HUMANITY

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
When I met Rama in hot Thar desert, I realized true meaning of Humanity.

Submitted: June 29, 2013

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Submitted: June 29, 2013

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HUMANITY

‘That way will lead you to railway station, around 2km.’

I preferred to walk though I was tired but Spice jets wouldn’t descend near Pali. Because Pali has no airport, it isn’t funny. I arrived to Jhodpur at 1230 and my next need was to reach Pali as soon as possible, most probably before night and find a hotel to spend stormy night.

I had to hurry up before black clouds hover over the sky that were chasing me throughout my route (I feel so). Oh God! Not again. My misfortune, I was refused to allot seat in the train to Pali. All seats were preoccupied and the ticket counter was closed. I could do nothing but to ponder on my laziness. I was running out of time, already 0200. When everything seems to be ending, I believe in using my brain. I hired a taxi for Pali. I was too tired to look around so I decided to take a small nap.

I was startled at loud screech noise and next moment discovered me above thorny bush which spread enormously on hot dry sand. I regained consciousness and rubbed my eyes. The scene was clear now. He looted me and thrust me out of his taxi. Oh God, what to do next. Wait, I reached for my pocket, shit, my wallet. I was alone in vast desert- Thar Desert, with a small bag that seemed burden to me. I had no cash, no credits and no clothes. Whatever I had in the bag was not enough for me.

Waiting for help at the roadside doesn’t seem to please me especially when sun was burning over my head. I checked my bag. It preserved a water bottle, few medicines, a torch and some money that I kept to reduce strain in my fully occupied wallet. I was my prerequisite knowledge that most people here do not accept credits.

At once I saw someone sitting on mound of sand. No no, I mistook the camel for sand. I waved my hands raising them high above with faith and delight in my eyes and fear in my heart. What if he didn’t notice me? What if he refused to help me? And what not. But I could see him approaching me. I stood there still. I thought he came to help me but I was wrong. He was heading towards his home on other side of road.

‘Hey, can you help me out, I’m lost here.’ He glared at me. ’Wait till any bus crosses here.’ ‘For how long….’I questioned. ‘Two to three hours.’ interfering me he spoke.

‘What, for so long I couldn’t withstand this hotness, can’t you help me?’ He was annoyed by me. After giving himself a thought he said, ’You have money.’ ‘Yeah, I have.’ ‘Alright.’ He helped me scramble over camel’s body. I adjusted myself between its two humps behind the villager.

‘Where you need to be dropped?’ He was too rude. ‘I need to reach Pali.’

 ‘I can’t take you there.’ ’What, I mean why not?’ ‘Don’t worry I will take you to someone who will take you there.’ I just counted on my nerves. I hesitatingly gave him some cash before he handed my responsibility to someone else.

‘Hello, are you to take me Pali.’ ‘Yes, Sir.’ ‘How much fare will you charge? See I’m running out of it.’ ‘Sir, don’t you worry. I don’t need your cash. It is just my duty to help a lost traveler to reach his destination otherwise he will wander in vast desert till death.’ I laughed on my foolishness. Few merchants and pedlars were also accompanying me through my journey. He (I don’t remember his name, let’s call him Ravi) allotted a camel for my ride and instructed me about camel riding.

‘Woo! Won’t you lead my camel?’ ‘No. I need to lead mine.’ The answer was not clear to me but I knew I had to take the risk. I tried to climb up but failed. I tried many times but was smashed down each time. I could feel pain in scars on my arms caused by thorns.

He had some understanding with the camel. On his command it sat down to help me sit. At last we started for our voyage. Voyage? Yeah, over vast sea – sea of sand. It was my first ride over a camel – the ship of deserts, so was excited and afraid too. I constantly glared at him. He was above all- kind and good, unique in the whole world. Maybe he was not so saint. During calamities when food is like looking for a needle in the haystack people will fight even for an ant. Just like that, after being cheated and looted and being treated rudely he seemed messenger of God to me.

I was surprised to see others turning their path. I was in dilemma but soon I saw Ravi and quietly followed him burring all confusion and doubts in my chest. I saw something ahead- maybe oasis? Or a village? Yes, it was a village. I saw many wanderers roaming around in the market. My chase took me in the middle of the village. Just then, I found someone yelling at me. I searched down - it was a peasant.

‘Where are you leading to?’ ‘Pali.’ I answered. ‘I’m resident of Pali. Can you please help me to get there?’

I traced him top to bottom. He carried nothing with him, not even water bottle. That introduced cruel thoughts in my mind and in any case I didn’t want to share water with anyone. Since it was a long journey, I required carrying at least 2-3 liters of water. I abruptly moved from there ignoring him. I could hear him bellowing at my perishing attitude. I didn’t listen to his cry for help.

I moved ahead pondering on my actions whether I should have given him lift or not. Just like me he too wanted to reach Pali without getting lost. He must be waiting to see his family and I just refused to help him because of a bottle of water. Shame on me… . One common folk here trusted me even when I’m a stranger because I was lost and looted. He showed sympathy and faith towards me and lend me a camel for the journey free of cost.

With my mind full of thoughts, I traced Ravi’s camel’s footsteps since he was far ahead of me. I looked ahead to find a peculiar small hut with lots of aqueous containers. Someone from there gestured me to stop there. I reached there and pulled bridle attached to reins that ran around camel’s neck. Ravi was resting and drinking water at that peasant’s hut. Peasant, it would be a wrong word in fact he looked rich. It seemed strange to me for a person to stand in 450C without AC and watch for travelers and offer them water and rest.

‘Why you do this, I mean you face hot winds and extreme hot weather. Is this your only earning.’ I explored.

‘I business in wood and handicrafts and that fetch me lot then I require. It will be insane to take money or rather say it loot travelers who are in search of water and rest.’

‘Is there something that pricks you so much?’

‘I belonged to a poor family. My father struggled to make both ends meet. With whatever he saved in his life he bought a camel to pursue his business in towns. But on one day when they were returning back to Pali after meeting my maternal grandpa and grandma, they got mislaid by sandy streams. They screamed for help and water showing their empty bottles and dry throats but none helped them. That day I vowed to help any such travelers. So you can see me here.’ He smiled and moved swiftly to other travelers. I glimpsed at him as if I didn’t have enough courage to look at him. I was very much influenced by him.

‘How are you called?’ I questioned him again without facing him.

‘Rama, you can call me so.’

I hesitating opened my mouth but resisted to speak. He must have noticed me.

Knowing my curiosity he answered me before I questioned him. ‘It doesn’t make me feel wearied, feeble and annoyed. God send me here to help my family (he meant all people on Earth) then why should I impede my work. If I do so then I will be most indolent and pathetic being on Earth.’

Indubitably, his motto and his work clearly indicated his faithful service towards humanity. Concealing all my thoughts in my mind I reached for my camel and moved out of his site. 

Throughout the journey, I remember, I thought of only Rama. My conscious pricked me for my deeds. I felt so uncomfortable and distressed as if my chest was loaded with heavy stones. I wanted to run out of world. That was not me that made me do that. ‘I’m a kind man I knew. I worked for people in my society. Being a representative of my society I sorted out their problems many times.’ I strengthened myself. ‘But what about Rama, he does everything selflessly assuming that they are orders of God. He doesn’t expect anything in return. But I always wanted them to give me fame, name and funds in return. What a shame!’ I couldn’t bear anymore now. I thought a lot after that incidence. Now, I was not worried about reporting of my lost belongings and I was busy criticizing me for my deeds.

From that day change occurred to me. I’m thankful to that man.


 

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