Exemplar College Essay For Undergraduate Studies

696 words - 3 pages

Prompt : Role modelFacing my veranda is a sight whose soothing and reassuring effect has worked miracles on me. Like a poster advert, I stand, my first sights and sounds of the day, with a cup of tea on the verandah gazing at a garden full of evergreen plants, shrubs and trees : Ficus, Egyptian Fir, Pisonia, Bougainville, Indian Almond, Mango, Yellow Gulmohur, Jamun and Palm trees. I realize the uncanny addiction to this sight when travelling or out for a few days.Hitched to this sight is a surpassing one - a figure, wiry and gaunt, with a spray pipe in hand. Our mali ( hindi word for gardener ), seven days a week, is seen tending to plants and trees. He works the early morning shift from 5.30 to 9. Re-potting, fertilizing, pruning, replanting, clearing the withered or decayed leaves, gently excavating the weeds, moping grass etc., he has become an omnipresent figure ...view middle of the document...

But it has rarely sustained the ravages of daily cares and work. It keeps coming back but leaves remnants whose undercurrents are deep enough to bring a urge, like a lover pining for the past, craving to relive those moments only to realize the delusion. I resent this desirable state of mind he so effortlessly gets into.Daji is the most underpaid person in my circle of acquaintances. His monthly salary is Rs.2000. He has a family of four - two sons and a wife. He has managed to do four shifts a day at different locations and get a decent education for his sons ( he is illiterate ) His sons have now finished graduation and are working. But he insists that they get a post-graduate degree, he tells me in a ( rarely heard ) irritating tone. Never rancorous or moping, he is unfailingly positive and cheerful. He often comes to our house to do the monthly pruning and trimming with a few plants and climbers. In an animated tone, bereft of any patronizing, he counsels us on new varieties of plants, puts forward new plans for the coming season, takes the money and leaves. Daji, besieged by lofty ideas of competition and success, would be judged as someone who was lacking in 'aggression and spirit'. They say - the 'grown-ups'- he should have worked harder. He should have looked for a corporate landscaping assignment. But Daji is my unsung hero - the role model whose unflinching dedication for his work and family, his humane spirit, and the ability to stay in a 'flow' is something that sends the most accomplished people in a desperate search of redemption from a master or a guru. Human beings, after all, for all their achievements, are struggling for self confidence. I have read many a corporate CEO repeat the 'Daji' mantra in various disguises - do what you love to do, stay hungry, work is god etc. They are looking for a permanent state of 'Daji' phenomenon. My solitary gardener would be a role model for many people if they could only, I dare say, 'see'. This reminds me of a Booker-prize-winning title by Arundhati Roy - The God of Small Things.

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