Shiva is blind. He has also not taken bath for a long time - it seems.
Dirty and disposed, he sits near BEML gate with a aluminium bowl, but his arms are not outstretched asking for alms. Even so, there are a few coins in the bowl - donations from kindly souls. The value of the coins dropped into the bowl, Shiva cannot know, because he has no fingers.
He sits at one place the whole day, never moving from one place. He cannot move because he has no legs - rather legs stricken by polio.
But strangely, Shiva disappears by night.
Shiva is taken to his sisters' home by his brother-in-law where they take the money collected by Shiva and leave him again near BEML gate the next day.
I asked Shiva whether he dislikes his brother-in-law and sister because they take his money. I was surprised to hear a confident "No". He said - "What will I do with the money? - They give me food and a bath every week."
We tend to think that the most unfortunate are the unhappiest and probably hold grudges against life, society and God. The story again proves this thought incorrect. Like Shiva, I had a maid- Shiela. She had seven children, an abusive husband and no money. Despite her hand to mouth existence, I had found her to be a very happy and content person with not a single complaint against anyone. The Shivas and Sheilas are a living lesson to the 'affluent' of the society. At the end of the day, who will die happier and content?
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