Bodh Gaya is known all over the world as the place where the Buddha attained enlightenment. But Shamsher, a resident of Pacchan locality of Bodh Gaya, the son of a farmer, isn’t too concerned with Buddha’s teachings. He’s a bit more realistic about his aspirations.
How I see myself
I lacked confidence, as it took me nine years to get to Class V, the result being that my batchmates became my seniors in school. It was a very unhappy situation that pushed me into a virtual shell and I started avoiding people. My poverty and poor health came in the way of my schooling so finally I dropped out. The world knows only success and failures...everybody who is not successful is a failure. I also feel bad about looking older than my age, on account of my ill health, the reason for which hasn’t been properly diagnosed yet.
My idea of India
Poverty makes me worry. I am always wondering what we will have for our next meal. I think if all Indians individually somehow come to be happy, it will be a good place to live in.
What makes me angry
I feel hurt, not angry, when people ignore me, especially for being poor.
I don’t want to follow in my father’s footsteps as agriculture gives you nothing. I just want to be a tailor so that I can earn enough to keep my body and soul together. We must be realistic enough to realise our limitations. More often than not, dreaming big makes you more unhappy.
Family, friends and idols
Somehow I have the feeling that despite being the youngest of five siblings, I am not wanted in the family, as I don’t earn and frequently fall ill.
Tailor master Farooq, at whose shop I learn stitching, is my role model. I want to be a tailor like him.