It was the 31st of December, the last day of 2019. As usual, I went to the office. Most of my colleagues were on leave. Office looked empty and I didn’t feel like working. In my cabin, out of 15 employees, only 3 were present. It was damn boring day. So, I decided to take half day leave and join my friends who already planning celebration party for new year. When, you want time to pass quickly, it passes slowly. Even one minute looked like an hour. I was just waiting 3 more hours to pass.
It was 12:30 pm. I took another break. Whenever I take break, I check my watch. I went outside the office to take a walk to pass the remaining time.
One gate of the office was temporarily closed due to BBMP road construction. So, I had to walk little extra. Usually, I felt lazy to walk but that day, even I loved the extra walk. I just reached Infantry road. One side of the road was closed, JCB was digging. It became a little difficult to cross the road.
I hated crossing road and now because of JCB, I hated it even more. I felt like mission impossible to cross the road. My mind was like, “This much walk is enough”.
I didn’t listen to it and decided to let’s face it, let’s make this mission possible. I was almost crossed the JCB occupied way in couple of minutes and was about to cross the road. I was trying to focus on crossing road, but I noticed a guy wore loose white shirt and dark brown formal pant standing middle of the road, holding a long stick in his hand. He was shaking the stick. I observed, he was blind and trying to cross the road. I noticed that there were many people overtook him, but nobody offered help to him.
When I saw this, I really felt bad for him and thought of helping him. In no time I went directly to him.
“Yeli hog beka, Anna” (Where you want to go Anna)
I said in local language (Kannada). I could see, he felt relax and calmed down himself.
“Bhaiya, Shivajinagar Bus stand jana bhaiya” He said. His voice was like he was looking for someone to help him. Without even waiting for my response.
“Yeh JCB hai na, yahan dar ho raha manje” (Because of this JCB, I am afraid) He added.
He spoke in local language. In Bangalore, muslim people use this language. It is like Hindi. People say its Urdu, but it is not Urdu at all.
I had craze of learning local and different languages, so I learnt this language a bit. Moreover, we used this language to communicate with my non-Muslim friends also. We just enjoyed communicating in different languages.
I didn’t say anything to that guy. I just put my hand on his shoulder as if we were best friends. We started walking towards the bus-stand. On the way, I was telling him what’s going on surrounding.
“Yeh Chhokri pairo se scooty rok rahi”, I said and we both laughed.
“Kolar se aata hu mai bhaiya 70 kms hai yahan se” (I come from Kolar which is 70 kms far from here) He said.
Kolar is another district of Karnataka. Way far from Bangalore. I felt bad for him, in spite of his blindness, still he travels this much distance.
He told me that he is government employee. His office is nearby. Every working day, he travels from Kolar and he walks about 1 km to board the bus.
Here me, I felt too lazy to walk for 400 meters. I managed to speak his language, it looked like fluent. Initially, He was speaking Hindi and mixture of Urdu looked like language, but when he noticed me responding in his language only.
He ended up talking in that language.
“Kya naam tumhara?” He asked
He was very friendly and polite in nature. He had sweet voice too.
“Mukesh aur tumhara?” I said.
“Shadiq bhaiya” He said
It was nice the way he was using ‘Bhaiya’ in almost every sentence with his sweet voice. That word just looked sweeter and more beautiful unless a girl uses it.
Shadiq bhai didn’t ask me about my religion. But didn’t know why I felt like sharing with him.
“Mai hindu hu so, kuch Muslim dosta hai, so manje zara urdu aati so” (I am Hindu but I have some Muslim friends that’s why I know a little Urdu”) I said whatever came in my mind.
“God ekhich hai so bhaiya, hum logo banaye so dharm”
(God is one only brother, we only made this religions and all)
I loved the positive and polite thoughts of Shadiq bhai. Very rare people have this kind of thoughts. I barely heard this kind of positive things from someone.
I compared my life with Shadiq bhai’s life. Each day is challenge for him unlike me. I had a problem in travelling 20 kms in a day to office, whereas he was happy with travelling more than 100 kms in a day.
When I asked him why he doesn’t rent a room near office. His response brought tears in my eyes. He narrated his complete story in couple of simple sentences.
“Mataji – Pitaji hai bhaiya, unka khhyal rakhna padta, Pitaji cancer patient hai so, aur mataji ab aged ho gayi hai” (I need to take care of parents , my father is cancer patient and my mother is aged now) He said it with a smile on his face.
I didn’t get any words and any expressions to react to this. Shadiq bhai couldn’t see my eyes with already full of tears. Without even waiting for my response.
“Meri Zoru bhi manje, chhodleke chali gayi. Uske affairs the.
pitaji ne usko range-hath pakad liya tha. Voh chali gayi, 2 chhote bache hai hamare, un bacho ka bhi mai hi khyal rakhta hu bhaiya”
(My wife left me. She had affairs. She got caught red handed by my father. That’s why she went off. We had 2 kids. Now I am taking care kids) He added.
Damn, he already had bundles of problems in his life. Instead of supporting him. She so called wife multiplied the problems of poor Shadiq bhai.
Tears were coming out of my eyes. I was a very sensitive and emotional guy. By listening to his sad story, I just couldn’t control my tears.
“Khuda ne saari probelma tumakoch de diye Shadiq bhai” That’s what came out my mouth with full of tears in my eyes.
We reached to bus stand. I wanted to know more about Shadiq bhai, but he was in hurry. He had some urgency that’s why he was leaving in half day.
When I was about to take my leave from him.
“Bhaiya, 310 number ka bus dekh leke batate manje zara?”
(Can you tell bus number 310 is there or not) He asked.
I checked all the buses on platform but there were no buses of that number. Then I decided to wait there till that bus arrives. But I couldn’t talk to him further as bus stand was full of crowd, hustle-bustle and noise of horns.
Finally, after couple of minutes, bus no 310 arrived at bus stand. When I informed this to him, I could see a bright smile on his face. But that bus was full of passengers. But It didn’t bother him at all. I really hated buses with much rush. I preferred waiting for longer time than boarding rush buses.
“Rush hai toh kya bhi nahi bhaiya, chalata hai” (Rush don’t matter brother. I can manage) He said and requested me to drop him to the bus. On the way, he thanked me and prayed for me and gave blessings.
I boarded the bus with him. All the seats were occupied. I requested one young guy who was sitting on the seat, that guy was kind enough. That guy just looked towards me and Shadiq bhai and offered his seat to Shadiq bhai. Shadiq sat on the seat and took deep breath and once Shadiq bhai thanked him.
“Kya bhi nahi bhaiya, aaram se jao”, I said and looked to exit gate and bus started moving slowly. There was huge rush at exit door by now. Hardly I managed myself to jump outside. In no time I jumped.
“Sai beka neenu” (Do you wanna die) One of guy who was standing near exit gate shouted.
I just ignored and went back to office. There were so many things to learn from Shadiq bhai. He was still smiling even if having bundles of problems. He wasn’t giving up.
Inspiring story of Shadiq bhai really motivated me. I planned to use cabs least and travel in buses. I could see the energy in myself.
And now, one more friend added in my genuine friends' list.
Yes, Shadiq bhai. Whenever Shadiq bhai have first shift, we often meet post lunch. We share things. Each day Shadiq bhai come with inspiring stories which really motivates me.