This note of mine purely intends to express my respectful gesture to one of my friends & his wife and to inspire all the readers to practice it & appreciate such acts whenever they come across, in their lives!
I know Sri Suresh Kumar since I came to Hyderabad in August, 2002. He was a rick driver in the narrow lanes of twin cities hailing basically from Thiruvananthapuram. He was introduced to me by one of our common friends who used to work in GE’s BPO arm (Later became Genpact). Sri Suresh Kumar is a graduate and quite a knowledgeable person, who is well read too. He easily should have been in a good organization in a far better position with his knowledge & skill levels. However, he was an auto rickshaw driver with a difference for the reasons better known to him. Once you use his services, you will become addicted as he offers lot of value additions with personal touch! When I was introduced to him by my friend Sri Venu, he was reading ‘The Hindu’ News paper sitting in his rickshaw! A brief introduction and five minutes down the line, he made me a fan of him!!
Sri Suresh Kumar has helped me a lot in settling down in Hyderabad and guided me on many issues to resolve and move on…! Quickly we became thick friends and I understood that in addition to rickshaw driving, he owns 3 more ricks, which is given out for daily rent and he also finances rick drivers across the city! Apart from this, he had a chit fund business as well!
God had much different things for him in store! Times had changed suddenly for him as he went into ruffles on finance recovery with the rick drivers and as a chain reaction; it affected his chit payments & overall credibility. However, he moved on with great struggle till he reached a point, where he had to take up a small time job as a billing clerk in a large steel plant! His wife Laya was also a commerce graduate and worked with a private firm. They were undergoing testing times as there was lot of pressures from the creditors…!
He sold all his ricks to settle some of the major issues and approached each of the pending creditors personally and told that he’ll be able to pay only a tiny amount per month as he is not able to give anything substantial! Many of them protested and demanded settlement through advocate’s notice! Many of his friends like us intervened to help him in convincing these creditors to accept the reality & compromise….!
In the last 5 years, they both (Husband & Wife) struggled hard and managed to move inch by inch and kept servicing their loans along with providing good education to their only son ‘Bharath’! Now, they had cleared all the debts and started saving again!
Now, let me come to the crux of this note!! In the beginning of this turmoil, Sri Suresh used to approach all the close friends like us for short term financial helps and we all had sincerely helped him whenever possible. One of our common friends, Sri Roy, in a critical instance gave his engagement ring to pledge as he was not able to give cash…!! Years passed and as things worsened for Sri Suresh, he couldn’t return the ring! Once, Roy offered to pay the sum and take it back and by then Sri Suresh realized that he had lost the mortgage slip as well!! The day he was searching for the slip, I was there in his house and that day only both I & Laya came to know about this adjustment! Laya immediately offered the only gold chain she had and started crying! Roy got upset and consoled every one by clearly spelling out that he considered relationship important, not the money and that’s the very reason for not asking for it till then!
All these incidents faded from the memory over years till I received an ecstatic call from Roy at around 11.30 PM, about a week back! He was gasping, struggling to conceal his emotions and literally in the verge of crying!! He wanted to meet me immediately and when I reached their home, both Sri Suresh & Laya were also there…! As I had just reached back from work and didn’t even have my dinner, I strode in with a demand of food to Roy’s wife Beulah, who’s very popular for her culinary skills amongst our peer group..! However, there was no response from anyone, as if all of them were in a dream world staring at me without even recognizing my arrival! I felt little odd at the reception and made a huge noise to make my presence felt!
Roy came hurriedly towards me and hugged with big splash of tears! Like everyone there, I too became emotional and after the initial spurt was over, he had shown me his engagement ring engraved with the name ‘Beulah’..!
I believe that the thankful glitter in the eyes of Roy & Beulah at that moment was the best ever blessings showered on this amazing couple and their only son ‘Bharath’ for the years to come! Because it was not just thanking this special couple, but it was an expression of gratitude to the ‘Almighty’ for reinforcing our values and beliefs….for which we have been fighting this world all through our lives!
Still I’m struck by the marvelous act of this couple, which not only inspires Roy and family to keep up their helping nature, but all of us as well….!
(This is based on true incident. However, the names are all changed to respect the privacy of the individuals)