Published by Deepankar at Smashwords
Copyright © 2012 Deepankar
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New York had become monotonous. For the past seven years I had been writing articles on micro-finance and rural poverty for Bank of America while living in the most prosperous nation of the world. The irony was accentuated by the fact that I was decently well off. The pay was good, allowing me to lead a cozy lifestyle. I could afford renting a nice apartment in Manhattan. My office was a few blocks from where I lived which spared me the bother of dealing with rude subway travelers. I wore designer clothes and jewelry, drank expensive wines, dined at the best places in the city and partied in clubs which took at least a hundred bucks as cover charges. I took exotic vacations, once every year, mostly preferring the islands. It was an education too which helped me in my work. It wasn’t as if my work was very stressful and demanding which might’ve justified my pay and therefore my indulgences. My work hardly caused me any anxieties. It was all about writing reports. After so many years it had become rote, something I could do in my sleep with my left hand. The condition of the poor hadn’t changed drastically in the last decade, only their numbers had increased. They were still billions of poor people on this planet and reasons why they were so poor hadn’t changed either. Exploitation was as rife as it was during the Middle Ages and things which should’ve been done then for bettering humanity were still waiting for to be adopted. The bottom line was nobody cared. ‘Hey, it is just a job,’ I’d tell myself all the time. I was under no misconception about my work or its value to this planet. I knew even if all the strategies outlined in my research reports were implemented, it wouldn’t erase poverty. Some people would always remain poor, that was the universal law, the way of the world. However the question remained, if we couldn’t remove poverty, couldn’t we alleviate it? All nations might not have the resources or the will to build a welfare state but couldn’t societies be made a little better than what it was in present day. Such thoughts had plagued me in the past too. Whenever I felt a pang I made donations towards sponsoring a child in a developing nation, to Haiti, to CRY and a host of other organizations. Not only did such actions give me tax relief but also helped me in dodging my conscience attacks. Somehow it felt I had overused the formula thoughts of doing something different, something meaningful, something socially relevant, something I would feel proud of and not guilty about, caught hold of me that winter and wouldn’t let me be.