A Life of Commitment and Tenderness



              Sometimes we just need to pause for a moment and look around a second to see how vibrant some souls are. In the midst of our strenuous existence, it is very crucial to make some time to observe some amazing ordinary people among us. One fine Sunday morning, my niece was pestering me to take her out for a walk. I had no other way than accompanying the little girl, because these are the best things we can do for children. As we walked around the streets , I saw my niece’s face glittering with a sudden curiosity and I look around and find the reason behind it. We were about to pass a street shop which had some amazing watches. I decided to get her a watch as she was too excited by the colorful and pretty watches displayed at the street.  I saw the shopkeeper busily arranging his watches and belts for sale. Seeing us, he turned towards us and smiled wholeheartedly as soon as his eye’s met ours.  I was surprised by the amount of vitality shared by the man who doesn’t even have a proper place to sit near his small stall. No matter whether it is a rainy day or sunny he will  somehow be struggling to progress with his business in the pavement. But despite all the struggles he seemed perfectly calm and too much focused to his business, which is something we need to observe as we go on with  our hectic lives.

             I am fascinated to share the story of a simple street shopkeeper whose story would be an inspiration. His name is Manoj Krishna and he is from a small village called Manimala, which is a typical village in Kerala. He took up this business nearly two decades earlier when his father died unexpectedly putting all the burdens of a family on his shoulders at a very tender age. Despite all the troubles, he has been progressing with this business from1996 till now to support his family. Business in the road pavement is not as easy as we see it from outside. The sufferings faced by the street shopkeepers are hard to explain in words. Manoj begins his day by 4.30 in the morning to reach the place where he keeps his stall by 8 in the morning. Once he reaches there, he has to clean the pavement and set the entire stall. As it is not a shop, each day he has to setup the install during the morning and undo the same thing by night to convert the entire stall into a small package, so that  he can keep it safe during the night.

              Manoj is the perfect example for all those people who have failed to smile even in the midst of complete comfort. He is not ready to make his life put him down, each time he faces some challenge he keeps smiling at life and come back with full spirit. He takes life very positively so that nothing really bothers him. When I asked about his business during sunny days and rainy days all he has to say is “I enjoy it and never mind about the weather changes”. Conversing with him more, I also realized that he is a perfect family man and a proud father of three brilliant students who are doing very well in their studies. He shares that his children are his source of inspiration and he really wishes to make a smooth set off for their career. He winds up his business lately most of the days expecting some more customers, so that he can earn a little more. Unlike most of the street keepers, he is also ready to give more offers and exciting discounts, while enquiring about it he said “My happiness is my customers satisfaction, if a small discount can brings a smile on their face, I am happy to give them discounts”. The genuine smile in his face clearly reflects his serene character and it also conceals a fruitful lesson for the people who readily spends immense amount for branded items from sophisticated shops and at the same time bargain with needful pavement shop keepers for maximum discounts.