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Saturday, March 12, 2011

The joy of Facebook

Anup Ojha:
The last two months were perhaps the most gruesome of my life. I never had the slightest thought that I would have to undergo such pain, trauma and depression. The cursed hours of my life started during a cheerful day. That day I was on a walk with my friends to Koteshwor from Balkumari. We were all in a cheerful mood. The plan for the evening was to get together at one of my friend’s places. I carried a bag containing the most precious treasures of my life—all my academic and extra-curricular certificates. After enjoying a boisterous evening, I woke up next morning only to be thrown into the darkness of sorrow when I realised that my bag was missing!

I tried hard to concentrate on where I could have left my bag and its valuable contents. My mind went blank except for my walk around the Koteshwor area. My friends and I combed the path we had strolled down the day before, but to no avail. Finally, I reported the bag as missing to the police. At home, I had no explanation to an array of questions from my parents: How could you be so careless to lose such an important bag? How did you not realise it went missing? Did your bag simply vanish into thin air? The questions pierced my heart with sorrow, amplifying the pain and anxiety I already felt.

Since the certificates had the proper address of my school and colleges, I frequented these institutions in the hope of finding my belongings. One month passed, yet there was no sign of my documents. With a heavy heart I started working on obtaining new sets of academic credentials.

I went to my school with a request for the SLC character certificate. Naturally, I expected sympathy and corporation from the respected school director. I narrated my plight. But instead of words of comfort, he demanded Rs. 1,500 for a character certificate, just for few lines of words printed on an A-4 size piece of paper. That too from an unemployed student struggling for survival in this expensive city. I later learnt that the director had recently bought the school for a hefty sum and was bent on making a quick profit. Does a student deserve such a response from the head of an academic institution? Have people exchanged their humane virtues for academic degrees? The conversation at the school left me more depressed.

In my despair, I began surfing my Facebook page when I received a message from a stranger saying he had found my bag! I contacted the gentleman—a retired government official. Once I convinced him that I was the genuine owner of the documents, the noble man handed over the bag to me neither asking nor expecting anything in return. The incident taught me a great lesson and instilled in me a positive outlook on society. Perhaps this is the stuff that keeps the world going.

source: Anup Ojha, The Kathmandu Post, 12 March 2011

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