The Solitary Reaper
By E. Mizra
In the twilight of autumn, the gentle breeze was ringing bells in the ears of little David. He was feeling lazy to get up early in the morning. However, he knew that he has to attend to regular tasks laid for him the previous night. The caretaker was a hard taskmaster and at times ruthless. He did a favour to David by offering him part-time employment.
During the night of weekdays, he was required to attend the courtyard’s cleaning, and in the early morning distribute the packages to the neighbourhood prior to going to school. He was very hardworking and all the neighbours adore him. His passion and persuasion to learn and acquire knowledge have forced him to stay on the outskirt of a city dwelling.
David was barely two years old when he lost his parents in an accident. His grandmother raised him. They were very poor and barely managed with great difficulties to survive. He was very keen on studying and learning as much as possible. His determination and prevailing circumstances made him a proactive and extrovert. He used to finish his task in the courtyard quickly and clean affluent people’s vehicles and earn some cash on a daily basis.
He handed over that money to his grandmother; she did groceries and prepares food for both. He dashes back to school and was keen on attending every day without getting late or remaining absent. He knew that school is the only place to acquire knowledge and learn etiquette and manners.
However, the rich children of the dwelling maintained a distance from him. They disliked his sweat smell and his status. Yet, he was admired by the teachers for being very intelligent and humble. David boldly faced discouragement or allowed his positive thoughts and feelings to prove the strength of his aims in life. He showed consistency in his work and achieved honours at school.
He learnt from his school teacher that those who face criticism and discouragement will always be benefiting provided, they show consistency and determination. He also learnt that patiently hearing and thinking will guide you to the correct path.
He graduated from high school with flying colours. He got admission to a prestigious college and completed his undergraduate studies. He took up a part-time job in a pharmacy and learnt the tricks of the trade. He gained some valuable experience and did his master’s in business management. His sincerity and dedication paid him rich dividends.
On completion of his master’s degree, he accepted an offer from a finance company in foreign currency exchange. The fortune wheel took a favourable turn in his life when he met a gentleman who advised him to start his own business. It struck David instantly and he started thinking about the subject.
His humility and proactive nature have made him very popular among the top executives of the company. He put forward his plans and showed them the presentation of achieving success. They all agreed and helped him to go ahead with the project. Meanwhile, he got married and was blessed with a child. She was a very understanding girl and supportive in his day-to-day life.
He made his financial position strong and purchases a house. His habits have changed and he is involved in reading a lot. He also developed a hobby and learned to play a musical instrument. He realized that life is not an empty dream. He was gradually but steadily inching forward and his business was growing at a steady pace. After a hectic business schedule, he was returning home and stopped by the shopping centre to buy an overcoat for his grandmother.
He was about to leave the shopping centre but stopped inside as it was raining heavily. He decided to wait for a while. He sat down in the corner at a food court table. He suddenly becomes nostalgic and tears roll down his cheeks. An elderly person was sitting at the table next to him. He excused himself and enquired if he can be of any help to him. He thanked him and narrated Longfellow’s stanza:
“Lives of great men all remind us.
We can make our lives sublime, And, departing, leave behind us,
Footprints on the sands of time”