- A harsh reality
- A hopeless widow
- A toiling man
- The story of a pathetic lady
- Difference between the rich and the poor
A multi-dimensional analysis of the question is life a bed of roses? brings the harsh reality into spotlight that only a handful of branches bear the rose. The others sprout countless thorns. Life is actually an immense desert with an oasis in the distant reaches get a chance to bear the rose and smell its fragrance. The other wither away with thorns in the scorching heat of the desert. The rose also dies but the memory of its enchanting perfume lingers on in the oasis.
Akin to a bed of roses, few people dwell in an oasis, for which life is blooming like a rose. For others there is a thornful fate. Those who have never even smelt a rose let alone begët it. Their painful miseries of life are like innumerable thorns of a desert cactus.
We all encounter examples of this paradoxical reality. A widowed mother of five children works in house to carve a shelter for her children. For her rose was not destined to bloom. Her son becomes a drug addict. The people no longer, employ her due to the drug connection. She does not have the money or education to take a lavish computer course and get a job of secretary. Where is she then, supposed to find a safe haven?
A man, his wife died in childbirth, works on the fields. But the thorns have their toll. The landowner ousts him and his sole source of income is gone. Still he has a ray of hope to run after. He goes to the city in search of employment. Where do you suppose the generous people and openhearted officials of a metro-pole lead him? To no other place than the abyss of a Katchi Abadi. The bread earner is there but there is no bread. The children one by one succumb to death at the hands of the rich while the father weeps in silence. There is no paper money with which he could buy the health of his children. There is poverty, illness and death with their monstrous hands snatching away the last bit of life. Life never gave him a chance to see a rose.
To fortify the truth to this reality, I narrate a true incident from a hospital. A group of medical students is anxiously awaiting their teacher. At the same time a lady misguided through the intricate maze of hospital corridors, bumps into the wrong departments a number of times. On reaching the particular department, she gets to know that the doctor is not there. Thus the students and the lady alike to arrive in the hospital are patiently awaiting the doctor.
On further interrogation, the lady divulges her pathetic tale. The doctors had given the cold verdict that her husband has lost both his kidneys. The woman runs to another hospital. Where she is told that four different machines can save his life. Baffled by the names of these monstrous machines concomitant with their astronomical expenditure, she is back in the previous hospital to look for other vistas of cure.
Will the machines bring him back to life? Obviously not, even the machines are helpless against the cruel judgment of fate. Simple death of her husband would be more relieving than this status of false hopes to which she is looking up to. Her life is full of thorns. If the husband dies, how on earth will she ever smell a rose?
A glimpse of the other hemisphere reveals the magical power of the rose. Those who are born amidst a bouquet of roses do sometimes have their share of thorns. However the fragrance of a rose helps them to erase the thorny stigmas. A well-off family encounters a plane crash. The parents die, a thorn in life. The children are sent to America for education under the supervision of their close aunt. Thus the remnants of a thorn are plucked away.
A person becomes a quadriplegic after an accident. However, his income from acres of land helps him to find the best of the treatment available on the planet. Since he can easily go to the technologically sophisticated hospitals anywhere in the world, he is unaware of the turmoil of life and death through which a poor patient undergoes. For a patient whose patience is tested to the last drop of blood, enduring suffering and awaiting death is the only path open.
The savage atrocities of war inflicted on poor people are another manifestation of this thornful world. War-stricken people as Khalil Gibran writes:
“Died in silence because the ears of humanity had become deaf of their cry”.