A story of not just a 9 years ‘young’ kid … worthy of sharing on Christmas.
Vivek walks his mom Gayatri – holding her hand as close as we held our favorite toy, and as adults hold our wealth and or virtues.
To play with her, like we played with our mates in open spaces, Vivek makes her run holding her arm, even in closed spaces like their home or at a restaurant, even when she needs his help to go to the washbasin after having her meals.
He laughs aloud at nothing, to make her very curious about what has amused him so much, just so he can amuse her and make her laugh or smile. Its just yet another way of how he entertains her every now and then.
To irritate her, again just for fun, he switches off her cell phone’s ‘talk back’ function, something she is heavily dependent on. That is the only time his mom gets angry at him, yet, forgives her constant playmate every time.
When the network of her cell phone is weak, in a windowless space shut by walls and doors, without being asked to Vivek will hold the doors ajar for better network range when she has to make an important phone call.
When she meets people for the first time, he does not miss a word of their conversation – because he is her self appointed and most willing day and night security service.
He leads her fingers to the hot drinks slowly, so she should not burn her fingers on touching them, and directs them to all the food items placed in front of her at a restaurant so she knows what’s where.
Because, his mom, Gayatri, is visually impaired, aka blind. And he does it all without being told.
I thought, Vivek is indeed a 9 years ‘old’ kid. Not 9 years young. A gift and a blessing to his family.
Sr No 202
Mohammad Babul Aalam (Tea Seller)
Mohammad lives at Bandra East. He is the only child of his parents who live in UP. He migrated to Mumbai eight years ago for better livelihood prospects. He has done many kinds of odd jobs since then, also been a daily wages worker at various construction sites, until the construction industry went into a slump two years ago.
Thereafter, Mohammad was unable to find daily wages work on a regular basis, and decided to sell tea in the Bandra Reclamation and Band Stand areas, on foot. He walks around these areas to sell his tea from a hot flask and paper cups.
He was missing a bicycle to carry a heater (with burning charcoals in a stove fitted on the bicycle’s carrier, to heat a hot-flask kind of kettle that kept cooked tea warm) for his tea to remain hot enough for his customers after he left home. He had to walk with hot tea in a flask from his home In Bandra East to West and that long journey makes his tea warm. Moreover, with a bicycle he can cover a larger area and thus earn more customers.
On meeting Mohammaed, speaking to him for a while about his circumstances we recommended him to one of my cyclist acquaintances, Kavita Jhingan; she prompltly roped in Gaurav Bedi and even more promptly responded with “Let’s get this tea seller a new bicycle! :)” Such an enthu soul, I thought.
Mohammad was willing to contribute half the cost of the new bicycle, Kavita and Gaurav got him a brand new one.
I know that most often the bond between the only child and his/her mother is very strong. I asked Mohammad, when does he miss his mother the most…?
He replied, “… Maa ki yaad toh aati hi hai, roz, aur jab main bahot takleef mein hota hoon, tab. Jab mere jeb mein paise nahi hote, toh main sochta hoon ki agar mere paas paise nahi honge toh main apne bhoode maa baap ko kya bhejoonga? Woh guzara kaise karenge, mere paison ke bina? Humare paas roz khaane ke paise hain, lekin, jab koi bimaar padh jaata hai paison ki kami tab bahot zyada mehsoos hoti hai.”
(I think of my mother when I am in financial trouble. The days I am unable to earn daily wages, I wonder what will happen to my family if I do not earn a regular income. They are dependent on me, their only child. It is not that they do not have enough to eat three meals, however, if any one of us gets sick that is when we fall short of money to even pay the doctor his fees of Rs 500-600 including medicines.”)
Ride on bro, hope our little gift for your livelihood prospects goes a long way to warm not just your tea, but innumerable souls this winter and beyond. And our salute to your sense of duty towards your aging parents.
Metting a tea seller reminds me of a verse from an old book:
“The price for this tea is anything from a hundred in gold to a half sen.
If you want to drink free, that’s all right too. I’m only sorry I can’t let you have it for less.”
― Baisao, The Old Tea Seller: Life and Zen Poetry in 18th Century Kyoto.
Thank you Kavita and Gaurav for responding prompltly.
Thank you Siddharth Vora (https://www.facebook.com/siddharth.vora.58?fref=ts) of Kohinoor Cycles (http://kohinoorcyclestores.blogspot.com/) for the good service & discount.
#BicycleAngels 🚴 😇:
Beneficiaries of help: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.357090647765413&type=1
Some of the kindest acts are often done in silence.
So I know this kid, he is my childhood friend’s son. He likes to play with a close relative’s dog, Bounce, who lives down the same street. He goes to visit Bounce nearly daily. They both go crazy seeing each other.
However, one day he did not want to go meet Bounce. The reason he gave his mum … “When ever I have to return home, Bounce feels sad. He becomes quite and very sad. I cannot see him sad. I feel very bad for him, so, I won’t go see him today.” He eventually went to see Bounce the next day.
Hearing his mom tell me about such a young kid’s ’empathy’ and feelings, I thought, ‘He is a such a kind and mature heart at just 9, suppressing his own joy of being with friend Bounce, so that Bounce not suffer the sadness of their eventual parting. A really special soul.’ 💙
Some of the kindest acts are often done in silence.