156A) recipient of help, a livelihood bicycle.
“Man’s life is independent. He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self too.”
Nanjappa Iyer (35)
Nanjappa is from Karnataka. His family owns some quantity of land and they cultivate it only before the monsoons. He could not school post the fourth class because he had to earn a livelihood. He attended to cows and goats until he grew older and had to migrate to Mumbai to increase his livelihood prospects. Agriculture was never able to sustain his family. They are a family of 5 brothers and one sister. His parents continue to cultivate their land when the rains are kind.
Nanjappa migrated to Mumbai about 15 years ago, and being uneducated he landed a job as a domestic help to a leading film actress then. He continued to work at a few homes over the years, and had some very good employers, one of whom was a media personality Karuna S, and he said she was a very good employer and helped him when he needed some help.
Rarely have we assisted someone who has been in a profession for less than a day or two. Nanjappa is one of them. There are no rules in life. Neither to success nor failure nor kindness. So we broke ours. He came across to us as someone sincerely desiring to be independent, a man owning his own business, however humble in nature. An idli wala.
Idli wals, they serve the people who serve us – The taxi driver, the autorickshaw driver, street vendors, security guards of societies who guard us, gardeners, shop keepers who do not carry lunch from home on some days and are stuck behind their shop counters longer than day light hours….. scores of people invisible to most of us.
I thought, maybe I can empathise with Nanjappa’s need to do what he loves, at any cost. Leave a secure home job to peddle his skills on unknown streets. My own father left a secure job with the Indian army after 6 years because he wanted to be independent and write lyrics and sing songs. Though he attributed his superb sense of discipline and his habit to be able to live happily without much fuss about material things to his Army days, and he even wrote some of the most amazing film songs on our beloved armed forces, he left his Army job to be on his own, answerable only to his calling of wanting to write songs. A few angels helped my father when he left the Army and was penniless in Bombay for nearly a decade. Girish Thakker became Nanjappa’s angel, by buying him a new bicycle on the second or third day of his own first attempt at his own business. We felt we must help him.
Why did Nanjappa decide to sell idlis, because he loves to cook. Just as my father loved to write and took a leap of faith in himself and his talent to live that love daily. It served him well. Very well.
I believe, we must strive to get rid of dependency with the passage of time, pick up skills that will help us branch out become our very own tree. Dr B R Ambedkar said, “Man’s life is independent. He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self too.”
Thank you Girish Thakar for donating this bicycle to Nanjappa Iyer. Nanjappa contributed nearly half its cost.
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 he provides us.
Beneficiaries of help: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.357090647765413&type=1
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