That day, the morning newspapers had covered in detail the most extravagant wedding of the century. Rs. 300 crores had been spent on the marriage of daughter of a business tycoon. Invitation cards were 20 pages long, placed in boxes made of silver. 1000 distinguished guests were made to stay in five star hotels of Paris for 5 days to enjoy the celebrations. Most acclaimed Pop singers had performed at the wedding. Women were presented with pouches containing jewels and diamonds. The news report was mind-boggling. How could one spend so much on a wedding? How could God make a single man so rich? The papers carried Forbes list of world’s billionaires. It told more. The richest man of the world had his net worth Rs. 250000 crores. The list was endless. The person at the 100th position had a net worth just Rs. 32000 crores, the papers said. The news item set me thinking. Where were we placed? Me and my friends had never shirked work, believed in hard work and helping others, had never hurt anyone knowingly, had tried our best to contribute to the society and the nation. Then why was God so unkind to us? No one was there to answer the questions on my mind. Lost in these questions, I switched on my computer to check the mail. One of the mails said, ‘What a strong photograph!’ A photograph was there. It had an instant impact on me. It showed a famine stricken child crawling towards a UN food camp that was a mile away. A vulture sat behind the child, intensely looking at him. It sent a chill up my spine. I remembered having read a book years ago. It had told that vultures come to know that a person or animal was about to die. The vulture sitting behind the child knew what was going to happen to the child! The name of photographer was Kevin Carter. He had left the site of photograph immediately after capturing it. No one could know what had happened to the child! The photograph was awarded Pulitzer award for that year. But, three months later, Kevin Carter committed suicide due to depression. Found written in his diary was:
“Dear God, I promise I will never waste my food no matter how bad it can taste and how full I may be. I pray that He will protect this little boy, guide and deliver him away from his misery. I pray that we will be more sensitive towards the world around us and not be blinded by our own selfish nature and interests. I hope this picture will always serve as a reminder to us that how fortunate we are and that we must never ever take things for granted.”
The questions that had raised their head in my mind after reading about the extravagant marriage vanished. God had provided the answer to me. He had made me realize how blessed we were. I had never faced hunger, never felt short of basic necessities of life and was made capable of helping those who were suffering. Then why should a billionaire’s riches or his daughter’s profligate marriage disturb me? Rather there was a need to help those in distress, in hunger and in suffering. I rose up.