Of Joys, Hopes and Dreams…

I am always amazed with the different people I come across everyday.  Every soul has a story to tell if you stop long enough to see.  Every eye can show all that is deep within, all the joys and pain, all the hopes and dreams.  I have always found true humility from those from the most humble origins.  And it quite amazes me, the amount of cheer such souls always spread around them.

Everyday I meet an old man at the place that I workout.  He must be in his 60s.  Each day I see him clean the machines with so much care as if they were living things and his own.  Whenever my eyes meet his, I always find a sparkle in there and with that he would always flash a nice warm smile towards me.  Looking at him working so contently everyday, I wonder what dream he must have.  Does he dream of one day returning to his village, to his family, to his sons, daughters, grandchildren?  Does he dream of one day again walking on the same farm he grew up on?  Does he dream of once again being able to sit with the oldest of his friends under the village banyan tree for an evening hookah?  Seeing him so content with the work he does, one would think he would not have dreams.  But do we all not dream of something always!

Yesterday, I was sitting at a café simply noticing the people around, predominantly, the guy who was serving us.  Must be in his 30s but his face still had the hints of the boyish charm.  He would each time serve our table with the most innocent sheepish smile.  I was overwhelmed to observe him.  Here was a man, doing his work with an integrity which would put the biggest names to shame.  For a paltry monthly income, this person was putting up the most excellent version of “service with a smile”.  Looking at him I wondered, how corporate life turns most of us in a fake versions of our own selves.  Selfish, dependant and most importantly manipulators.   Until early this year, I had become one such person and today seeing such humble people fills me with shame at the hollow vanity I was carrying around all these years.

A few years ago, while visiting Ladakh, I happened to meet this amazing young man, who taught me a big lesson of love.  He was my guide, a young chap, full of energy and laughter.  While on one of the shopping trips to the town market, I kept noticing him picking up bits and pieces of discarded cloth from each shop we went to.  By evening, I couldn’t help but ask him, what he was doing.  He replied in the most matter of fact way, he was collecting all these colourful cloth pieces to make a necklace for his wife, who was pregnant with their second child.  He even requested me to scout for some more colourful bits of cloth.  I offered to get him a nice necklace from one of the market shops.  To which he replied, but that would be in exchange of money.  He wanted to give something personal to his wife, something that money can’t buy.  I was dumbfounded and kept staring in disbelief at this form of love which I saw for the first time in my life.  How many of us capable of not putting a value on our love but to just express it the way it is?  Not many that I have known!

We all hold within us dreams, hopes, love, fear, joys, sorrows…but somewhere down the way of life, we forget or lose touch with out true feelings.  These people that I come across everyday, help me to instil the belief that true feelings can still be re-discovered, if only we open our eyes and stop to look long enough.

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