely fabulous manner. For, unlike many youngsters their age, these six boys appear well-groomed, and very well-behaved. They do have diverse interests, and different goals and aims. Two of them are preparing to join Armed Forces, while one is attempting UPSC tests. Remaining three are looking at different careers.

“But, Uncle, we have common habits. We study really hard. None of us ever went to any tuition class and now also none of us does. We do take help of experts, but hate going to tuition classes where nothing actually is taught,” a boy with fresh face and neatly combed hair says.

But then, fresh face and neatly combed hair is not that boy’s speciality. All the six look similarly imbued with enthusiasm. But more important thing to notice is their carefulness about the language they speak. Each spoke good English, but also equally good Hindi and Marathi. “Our parents attach a lot of importance to our language, our expression,” another tall boy says. He then adds, “None of us likes to wear too many denims, and T-shirts. You notice, Uncle, we are all wearing semi-formal shirts”.
To be frank, I notice this only when the boy tells me. True, all of them wear semi-formals.

“Are you like this always? Don’t you ever wear denims and T-shirts?”
“We do, Uncle, but only occasionally,” one of the boys says. He then points to one in the group. He is wearing a black denim pair of trousers and a white semi-formal cotton shirt.
And when I ask about their hobbies, all of them, without exception, talk about books as their favourite pastime. “Not kindle, Uncle. Actual books, “a boy says. He then adds, “We have a group on social media, but we use it to exchange nice things. Never gossip. Never cheap social and political

Every word of theirs is making a great impression. They appear so different from the rest of their age-group.
“Does anyone of you smoke or drink?”, I ask rather hesitantly.
“Nawww”, is the common loud reply.
I wonder if I am in a utopia!