Akash MehtaSeptember 14, 2018Competition and AchievementPoetry

“Stand clear of the closing doors please.”

The tired people late to work, trying to push their way in the crowded train suddenly stop their desperate, violent attempts, and a vague feeling of defeat, muddled by their half-asleep conditions, staggers though their befuddled eyes, accompanied by a low moan and then they dejectedly drift away from the entrance and stand gloomily, waiting for their second, or third or fourth chance of entering the train. Or for the ones in the back, who had just a second ago been struggling to squeeze their way into the hot, cramped metal box, craning their heads over the others who were also brooding over the inevitable fate of being chewed out by their gray-haired bosses, all of a sudden, while unsuccessfully trying to make it look like they were just walking, these outcasts of this competitive system, “Jobs for the smallest,” they broke out in a run to grab the nearest seat of the bench, once again pushing, panting and cursing, and most of them—in fact, all of them except six—sigh, and turn away, having to experience the pains in their arms and legs for another who knows how many minutes—and this awful way of morning life continues.

As for those particularly fast six lucky-out-of-the-unlucky people, they either go straight to a half-sleep, or, not seeing the unlucky-out-of-the-unlucky ones leaning in despair over the track, trying to catch a glimpse of the train that would not come for another ten minutes, curse under their breath, still worrying about those gray-haired bosses, and no appreciation for their current status in this jumbled-up group of workers is felt by them. Some say the kings lord it over the serfs—but in reality, the kings merely pity themselves for their worries.

And, soon enough, another metal box comes roaring down the tracks, and the cycle repeats itself.

And, when some dead-to-the-world person actually enters that place, does he laugh with victory, or does he enjoy relief? No, instead he complains about the clammy conditions he is now in, worries some more about how he is actually going to get out of the train at his stop, and why God subjected him to such awful mornings.

But all in all, whether you’re the king or the serf, the unlucky-out-of-the-unlucky or the unlucky-out-of-the-lucky (there is no such thing as lucky-out-of-the-lucky) everyone achieves the same fate—getting chewed out by their gray-haired bosses.

Now that’s what I call fairness.

Akash Viswanath Mehta is a senior at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn, New York. He is deeply interested in politics, literature, and mathematics. He’s also the founder of Kids for a Better Future, an organization of teens in New York City, supporting less fortunate children around the world.