The Mr. Nobody who picks up rags from garbage heaps,
I watched him from my window
He walks with that big sack on his bent back with an eye of precision for exactly the type of stuff that can go into his backpack. He rummages through the scum and dirt and goes on adding to the weight on his shoulder, barely caring for the scorching sun or the lashing rain or the chilling breeze or the barking dogs that hound him. At times, the sack doesn’t get filled up in a day. He picks up from where he left the day before and rushes to his masters to deposit a sack full of rubbish in exchange for a pittance. He works hard for survival – mere survival – with no hope for dignity, recognition or affluence! He doesn’t have the kindest of words to utter or the warmest of smiles to share. Exchange of expletives and disdain, hunger and pain, a seeming lack of purpose and often a world of crime mark his world. Choice – he hasn’t much of it. He still goes on!
The widow who lost her darling at the prime of youth
I watched her pass by my house
With tears gone dry and emotions stifled in the heart, she went about spreading smiles and cheer to the tiny kids she taught at school. The decades of toil seasoned with sympathies, pities and taunts have brought her to a stage where her hair has turned grey and there is gloomy loneliness around. There is pain in the joints and vision fades before her. She doesn’t know how to transfer money digitally or place a video call to her grandson. No, she doesn’t wait for life to be over some day. She makes the most of it. The tasty sweetmeats of her frail hands have made a local start-up rise up to fame. She lives and teaches others to live!
The mango tree in the garden bearing fruit once a year
I watched my neighbour engage labourers to pluck the fruits
It doesn’t bear fruit all the year round. It only gives a season of joy. The tree stands tall covered with leafy branches overall without giving away signs of its potency. When its time comes, it showers joy from its laden boughs. The year round growth shows forth in just one season. It feels no need to provide assurance each month of a fruitful season ahead. It silently stands with its lofty head held high knowing well that all questions and apprehensions would be laid to rest once its fruits show up in the branches. It speaks silently!