57th recipient of livelihood bicycle: ‘… I am satisfied with the knowledge that whatever I earn will not leave with me. The only thing I can possibly take with me on my death is the goodwill my family and I will earn in our lifetime.’
Profession: Bhel seller.
Chaurasia sells Bhel at the corner of Perry Cross Road, Bandra west. He is from Benares, UP.
I asked him when did he arrive first in Mumbai?, he replied, ‘When I first came here, the fare to Mumbai from UP was Rs 75. The fare now is around Rs 500.’
He arrived in Mumbai to earn money for his family. They are a family of four brothers and 3 sisters, all his sisters are married. His close relative had a Bhel stall on hill road, Bandra west, next to Elco Pani Puri, and he learnt to prepare Bhel from him. He was 16 then.
Chaurasia has two sons of his own. (A few months ago, his son, Nitesh, who needed a bicycle to travel to college, was donated a MTB bicycle by actor Pravin Dabbas; Pravin had purchased a new bicycle, so he had wanted to donate his old one, so we gave his bike to Nitesh.)
Chaurasia is educated up to the 8th Std. He could not study any further as the family lacked the money. Before he migrated to Mumbai, back in the village he would work in the fields. The family still owns around 4 acres of land of their own, which they cultivate as a joint family.
I asked him when did he face his most difficult period?, he said, ‘… It was in 2007, my younger brother took over a room we had together purchased in Mumbai. When we purchase the room, he told me he is putting his name on the property document only because one of our names has be on it, so let it be his name. I agreed, as I trusted him. However, later, he told me to get out of the room where we lived together, saying it belonged only to him and now needs it for his own family. Because the room was on his name I could not do anything about it. I let the matter be and decided to move on. Thankfully, I have finally managed to buy my own room at Nalasopara, where my own family reside, and both my sons are being educated, one is in school and the other in college. So God has been kind to me.’
Well, he gives God the entire credit, good, whereas I think he reached the shore from mid ocean not only because he prayed to God, but also because he picked up the oars to himself row his way out of the deep end.
When Chaurasia narrated this incident to me, about his brother betraying him, he had tears in his eyes. I admired that he was not bitter about his brother’s betrayal of his trust, and his decision to move one, to keep working and thus someday earn a permanent shelter of his own once again.
So, life does give us a second chance, a second hand, its up to us to grab it, is what I thought while listening to him.
I asked him what has been the happiest moment of his life?, he said, “This last one year has been very good, I have good number of customers who visit my stall, I have many repeat customers. I am able to look after my own family from this profession, and even send money to my parents. I am satisfied with the knowledge that whatever I earn will not leave with me. The only thing I can possibly take with me on my death is the goodwill my family and I will earn in our lifetime.’
This used cycle we donated to him, we received it in exchange of the new bicycle Rohan Juneja donated to Mohamad Siddiqui the egg seller and 54th recipient. Chaurasia said he will use this bicycle to fetch water for their household daily use early in the morning, and then to shop for the ingredients he needs for preparing Bhel.
The commendable thing about Chaurasia too is (and another recipient of an old cycle in the past), he willingly donated Rs 500 to us for receiving this bicycle; his donation of Rs 500 will be added to the ongoing kitty of donations which we will dip into to someday purchase a new bicycle for some needy person. I too have always believed – We always have enough to be able to help another.
Thank you to Kohinoor Cycles (http://kohinoorcyclestores.blogspot.com/) Siddharth Vora (https://www.facebook.com/siddharth.vora.58?fref=ts) for the good service.