I along with some of my friends have been to Mysore recently for site-seeing. While returning from our wonderful trip, we all were hungry when we reached Mysore Railway Station to catch our train for Bangalore.
We had spent more than our estimated budget and realised that we were almost out of money, thankfully tickets were booked, so we were looking for something cheaper and heavy to kill our starvation and then we met this guy, a 23-24 year old, Pankaj Kumar from Bihar selling Samosas at Mysore Railway Station.
I asked him if these Samosas made of onions or potatoes as in South India you get onion samosas more. And he replied, “Bhaiya Aalu Ka Hai, Kha Ke Dekhiye, Agar Pasand Nahi Aaye Toh Paisa Mat Dijiyega”. (Sir, it’s Potato Samosa, eat first, and don’t pay if you don’t like it)”.
Seeing his efforts of carrying two buckets on his bicycle, one full of Samosas and other with other stuffs, moreover his humility that touched our heart, five of us took two samosas each for 5 rupee per samosa. While eating Samosas which tasted better than samosas of other stores, I started the basic conservation with him. (Name, Hometown etc.)
What made me share this story here is, his sacrifice that he is making for his family. Poverty didn’t allow Pankaj to go to school, see the book, and touch the pen. And to overcome that poverty and to support his family, Pankaj has been doing these jobs some more than 2500 Kms away from his home for more than 12 years.
He said, “Phle Kuch Din Mai Hotel Me Kaam Kiya Ab Mai Apna Malik Khud Hun”, ( In beginning, I worked in a hotel, now I am owner myself”). What touched me more is when I got to know that he has not been to his home since then and send all his earnings back home. And there it was me, who was cursing system for failing to have got ticket to go home and celebrate Diwali.
Pankaj said, “Kya Karenge Ghar Jake, Paisa Kharch Hota Hai, Kamai Nahi Hota Hai, Hum Khud Yahan Bhukhe So Sakte Hain Lekin Ghar Walo Ko Toh Khali Pet Sota Nahin Dekh Sakte!”.(What would I do on going home, money gets spend, business doesn’t happen. Here I can sleep hungry but can’t see my family sleeping hungry there). All these while, Pankaj maintained a beautiful smile which I loved.
I asked him, “could I click a picture of you and share on internet?”.
He said, “Arey Bhaiya Hum Chote Log Mehnat Se Do Waqt Ki Roti Kamate Hai, Wo Sab Bade Logo Ke Shaukh Hai” (Sir! we are small people, we somehow manage to earn meals for two times, that and all are things of big people.”
I said to Pankaj, “You are doing so much of hard work, sacrificing so much to fulfill the needs of your family, that’s quite a big thing, don’t ever feel small, you are doing a great job and I want people to know your story, which may inspire some people like the way it did to me”.
While seeing Pankaj, I realised that how on small hurts and on small problems, I get impatient and distressed and start cursing things and crying, on the other hand there are people like Pankaj who have never got any happiness of type we seek, even then they do their job with so much of dedication and that too very happily. I really salute him for his sacrifices. People like Pankaj are real role model for society today.
There are many like Pankaj in our country. All I want to say to people is, we all spend hundreds/thousands of bucks eating in five star hotels/ restaurants however if we eat items sold by these people on roadside stalls, which are cheaper and delicious, someone will be able to feed his family regularly.
And though you will not have sofas and ACs there like in restaurants, you will have an opportunity to extract some inspiration from hard work, sacrifice and patience of these people.
Submitted By – Praveen Pratap Singh
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