Back in the 80’s, there was a song that went on to become the chartbuster, featuring the emperor of Hindi cinema, the Big B- Amitabh Bachchan. The song I am referring to is “Rote hue aate hai sab”. The essence of the song is that all of us come to this world crying, but the one who leaves it wearing a smile on their face is the true winner.
You must all be wondering why I’m telling you about this song out of the blue! That is because in today’s Monday Truclusions, I want to share a small but powerful secret of life. The secret that brings immense happiness to the soul, the kind of happiness that can help us leave this world with a smile. But before that, let me tell you a story after which I shall introduce you to an awe-inspiring personality!
From Miser To Saint
The legendary saint, singer and composer- Purandara Dasa, is famously known as the Father of Carnatic Music. Though he is known as one of the greatest devotees of Lord Vishnu, he initially used to be an atheist and a very miserly merchant by the name, Srinivasa Nayak. The story I am now going to narrate to you is of a miraculous event that transformed him from a miser to a saint. The event made him realize the worthlessness of worldly possessions.
This is how the story goes…
One day it so happened that a poor man came to Srinivasa’s residence seeking financial help as he wanted to perform his son’s thread ceremony. The lady of the house took pity on the man and gave him her nose ring to sell. The man ironically sold the jewel to Srinivasa himself. The merchant gave the man his money, but identified the nose ring and headed home furious to find out whether his wife had given her ring away in charity.
The lady was worried about how her miserly husband would react to her act of charity. So she prayed to her favourite deity and legend says the deity gave her a lookalike of the nose ring she gave away. Srinivasa was surprised to reach home and see his wife wearing the ring; he was bewildered. However his wife confessed about what had happened. He was converted to believe in the virtue of a charitable life and took to the life of a wandering minstrel to proselytise charity.
Purandara Dasa Of The Modern Era
In the 1990’s, a young man in his thirties used to stand on the footpath opposite the famous Tata Cancer Hospital at Mumbai. He would stare at the crowd in front; fear plainly written upon the faces of the patients standing at death’s door. Their relatives with equally grim faces would be running around. These sights disturbed him greatly.
Most of the patients were poor people from distant towns. They had no idea about whom to meet or what to do. They had no money for medicines, not even food. The young man, heavily depressed, would return home. “Something should be done for these people”, he would think. He was haunted by this thought, day and night.
At Last He Found A Way!
He rented out his own hotel that was doing good business and raised some money. From these funds he started a charitable activity right opposite Tata Cancer Hospital, on the pavement next to Kondaji Building. He himself had no idea that the activity would continue to flourish even after the passage of 27 years. The activity consisted of providing free meals for cancer patients and their relatives. Many people in the vicinity approved of this activity. Beginning with 50, the number of beneficiaries soon rose to hundreds.
As the number of patients increased, so did the number of helping hands.
As years rolled by, the activity continued; undeterred by the change of seasons, come winter, summer or even the dreaded monsoon of Mumbai. The number of beneficiaries soon reached 700!
Mr. Harakhchand Sawla, for that was the name of the pioneer, did not stop here. He started supplying free medicines for the needy. In fact, he started a medicine bank, enlisting voluntary services of three doctors and three pharmacists. A toy bank was opened for kids suffering from cancer. The ‘Jeevan Jyot’ Trust founded by Mr. Sawla now runs more than 60 humanitarian projects. Sawla, now 57 years old, works with the same vigour. A thousand salutes to his boundless energy and his monumental contribution!
But hardly anyone knows Harakhchand Sawla, leave alone call him ‘God’ for feeding free lunches to 10 to 12 lac cancer patients and their relatives. For last 27 years, millions of cancer patients and their relatives have found solace, in the form of Harakhchand Sawla. I leave you with some food for thought –
In our egos we do burn,
Showing the world no concern;
With no idea what we want to earn.
We fight for gold and land,
Rather for each other we stand,
And walk holding one another’s hand.
Aimless we do run,
To own everything under the sun;
There would be nothing, we will have won.
No one knows what awaits us ahead,
All we need to stay alive is a piece of bread,
As we carry nothing after we are dead.
Liked reading this? Then you might also like to read Monday Truclusions – Honouring The Phenomenal Women