Meaning: What occurs when you overwork yourself into a state of limited mental acuity, depleted emotions, and strength completely drained from your body.

Once upon a time there was a young boy called Sanjay. He was a very hard working boy and everyone was very fond of him. He aspired to become a scientist and was always engrossed in his books.

His mother was very worried about him as he hardly had any social life. He was never seen wasting his time so much so that he never participated even in any cultural activities in his college. He always considered it to be a waste of time.

One day his mother learned from his classmate that the college was planning to take the entire class on a trip and considering it to be a good opportunity she asked him to join his fellow students. Like any other time she again got disappointed from her son.

Sanjay said to her mother, “I have better things in life to do. I cannot afford to fool around like rest of the people. You know there is going to be an inter-college scholarship test and I need to prepare for that. How can u even compare both these things in life? If I make it then I am sure I will be able to go abroad and learn from great scientists”.

Hearing this, the mother had no other option other than to leave her son alone. In her heart she was worried about him. She remembered the dreadful incident that had already taken place in their family but she still was unable to share the same with her son.

Sanjay’s father was exactly like him and when he got engrossed in something he never gave up. He too was an ambitious man, in other words it was ‘like father like son’. Once his father too got an opportunity to go to abroad for a project for which he had worked so hard. He was so engulfed with the idea that he forgot about everything else in the world and one night while he was driving home he met with an accident and died on the spot.

Time passed and Sanjay’s preparation for the test started getting intense day by day. By the time exam date approached Sanjay was totally burned out and was unable to answer even a single question in the paper. He was physically and mentally so exhausted that he collapsed in the examination hall and was admitted in the hospital.

Then he realized that his mother was trying to tell him in a subtle way not to BURN HIMSELF OUT like that because in the end it was him who was going to lose. After that incident he promised himself no matter what not to burn himself out and take care of his health.

©Ritanjali Hastir

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