Fire in the belly (An Inspirational Story)

fireOnce upon a time, there was a home on a footpath of London. In that home, a couple sued to live with their children. Unfortunately, the father of this family was a drunkard. He used to drink a lot and due to this habit, he died one day, leaving his family in bankruptcy. Hence, responsibility of raising the young kids fell upon the poor mother. But she had no money and consequently, she had to sell their house and family was rendered homeless.

The poor mother had no money or job to feed her children. The mother used to mimic people passing by and entertain her kids thereby making them forget hunger. Laughing kids and a crying mother – what an irony? She was a brave lady.

Days passed. The lady could find a job in a pub where her job was to entertain the audience with mimicry and dance. One day, she was too hungry but continued to perform in the pub. After sometime, she collapsed on the stage and died instantly due to hunger. Cruel owner of that pub removed her body from the stage and threw it out of the pub. Her 11 years little boy was watching all this sitting in a corner. Watching her mother collapse, he tried to awaken her mother. But mother was in deep sleep.

The kid had eyes filled with tears. But he stood up, took the stage and started to perform. By watching her mother doing mimicry, he did learn a lot. His performance made the audience roll on the floor laughing their stomach out.

Later on, the world would know that 11 year old boy as the great comedian Charlie Chaplin. The performance on stage on the most tragic day was his first live stage performance. And the rest was history.

Friends, moral of the story is that one should have the fire within him/herself. We have ample examples from within the country in front of us. Persons like Lal bahadur Shastri, Dr. Radhakrishnan, Dr.Kalam, Dr.Vikram sarabhai, Dr.Rajendra Prasad and so on. The list is long and goes on. They all confronted all the adversities in their life that we cannot even imagine. Some of them spent their entire childhood in abysmal poverty, some spent their youth in jails and some spent their valuable time serving the society and the country at large. But they did not bow down against the odds and instead, stood firm and fought bravely against them.

One great common thing among all of them was that they did not focus on any other thing except their motive. The only goal of their life was to get best education, serve the society and the country. They wanted to get alleviated from poverty, odds, and difficulties of the life. Further, they also wanted to bring their country and fellow countrymen out of difficulties. These individuals were not the ones who adopted any illegal or wrong way to achieve their goals. All these people raised the bar and became internationally recognized personalities and brought pride to the country.

They lived the famous lines from Allama Mohammad Iqbal:

‘Khudi ko kar buland itna ke har taqder se pehle

Khuda bande se khud pooche bata teri raza kya hai.’

The secret behind their success was that they tackled all the difficulties/problems in the best positive manner and started to solve them instead of cursing them. It is very clear that for doing such kind of work, there should be fire in the belly. And clearly, there was a big fire in the bellies of all these individuals. And the great thing was that that fire was not for them but it was for others.

At this point, I would like to further add that sometimes one should do some introspection. It is applicable to all of us. We should ask ourselves some questions:

1. What is the basic purpose of my life?

2. What am I doing to fulfill it?

3. How will I do this?

These are critical questions of self-evaluation. During one of the recent lectures that I attended where the speaker (Dr. Karan Singh) said a wonderful thing. He said – ‘life is not a journey from womb to tomb’ but there is purpose attached to it. Most of us spend life without achieving anything and spend a meaningless life. And hence, it is very important to know our selves and to know the purpose of coming here.

The second and third aspects are are what and how will I achieve my goal? The secret is that there is no great skill required to do great things. I believe what is required is some general awareness (not.General Knowledge), common sense and attitude towards life. There should be strong and positive attitude towards life.

If we develop such kind of attitude and start acting, no one can stop us from growing exponentially. No matter how tough is the situation, we will survive. When the going gets tough, the Tough get going!

Contributed by Janmang Mehta (Class of 2010, IBS AHEMDABAD )

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