June 26th, 2015
The Story was first published on 26 June 2015
A Real story, that happened with me:
In heavy rains that has engulfed and soaked many people staying in city of Mumbai, all of us for sure wrap a layer of plastic protection, be it rain coat or umbrellas. Isn’t it?
Now here an interesting and a very heart touching story is yet to be told, as it played in front of my eyes few days ago.
Place: Vile Parle station, west side, Mumbai.
Time: 8 pm.
A time when we see a mass exodus of office goers tired from workload and students weary out of the whole day’s fun and bunking of classes.
Well my day was a mix of both of the above categories.
And then I saw….!!!
Under Parle flyover, a little boy of around 8 or 10 years of age, standing barefoot holding an umbrella triple his size.
He seemed to be lost or maybe it was just my inference.
Out of Indian inquisitiveness and friendliness that we genetically inherit, I called him aside and asked him if everything was fine.
And I was hoping to be his savior but turns out he was going to illuminate my life.
This little boy, living near the railway tracks of Parle, was going to show me that Humanity is not in running big NGOs, but in a lovely act of help innocently to those in need.
And His story in his words:
“My name is Mani, Didi, I stay near railway tracks of Parle, and you can come anytime to our home.
I once was walking over with a small umbrella when an uncle asked me if he could walk with me, as he had no umbrella.
This set me thinking, and I sat near Parle station’s entrance and counted number of people who had forgotten or didn’t have an umbrella.
And Didi, there were so many of them-!
My mom who works in a construction company was given an umbrella to be used as a roof for our home, but I convinced her otherwise.
Now I stand daily near station and help anyone who needs an umbrella.
And that’s why I took this jumbo one, so that they don’t get wet in rain, as long as they are with me!!!”
And when I heard him talk with innocence dancing in his eyes and lips curved in most beautiful childlike smile, I dropped on my knees and hugged him tight.
Shaken and moved beyond measures I asked “So do you charge money? because I would like to gift you sandwich, Dosa or anything you want today”,
“No no no… Didi ,No maaaneey.”Said our little Madrasi in crisp south Indian tone, which was endearing.
“I, just take Chai or any amount that uncle aunty feel like.”
And yes that was true, because in span of 30 minutes that I spent with him, he did not accept a single penny from me (because I had a coat, and thus not utilizing his services, according to our Mani!)
Little kid but a massive thought.
‘No footwear but a large umbrella for others’.
An idea for service, and lovingly put to execution.
What an amazing meeting it was and what a lovely soul!
He taught me so much with his simple yet excruciatingly difficult task of service to others.
His age is of playing but this is his intent, for you, and me, or anyone who is lucky enough to get under his big, jumbo blue umbrella.
And as I have said before, this is another chapter of #MumbaiDiaries
Do pass it on if you like it, and when you see him next time, do spare time to step out of “YOUR life” and spare a minute looking at others, and a penny for Mani’s favorite tea.
Submitted by- Ashlesha