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A good book on a rainy day is happiness for me - Ruskin Bond

Friday, August 29, 2014


Sometimes the most important lessons in life are learnt from the most ordinary folks.  If you are wise enough and keep attentive ear, there is no dearth of real-life stories of benevolence.

To be kind enough is not an easy disposition.  You need a lot of mental energies and some times financial resources to respond befittingly to the occasion.  To what length you could stretch is your own discretion.

In the present day syndrome of ' I don't have time' ,  some very ordinary folks teach us the lessons of compassion, benevolence, kindness to stay our foot firmly on the ground.  This needs to be constantly reminded as our lives are proliferating into uncertainty in the constant flux of cause and effect of our acts.

One such ordinary man appearing in the photo is : Bijender Singh of  Barabanki district of Uttar Pradesh.  He proudly calls himself 'Rajput'.  Donning spotless white safari dress, at first look you could imagine him as a chauffeur to a wealthy man's high-end car.  But he is a proud owner-cum-driver of a three-wheeler Auto Rickshaw and earns handsome income on the bustling Delhi roads.

Bijender is different in many ways from his peers.  He doen't drink which ruins the  the lives of many  labourer-class people in India.   He treats his vehicle as his child and keeps it always neat and tidy.  

The other day when I boarded his auto, I felt elated of his three-wheel queen glowing as if it is bought  a month back or two. My curiosity asked him how old was his vehicle.  His reply was crisp.  ''Two years old sir''.  Elaborating how best he manages his time, he says that whenever he finds time in between his sorties, he halts his vehicle at some place and rubs off dust so that he could provide the best travel experience to the passengers sitting in his auto. He even throws a challenge to you to show dust even in the  remotest part of the vehicle which reflects his confidence and dedication in his profession.

When I spun  him enough into conversation wheel, he opened up further of how he saved the life of a young man of his same profession but fell prey to Ganja and alcohol and collapsed his health.  When all his neighbours chose not to rescue the near-dying young man, he took him to a private hospital and administered treatment by spending an amount of Rs.10,000/- from his pocket despite serious protest from his wife.

 By the time, I  got into  his auto, he was coming back from the hospital and the young man  was slowly recovering from the life-threatening condition.  Bijener Singh is a satisfied-soul after  the young man with folded-hands expressed his gratitude and promised to pay back the amount expended for his treatment.

He gave me enough sermon  that all should come forward to help needy irrespective of their social status.  He gave another instance  of how he adopted an orphan boy 15 years back when the boy with  less than 4 years old  was deserted on the road  and a rickshaw puller gave  him to take care of.   After approaching Police and failing to get response from the TV ad given, he took the boy to his home and became his guardian. Now that boy became a young man of 18 years old and earning and giving him Rs.8000/- monthly.

He says that he will do his best to settle these two men who came into his life.   By the time, he wraps up his story, my home came and I  pulled out Rs.100/- note from my wallet  and asked him  not to return the balance Rs.50/-  and use that money to provide a tumbler of juice on my behalf to that hospitalized young man.  I felt exuberant joy  when Bijender's beaming face acknowledged my gesture.

I climbed my steps heading to my third floor home, ruminating the words of Dalai Lama : Show kindness if possible; And I think it is always possible !            
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