Thursday, November 20, 2014

Village by the Mountain (Villager)

Once upon a time, somewhere far away, there was a beautiful village. This village resided next to a graceful mountain range and bounded by an endless grassland spreading wider than the edge of the horizon. Life was peaceful and the numerous people living there had everything they needed. For decades, perhaps centuries, the village had served well to the people who lived there. The stream running right next to the village cleansed every life of evil and the mountains looked after the people with fatherly care. The world beyond these mountains was insignificant for them and they were insignificant for that world. Beyond these mountains was a big city to which someone would go once in a while to buy some basic necessities. The village was self sufficient for the most part - it had its own doctors - and didn't need the intervention of the matters or the people of the city in their day to day lives.

There was a farmer in this village. Having been born and raised in the village, he had no idea about the world beyond until one day a lone traveler happened to pass by the village. As a man respectful of his traditions, he greeted the stranger and took care of him to the best of his ability during the stranger’s stay. Amazed by this hospitality the stranger gave him his only belonging, a golden bracelet and told him to use it mindfully. The farmer kept it with him for years until his wife got pregnant and gifted the world an adorable son. He thought to himself that his son would be of greater service to his village than he had ever been if he went out to the city across the mountain range to study one day.

With this thought in mind, he reached the city and exchanged his golden bracelet with a tractor and reached the village. Because of the tractor, his harvest increased and since the village was already self sufficient, he didn't know what to do with the excess harvest. He decided, with the help of an elderly farmer, that he would go back to the city and sell the excess harvest to earn some money. And so he did for a few years more. He was a clever farmer and a fair tradesman which helped him earn more money than he thought he would need for his child’s education in the years that followed.

Barring the expense needed for his son, he started spending money on the development of his village by making better roads and helping other villagers with their trade. Under the shadow of his dad, the son grew and when he reached adolescence, he was a handsome youth with a strong pair of arms and even a stronger heart. He learned the lessons of life in the midst of the paddy fields, besides the slow but steady stream, in the never ending grass fields, and under the wings of the great mountains. They taught them way more than anything the village’s school could ever teach him. His father was pleased to see his son growing up to be a kind man with a great eye for nature.

After the completion of his school in the village, the son was asked to leave for further studies at an institution across the mountains which he took by surprise. Since he was a very obedient child and did not desire to hurt his father’s feelings, he agreed to go ahead with his plans although his heart and soul was with the village and not with going away to an unknown city, unknown world and an unknown life. With time passing, the day arrived when he had to leave and with the blessings of the elders of the society, he took on the journey across the mountains to the city while his mother could not bear to come to terms with the fact that she won’t see her son for months, perhaps years to come.

He arrived in the city and found lodging in an old cheap motel for the first little while until he could rent a room for the rest of his stay in the city. All his meals were provided for him and he had enough money to survive without a scratch or a scar. He, like his father, was a brilliant mind and this led him to succeed in whatever he did academically. Although he was being more and more successful with time, he realized how boring and uninteresting his present life was compared with the life of freedom he had in the village.

During this time, he made a very good friend and at this friend’s place, he spent most of his time. This friend’s father had been an old head of the city had been living a prestigious life ever since. From the time the two friends met, they had similar ideologies which led to them working together in several occasions. Once they had collaborated to get rid of a corrupt head of university through a student movement and was involved in the city’s education policy as a voice of the youth from an early age. This led to the popularity of both as close friends and also student leaders and they had been trying their best to gain the fundamental rights of the students and to get rid of the corrupt governance of the city. Of the two, the friend was more of a voice while the farmer’s son was more of an organizer. Their efforts in different situations had led them to have a clear understanding of the political structure of the city which was corrupt and they both vowed to do the best they can to replace this system.

Although they met up with several difficulties on the way, they both graduated from the university with distinction and while the friend decided to pursue a career in politics in the city, the farmer’s son decided to lead a quieter life in his village. Upon the arrival of him back at the village, the whole village was filled with joy as he was the first person from the village to finish education outside the village to return back to the village. At the village, he acted as a teacher and then the principle of the school there and gave everything he could to the future of the children there for the couple of years that followed.

During this time, his friend had reached the village a few times and had even helped him build a new building for the school and for the expansion of agricultural technology available in the village. Although the son was not able to visit the city in the two years after his return to the village, he had kept contacts with his friend throughout. But on a rainy day when he was at home relaxing, a messenger from his friend arrived explaining how his friend needed him back in the city to help him with his fight against corruption in the city council.

