lettersfruitsMillionaires, Presidents, even Kings

Can’t get along without everyday  things…

  ….so goes this poem that I learnt at school- perhaps in the 3rd or 4th standard.

Millionaires, Presidents, even Kings

Can’t get along without everyday things

Were you president, king, or millionaire,

you’d use a comb to comb your hair.

If you wished to be clean- and you would, I hope-

You’d take a bath with water and soap.

The poet goes on to illustrate her point- that even the richest and most privileged people need these ordinary things, just as everyone else does–  with a number of examples-

And you couldn’t sign a letter, I think,

With anything better than pen and ink.

And if you wanted to read you’d be sure to look,

at newspaper magazine, or a book.

And at the end of the day-

When you wanted to rest your weary head,

like other folks, you’d hop into bed.

In these simple words that even children can understand, we find hidden a universal truth! It is so true, that no one can do without these ‘ordinary’ things.

These are the essentials for a comfortable human life.

However well-to-do a person may be, however many extra-ordinary or expensive things he may possess- he/she still needs every-day things.

Every person needs water and soap to take a bath, food to eat, books to read, and a bed to sleep. These are things that every person should have.

Rich or poor, each and every person needs these ‘every-day’ things!

lettersfruitsI could add a few every-day things to this list myself.

Sufficient food for everyone, and clean and abundant water- enough for one’s every-day needs.

A chance for every child to go to school. To study as much as he/she wants to.

Perhaps a small garden in every neighbourhood for children to play in, and for grown-ups to unwind after the day’s work.

A clinic in every locality- where medicines at least for all the common ailments are available.

These are just every-day needs, ordinary needs. Nothing extravagant about them.

But for many people in our country these have become unattainable.

By law every child should be in school till the age of fourteen, but the reality is different.

There are laws ensuring open spaces in cities, but the powerful builders circumvent them, and tall buildings come up where green spaces should have been.

The government clinics often have few medicines in stock, and poor patients have to stand in queue for hours to get even those which are available.

So what is the solution? How can these ordinary comforts of life be made available to each and every person in society? 

Perhaps the answer is right in front of us, but we just can’t see it?

What do you think?