TODAY -

Degree Certificate for Survival
- Part 2 -

R.K. Shivachandra *



This reminded me of a short anecdote that in a certain village there lived a millionaire. Interestingly, when the millionaire came to the city, he went for the cheapest hotel to stay overnight. Whereas, the son of the millionaire, who only enjoyed the bounty of his father came to the city, he would go for the most expensive hotel.

Some press-people asked the millionaire "what makes the difference that when your son who didn't earn a single penny in life would comfortably afford a five-star hotel and yourself, a real millionaire go for the cheapest hotel". The millionaire flashed off a majestic smile and replied "There is a wide gap in between, for my father was a poor farmer but his father is a renowned millionaire".

Today, in our society, there are many wealthy sons who often go to five-star hotels and blow up money without the slightest sense of how hard it is to earn money. Now it is the turn of the sons of the poor farmers to make those wealthy sons sit and teach their wards how to swim in the turbulent water without life jackets. Life jackets would naturally be stripped-off the moment a poor farmer dies.

Life is all about survival with dignity. Schools and colleges need to add an additional curriculum where the students are taught 'how to become rich' apart from doctor engineer's path. Because all students are not cut out for these technical professions. Apart from doctors, engineers and bureaucrats our children should be able to bloom wherever they are planted.

I also recalled how difficult it was for me to commit to memory of those Geometry theorems and problems in mathematics class in those school days. I don't know what I have benefited out of it today. The most important issue and responsibility that I ought to perform today, is to interact with the bunch of people who stood at my threshold, asking me small favours of varied categories despite my deficiency, and my bounded duty was to address it by hook or by crook way.

I need also to train myself well on how I should have an audience with my local womenfolk when they come for organising Lila, Eshie, Thabal Chongba and Chakchanaba etc. It also demands to be more graceful in my presentation that I should be able to please them with the meagre monetary contribution I made and at the same time their blessing should bestow upon me when they depart me with the ravishing smiles. This is something more important than those geometry theorems and long essays of forgotten subjects in the schools and colleges.

Robert T. Kiyosaki's renowned book 'Rich Dad and Poor Dad' is worth mentioning. In the book there are two characters of two fathers. One has a collection of degrees and diplomas and the other is a high school drop-out. The rich father who is a school drop-out in this book teaches two small boys some invaluable lessons about money through their own experiences.

The most important one is undoubtedly to understand how to best use your mind and your time to create your own wealth through business and investments. Get out of the rat race. Learn how to seize opportunities, find solutions, take care of your business and investments and most especially, learn how to make money work for you and not be its slave! But Robert's poor father said, "strife for a higher degree and you will get a job in factories and Government offices".

But the rich dad said that life is not all about owning a car, living under big houses. The wisest man is the one who strives for a residual pay back and adding more zeroes on whatever money you already acquire. He said obtain your degree to build up an empire of factories and business houses. Your educational knowledge should fuel you to become the owner of factories, not an employee in it.

Those people who came out with good grades with glittering medals in university should work under your handsome pay-rolls and the knowledge they gain over the years by burning their midnight oil should find its way to your fold in the form of 'brain-drain' exclusively they should work for your prosperity and work for the benefit of your factory; is the concept of rich dad.

I met Sudhir in Kohima some thirty years ago. Not all relations are blood lineage or blood relation; some are much more than that. Sudhir is one in my family no matter if we are related by blood or not. Over the years, I have gained many friends and till this day they are the most indispensable people in my life. Sudhir and I happened to be together in my room when I taught Taekwondo to the youths in Kohima.

We had similar backgrounds and literally we both grew from scratch. The indomitable spirit in him was that he should become rich even though struggling hard to put his neck above the water of poverty. Basically, he happened to be an X-ray technician of sorts and for long he could not get any job in Kohima. He simply helped me in cooking and some household work.

One day he appeared before me with a big tea-kettle in hand and informed me hesitantly that he wanted to sell tea to the Manipur shops in Kohima. He was of the view that all the Manipuri shops would buy tea from him and he would like to start earning that way. I scolded him and he didn't pursue it.

Sometimes when there was an IRB recruitment drive in Manipur, he would apply for it and every morning he ran miles in practice to qualify the physical efficiency test. I jokingly warned him that he was too short and wouldn't be eligible for the height.

He tried many times but he was not selected. He has no money to oil someone's palm. One day Sudhir got a job in a private hospital in Kohima and we have been separated. After a long 20 years or so stay in Kohima, I bade goodbye to my dear friends and students of Kohima and returned to Imphal.

Sudhir has resurfaced again in my life after almost 10 years in an important Entrepreneurial seminar held in Imphal. Little did I know that the much talked about Sudhir was none other than my own Sudhir, with whom I passed many sleeplessness nights together on the same bed dreaming to become rich. ..

In one fine day I met Sudhir, he had completely changed in his looks. He had already taken over franchises of many companies and did look after many agencies as chief distributor. The mischievous imp of poor could no longer play havoc on his way and abandoned him once for all. Sudhir is today a rich man. I also went to the 'house warming day' of his newly constructed beautiful home one day.

Both Sudhir and his faithful wife bowed down before me anticipating to be successful in life. Tears welled my eyes, an inexplicable overjoy crept over me. Sudhir really did it in life, he had neither been to a tuition centre nor spent 20 thousand as monthly tuition fees at any part of life. But today Sudhir is indeed a successful man without anybody to help him, he made it all for himself. The new generation needs mandatorily to listen to the success story of Sudhir.

Of late, my son had returned home from his university. He had completed his studies. He is no longer the small boy who was reluctant to stay back in the hostel. He can speak languages in the impressive ascent, and seemed to be very thorough in his own educational stream. He also obtained a degree from the university. But I doubt whether he has acquired the real knowledge that a man requires in living.

Tomorrow, I will go and meet Sudhir and request him to impart my son the lesson on how to live and lead in life, which, I am sure, my son has not been taught in all his schools and universities.

Concluded ...



R.K. Shivachandra
* R.K. Shivachandra contributes regularly to e-pao.net
The writer was President, Indo Myanmar Fraternal Alliance and is Convener of Act East Policy, Manipur
He can be contacted at nongpokharam(at)gmail(dot)com


This article was posted on June 10, 2022 .



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