Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Yeh Dosti Hum Nahi Todenge( this friendship will not be broken)

Gulf news introduced me to Hanumantha and reading his story, I immediately developed liking and respect towards him.

Today, Hanumantha is sick, in fact very sick. He is 75 and feels he has only few months left to live. He is keen to go back to his country and die. Since 1997, he has been in UAE and been to his home town in Andhra Pradesh just once – that too when UAE Govt. offered amnesty for illegal residents. He came back as domestic helper but since last few years found himself on street after the death of his master. With loss of job, he had to vacate his shared accommodation and soon take solace in public garden. Deteriorating health, lack of food made him go from place to place till he slumped back on a pavement in Sharjah. Seeing him weeping, a passerby stopped. A good Samaritan he must be. He brought Hanumantha to Indian association who with the help of volunteers arranged for necessary money for his journey back. Luckily for Hanumantha, another amnesty scheme is already on and he is lucky to take advantage.

What’s so special about Hanumantha? After all, there are thousands of Indian and Pakistani who spend their entire life staying illegally in Middle East, saving for their family only to end their life ignominiously. Hanumantha too saved money for his wife and remitted part of his earnings to her. He had no children and his only link was his wife. But while in UAE, his wife died and he stopped sending money. He accumulated almost Dh 7,000 but at one instant he spent it on repatriating dead body of his room mate that he shared his accommodation. “ I had to spend, he was kind to me. By making arrangements to repatriate his body home, I have to a certain extent repaid his kindness for providing me shelter when I had none”, Hanumantha said. He has a sister back home and is already as old as him. He hopes she recognize him once he goes back.

Seeing Hanumantha’s story reminded me of an essay Richard Nixon wrote about ‘Extraordinary lives of Ordinary Men’. We all live for our own gains, happiness and only people like Hanumantha rise above the parochial filial affection and commitments. I am sure he will live remaining life in peaceful and contented manner.

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Anonymous Leena Pavitharan said...

Hi Milind

What impressed me about your profile is your passion for "Nanhi kali".
I had not known about it and have now decided to join the movement.

Its a priviledge getting to know a person so good at heart!


6:21 PM  
Anonymous nivedita said...

hey, I quite like this your passion for the Nanhi kali concept. If more and more indians thought so deeply for their less fortunate country cousins, India would be so much more beautiful. I reaaly appreciate this quality in you.
nivedita mishra

7:15 PM  

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