Free for download only on 4th and 5th March 2020

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

My role model - Chaiwallah

I was fuming. I got out of the rickshaw paid the exact change and stood in the serpentine queue at the railway station. “How can he do this to me?” was the question that surfaced my mind time and again. Hari, my brother had point blankly told me that he would not share our parents property with me.
 I was now on a voyage to our childhood.  I recollected how much I loved Hari.   I tended to him. I dressed him up, even shared my share of sweets with him. Often I sacrificed my happiness for the sake of my little brother.  And what was the fruit of all my labour –  I was refused my legitimate share in my parents property.
 My father had built a house, his dream bungalow, after retirement. My mother had left behind a lot of jewellery and bank deposits. Even if Hari had shared one fourth of the property with me, most of my miseries would have been resolved. But Hari, my younger brother, had said all my ties with my parents home were severed the day I left for the city in search of greener pastures. “How could he say that? Does going to another city for job severe all ties with parents, with the womb which gave me  birth, with the blood that circulated in my veins? I was determined to drag my brother to Court of law, to assert and enforce my right.
My reverie was broken as the ticket booking Clerk yelled “Yes ticket…” with an expressionless baritone. I pushed a hundred rupee note from the small window and asked for “One Nasik”
Carefully placing the remainder money and the ticket in my pocket I entered the railway station. The train had already arrived and Pune being the starting point, there was no dearth of seats.  I got the window seat. The train departed at the scheduled time. Cool breeze was coming from the window. However, it utterly failed to cool down my temper. My head had become heavy. It  turned to the shouts of “Chai…..”.   “Ek chai” I placed the order and the Chaiwallah promptly handed over a plastic cup of hot piping tea. I  placed the cup on the little space in the window and started to look for change in my pocket. Finally my hand felt something like a five rupee coin. I handed it over to the tea vendor.  When I was about to touch the cup, that the soothing breeze now turned into a strong wind blew away my cup with it. The tea vendor gave me another cup. I took out  a ten rupee note to pay him. “Jaane do Sir. Chaar saal se dhanda kar raha hoo. Ek chai se main bangle nahi banoonga.” He said as he refused to accept the money. I was stunned.  Indeed stronger are the forces that determine the destinies of men, I realised. I had a sip of tea while I dropped the idea of filing legal proceedings against Hari. I pay my tribute to this unknown man who changed my heart.