#LookUp Stories

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The times we live in are not what can be described as optimistic. Everybody is a pessimist these days. I am no exception. There is simply so much despair all around, it is difficult to stay positive and upbeat about life. The fact that every other article in the newspaper talks about stories of death, destruction and ominous threats to a person’s sanity doesn’t help. But then as they always say, it doesn’t take much for a ray of hope to pierce through the darkest of nights. When I came across the IndiBlogger activity in association with Housing, I was instantly interested in the topic and while this isn’t exactly a blog where I talk about such things, I thought everyone can use a story about positivity.

#Optimist: Someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it's more like a cha-cha.
via Pinterest

So my story isn’t about somebody who made it big or somebody who has become famous through their big ideas. Its just a simple incident, that I happened to witness. I believe that the most beautiful life-lessons are always learnt from the simple things.

One of these stories that always fills me with hope and positivity are Ruskin Bond’s short stories, namely ‘A Room on the Roof’, followed by ‘Vagrants of the Valley’ and the story ‘A Handful of Nuts’. A room on the roof is part autobiographical and essentially the story is about a boy who doesn’t belong. An orphan child of British and Indian origin parents each, it starts with how the boy, Rusty, is abused by his caregiver and one day, simply decides to run away. He has dreamt of being a writer. He doesn’t know where the road will lead him, but he doesn’t lose hope. Rusty runs away from home, and that night he sleeps on the streets. He somehow, through his friend’s help, manages to land a job as an English teacher for a school boy and in turn for his services, gains lodging in the room on the roof. He starts living in this now infamous room and works and dreams. His dreams aren’t big, he wants to find his roots, he wants to live in the hills and he wants to be a writer. A few months into this new world, Rusty is yet again uprooted when the patrons he was living with face a tragedy. The wife of the house owner dies and the owner decides to move with his son and hence no longer requiring the services of Rusty. Any person who has faced these upheavals knows how sprit crushing they are. Still, Rusty preservers, he finds comrades and friends and works towards his goal. He lives in the most shocking places, just to fulfil his dream of becoming a writer.  What strikes me the most however, is how Rusty manages to help his friends inspite of his circumstances. He starts publishing in certain small publications, doesn’t know when his next cheque will come, but still lends money to his friend for their problems. While this story is set in a much different India, I still find it inspiring, not because of the way the story proceeds, but the spirit that is shown by its characters.
Rusty never really gives up home, in the most hopeless of circumstances. This, is truly what inspires me in these stories.  He isn’t something extraordinary, he is just a simple boy, who never loses sight of his goals. This is why they always manage to inspire me, no matter how sad I am. While such a idyllic life may not be possible today, the spirit of optimism still transcends time.


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