A world waiting to be explored

He never thought it existed

Being from a well-off family and brought up in luxurious facilities, he was not aware of how rare the resources are, with the economically backward sections of the society. The environment around him was according to the standards of his family, or so was it kept intentionally. He studied in a school which only the elite class could afford, so he never really mingled with people who were from a poor background. Rahul, a proud associate of a MNC giant, had a blessed childhood, an even better youth which was still pursuant. He was on his road to attain milestones which nobody at his age did.

It was a big day for him, he had prepared for this day for some time now. As a part of corporate social responsibility, it was their duty to give some part of their income to charity. Since, he had never visited slums; he claimed this opportunity with both hands. He was visiting the slums for the first time, and knew that it was going to be difficult for him, as he was told by his colleagues and friends. Though he was prepared mentally, but it was going to be altogether a very different scenario.

Rahul with his colleagues reached the slums. As they stepped out from their air conditioned cars, there was a stingy smell all around, an odour that was obnoxious and unpleasant. It had started; a not-so-good start for a difficult day ahead. As they stepped into the murky environment, they could see naked kids running across; they were all over the place. There were no roads there, only pathways, seeing which one could easily get a notion of how they used to get in the monsoons.

Rahul, unaware and not being subjected to such conditions was shocked and amazed. One roof and a door was all that could be called for a shelter, there was no order and everything seemed to be in disarray. Taking the first step, Rahul entered in a household to get to know what actually the state of affairs is. He was greeted warmly, with so much affection that he felt actually nice being in a small 8 x 10 square-feet room. His outlook towards life was changing, fast.

The entire slum was beset with problems, perennially. When sometimes electricity failed, water made life difficult at the other, there were no doctors in the slums, no hospitals nearby. Some houses were such that one thunderstorm might leave them inhabitable. There were families where there was no source of income, which primarily relied on the leftovers they had from the previous month, or they were excessively dependent on the fact that someone like Rahul would come once in a while and bail them out of trouble.

Rahul had seen all of which he thought never existed in one day, and he could not come to terms with the fact that living standards could be that worse. He realized him being rich was a decision God made with a belief that when Rahul goes out there,  he would, without thinking of his social stature, show the usefulness of the bestowed resources he has with himself. That night when he reached back home, and took out his diary to write the experiences, the wind blew and took him to the slums where that 6-year old kid said to him, “Fir se aana bhaiya”

He smiled.

The postman he was...

Ramlal loved his job, for he was loved by one and all, the kids, the youth and the old. He was a source of smile for the most. A postman he was, a very familiar one, and a really trustworthy one. By now, he was familiar with everyone in the society, and his polite manner and decent behaviour made him all the more lovable. Kids loved him, and would often ask him to buy them the same uniform Ramlal used to wear. He would ask them to come with him to get the uniform. The kids then laughingly used to run away. Though, it was a joke but for Ramlal, the kids, the families in the society were the only family he had.

Yes, Ramlal was alone, lonely, had one child who had shifted to some place far away from his residence. His wife, who died a year ago, was his sole companion. At work, he was very punctual, and did it passionately. He would often love to go to societies where he had become a familiar face, and would even fight for the same. But everybody there understood it, because for Ramlal, those people were all he had for a family.

It was one rainy morning, when Ramlal had to go to his beloved society. The rain was too hard for the 58 year old to go and deliver the posts, but he knew that there might be some mother waiting for a post from his son posted to a distant land, a father waiting for a mail from his son who is fighting at the border, and more. He was all set to set out when his senior at work, told him not to go. Ramlal, stubborn as always, refuted, and said his health is far less important than the purpose for which he was going.

“But there isn’t any post that reads urgent, or important”, said the officer.

Ramlal was on his way, he did not care about what people had to say. When he stepped outside, he realized how heavy the downpour was, and by then, even the roads were waterlogged with no means of transport. It seemed an uphill task till the time he did not reach the society.

The roads were full of water, and it was difficult to reach the houses. Ramlal’s physical strength had seen enough of it since morning. And with the never ending rain, his health was deteriorating faster. His breath was breaking, and since it was raining, nobody bothered to come outside, rather they did not notice somebody is calling from outside, someone far away from the door.

Ramlal fell down, with his bag containing letters, perhaps the weight of the bag drenched in water had become too much for the lean skinny old man to bear. Running out of breath, he looked at the heavens, his loved ones were calling him, and so was his call of duty. He tried to stand up, to reach to one door, the one door that might open many doors. Helpless as ever, he could not get up even after repeated trials. The water level had reached knee height, and it took some real effort for him to keep his head sustained above the water level. He was losing his will, situations were such, his screams were becoming less loud, he was leaving, and he could see it.

Finally, he gave up!

He succumbed to the situations, his undying willingness and love towards his “family” costed him his life, and , he had nobody to hear his cries his screams, which would never be heard any more.

Ramlal, questioned God in heavens, “Why did no one come to rescue me. I would not have mind dying in the hospital bed, had I got to see one face for which I lived?”

God replied, “Son, from your perspective, they were all you had, everything that you wanted, yes, they were the solace you required, and the happiness you desired. But life, rather the perspective was not the same from the other side. They had their families and were busy there. They did not hear your cries, because your hearts were not connected. We choose people we love, and it is unconditional, you loved them with all your heart, but for them, you were an ordinary postman, who brings some smile to their cause. Had it not been for your profession, who knows they might not have loved you the same way”

Ramlal understood the point. Love is unconditional.
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