It was a hot afternoon. As I took a short cut to Mumbai’s Bandra Terminal reservation building, I could not help notice an old and ailing man pulling a heavily laden cart. He was sweating and panting for breath. As he stopped to recapture his drooping energy, I stopped by him and enquired if he was alright. He threw a sweet smile at me as if that’s his most natural expression even in the midst of such struggle. We then got engaged in a brief conversation. What he shared with me about his life would always remain in my mind as a touching message with a universal appeal: Mai khush hum kyon ki Bagvan roj mere parivar keliye dal-roti dethe hai. Mujhe aur kya chahiye? (I am happy because God provides my family with the daily bread we need. What more do I need?).
In the world of today people struggle not only to satisfy their need, but their greed. It’s in our human nature to amass and hoard for a million years to come! But what we hoard after our legitimate needs belongs to the ones who do not have! Was it the Hindi poet Premchand who wrote, “daane daane mei likha hai khane waale ka naam?” (The eater’s name is written on each grain). Hoarding is equal to wasting. And wasting is equal to depriving another of what belongs to him/her and thereby being a partner in the scandal of inequality and poverty. I do not know the name or whereabouts of the man with that heavy cart. But he taught me the great lesson of being happy and content with what God provides me each day.