It’s only natural for us mortals to ask questions to those, who we consider knowledgeable. And it’s natural for us, to show our mortality by putting the same ones on pedestal, whether they deserve it or not (mostly not). I, mere mortal, had to show my ignorance by asking questions. And what better occasion than to ask a question to a fellow journalist – who happens to be an economic reporter (not talking about his thriftiness while going to the canteen) – than just after the budget was announced?
I asked him, half hoping that his enthusiasm of the day when Comrade ‘Red Flag’ announced the first budget since giving up on the jungle life, “So, what do you think about the budget?” In fact, I wanted him to throw some economic jargons at me, which he would do on any given day, like most of our economists – who are as far away from people as a tiger would be from ‘a guide to healthy vegetarian diet’. I was even prepared to provide a fake nod, from my part, just to appreciate his knowledge and hide my ignorance (again being a mere mortal).
My fellow journalist said, “Everyone has a right to dream.” A shocker!!!
And I was expecting him to give me a lecture on what a budget is, or how probably the budget should have been. In my mind, with that one line, he reached immortality, when his puckered his lips to dart those words out, while I concentrated on his teeth, which can be any rodent’s pride. I don’t know, if my fellow colleague, or the one who sometimes also refers me as a friend (when he needs me to do stuffs for him), was in the best of his mood or really was feeling bad for no tax cuts to economic journalists. But he’d said something that no one had told me about the government’s financial estimates.
Of course, I knew, right from my childhood that everyone had a right to dream. That was the premise on which my support for republican set up was based. As I used to boast, ‘The best thing about a republican set up is that it gives every child a right to dream to become the head of the state.’ Thank god, I never met the then dream inspectors, during the era that did not support such thoughts, who would have hauled me into some cell in ‘Hanumandhoka Khor’.
Wisdom at childhood is often swept by reality in the semi-adulthood (the time more famous for other finer and interesting things in life). And I had realized that too, forgetting that there are dreams, and a right to dream. Alas! Our constitution makers probably would never add that right as a funda-mental right.
A dream… don’t know if the Finance Minister ever thought it that way… don’t know if I could’ve seen it as a dream that way… don’t know if we as a nation thought that way… don’t know if I’ve stopped dreaming… or else, don’t even know if this lack of dream itself is a dream.
That reminds me what Arthur Miller wrote in Death of A Salesman, “A salesman has got to dream, boy. It comes with the territory.”
And maybe, it’s time it comes with the territory to Finance Minister… or maybe it’s time it comes with the territory to the journalists… and maybe it’s time it comes to me ‘with the territory’.