It was 27th of January. I was coming back to my home from my hometown. Because the train was late, I reached Noida around 9 in the morning. Then I got ready for office and went to the nearest auto stand and boarded.
On that beautiful morning, I was destined to meet this guy; a good looking educated guy who was in middle or late 30's, driving the auto.
Just as I boarded, we struck up a conversation. Initially we talked about his daily routine and crime in Noida. Then we started talking about education and he told me that he graduated with a B.A. degree in 1993.
He continued by telling me about his first job - a cleaner in an office where he used to get 500 Rs per month. Later he changed his job and his salary went to 1000 Rs per month. From there he was promoted to a clerical job, where his salary reached around 3000 Rs per month. But somehow the story of growth was stopped suddenly by fate and he lost his job.
He told me of times when he used to gather chapattis, thrown by his neighbors, and then put them into water and again make an eatable roti for his kids and that he and his wife went hungry for a few days just to feed their children.
Then one day a guy asked him to deliver cylinders from one place to another. He started delivering 3 cylinders, each, twice in a day and started earning 20 Rs per cylinder which sums out to be 120 Rs per day.
Then he started delivering more cylinders and his earning reached around 50 Rs per cylinder. Then he came to know the hidden truth - he could earn around 200 Rs per cylinder, if he could buy his own cylinders. Somehow he managed to buy docs for 10 cylinders and that cost him around 10k.
With some more money, he bought an auto. He was not happy being an auto driver as he gave his reasons that this job is not a job of pride and even rickshaw pullers come up and say expletives to him.
On a personal level, being an educated guy, it hurts him to drive an auto. But the best part he said is, "Now my children don't go to sleep hungry at night. I don't have to pick others' thrown away food."
This guy has now risen to the level where he can now keep his family happy and is earning handsome money. He plans to buy a new auto rickshaw. His children study in English medium school and he is proud to give them the best.
But there was one thing he was worried about and still is: whether his children will think about him the way he thought about himself?
And then, on the next turn he said, "I am quite optimistic that whatever good I will do today, will result in a much better future for me tomorrow."
I don't know his name, I don't know who he was but he taught me a few lessons that will remain with me forever.
Some of you may find this a stupid story to tell and some may have their own crux of this story but I just want to share a few morals I learned:
- There is a new start at every bend in the road.
- If you can dream big and wish to grow, no one can ever stop you.
- Sometimes we remain hungry to feed our loved ones and the pain acts as a firing ball forever in the future.
- There are few people in our life who sacrifice a lot to make their loved ones happy without ever thinking of their own interests and still they are optimistic that they will somehow get something in return.
- Crisis can show you a path that may be difficult but still leads to the things you aspire, if you have that vision.
- Even if you give your best, and for the time being you didn't get the returns back, just expect the best and stop brooding or bothering about it.
- Strength is not measured with the number of toned muscles in your body, it is measured in terms of the strength of your heart - when you remain hungry to feed your children and then grow to give them the best.
Copyrightę 2009 Vibhore Jain
This is a true story ... He is a person I will never forget in life. He changed a lot in me. Maybe for many India is a land of poors, but for me India is still a land of fighters who fight their fate each day to come out successful.