Shri Bishamber Dayal provided his entire month's pension in the COVID Relief Fund and said, "If someone can get life with a little help from my side and my wife, Mrs Chalti Devi, then there could be no greater virtue than this".
Things have never been a bed of roses for him; however, he understood the essence of life and took difficult decisions to make an identity for himself and improve his family's situation.
Bishamber Dayal was born in an impoverished family, where his father had to plough others' lands. He was the eldest amongst the seven children, and when he lost his father at a young age, he took over the responsibility of his mother and six younger siblings.
Being a big family, it was challenging to feed. While speaking to The Logical Indian, he narrated an anecdote that everything seemed over once his hut had collapsed in the rain. His wife took the shelter here and there for his siblings and his old mother. No matter how bad the times, they could never deter Dayal Ji's determination to pave a way out for himself. Along with agriculture, he took up education for himself and all his siblings and became a teacher.
Fondly called Masterji, he has been the most educated man in the village since the beginning; he achieved a master's degree in two subjects, after which he pursued B.Ed. History has been his favourite subject, and he was a deserving student of Rajasthan University. He served as a government teacher. His children mention that all his students miss him even today and keep coming home to meet him. His family mentions, "The biggest achievement is that he is a good person and kept his values alive in today's time."
Apart from studies, Masterji has been an excellent player of hockey in his time. Once in a competition, due to injury from hockey, he had to suffer a lot of pain, and the doctors had advised for an operation but owing to the financial crisis at home, he could not avail of treatment. With the 'Desi Ilaaj' or domestic treatment, the pain subsided over time. Even today, he can see the big lump on his face. While touching his lump, he jokingly mentions that now that he cannot play hockey anymore, the mark is a memory of the game. He emphasized that academics is not the be-all and end-all of life; sports and Yoga are essential activities one must undertake.
Simplistic Style Of Living
Dayal Ji prefers a simplistic lifestyle. After all the recognition he has received in the village, a 'charpai', a jute stool, a chair, two kurta pyjamas, a wooden stick to hold on to while walking and several books and newspapers, only essentials of his life. He says that discipline has played a significant role in his life. Explaining his routine, Dayal Ji said that waking up in the morning in 'Brahmamahurat' and chanting the name of God is of utmost importance. He has his morning tea at 4:30 AM. After moving around a bit, he sits with his newspaper at 6:30 AM, which is the best part of his day. He prefers to eat his meals while sitting on the ground and not at the dining table. He prefers to have a good breakfast for his meals, followed by two light meals during the day. It is said that when he sits down to eat, birds would fly down to eat from his plate.
His granddaughter Rupak says that "Baba talks openly on every subject, but history has been his favourite subject on which he can talk for hours. Events of India's independence, the saga of heroic fighters, international and national history, history of Mughals and South India, the biography of several kings". She says that after retirement, the life of old age becomes very frustrating and stressful, and her grandfather was not a man of many words; therefore, she was always worried for him. She once saw him read every single line in the newspaper. Therefore, she got him two novels, which he finished ready very soon. There on, she started bringing in more novels. She was surprised to see that when children also tend to avoid books in today's age, her grandfather is so fond of reading. Therefore, she brings him whatever she finds unique and thinks that he would like.
Rupak told The Logical Indian, "Bauji has always been very dear to all the children in our village family. Baba himself has taught many people. Rather, we also taught our brothers and sisters. He used to get all the work done as soon as he came from school and wrote notes for the teachers and sent them." Even today, at this age, Dayal Ji remembers all critical dates and is aware of memorable events of the world. This showed that he did not consider education to earn a living but as a way of life.
Always Emphasized On Education For Girls
He always considered his daughters at par with his sons and set an example for society. He provided higher education to all his children, who are now successful and leading a good life. He takes pride in the fact that his grandchildren are post-graduate degree holders. In his younger days, when educating girls was not common in Haryana, he always took a stand that educating a girl child is society's need and must not be ignored at any cost.
Apart from that, he has always looked to make the surroundings a cleaner place. Whenever he was walking down the road, he would pick up the wrappers and dispose them in the designated place. Dayal Ji told The Logical Indian, "Children learn from adults. Social hygiene is more important than personal hygiene. Everybody cleans their house, but it very important to keep their surroundings clean".While speaking to us about life in the village and life in cities, Dayal Ji said he always wants to stay in the village. He says that the pure air of the village gives him peace and happiness. He said that he was born in this soil of the village and would meet this soil only.
Bishamber Dayal Ji has been a straightforward, disciplined and progressive person. His family and his students believe that there is a lot to learn from Master Ji to lead a better and peaceful life outside the classroom.