January 21, 2013

A little story..

Friends, may I tell you a little human interest story? Once, driven by my new found confidence, having accepted my stammering, I personally went to get the gas cylinder in Herbertpur! It is a small place but God knows from where all those people had arrived and made a long que that day! There was a stiff competition and very soon I realised that doing a block correction was easier than getting the gas cylinder. I came back empty handed- bracing myself for a barrage from my wife...

Someone in my neighbourhood helpfully offered- why dont you ask Ramesh bhai, to do it for you? Yes, the one who goes around in his tricycle? 

Oh- that paraplegic gentleman? But how on earth will he manage? I was full of doubts. But I decided to give it a try.So, here am I, six month later- a very satisfied customer. You can see Ramesh bhai yawning after the hard work (upper picture)! He has just brought the cylinder on his tricycle, to my gate. I come out - have a little chat with him. He gets Rs 60 per cylinder.
He carries a lot of bags around his neck: LPG books, bills, other papers, money etc. etc.
He also carries a stout stick tucked under his legs. Why? I asked him one day. He said that some mischievous kids grab his tricycle from the back and hang on for a free ride. First he shouts at them, then abuses their seven generations- and finally takes out the stick and jabs at them, while steering the cycle expertly with one hand. I am sure you would say- what kind of boys would do such a thing to a paraplegic? I also reacted the same way. But Ramesh bhai laughs out: All kind of creatures populate Lord's creation.. He is not bitter at all, He is only amused.
As I began taking interest in this man, I discovered that there were at least 3 people in his extended family, who were born with some or other congenital birth defect. His one nephew is mentally retarded. His eldest brother had Cerebral palsy and died some years back, at the age of 46. His wife left him after the birth of one son. She just couldn't cope with a paraplegic husband, I suppose. His mother is there- a frail old lady- often complaining of her own pains and aches- and also worried about Ramesh.
Today, I had a longer chat with him- over a cup of tea. Till 1996, his life was bitter. He used to stay at home and curse the wife who had walked out on him. Then, a local small time politician, who came asking for vote- saw his condition and gave him his first tricycle from panchayat funds. He began moving out - with help.
Soon he realised that being independent is more important than cursing others and feeling bad. Then, he came in contact with other paraplegics, in other parts of Vikasnagar, who were doing some work: one had learnt TV repairing; another ran a grocery shop etc. Inspired by them, he decided to run errands for his neighbours. He began with depositing electricity, water and phone bills.
Very soon, clerks in these offices began to recognise him and dispose off his work on priority basis. Next, he realised that people were willing to pay more, if he could bring the gas cylinder. So, when his old carriage broke - he bought a new one which had more leg room, where in, a cylinder could easily be tucked in.
So, what is his day like? He goes out everyday (-I think he loves it-), return late in the afternoon. After some rest, he goes to a temple, next to a big ravine (nala). Yes, he officiates there as a priest! Not much income though.
Looking back I realise that- I had assumed that he must be having a tough time. But after having known him all these months, I am beginning to see that his reality of life is based on his thoughts, attitude, response and grit- not on my academic knowledge of paraplegia..
Isn't life a mystery?

11 comments:

Anandh Sundar said...

very inspiring post, showing that people have overcome more difficult issues than stuttering, also good that people are helping him

Blue Kite Dreamz said...

"He is not bitter at all, He is only amused"...thats a lovely observation and quite deep at that..i so wish that all of us could be perpetually amused at what life offers us..rather than feeling bitter..
Sachin,you must seriously start compiling your thoughts into something tangible and turn them into stories..for the readers benefit.Your words are as effortless as the gushing stream running down the hill ..your narration is almost holographic..!!
Say my hi to Ramesh Bhai and tell him that he is awesome !!

j jasbir singh said...

First hats off to Ramesh Bhai for his tremendous courage for accepting life as gifted by God and coping by it.

We should accept life as it is.God created us that way for a reason. How monotonous it would be if everyone looked the same.It is important what role does a person play in the way he is created.

Why ridicule? When we are ridiculing, we are ridiculing the Creator, God. Though we may differ in the way we look and think, we are all creations of that One God. As His creations, we are special.

Further for every individual, the world is transitional and not perpetual. Ultimately, the body, however beautiful or not it may be, will simply turn to dust.

I would love to meet Ramesh Bhai on my next visit to Herbertpur.

Manimaran said...

Great post Sachin. Life is comparison only.We have to compare with others and satisfy what God has provided to us.Hats off to Ramesh for his change in attitude and shining example to all of us.

Manimaran said...

Great post Sachin. Life is comparison only.We have to compare with others and satisfy what God has provided to us.Hats off to Ramesh for his change in attitude and shining example to all of us.

Er. Umesh said...

Really life is not as simple as we look it from a distant. World is full of wonders. Hats off to Ramesh bhai and thanks sir for sharing such a inside moving story!!

Sundaresan Thiagarajan said...

Great post. A true story of grit and determination. Very Inspiring.

Thanks

Rajesh V said...

Ramesh bhai ko salam, Sachin ji ko thanks for sharing his inspirational story which reminds me Life is adorable and livable with only Hope on ourselves.
Thanks & Regards

Ashish Agarwal said...

"Duniya main kitna gham hai....

Mera gham...kitna kam hai!!"

People have raised over the thoughts and reactions of the world around and found their own way of self satisfaction and joy.

I am feeling happy and a bit sad too for Ramesh ji.

Sad because it is my nature, i am an emotional man, otherwise, Ramesh ji is a lively man as i can perceive.

Sure his way of living will boost me and other PWS towards self acceptance and satisfaction

Ashish Agarwal said...

"Duniya main kitna gham hai....

Mera gham...kitna kam hai!!"

People have raised over the thoughts and reactions of the world around and found their own way of self satisfaction and joy.

I am feeling happy and a bit sad too for Ramesh ji.

Sad because it is my nature, i am an emotional man, otherwise, Ramesh ji is a lively man as i can perceive.

Sure his way of living will boost me and other PWS towards self acceptance and satisfaction

abhishek said...

Thanks Sachin Sir:). This post has made my day. I had missed it earlier.