I first read Sherlock Holmes' short story "A Scandal in Bohemia" when I was in my teens, and I remember spending a few houses idly thinking about what I would rush to save if my house was on fire. If I came up with a list, I do not remember it, which probably means I never did arrive at a list.
For me, it had been an academic exercise. Not so for fifteen year old Rajesh*, who's house was completely destroyed in Sunday's fire. He had a few moments to decide what he most wanted to save, and for him the choice was easy. As he ran out of his burning house, he grabbed his school bag, which fortunately contained all his school books.
Rajesh is scheduled to appear for his school leaving examination next week, and amidst the ruins of what was once the slum community which he grew up in, he is busy preparint to take the exams. He is the first in his family to continue studies beyond the fifth grade, and he realises that education is the only way he can move himself and his family out of poverty. So even though the fire that ravaged the community consumed almost all the material possessions his family possessed, instead of weeping over the past, he is working towards the future.
Rajesh, and people like Rajesh, are in inspiration for us. If they are the future, the future is in good hands.
* name changed