My Power Quote !

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

Thursday, September 03, 2015


If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare write a poetry.  He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.
                                                  -          Martin Luther King (Jr.)

When I sat for writing these lines, my wife was reading headlines from my vernacular Telugu daily which is our daily ritual in the mornings.  But that headline gave me a jolt:  A doctor who was supposed to act with caution, forgot a blade in the patient's womb while performing a family planning operation.  The incident happened in the Mahabubnagar district of Telangana, India (courtesy: Eenadu dated  August, 31, 2015).

It all depends on how a person discharges his/her duty.  We see countless people who become scapegoats to the negligence of certain persons who if discharged their duties responsibly could avoid such miseries. Good rarely comes to limelight. The media highlights mostly the wrong deeds and rarely report about good people and their good acts.  Business interests override society interests.  

When I see such good people, my mind overwhelms with positive vibrations and I do my best to bring them to limelight.  My blog KNOWEB is meant for this noble mission.   The space devoted here is for those everyday   heroes who inspire me.  

My hero of inspiration here is Sukh Ram, the man who just turned 60 and by the time of writing this story, he had already retired from government service and proceeded to his native place in Uttarakhand, India.

Sukh Ram was a sweeper in a government department in Delhi. By virtue of his position, majority of folks don’t interact with him.   I have been closely observing him for the last five years.  Truly he is the sweeper the hosts in heaven cherish for. 

Sukh Ram is a silent worker.  I never find him sitting idle during the work hours.  He constantly sweeps the floors and wipes them with wet cloth.  He is such a devoted worker and never gives an opportunity to be pointed out on his work.  He always keeps the floor, wash basins and toilets neat and clean.  Anybody who see the premises must feel so homely.

Whenever I am in low moods, I look at him and draw inspiration.  He is a fountain of energy.  His small built but robust limbs never get tired to climb up and down the stairs during the day.  He always respects his seniors with courtesy and smiling gesture.  I used to see him closely in my afternoons at a library where he reads the local newspapers to keep himself abreast of the world affairs.

The writer in me planned to write on him two months ahead of his superannuation (8/31/2015). When I called and interacted for half an hour, it was totally an exhilarating experience.  When I see such hard-working people, huge respect flows from my heart and I look into their eyes for the triggers of such exemplary work culture.

When I talked to Sukh Ram, I did not feel that I was talking with an old man who was on the verge of retirement.  There is no tiredness on his face. Physically and mentally he seems to be sound to work for another 15 to 20 years.  I documented lives of such everyday heroes in my earlier posts i.e. auto-driver and a dog lover  which were widely read by many.

The people on whom I wrote showed me the slice of life that I had not experienced.  There were many more Sukh Rams we come across in our lives.  But we care little to gauge their significance.   For me it looks that Sukh Ram in his previous life might have gathered lot of wisdom that helped to keep track of such exemplary life.

Till the last day of retirement, his energy was not dipped. He performed his duty in a very outstanding way till 31st August (2015) afternoon.   No doubt that you can call him a modern karma yogi.

Bookish knowledge is of no avail to you unless it is translated into action.  In the worldly point of view, Sukh Ram is not literate enough to gain media glare nor did any such extraordinary feat to come to limelight.  He simply did his job so well that caught my attention.  On moral and ethical side, he is taller than his insignificant position in work life.   In one word, he is a package of different sort.

Worshipping the workers, noted Indian poet Subramania Bharati says that:

I sing in praise for the work you do,
Like Brahma, you are creator too.

Whenever I speak to Sukh Ram, these words of Swami Vivekananda resonate my mind:

He who does the lower work is not therefore a lower man.  No man is to be judged by the mere nature of his duties, but all should be judged by the manner and the spirit at which they perform them.

It looks that Sukh Ram swallowed the wisdom of what Vivekananda said more than a century ago: When you are doing any work, do not think of anything beyond.  Does it as a worship?

So many people come and go in our lives,  but Sukh Ram etched in my memory  with a permanent home in my heart due to his unparalleled attitude towards duty.

May his post-retirement life be a bed of roses !  

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