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What Were They Thinking (standard:other, 1624 words)
Author: JuggernautAdded: Oct 30 2010Views/Reads: 1595/1026Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Expereinces of a frustated young man.

Click here to read the first 75 lines of the story

group from US was considering him as a potential candidate for the 
fellowship.    It took some time for this event to sink into 
Juggernaut's head. There were no local students in the program at all 
to take up fellowship, irrespective of eligibility. 

Months passed by, scores of resumes sent resulted in no positive
response, Juggernaut was in real bind; has to pay monthly bills etc.  
He contacted his friends in neighboring countries to see if they could 
help find vacancies.  Juggernaut met Leela and Narayana, a couple from 
his native country on the campus as fellow graduate students.  The 
friendly couple completed graduate programs just two years before, and 
left for an unknown country to take up jobs.  They left overnight. No 
body, including their close friends knew where they went.  Juggernaut 
never heard from them again. 

In response to a job application at the Department of Agriculture in
Suriname, a small country on northern fringe of South America, 
Juggernaut received an interview letter.  In the letter, the Director 
of Research mentioned about Leela working in their department and was 
impressed with her work.  It was comforting to know that his old 
acquaintance Leela whose whereabouts were unknown thus far was now 
employed in a neighboring country. 

The visit to Suriname was an eye opening to Juggernaut.  The country on
the South American continent was largely uninhabited accept for the 
capital city Paramaribo.  Juggernaut was given a short tour to the 
interior of the country to show field projects. A visit to native 
tribal community was educational, the people are known for their 
exceptionally clean personal hygiene and sanitation around their huts. 
Every member of the touring party purchased a bottle of bootleg rum 
from the natives at a cut rate price. 

Indians from India and Africans brought to Suriname to work on sugar
plantations make the bulk of the population where as the natives were a 
minority. The Indians in Suriname were referred to as Hindustani and 
speak modified Hindi (Indian language).  The blacks and Indians speak 
English and the official language Dutch.  The city of Paramaribo was 
more European than either South American or Caribbean.  Practically 
every Indian dish was available in the open daily market. A local dish 
“Bami”, made with noodles and vegetables with a meat option was 

The Director of Research at the Department of Agriculture was a kind
person; he gave a tour of the facility to Juggernaut and in the process 
introduced Leela to Juggernaut.  Leela appeared very surprised to see 
Juggernaut of all the people. On her invitation, Juggernaut spent the 
evening at her home meeting with her husband for the first time after a 
long time.  There were some uncomfortable moments at the beginning 
since the couple left the Island after graduation suddenly without 
informing their friends about their whereabouts. 

Leela drove Juggernaut to the Department next day for the Job Interview
with the Director.  On completing the interview, Juggernaut joined her 
in her car about to take him back to the hotel. 

“How the interview went?” asked Leela. 

“I would say pretty well,” “The Director was impressed with my Ph.D.,
work,” replied Juggernaut casually. 

“You think you will get a job here?” 

“He offered me a job,” Juggernaut answered in a matter of fact way.
Leela went into a dreadful silence for few minutes, then she said “well 
some gets a good job easy, just like that.” “To get a job as head of a 
department at this place was a big deal you know.” You were very 
lucky.” She appeared totally unhappy and downright mad, and made 
Juggernaut felt as if he did not deserve the position offered to him. 

After her outburst, Juggernaut sat in silence next her in the car.  He
did not expect the event would turn into an emotional outburst. He 
expected that she will be happy for him and will congratulate for 
getting the job offer. Instead her negative emotions got better of her. 
 Then she calmed down and said “I am sorry my emotions took over me, I 
am glad you were offered the job.” Then she drove Juggernaut to the 

During that evening, Juggernaut's thoughts went over the event that took
place in the car with Leela.  It was odd and totally bazaar, what was 
she thinking, he thought. 

Even after three decades, whenever the above events come to mind,
Juggernaut had tough time understanding the people involved. For 
example, the American Professor, a highly distinguished scientist from 
a prestigious institution; what thought process that made him to 
believe that people of a particular nation were less deserving to come 
to America than his own native country of England. And, juggernaut's 
professor, a native son of Caribbean of Indian descent, earlier in his 
own career was disappointed for not getting a suitable job in the 
United States, later preventing his own student to work at a 
prestigious institution in the United States. Lastly, Leela went into 
an emotional outburst on hearing a job offer to Juggernaut. All these 
individuals were highly educated, so their thoughts were nothing to do 
with lack of intellect. There was no way to rationalize their behavior 
except to say what were they thinking. 

Education to be qualified for a trade (accountant, teacher, engineer,
lawyer, doctor etc.,) does not change the basic trait in a person. If a 
person is a jerk before getting a diploma, after getting it, the person 
will be a jerk with a diploma. 

According to Sri Aurobindo, “spirituality is not high intellectuality,
not idealism, not ethics or moral purity or austerity, not religiosity. 
Spirituality is in its essence an awakening to the inner realty of our 
being, to a spirit, self, soul which is other than mind, life and 
body.”   Lack of spirituality makes people behave the way they do.  A 
Little bit of spirituality at any age would make people to be more 


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