The Rare Commoner


Learning tricks is the most efficient way of knowledge; what do you call a man who believes in this statement? I’d say an Artist.

Being born as the sixth member of a poor family wasn’t exactly a remarkable start for Bharat Khobragade, our inspiration for the week. Growing up in a congested one room with four other siblings, mornings starting with errands like throwing away garbage for the family and ending with sleeping outside the house under a dim street lamp; all of this but he described his childhood as the best period of his life for he remembers dreaming of settling in Mumbai with a great job and a happy family while sitting next to his mother who used to wrap tobacco for a cigarette company, as an earning, to feed six stomachs daily. His father used to be on tours as a cartoonist and his works were published in newspapers, but for him, he described his mother as the breadwinner as well as, as the head of their family.


He was an average student in school and speaking English was his biggest weakness, being overlooked by everyone around him he decided that he would achieve his dreams on the basis of his dedicated hard work and his mother’s support. His mother once caught him smoking a cigarette and instead of asking him to put it out she insisted him to finish it in front of her and if he liked it she would wrap some for him; since that day he never touched a cigarette in his life.


His family barely had money for shelter and food and hence he could never ask for money for his studies, but looking at his dedication and willingness a kind-hearted

the professor decided to tuition him for free. He spent days and night studying stenography, it was a study of shorthand which is a form of writing at the speed of someone speaking at a pace. He applied for jobs in Mumbai. Along with his elder brother, he came to Mumbai with minimal money, being born a vegetarian in a family of meat eaters, Mumbai’s first gift to him was an egg meal which was the only available and affordable food at the time of his arrival in this city, he ate it anyway and later described it the start of his Eggetarian life without complaints. He found a job and a really amazing wife, a few years later he was also blessed with a daughter; but then what makes his story different?


He is the boy who learned to understand and tackle various kinds of animals as a child, he took over a huge cobra lurking in his office grounds. He is also very

innovative, he had once convinced a whole lot of strangers to hold hands in the pattern of a ladder so that the kids at the park could still climb the slide in a

park under neglected maintenance. He spent time with young kids on the street who used to beg and he used to ask them to show him their best talents, he recorded those on his mobile just to give those children more satisfaction than a two rupee coin could have given. He is a music devotee, trained in vocal classical

music and two other instruments. But he never played or sung for money, he always encourages people around him to learn from him and teach him things he doesn’t know. He’s a best friend to many, right from the watchman to his boss.


He finds every single trick to make complicated things easy, he self-handles all the broken things in the house and repairs almost anything with nothing but his enthusiasm to learn. “Check from the cause to the root and everything will be solved,” his belief helps him in his adventures. He spends time improving his English

with his daughter, he never found any kind of shame in learning from the younger kids.


It wasn’t easy after all to build a bridge from a ‘one room’ in Pune to two houses in Mumbai and to have such different perspective about life and people around.

He didn’t exaggerate much on the tragedies of his life because he believes that a good story needs inspiring content and not exactly an emphasis on hardships.

He inspires me because he is a common man, living a common life in quite a unique way. According to him, “Living a commoner’s life is a battle in itself, it’s always

your choice to make it look like a struggle or a beautiful story.”