We often say the world is a very small place, this life is too short to enjoy everything and too long to be worried about the future. But if the world is a very small place then why haven’t we explored it yet? If life is too short to enjoy everything then why do we fail to realize the importance of this very second which can be spent enjoying on something? And if this life is too long to be worried about the future then why are we still busy dreaming about it? The answer to all this three questions lies in a single word, wishes. We wish to explore the world, but there never is enough money! We wish to enjoy everything, but we find ourselves trapped under the burden of responsibilities. The part that I find the most interesting one is we wish to wish more. One after another, like a stack of CDs on a shelf.
Wishes of a human being are like the thirst of a wanderer in a desert, they never quench. The imbalance is created when there are some lucky people who could fulfill their wish with ease and on the other hand, there are those unlucky and unfortunate ones who could just dream of what they want some day. Few days ago I came across such similar example. I witnessed a play titled ‘patloon’(pajama) and it was a delight to my eyes.
When I was heading towards the theater, I had no idea that someone could portray what goes in a poor man’s life just by centering the story on a patloon. The play beautifully describes the condition of a shoe polisher who is alive just on a hope to buy that particular patloon hanging in a shop across the street. There are people in this world who can afford to wish bigger because they can afford fulfilling it. This is when you need to twist your neck a little and look at life in a different angle. This angle will show you the other side, the abandoned side of life. Where people, like the shoe polisher, spend their whole life saving their income. So that one day, hopefully before dying, they could see their wish come true.
These are the people whose wishes are very limited unlike us. They make a relation with it. They talk with their wish in dreams and tell it to hold on, to wait until they collect enough money so that they could grab it one day. I have often seen people who have less to give are the most selfless people. Quantity is of the least of their concern. They happily give away their share without thinking about themselves. Because for them, life is too short to be selfish.
After mesmerizing us with his funny dialogues, the shoe polisher’s desire kept the momentum racing till the end. Year’s pass by, seasons change, the shoe polisher’s growing age slows him down in the race to achieve his goal. The patloon still holds on to him even when the time has come to replace her with current trending, fashionable clothing. She believes that even if it’s too slow her true love, the shoe polisher, would come for her like a prince comes for his princess.
Finally, the shoe polisher succeeds. He saves enough money to bring his princess to his palace. He brings her home. But it’s too late. The years of hard work had made him too weak to put on that patloon. He talks to her, shares all the stories, treats her more than a princess. Days pass. He comes on the verge to say goodbye to this world. The only thing that he worries about is what would happen to his princess when he dies. Dying man cries for her. Some people gather from around the street and ask him if he has any last wish. What he said next pierced my heart like a knife.
He said, ‘can you please put this patloon on me. I wish to wear it at least once in this life’.