I had a very good friend Ramesh(Actual name hidden) whose father was a Engineer by profession and was quite a well-to-do family. Most of our other friends, including me were not so well to do and it was tough for us to go beyond our daily needs and tuition fee. His parents treated me well and always liked me. Ramesh was the only son of their parents and they brought up their son in sheer luxury. He owned a cricket Kit(probably worth a thousand rupees at that time) and hence was the team captain too. No doubt he played excellently well. They had a Dyanora make color TV when none of us had a TV at all!
He used to come to school by a quite good bicycle(BSA SLR) when he was into 6th standard when most of all others walked down to school. This guy studied moderately well and was most provocative and instinctive by nature, otherwise was good. His home was full of fantastic toys and games where once in a while we all gathered and played. He owned a walkman (portable tape player) when he was in 10th standard, where it was luxury for anybody else.
These were his schooldays. When I was in 10th standard my parents bought for me the used bicycle from him(3 yrs old) for 300 rupee, where he bought a new and better version of it.
He passed out of 10th standard with pretty good score, though not excellent. My results were withheld due to unknown reasons and were released after a couple of months and I also scored quite good. He was the only good friend who continuously visited me to find out my results.
Things have taken a sharp turn when he was into 10+1. I joined a mediocre but disciplined college and he joined a “well to do” college. He got a new circle of friends many on bikes. He got a new bike, the TVS Puch, at that time. Whenever I visited him, he had less time for him where his friends picked him up for some reason or the other. Soon I found him amid cigarettes. In the mean time, he bought a Bajaj scooter(in fact his parents did when he asked for a change). Eventually his first year results blasted. I tried to talk to him on multiple occasions but though he appeared to have listened, but threw a deaf ear towards my words. I don’t know if his parents ever tried to peep into what he did. He bought another scooter and yet another Yamaha 135 bike in his second year and his friend circle got bigger and worse.
One day my mother was ill and I went to a local hotel to bring some breakfast for us both and there I met Ramesh’s father who felt expressed his grief for his son’s hampered results in studies. I was also no great man to advice or help, but said what I felt. I told him to constrict on his friends circle and don’t allow him to move around with certain people, for which he nodded. But after all children’s words are worthless to elders.
I saw him deteriorating in front of my eyes, and yet his parents gave him whatever he wanted. I heard from my known friends that he and his father drink together! Yuck! I also heard that he couldn’t make up to his graduation also in his education. He joined some pager company as a paging associate to send paging messages.I also heard that he often is found on footpaths, being drunk. Off late his father expired. Phew! God help him. He doesn’t contact me, nor I do.
Now why did I narrate all this? The only message I want to give is, my dear friends, its a good thought to make your children’s life comfortable. But be warned. Comfort brings only comfort to life but not value of comfort and how it has to be earned. You should let them know the hardships of life and how to earn comfort. If one doesn’t travel on a rough road, one cannot appreciate the smooth road. Children should face and learn from hardships of life where ethics and morals are rooted. If you raise them from a level up, you are hiding them from the fundamentals of life and you cannot ask them to be ethical or truthful which they don’t understand. My dear parents realize this! The sooner you realize the sooner the world will be a better place to live in.