The Horse Cart Driver

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Its more than a century back. A school classroom in the state of Bengal, in undivided India.

The teacher was asking students on what they want to be in life. Somebody said, “I want to be an IT professional” Someone said, “I want to be a doctor” Another student said, “I want to be in civil services” “And i want to be a management consultant”

The expressions were going on, and the teacher was encouraging their aims and aspirations. Soon, the chance fell upon a student, whose eyes were burning with inquisitiveness towards Truth. The teacher asked him, “So, what do you want to be in life?”

The student rose up and answered, “Revered Teacher, I want to be a horse-cart driver.”

Echoes of laughter bursted across the classroom. “Horse-cart driver!!! That’s an apt choice for you.” Some students started mocking at him. “So here comes our new driver.”

Upset by the insensitive nature at the classroom, the young learner returns home, moody. His mother sees him. A mother being what a mother is, she consoles the child and asks what happened. The child explained the horse-cart incident.

She holds his hand and takes him towards the prayer room at home. Taking him inside and then right into the centre of the pooja room, she points her finger to a wall-mounted picture, one among the many images and idols. “Do you see that picture of a horse-cart there?”

As the child nods the head approvingly, she looks deep into the child’s eyes and adds, “Be like that horse-cart driver.”

(Years later, that child went on to be a revolutionary who took the world by a ‘cyclone’ on a September 11, with a heart-felt speech that still echoes among the “Sisters and Brothers of America.”).

 

 

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