I can not resist the temptation of writing about a strange person who encountered me during my Wanderings in life and influenced me so much. Although he had implored me vehemently not to write anything about him but I do not want to keep my readers, ignorant about this mysterious character, who may get some lead to study the diversity in nature of life represented by some unique persons in this universe. They appear just like aliens as if they are from different planets , perhaps from Mars or Jupiter , if life exists there. Because such truthful , honest and benevolent persons can rarely be found on our planet i.e earth .
In order to keep sanctity to his word of honour I am changing his name and mode in ancedots of his life to some extent.
I know Mahesh for the last thirty five years but could not visualise the depth in his character for a long time due to his ordinary disposition and simple way of life . Actually Mahesh was a Photographer by profession. He had learnt this art while working as apprentice in a famous Photography shop at Srinagar. Then he joined as a professional photographer in some Govt. Department and started working there hard and honestly. Honesty and hard work was in the blood of Mahesh . He used to give credit of these virtues present in him to his mother.
I have seen him mostly working in the marriages of his friends and relatives tirelessly. He used to take the charge of store and kitchen in these functions and remained mostly there till the completion of the task. He was averse to the limelight of these functions . He would be seen always working there in ordinary clothes and never joining the celebrations. He would also prefer to take his simple food in the kitchen store only. After completion of function , he would properly arrange the leftover oils, spices and utensils with precision and store them properly. Sometimes he would himself wash the floor or used utensils . He was an expert housekeeper and would work hard to avoid any loss to the host. It was not only marriage functions but in case of death of somebody in neighbourhood or in relation , he would provide his services relentlessly .In the rush of celebrations no body could notice his selfless service and he himself was not also concerned about that as he never required any recognition for that. He was a low profile man with simple habits and providing his services with selflessness .
Mahesh has many stories related with his long stay at Srinagar after the migration of our community from there. Although he had already sent his family to Delhi but he remained at Srinagar till his retirement glued to his attitude of service. Most of militants used to stay in his house as it was safe heaven for them as no body suspected them there. He used to provide them with all essentials like food tea etc. as he was helpless to take cudgels with them. Once militants brought a person blindfolded to his house and started enquiring him as they suspected him to be an informer. After a long investigation they tied him in the upper storey of house and left him at the disposal of Mahesh after advising him that they will return soon. In the meantime Mahesh reached near the tied person and asked him whether he wanted something to eat. After getting his nod, Mahesh provided him with some egg omellete and bread which he relished so much. Then militants took him again to some unknown destination .
Once a friend of Mahesh was in urgent need of money and requested him for help. Mahesh sold the jewellery of his newly wed wife and helped his friend. But that friend never returned him the money borrowed .
He was having an old scooter which was his means of transport . Many times he visited Jammu or even to Delhi on his old scooter. He hardly boarded a bus or train as scooter was his most favourite means of travel. One day while travelling from Srinagar to Jammu , the headlight of his scooter stopped . He immediately bought an ordinary torch and tied it to the Scooter in place of headlight. These days he is however, living at Delhi but whenever he visits Jammu , he will be seen on his old scooter. The expenditure incurred by him on scooter in the shape of cost of petrol and service charges, plus inconvenience caused is sometimes more than what a train or bus ticket could have cost him. But he has fancy for scooter drive . One day he confided to me that he could have purchased a new scooter but he cannot afford to part with it as his late wife used to sit on the back seat of his scooter . Therefore , he was also emotionally attached to his scooter. Here it will be worthwhile to mention about the sad demise of his worthy wife few years back which broke his heart to the hilt. He remained confined to his room for many months after that, but his friends helped him to come out of this grief. Every one gets surprised to notice him covering long distances on old scooter and that too at the ripe age . But if one takes Intrest in his sojourns there is something miraculous about him. When asked how he covers these long distances on scooter with out any difficulty he replied, " I sometimes myself feel disheartened to think about covering the long distances on old scooter, but some unseen power makes me to reach my destination with out any difficulty even to my own astonishment."
Most of his friends make fun of his utterances and take him lightly or even far granted . But if his devotion for selfless service is taken seriously, he does not appear to be an ordinary person. He appears to have achieved the highest order of penance as per our religion that is Hinduism.
Here I quote two texts of SrimadBhagwadgita from chapter 12 and 14 respectively, as my dedication to this great man which reflects his personality to a large extent.
Arjuna asks to Krishna, what is the best form of penance
Bhagwan Krishan replies to Arjuna,
"If however, you are unable to work in this consciousness of me , then try to act giving up all results of your work and try to be self situated.
If you can not take to this practice , then engage yourself in the cultivation of knowledge (Gyan). Better than knowledge , however , is meditation (Dyana or Bhakhti) , and better than meditation is renunciation of the fruits of action ( Karm fal Tyag) , for by such renunciation one can attain peace of mind."
Arjuna says who has transcended the mode of nature .Bhagwan Krishna replies ,
"He who is situated in the self and regards alike happiness and distress , who looks upon a lump of earth , a stone and a piece of gold with an equal eye , who is equal towards desirable and undesirable , who is steady , situated equally well in praise and blame , honour and dishonour , who treats alike both friend and enemy and who has renounced all material activities - such person is said to have transcended the mode of nature ".