Which is the most important thing in life? Different people will blurt out different replies to that answer. Everyone will feel they are accurate. Fact is and shall always remain there is only one right answer to every question that has ever been asked. So, which is the most important thing in life?

His name, well that’s not important at all. It never has been. He made a living out of washing plates at a local restaurant in the evening and by day he was a tourist guide at the local temple premises. No one was as knowledgeable as he was about the little town where he resided in. Numerous tourists came by including foreigners to devour themselves on the Chola style of architecture that the temple boasted of. He was just fourteen years and he had no one to look after, no parents, no siblings and no cousins. He was gifted with freedom. Somehow he had managed to learn and when I say learn I mean not the usual stuff that a fourteen year old knows. Of course he had no access to a school or a learning centre but along with freedom he was gifted with the inquisitiveness to learn. Believe it or not his favourite subject was physics, in particular quantum mechanics and its implications. How did he pull that off? He had a smartphone which a recurring Australian architecture freak had gifted him. He was smart enough to crack what he could do with it. A Facebook page with more than 1 million followers, a twitter handle followed by who’s who of the scientific community and an e-mail which was flooded with questions from all over the world. For the digital world he was THE QUANTA, in reality he was a dishwasher.

His small room besides the leather factory consisted mainly of second hand books and broken electronic stuff. There was a torn woollen blanket and a pillow that looked more like a stuffed teddy bear. As time passed by, his interest in the field grew tremendously, the Internet could not quench his thirst and the money he earned, well mostly went into his Internet charges and books. What more can a salary of 4000 INR fetch you. He was almost 17 by now and he had slowly began losing interest in life as a guide and a dishwasher. He never believed in god as he preferred to be rational and believed that there was a governing power that governed us all. The same power that held the nucleons inside a nucleus and so on. THE QUANTA had crossed 17 million followers by now and he had started to think if he could gain financially from it. A few weeks later he sold his social media accounts for 90,000 INR and set off to Bangalore to find a job in the INDIAN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE.

Whatever money he had, he invested it in buying a tender for a tea-shop inside the campus and it was there that he started to interact with real life scientists. Most of them were surprised to hear that he was THE QUANTA. They sought advices from him regularly and soon he had become quite popular with all the students there. His inquisitiveness did not stop there, he wanted to apply for an internship in the Physics department but was rejected as he had no prior educational degree at all. Most of the students supported him but it was all in vain. One fine day his body was found outside his tea-shop, his face had bloated like a fish. It was quite evident that he had consumed poison. In his bluish hand was a letter.

“God, if you exist forgive me. I have learnt everything that there was about the field I loved. Yet somehow I cannot put it to use unless I have a paper to show about it. That is what knowledge has become nowadays. A stamp on a paper. Something that money can buy and sell. No marks for being inquisitive at all. I am not dying because I am scared or afraid. I am just sad. I loved science like some people love their loved ones. I was in love with it truly, madly and inquisitively yet it failed me. Perhaps I can come back reincarnated with a degree to show. Although I am completely satisfied, I have loved science like a madman, I know and I believe in most of the things science preaches us unlike the degree holders here. I have no one to blame at all. I lived a healthy and satisfied life.”

He had left a very simple answer behind to a question that always puzzles us. Which is the most important thing in life? It is that one moment just before you die. Were you satisfied with it? Would you come back to rectify it again or would you just let things be as they are. For some of us even hundreds of lives is insufficient to find what we live for, for some of us even 19 years is more than enough. THE QUANTA is still an active page. It is run by a billionaire in Russia now.


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