‘Soldier, you think we know of you as lesser
But little do you know how less we are
Such that we would bite the dust
Without you and your trust’
Each army consists of a minimum of two parts; the cavalry and the infantry.
The cavalry leads the charge as they slash and hack their way, blazing a way through the enemy while on top of their high horses. Their work is quick and precise and they are cheered all the way through. They are hailed as true warriors and acquire fame and recognition. They are equipped with better weapons and more horsepower. They are the most happening part of the army.
And then there’s the infantry. Although these soldiers can join the cavalry and avail the honours as well, they don’t. They choose to join the division of any huge army that is expected to do most of the grunt work for the least appreciation. They choose to slog their precious time into preparing to face the slow carnage that is about to follow. They choose to not accept praise for their struggle while their mates in the cavalry are commended for their work. They are the most supporting part of the army. And you’re one of them.
Artist, you spend your late night perm in painting your heart and soul on to the vast canvas shared by dozen others. You struggle to keep your eyes open in class because of this and still strive to achieve artistic value in your work. And yet you feel satisfied with casual compliments even when you deserve much more since you take the most effort to make the fest as artistic and authentic as possible.
Awarder, you honour the distinguished by creating mementoes for them to cherish. You make documents and prizes for those who’ve showcased their worth on the stage and off. You work tirelessly to make sure no individual is left out. And yet you expect nothing in return, even when you ensure that the competitive spirit of the fest is maintained.
Operator, you handle the mechanism that is in control of the fest. You make sure the gears are properly oiled by taking the burden of managing events, time schedules and distributing access. A single mistake from your side can topple the entire structure of the fest. And yet you take the risk and manage to keep the fest in optimum functioning through your rapid sweating and piercing headaches.
Vigilante, you enforce the laws that keep the fest in check. You make sure the legality of the participants’ actions during the events is under regulation. You settle disputes within the working of the people behind the fest and make sure it does not dissolve into chaos. And yet you do not complain about the sore throats and aching legs and accept them with grace.
Treasurer, you keep the finances behind the working of the fest in check. You arrange for the smooth use of the funding that is required for the creative freedom the fest needs. You influence the tone of the entire fest. And yet you prefer to work in the background, away from the limelight and the appreciation.
Butler, you cater to all the needs of the people. You provide them with sumptuous and savoury delights by arranging the food stalls, the franchises, and the food trucks to whip out their signature dishes for everyone. You take good care of the judges, the people, and maintain the atmosphere that should persist throughout the fest. And yet you shy away from comfort for yourself to experience and continue to toil away for everyone else.
Host, you welcome the guests from all over to our illustrious town and our prestigious fest. You manage their expectations and ensure their stay is a comfortable and enjoyable experience in this precious town at its most exciting time. And yet you do not partake in the festivities since your prime objective is to make sure the guests do so.
Publicist, you share the images, spam the groups, and spread the word around. You extend the reach of the fest beyond the intended range. You update people with news of the events happening in and around the fest. And yet, you are not acknowledged for your seemingly ‘meaningless’ work.
You realize that you are neither going to get any remuneration nor any upgrades to your CV for your efforts. You realize that a fault of the slightest portion can bring down even the largest of structures. While others feel the need to lead the army, you realize that you are the army. You also realize that some sacrifices are required for the greater good. So you give your everything in return for nothing. By being the Good Samaritan, you make sure that greatness prevails and that the people experience something profound to remember for the rest of their life. In this war against imperfection, you thus go one step closer to annihilating the enemy.
And for that, we salute you.
–Written by Sanjay Kumar
–Photographed by Akshat Chourasia