“So you are really planning to take that exam?” Raghu was almost distraught about his friend Ramanan’s decision.
“Huh yeah. Now please don’t keep staring at me like that!” Ramanan was trying to recollect the last few chapters in the course which he had prepared in a lot of hurry.
“Sure of course I won’t! Who am I just another servant for great people like you.” The sarcasm in Raghu’s voice was inescapable.
“Stop it Raghu. You are heading your life the way you want; I am not disturbing you Am I? And please don’t ever forget that I am still your friend only. If you ask me you should not be taking all that liquor during the night. It may give you temporary solace from all the physical strain, but believe me, its going to become the real pain. People like us need to improve our living standards. Education is the only means for that.” There was real concern in Ramanan’s voice. Probably only a drunk or a mad man could have questioned his intentions and Raghu did.
“Oh now you started advising have you? Of course you have. You are learned – a scholar. In fact, I don’t even have the right to be standing in front of you. And if at all I do, I need to be hearing to these sermons.”
“Raghu. Whatever I am going to say is going to make you only angrier now. I am getting late for the exam. I am sorry, I have to go. Please take care of your health. That is all we have got. Don’t lose it in just a few drinks.”
Ramanan not only ended his statement but probably his friendship too, for Raghu gave him one nasty look and walked away.
A few months ago, they were just two people united by the twin bonds of hunger and poverty. Although they had managed to complete their 10th standard, their deteriorating family situation had put a complete stop to their studies. Neither had any intention of continuing it amongst the everyday brawl of their drunkard dad’s. They started doing the same work as their fathers which was mostly physical, with a little bit of hurt initially. But time heals everything in its own way.