148th recipient of #BicycleAngels – There are 2 ways to live your life. One, as though there are no miracles of God. The other, everything is a miracle.

148 Pau Mohamad Akram

148th recipient of help (livelihood bicycle) :

“There are two ways to live your life. One, as though there are no miracles of God. The other, everything is a miracle.” says, Albert Einstein.

For both, however, you must row your boat. And the same for serendipity.

Mohammad Akram (55)

Pau/Bread and Khari Biscuit vendor

Mohammad Akram is from UP. He lives at Bandra east, and rides daily from Bandra to Masjid Bundar (VT), nearly 45 kms, to sell Pau and Khari biscuits.

Mohammad’s bicycle is old and dilapidated, and he cannot afford to buy a new one. He was looking to buy a second hand bicycle in good condition, and needed a little help. He had borrowed Rs 2000-2500 from someone to buy one.

When he met me, he agreed to contribute nearly half the cost of a new bicycle if we bought him one. Moreover, after we agreed to buy a new bicycle for him, he was willing to donate his old bicycle to any one needy.

Mohammad’s parents passed away when he was ten to twelve years young. He could not study any further, and would soon have to become a bread winner, like his elder brother.

On their deaths, I thought, maybe their souls traveled to their eldest child – Mohammad’s elder brother. Because, it was Mohammad’s elder brother who took the reins of their family in his hands on their death, and fulfilled the duties of a brother, father and a mother for their family.

Mohammad soon migrated to Mumbai as a teenager in the hope of earning a livelihood. He knew not a soul here on his arrival.

On his arrival in Mumbai, as a teen of 12-14, he worked as a helper in a bakery for over a decade.

However, he realized, the only way to give himself a better chance at life would be if he got a bicycle and rode to their various buyers. He could earn more money if he got far from the fire of the ovens and closer to the fire from the sky, the sun.

Mohammad got himself a bicycle and rode on the streets all year round finding new buyers for the bakery’s produce. Gradually, he established his own clients.

The only time in his life Mohammad felt he will not survive, something he had not felt even when he lost both parents, was when he had suffered from TB, tuberculosis. He remained un-functional for three years due to it.

Luckily for Mohammad, he was married then and so his wife (this was before she has been unwell for now 15 years) took up odd jobs and tailoring to run their house.

Those three years, because he could not afford the treatment, he would take medicines only on days they could afford to buy them.

That is why it must have taken him three long years to get better, I thought.

Mohammad was a stern believer in God. I asked him if he has ever witnessed God’s miracle;

He replied. “When I was new to this city, quite often I went to sleep without a meal. One such night, I was asleep, and suddenly I awoke and read Namaaz, and I decided I cannot struggle like this anymore in this alien city, and in the morning I will borrow money and buy a ticket to return to my village. In the village I will earn less but will be able to find work in the fields.

On my way back from prayers, to the pavement where I would occasionally sleep, I was stopped by a stranger. He told me he is the owner of a bakery, and asked me if I want work at his bakery. I accepted. I would have returned to my village, had this stranger not offered me work.”

I was also glad that Mohammad did not resort to begging, when almost all doors and windows, it seems, had shut on his future.

Was it God’s miracle? Or was that stranger sent by nature from the choices Mohammad had made in the past, or was it serendipity? “There are two ways to live your life. One, as though there are no miracles of God. The other, everything is a miracle.” says, Albert Einstein.

For both, however, you must row your boat. And the same for serendipity.

Thank you to Priyanka/Advait Chaturvedi and Neelam Sorrma for helping Mohammad Akram buy a new bicycle. On his own he could not have stretched his dreams beyond a second hand one.

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.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/309043432570135/

https://bicycleangels.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/RakBak16

Our recipients of help: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.357090647765413&type=1

(PS – Rs 3000 is what it takes to donate a new bicycle; yes, because the balance, 2000 to 2500, is contributed by the recipient. 🙂 )

#BicycleAngels #Charity #Donors #Donation #Bicycles #Livelihood #inspiration #RakeshAnandBakshi #RakeshBakshi

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