“Everything checked Madam.” Archana peeped out from the pile of papers she was holding and found Nageshwar, the auditorium in-charge, standing before her with his typical salesman ready smile. It was not only Nageshwar but a small queue of his associates also awaited Archana’s approval. Since last eight hours, they had pulled out all the stops to fulfil every diktat of Archana. It was not the first time she was working with Nageshwar’s group. Grilling their professional acumen was never in her ‘to do’ list. She smiled, showered her gratitude and personally invited them for tomorrow’s event before bidding adios. However the event organizer within her wouldn’t let her leave just yet. She was alone with her laptop, a mound of files and her personal assistant, Shruti.

The next half an hour was spent on scrutinizing the nuts and bolts of the operation. The maroon silk curtains made the stage appear resplendent. The artless cushioned chairs, now jacketed with a white cover and wrapped with a maroon satin ribbon, complemented the whole scenario. Faultless electric fittings, washrooms and dining area neat as a new pin, artificial flowers set in exquisite flower vases and all the other decors mirrored Nageshwar’s impeccable expertise. Archana was contented. The only job left for the next day was the delivery of flower bouquets and eatables, which were to be confirmed over the phone. She sat down in the corner most chair of the auditorium and glanced around. Her appreciative attitude made her utter her favourite English proverb, NO MAN IS AN ISLAND.

Archana Tandon, a budding name in the event management industry, did not have a long list of educational degrees to flaunt but she had garnered a name for herself in the field with her innovative and sprightly ideas. Managing thirty successful events in a row was not a piece of cake. At every stage, she proved intellect was never fettered with printed degrees. Her skills lay within her creative mind, soft yet firm nature, her ability to get things done in her way and of course her competence in dealing with people. The type of events she organized was nothing new in the market but her ideologies were certainly out of the box. She was victorious due to her ‘Think Globally Work Locally’ outlook. She believed in the people she worked with and always slept soundly at the end of the day.

The programme was scheduled for 10 A.M the next day. It was the book launch of a bourgeoning feminist writer, Taniya Sanyal. High profile media coverage was expected since a renowned lyricist of the film industry was to release the book.

“We are all set ma’am.” Shruti chimed in. Archana was all dressed up in a grey colour pencil gown and was busy reading the synopsis of the ‘yet to be released’ novel. She nodded her head in affirmation, pasted a feigned smile on her face and stepped onto the stage to usher in the assembly. Taniya Sanyal was introduced with a list of her plaudits and so was the chief guest. The book release proceeded without a hitch and was followed by an interactive session with the media.

Archana kept a keen eye on the proceedings while sitting in a corner. Drinks and snacks were served to the bourgeoisie. Copies of the novel were distributed. Microphones were working properly. The cameras focussed the right people at the right time. Her fingers were crossed. It was yet another event on the brink of success. Amidst the entire hullabaloo, she was drowned in her own world, considering this event to be just another feather on her hat. She was jolted from her wool-gathering when she heard Taniya’s response to a question posed by one journalist. The query posed by the journalist barely registered in Archana’s mind. Taniya’s supercilious response though jarred in her ears.

“I am a woman. I am the very embodiment of everything. I do not need a man for my survival.”

An eerie silence prevailed for a few seconds which was soon broken by a standing ovation. Everybody clapped in acclamation. Archana too did the same. However, her mind and soul did not resonate with the grandiloquent words of Taniya. She certainly appreciated Taniya’s command over language, creativity and ability to keep the readers engaged but she could never bring herself about to concur with Taniya’s concluding statements. Archana’s consciousness stood before her and forced her to revisit the pages of her memoirs. Her life had been a delightful voyage and that journey was made beautiful only by the companions who shared her path.

Archana’s mind could not abandon the presence and essentiality of men in her life in just the blink of an eye. Mother was indisputably her first teacher but Father was the one who inculcated in her the strength to face the world. Brother fought with her, argued with her but was the first one to defend as well. Her long list of friends, which included many members of the opposite sex, jostled to celebrate her victory and lent shoulders to cry upon. Was her conscience wrong?

Humans were created and projected as the best creation of God. We socialized since we were equipped to. The present competitive world certainly demands each one of us to be independent. Yes, we all are independent indeed; if not now, then definitely in the near future. We struggle on a daily basis to be liberated physically, emotionally and financially as well. However, CAN ANY OF US CELEBRATE OUR FREEDOM WITHOUT CREDITING OTHERS? When we stood at the threshold of the dream world, ready to weave thousands of unrealistic dreams, someone in some corner of the world remained awake in order to bring them to fruition.

When we blow our own trumpet about the educational degrees garnered, why do we forget about those diligent educators who introduced us to the very basic meaning of literacy? When others heap plaudits on us for our achievements in professional life, why do we forget to thank those miniscule of contributions that assembled together to embellish our success? We perceive the true meaning of happiness through sharing. The profound English proverb ‘NO MAN IS AN ISLAND’ is not only woven in every thread of social fabric but also dictates the mere concept of our existence on earth. The most precious gift of womanhood is the ability to bear a child and enjoy the blissful ride of motherhood. Is it possible to acquire this gift all alone? NO.

Without men, there can neither be another man nor a woman in this mortal world.  We fulfil all our whims and fancies through our own pocket and declare ourselves to be independent but life is more than expending on luxuries. We are dependent on other individuals for our basic needs if not extravagances.  We live in a society and intend to progress as a civilized social animal for the encroachment of the whole humankind. Our thoughts can be unbiased and independent. Our conceptualization about life can be different and liberated. However, when we are set on the path of symbiotic relationships, the significance of others can never be denied. Our lives are undoubtedly ASSISTED if not SPONSORED.

The event was over and due credit was showered on Archana for making it a big success. As everyone bade adieu to the event, the organisers gathered to applaud Taniya’s last sentence. Archana mustered all her courage and uttered,

“You don’t need man, Is it? Thank God my mother did not think the same. Otherwise I wouldn’t have seen the light of this world.”






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