Jaihind, is from UP, has lived most of his life in Mumbai, at Chimbai, Bandra west. He works in Bandra west, delivering milk (using a hired bicycle he pays for on monthly basis) in the mornings, and later in the day he delivers vegetables from Pali market. His father has been selling steel and aluminum vessels since childhood, and sells them, laden on a bicycle, even today back in the village. He is married, but his wife has not been living with him because of some personal issues… she lives with her parents, he has been pleading with her to live with him, he says. He has 3 brothers and 4 sisters. Jaihind has managed to get his two sisters married from his own earnings, he says proudly.
I asked Jaihind what has been his biggest suffering so far…? He replied, his father/family was duped by their uncle, his father’s brother, who ‘captured’ (Kabzaa) their house in Chimbai which was a joint family house; and his uncle did not give them any monetary compensation. This happened when he was 15. Moreover, his uncle even refused to pay him the salary he owed him for working for him for over 12 years (as he would keep the money safe with his uncle), and as
Jaihind narrated these events to me he began to cry.
I must add, this was the first time a recipient, a stranger to me too, cried full-fledged tears as he spoke to me of his past sufferings. In the past, when I asked this questions, the eyes of many recipients have turned moist and tear-ry;
This time, I was taken aback, also because I am not a trained social worker and I am not comfortable or used to seeing men cry at such close quarters, or used to comforting an adult crying, or anyone for that matter…. particularly a complete starnger; so, I just stood in silence and looked down and gave him time to gather his composure and his pride.
I guess, my total inability to react, or simply my silence was my own way of holding his hand, at least I hope that’s what he thought of my inaction.
Jaihind was recommended to me by the person he buys milk from, Ramesh Kamble, (to whom we donated a bike last week) who also wholesales milk on Turner road pavement early mornings. Jaihind was happy he was receiving Kamble’s old bicycle, as he has ridden it in the past when his own hired bicycle was not available. He was happy particularly because he considers Kamble as a kind of GREAT human being who has always supported him, particularly when he began in this profession of delivering milk by offering him credit and some customers too.
As he said this I thought to myself, …’if we pause long enough to think back, or ponder in our present, many of us will find such GREAT peeps in our lives, those who offer/offered us ‘credit’, whether it was monetary, or it was their valuable opinion, or their genuine praise, or simply a sincere compliment that made us realize a hidden but great strength in ourselves. God bless such people for gracing our lives.’
Thank you to Shashi C (Sai Seva), Satya H, and Priyanka S C, for donating a new bicycle to Ramesh Kamble; because it’s Kamble’s old bicycle we donated to Jaihind. What a coincidence, this donation to Jaihind happened on 25th January night, the eve of our great Nation’s Republic Day! Jai Hind!
And thank you to Kohinoor Cycles for the good service.