The tea stall is below my office. I visited it at 7 pm one evening. I took a wada pao (Indian burger) and sat down to eat it. The sun had set, the lights had come on and it was reasonably dark outside.
There he sat. In a dark corner, all alone and lost in thought. I recognized him as the new boy who had started working at the tea stall. Then I saw it. The unmistakable imprint of tears on his cheek (even though it was dark). I asked him what happened but he said nothing. Just to give him strength, I told him not to worry as all works out in the end. And then he broke into tears. However, he didn’t cry aloud. I asked him his name, and he said Saurabh. I asked Saurabh if he wanted to drink tea and talk to me. But on the contrary, he immediately drank up his tears and grief and brought me a jug of water and a glass. Asked me and the other people there if we wanted tea... as if nothing had happened. I was awed by his courage and asked for a cup. It came promptly. Then, he retired to the dark corner and was lost in thought again.
The next day, Saurabh was in high spirits. I asked the owner of the stall what happened the previous night. The owner said “Usse maa ki yaad aa rahi thi.” (He was remembering his mother).
We sometimes feel miserable about the lives we lead. But Saurabh’s life is worse. Left his family in UP to come here, work, earn some money and send it back home. He lives with 5 other people in a one room kitchen, works at the stall from 9 in the morning to 8 at night, and then does odd jobs in his spare time. But as I look at him, he’s still smiling; braving all the odds and still dreams of making it big someday (a dream I hope is not shattered). There are many Saurabhs like him out there. They teach us life is a lot simpler if we choose to make it. They teach us to be brave, to face whatever comes our way with courage and bravery. This post is dedicated to the thousands and millions of Saurabhs out there. We are honoured to know you and learn from you. We salute your courage and resilience.