Be it a movie star or a sports star or some other celebrity rising to fame, the media and everyone else celebrate them and acknowledge them. They become the headlines of every leading newspaper, and every radio station talks about them. The news on T.V also flash information about these heroes. We get to know so much information about them, even censored and unwarranted information about their personal lives. But have we ever wondered about so many other unsung heroes, who are struggling in their day to day life just to provide their family with two square meals a day.
One such hero is a man in his late 70’s, who I have been observing for close to 2 years now. He has a mobile cycle puncture shop at the footpath. All that he owns is an old rusted trunk with tools and other essential things for his business. He toils hard day in and day out. Be it sun or rain, he is there sharp at 10.30 AM in the morning. I have never once seen him take leave, at least whenever I take that route I always see him there standing tall and attending to his customers with a smile. I have to pass through this road every day on my way to office. There is a traffic signal on that road, and I spend at least five minutes daily observing him. A series of questions swarm my mind like bees. For instance, how much does this man earn, as there are very less people who ride cycle these days. Is he only earning member of the family? Are there no children of his who can support him as he seems to be too old to be working? Or is he a self-made man who doesn’t want to depend on anyone for his needs? There are many more questions, yet I find no answers to them. I just wonder in silence about all this, till the signal turns green.
One such day, I was driving to office mumbling to myself about the traffic, the scorching heat, the work lined up to be completed etc. etc. In the midst of my thoughts, my eyes happened to look in the direction of this man, who was sweating profusely. He had no shelter, as his shop was on a footpath. Yet, he had a smile on his face, whenever he came across people. There was no trace of any frown, or disappointment. He was content It was then I realized that I was cribbing for no real reason, as even if I had work, I could still sit comfortably in my cubicle with centralized AC and complete all the work. I realized that I had my head gear on to protect myself from the heat, whereas the man had nothing covering his head. He just gulped down water from an old bottle and got to his work as he saw a customer approaching him. With his signature smile he attended the customer with ease and completed his work. These are the real heroes!! They are not acknowledged by anyone for the hard work they put in to survive and provide for their families. Nobody writes an article on them or no flashy headlines displays their names. I know there are many more people like this. But how often do we really go ahead and think about these people and plan to help them. These are the ones who do not beg on the streets. They work hard to survive, in spite of their age or health conditions.
This post is dedicated to that man and all the other people who toil hard to fulfill their basic needs and lead life with their head held high and a charming smile which reaches their eyes. Their smile and dedication is an inspiration to people to work hard and realize that nothing is impossible if we decide to do it. Such people also teach us to be happy and grateful for all that we have and to stop cribbing and take life as it comes!
A big salute to all the ‘Unsung Heroes’ all over the globe.