The Smiling Nomad

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.

Heart - Thoughts:

Lancy Fernandes - Archives:

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by Lancy Fernandes
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Comment on this article

  • Martin D''Mello, Pius Nagar

    Wed, Sep 16 2009

    Thank you dear Lancy. Through your article, you reminded us the life of St. Francis of Assisi.

  • rayan, mangalore

    Mon, Aug 17 2009

    Dear lancy, its simply superb keep up ur good worl rayan

  • abubakar uk, ubar/abudhabi

    Mon, Aug 17 2009

    very nice n useful article,good work Lancy, keet it up.

  • asha, mumbai

    Mon, Aug 17 2009

    Very good article, Thanks for sharing with us smile is very important at present. we can change a lot the other from a smile. There is one proverb if you laugh you will live many years

  • Dhiraj Sequeira,

    Mon, Aug 17 2009

    Lancy keep up the good work. It was nice to hear and go through your beautiful experince that you had.Thanks for sharing with us. All the best for all your activities.Take care.

  • Latha Crasta,

    Sun, Aug 16 2009

    lancy very good article. i liked it very much. SMILE is very very necessary at present. we can change a lot the other from a smile. congratulations.

  • Jossie D''Mello SJ, Mangalore

    Sun, Aug 16 2009

    Lancy, I too believe that SMILE can make wonders. I liked your article which was based on your personal experience. Thanks.

  • juliet mascarenhas, bejai/mangalore

    Sat, Aug 15 2009

    Lovely article on this 63rd independence day. we claim that we are not independent even though it is 63 years since our country got independence. here is a model the unknown " smiling nomad " but definetly a citizen of india to prove how independent he is in this independent nation with a smile on his face .from a zero to a hero.

    All that he possessed is a smile which costs nothing and looses any smile and the nation will smile back to you. best wishes to you lancy from my son aster pereira your classmate.

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