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Read a tale of endurance, will & a daring fight against Covid. Click here for "The Stalwarts" by Soni Shalini.

Grass to Grace

Grass to Grace

4 mins

It was a lazy winter afternoon. Chinmoy was all curled up in his couch, his eyes closed and feeling a bit drowsy... He opened his eyes for a moment to distant noises of a heated argument between his neighbour and his son. As the war of words continued in the background, his long buried memories resurfaced and he dozed off to dream of his own decadent past of his childhood with his family...

He set off on a journey of introspection which led him to question his own judgements and well up the emotions that followed every decision of his.. 

This goes back to the time where Chinmoy was a poor little boy whose father owned a shanty kachodi shop at the corner of a narrow north Kolkata lane. Honest as he was, he sold his kachodis keeping a very low profit rate so that even the poor and the needy could afford to feed themselves with his kachodis. His mother was a housekeeper of a filthy rich family residing in a very fancy locality in South Kolkata. Since he was too young to manage at home all by himself, he used to accompany his mother to her workplace.

Even at that young age, Chinmoy's innocent mind was mentally bloated with the illusion of happiness created by the rich children, and the fact that he was always looked down upon. His school, his toys, his clothes, his home.. It seemed that everything associated with him screamed in his mind every single day, for being the downtrodden one. His mother tried to make him understand multiple times that people are poor or rich by their thoughts and not by money alone, but, by then, the need and greed had already taken shelter in his mind.

During his adolescence, even amidst all the adversities, both financially and psychologically, his mother did not lose hope and it was only her immense love and affection for her son which kept him sheltered and protected from all sorts of bad company inspite of provocations from the boys of his age. 

It was also during one of these years that he suffered a heartbreaking tragedy that left a scar in his soul to remain for a lifetime.

Chinmoy was spotted by a politically influenced realtor in his teenage years. He took Chinmoy in his team for construction jobs and within no time, he was the favourite in the team. Chinmoy also thought of this job as his best career option to earn a lot of money within a short span, and stubborn as he was, he ignored his parents' hue and cry for leaving this job and continued working for his so called Godfather. 

But the real story here is a bit different.

The actual motive of the realtor was to build an apartment in the corner plot of the North kolkata lane where the kachodi shop was situated. He initially offered a lumpsum to the family to sign the agreement, but Chinmoy's father vehemently protested against selling his shop since it was the only source of his daily bread and butter.

This led to a huge clash of ego between Chinmoy and his father for days together, and as the fight got worse, his father's health deteriorated due to stress and anger. The last nail on the coffin was his father's demise, as he suffered a massive heart attack soon after a huge squabble between him and his son, one evening . He still squirmed whenever he remembered his father suddenly falling on the floor with a thud, lifeless in a split second...

For many days after that horrifying night, his guilt tore him to pieces inside when he saw his mother's resentful eyes with silent tears that screamed at him to be guilty.... It was only after this huge loss did he realise what honesty and integrity stands for, and he resolved to live by the light he had... the kachodi shop.

He put in his whole body, mind and soul for saving the shop, spread out his hands for all help possible, did not leave any stone unturned for saving his father's only dream, and finally he was successful in saving the shop from demolition... 

Today, he is a successful and rich business man, having expanded his father's business to 10 shops all over the city and selling over 100 different varieties of kachodis. He himself still operates out of the same old kachodi shop, which he has kept the same way his father used to... Most importantly, he is at peace with himself today, when he finds solace in his mother's eyes filled with pride and honour for her son's achievements... 

As the evening was setting in, the sunset beams pierced through the window and fell on Chinmoy's eyes.. He woke up to find Nandi looking at him... He said, 'Dada, the Tibriwalas' have arrived for the meeting regarding the distributorship for your new kachodi recipe across the globe'. As he set out for his new venture, Chinmoy thought about a famous saying by Jack Ma which truly resembled his life. It says, 

"Never give up.

Today is hard, tomorrow is worse,

But day after tomorrow will be sunshine" ...

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