Aug 15, 2009
My life was as usual until I met an extraordinary man in a totally new avatar in a new place. It was the place where I was assigned to do my degree studies as a brother. It took me days to get adjusted to the new place, new people in the vicinity, their language and culture very different from Mangalore.
I have seen many people smiling because they have to, others smiling because they like to. But only a few who smile because they cannot but smile inspite of sorrow and poverty. This special man belongs to the the latter and still lingers in my heart.
Classes were destined to begin in a week. I began cycling to college daily. One fine day I happened to notice a poor man in the vicinity of our house. (I don’t wish to call him a beggar for he was unlike other beggars in his behavior) he knew no riches, nor the secrets of contented life, but knew only to smile and sing. He always kept himself happy. I was just struck by his life.
He used to pass daily, right in front of our house one day I was getting ready to go to college. I began to curse the rain that had just begun to pour its blessing for me in July-August. I was looking forward to bright weather to set out at once. Just then I again saw the same familiar face in the same radiance making his daily stride in the rain with a torn umbrella and a shabby bag, his companions, drenched totally. He never kept complaining like me. He was just happy to be happy. I knew not his secret of life.
Whenever I met him I used to stretch my hand to give him some fruits or few coins. Everyday he kept walking along the city lanes on foot. He never had a day as Sunday. Every moment was as usual. No one tied him a rakhi or played colours on the great Holi feast. I neither knew his religion nor his native place.
He had no one in life to call his own, but he had begun to be someone to me in my life. He neither had received a greeting card nor a phone call. His philosophy was “just live life happily”. He reminded me of the way the cancer patients spend their numbered days. He was just like a lily in full bloom noticed by a few only though it is grows in the garden to give it’s fragrance to al. He may not remember me but I remember him till today I have heard many people who worry about what they have not. But there are only a few who smile at the little they have.
Today's world looks at happiness in terms of "having or possessing". But this man had "Nothing worth" yet was "the owner of that thing, that one needs". Even today, many like him, that we find on the road, on our way to work, may just smile and smile and still inspires you and me.
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