September 29th, 2016
“It was a usual day, I was returning from my college and walking back to my home from the bus stop, but that day turned out to an unusual one as my sandal broke down in the middle of the road. I used to see a cobbler on my way back, no matter what he always used to come, be it hot summer days or rain or chilling cold and I knew today also he would be there. Everyday I passed by him, I never noticed him. To me he always seemed to be a normal cobbler doing his routine job but little did I know that he was not so normal as he looked. I thought of getting my sandal fixed and went to him and I saw that this cobbler was handicapped, he didn’t had both of his legs. I felt shocked as well as pity for him.
Out of curiosity, I asked him few things about his life. His name was Bhaiyalal and his age was 52 years. He was crossing the road and from nowhere a tanker came and hit him, this unfortunate accident led him to loose both of his legs 10 years ago. He used to be laborer before being a cobbler. He has a daughter who got married and he had a son, whom he lost 3 years ago. He told me that he has a wife. I asked him if she does any work to which he replied, “She has never worked anywhere in her life, so why should I make her work now at this age”. I was really touched by his reply he told me that he is the only earning member in his family. Bhaiyalalji seemed to be a family loving man. I asked him that is there anyone who helps him to get him on his tricycle and he said that he himself puts all his stuff and instruments on the tricycle and he himself without anyone’s help gets on his tricycle and rides back to home. While all this conversation he had a constant smile on his face and there was never a second when directly or indirectly he made me feel that he is a handicapped man. After getting my sandal fixed I gave him my contact number and asked him to inform me in case he needs any help.
It was a 5-7 minutes conversation with him but that conversation really made me to think about life. As the quote goes, “I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet” .This man was a living example of this quote.
We live in a country where seeing beggars is a common sight. Some beggars who are even fit and able to do work and earn money choose to beg rather than earning money through hard work and then there are people like Bhaiyalalji who choose to earn money by working hard rather than asking or begging for money. I would like to request everyone reading this post to help people like him rather than giving money to beggars who are fit to earn.
People like Bhaiyalalji would never ask for help in monetary terms because if they wanted to earn money by asking or begging for it, they would have chosen to be a beggar. A small and kind gesture of just letting them know that we are there to help them, will give them immense happiness and being a human being that’s the least we can do for our fellow human beings.
In life we get saddened by small incidents and mishappenings and there was a man talking to me who had reasons to be sad and cry over his bad luck but he was happy like everything was perfect in his life. We get upset if we didn’t get to buy the perfect pair of jeans or the expensive shoes we saw at the mall but that day I met a man who was giving others the luxury of something he would never have. By fixing other’s shoes, he wanted their feet to feel comfortable when he himself would never feel his feet touching the ground again.
In today’s life we are so engrossed in materialistic pleasures and at the same time we have become so ungrateful for all the small happiness and blessings that we don’t even realize how lucky we are to be able to walk, to be able to see and to be able to breathe, to have food to eat and to have a roof over our heads. People say that the only disability in life is a bad attitude, earlier this was just a quote for me but after meeting Bhaiyalalji I found and realized the meaning of this quote.
At last I would like to end my post by saluting Bhaiyalalji and people like him all over the world for being an inspiration, for reminding us that giving up is not an option and that if we keep the right attitude and choose to be happy then there is nothing that can stop us from being happy, not even our pains and disabilities.
Submitted By – Aditi Bhandari
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