Nelson* was my classmate and a friend. They had a small shop, which they used to run form their house.
When Nelson was in ninth standard, his father died of drinking. His mother, who had tuberculosis, died when he was in eleventh. Nelson’s world, all of a sudden, shattered! He had four younger sisters and one younger brother. Two of the sisters (twins) were not even three-year old. We, though young, consoled Nelson and stood by him for many days. His next sister, who was then in ninth standard, was very bold and accepted the challenge. She decided to quit her studies and run the shop; and, she persuaded Nelson and others to continue with their studies. She arranged to keep the two tiny-toddlers with a local home for children run by the Catholic nuns.
Meanwhile, Nelson passed his eleventh-standard to walk into twelfth…
Suddenly, Nelson lost his grip! He got into a wild company: smoked, boozed, and womanized… He failed to give his twelfth-standard exam… developed some strange rashes all over his body. Two miserable years passed by; we couldn’t do much to help him… But, Nelson’s sister handled the situation standing like a rock! She, somehow, managed to send him to the Middle East on a small job. Within two years, he was back with a completed nervous breakdown!
Many more years of ordeal! While Nelson spent his years sitting at home, like a vegetable, his other brother, who had just begun to attend his college, crashed: he got into drugs, heavily. In the years to come, the sister saw to it that at least her sisters finished their studies and got settled. They did.
The story continued with all his high drama. Everyone around tried to do his or her bit to rehabilitate the two young men. None succeeded…
In spite of all these trials and tribulations, Nelson’s sister has refused to give up her zest for life. She is now, well settled in life – richer in wisdom. Trials do persist in her life… But, life still makes sense to her.
* The name has been changed
In 1990, THE DAWN CLUB had published a small book by the title – ‘The Zest’. It had carried some eighteen short and medium-sized passages written by me. The book instantly became one of our very popular books; and, eventually, it was reprinted several times.
We guess, one of the main reasons for its popularity was that it spoke to the reader in ‘first person’… He felt as though he was talking to himself… a soliloquy. Yes, the reader could instantly connect to the voice in the book… and, the message simply seeped into his heart!
The above passage – ‘NELSON'S SISTER’ – is a popular passage from the book.