Unequal Lives Mean Faded Prospects and a Dismal Future: The Tale of Poor Rashid and Rich Kid Parvaiz

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Farhad Ahmad Pir

Life is not same for all. In the nature of a sun , life not mean that its warmth is congenial and warmly received in the same way by everyone. As all individuals’ perspectives are different and even a mode of living greatly varies from family to family and so a sense of living a life varies from individual to individual. The ways and means of living of the rich and poor are mostly unlike. All basic necessities of life are easy for the rich than for the poor. Rich students are much exposed to the latest technologies and pedagogical methods which render them ahead in studies and other activities. Poor parents’ children remain deprived of such amenities which could have led them ahead in life.
To illustrate these points, I will recount the tale of two friends Rashid and Parvaiz who grew up together up to tenth class. They used to eat and play together. Both went to school, accompanying each other. They formed a strong bond like of that of real brothers but both could not take the same taste from life. As Parvaiz belonged to a rich family and Rashid came from a very poor family background. Parvaiz used to come every night to Rashid’s home for seeking his help in studies( Rashid was much ahead in studies than Parvaiz). He acted like a second teacher to him after school. Rashid could not afford to go for tuition classes but still, by the grace of God, he was a quick learner and his hard work made him outshine other students in class. His father was hardly able to make ends meet. They lived in abject poverty.
Rashid was conscious of his poor state; keeping his pitiable state in consideration he worked hard up to tenth class and always got first position in the class. Parvaiz was often getting fewer marks. But, sad to say that Rashid was living in such a social set-up where his good performance could not get digested to his rich neighbors, relatives, teachers and even his friends. They could not tolerate to expect such a good performance by a boy from poor family. Even a single neighbor could not tolerate to extend a single word of celebration like “Mubarak” ( congratulations) to Rashid.
Instead of appreciating, they discouraged him in one and another way. Rashid being a poor boy, his success was like a catastrophe that befell on the people of his surroundings. His success was like a sack of heavy burden sling up on the shoulders of his rich neighbors that was often ridiculed by his friends by pointing out at some of the things like his shabby clothes, messy hair, ragged shoes, uniform and bag. Teachers too held a grudge against his condition. They did not appreciate him doing well in his studies and began giving more individual attention to those students who belonged to well of families like Parvaiz.
They neglected Rashid as much as he was not given a single chance to participate in any school activities. Instead of having all the abilities that a teacher expects from students, still he got a step motherly attitude. And, with the passage of time when both were in the 12th class, Rashid felt some sort of estrangement on all sides. Besides such animosities, he faced a sea of obstacles that became a cause of his failure (like he could not afford to go for tuition as he was a science student). For science subjects, tuition has been interpreted by our parents and even by our educated members of our society as a yardstick for achieving highest marks. Although Rashid didn’t need tuition but there were other parameters of success like guidance and appreciation which he was lacking badly.
A feeling of jealously was developing between them. Rashid felt a deep pain inside with this awful and filthy perception which most held against him. This non sensible prejudice against Rashid sent him into a pall of gloom, the unfairness appearing before him like a shadow which filled him with glistening tears that drenched from his checks. Rashid got disinterested with the name of school and teachers who often stood him in the morning assembly by his long standing unpaid fees. Rashid’s success up to 10thclass was no more celebrated. He was showing poor performance in his class tests, and it was presumed by his school teachers, that he would defame the name of the school by his poor performance. Such things placed a great havoc on his growing personality. He considered himself an alien. On the other hand his friend Parvaiz, whom he helped often particularly in math and English subjects, had now become a talk and household name in the village for his good performance. The mystery behind his good performance went to his neighbors and teachers who from the beginning appreciated him even for his poor performance. Teachers took too much interest and great effort in transforming him from dull to intelligent. By the backing of such inspirational bodies Parvaiz showed good performance in the class tests and when the result of the 12th class came out, Parvaiz got first position in the state and his dearest colleague Rashid once his assistant got backlog in three subjects.
Would his teachers and other social members have given equal attention regardless of their socioeconomic background, his condition could have something else. Rashid would have been among the topers and his intelligence and hardworking nature would have definitely alleviated the burden of his village and empowered people with sound knowledge.

—The author, working as a Lecturer in Government Degree College, Leh, can be reached at: pirfarhad123@gmail.com