78th recipient of help (livelihood bicycle) : ‘… I guess my poor little stomach just could not digest what the rich could! …. I quickly left that job and saved myself!’ :p
Shivdan Ramu Chaudhari. (42)
Shivdan is from Rajasthan, a village along the border of India and Pakistan. He describes it as – Hamare gaon ke paas bahot Hindi film ka shooting hota hai…. (Near my village many Hindi films, songs too, have been shot, like Lamhe of actress Sri Devi, etc.)
On hearing this, I pretty proudly informed him that we both have some kind of a tiny connection from the past – a few of my father’s film songs have been pasteurized at the very location, (a village called ‘Sum’ famous for it’s sand dunes and the desert’s gorgeous and serene beauty), that he is referring to as his village! ))
Incidentally, when he arrived in Mumbai first back in 1986 for a job as his family’s financial circumstances were not good, (most immigrate to Mumbai even today for this very reason), and for that reason he could not study beyond the 10th Std, he worked with a film production company, their Edit suite, belonging to Mr. Kholi, a close relative of the legend actor-director-producer Dev Anand.
Shivdan began delivering milk from 1993, and in a day delivers around 100-125 liters. His day begins at 5.30 am. He has two sons and both study in school, back in his village.
His father was a farmer and passed away when Shivdan was a child; that period was a little difficult, he mentioned. About his family’s occupation, farming he mentioned, ‘farming is so largely dependent on water, rains, and in our region, Rajasthan, rain is not just very rare, it’s very unpredictable. If it does not rain, which happens often, or rains randomly, which happens often, our crops or land gets destroyed or gets parched.’
Hmmmmm True. Everything shrivels without rain, without water, people’s ambitions, dreams, along with their spirit, their beautiful skin, and bodies. Hmmm, a lot similar to what the lack of appreciation and kindness can often do to us.
I asked Shivdan, what other jobs did he do, before he began delivering milk?;
He replied, post the film company job he worked for a well known caterer who catered food for wedding events at a well known wedding Hall in Khar west. And what he told me about his experience with them made me laugh out loud!!
Shivdan said, in response to my queries about that job – ‘…. the job with the caterer was pretty okay, washing dishes, serving the guests, etc, However, I could not continue there for long. They served great meals, to the middle class and even upper middle class guests they catered to at weddings, but, when I would eat those expensive and delicious dishes post the wedding event later at night, I began to fall ill! I would get upset stomach and feel uneasy all night and day, the next day.
I think all the rich food, with so much oil, ghee, heavy masalas, just did not suit my poor little ‘virgin’ stomach! I mean, how often do people with my kind of background and status, and considering even the desert region I come from in Rajasthan, get to eat such ‘rich’ food so often, nearly night after night! I guess my poor little stomach just could not digest what the rich guests could! I quickly left that job and saved myself!’
Then he cracked up! And then I cracked up too!! And it’s only then that I realized he has finally shown some emotion for the first time even since we began chatting! Until then, he had sat across me with a disinterested kind of poker-face! He had shown no emotion nor expressions from the word go!
And on bearing his poker face throughout our conversation, I had felt ‘…Man, this fellow can make a dam good gambler (card games), if he ever ditches his profession of selling/delivering milk. Because, he is expressionless even while speaking about some of his experiences which many would consider emotional in nature!’
Thank you to Deb Mohan and Beni Kithan; and to Naga Raj, for purchasing this new bicycle for Shivdan. Shivdan willingly contributed half the cost of the same.
Moreover, he wanted to sell his old bike to someone, or maybe even donate it to someone who needs one; I was mighty pleased to hear the latter part from him.
And thank you to Kohinoor Cycles (http://kohinoorcyclestores.blogspot.com/) Siddharth Vora (https://www.facebook.com/siddharth.vora.58?fref=ts) for the good discount and service.