Although he didn’t wish to get back to that life again, he respected his friends request and went to the city to join him. On this journey, he was informed of all the corruption in the city’s top political figures and a spark of fire burned the rebellious side of his heart. Upon the arrival in the city, he worked day and night with his friend and came up with a number of different developmental models for the city. They were ready for a complete overhaul of the system.

Due to both their efforts and upon convincing the public of how corrupt the existing system was, the friend came to power and ended up becoming the youngest head of the city in its history. With his role being fulfilled and his part done, the son of the farmer decided to return to the village but was requested to stay by the friend with the intention of completing the mission they began. As the head of the city, the friend appointed the farmer’s son as the commissioner of the city who carries out all the decisions taken by the city’s legislature and makes sure these decisions are enforced.

They developed the city’s infrastructure and the education policy for the benefit of everyone, the rich and the poor, and brought strong policies to put an end to the corruption in the governance through new anti-corruption laws. Although they thought this would eliminate the possibility of corruption in the governance, it required close supervision so that nobody would try to find loopholes. Although they had planned to leave politics after the first tenure, they understood that their constant involvement was
a must. The son gave up his idea of going back to his village amidst his heart crying out for the past which has left him and he became permanently involved in the city’s political scene. To redeem his mind, he made a better roadway between the city and the village leading better travel speeds and accessibility for the villagers and the city men.

During this time, he got married to a girl from the city and had a couple of sons. They lived a modest life for he was not from a rich family and never earned more than he seriously needed from politics. His friend on the other hand had a more luxurious life and was constantly improving his standard of living through ethical means. The farmer’s grandsons grew up amidst this political background and rarely visited the village to see their grandparents and the roots of their existence. This distance between them and the village grew even further when they were sent to the capital city of the country to continue their education.

Although the son was economically strong, he felt the need for himself to be stronger after the two sons’ education weighed into his expenses. For this matter, he began a small business and that gave him an additional income - not too large - to continue his life as it is. He never saved up enough money because he had a constant income through his career as a politician. His friend had already started several businesses including a business which imports alcohol and had married a rich girl from a business family giving the monopoly of that trade to him as well. He had never achieved anything through corruption though.

During this time, a big opposition was built by the big businessmen of the city and the very politicians they succeeded years ago against them and had been getting a hold of the rich demography of the city. They had influence from outside the city as well and this became a major obstacle for the two friends although they were coined more ‘people’s persons’. Without bigger influence from outside, the chances of them keeping the power of the city became slim and they thought that if they weren't in power, the corruption and the favouritism of the rich would come back to life again in the city. For this regard the friend reached politicians from out of the city to gain their help and this eventually led to their victory although the opposition appeared stronger than ever.

After this coalition with politicians from out of the city, the city council started including people who had little knowledge of the politics of the city and the friend ended up spending more time outside the city than inside it. The core issues of the city started to be neglected by him while his focus was on bigger issues from outside. The farmer’s son grew cautious of the situation and tried to control the city more while trying to get his friend back in track. His efforts went in vain after his friend decided to bring in bigger businesses into the city while there were other issues going on in the city itself.

Farmer’s son grew more and more cautious as he could see that his own party members started abusing the very own anti-corruption rules he and his friend brought to the city. His friend had accumulated more wealth than any of the rich businessman over a few years and this added to his frustrations with the system. He realized that he himself has become the very system he overhauled. He wished there was a strong opposition made of youth to come back and get rid of the corruption again, but the opposition consisted of former politicians and corrupt businessmen as well. He was aware that their party was better for the people compared with the opposition but this very fact was leading most of his men to corruption.

His heart was burning and was asking him to leave the party and leave this life back to the village he was brought up in, but he knew that this way, he could not support his sons’ education. He realized that he would not make enough money in the village for that and it is too late for him to look at a different career in the city as well. His business was too small to get a bigger income out of it and he despised the policies of the opposition to consider joining them.

He found himself sleepless on numerous nights and his wife tried taking the best care of him while he physically declined. Although he wasn't at his peak physically, he constantly questioned the party’s ethics in meetings and the integrity to which they adhere to the anti-corruption laws they brought up. Despite all this, he was struggling internally about his ethics on staying with the party for the betterment of his children’s educations while violating his own personal principles.

1 comment:

  1. I could not write an ending for this. If anyone can, please send me an email at devinpremasiri2@gmail.com... Ignore spelling or grammar mistakes. I didn't have time to re-read this.

    ReplyDelete

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