Saturday, June 21, 2014

Rest in Peace Prakash Bhai...

He never did anything for me. Nor did I ever ask for his help. And yet he did so much, that today every time I think of him, I am in tears.
Every morning as I took out my bike for my morning ride and he trudged his way around the walking track within the society grounds, he was the first person I would see. He never failed to lift an arm and wish me a good morning. He greeted everyone. Today, I saw that same arm, by some freaky coincidence, still raised, palm open, stiff in death. Maybe that arm, stiff in rigor mortis is not a coincidence or some mortuary error. I could fancy that he died greeting someone!
Whenever we met, mostly while I was dashing off to work or on some chore, he would say, " You are so busy, always running around...Tell me, if I can do anything for you."
Like all working, single mothers, I am run off my feet.  Life is so hard, I can understand why not many people can help. Nor indeed, would I presume to ask for help. But to have someone so earnestly offer to help, is itself, to me, something to treasure.
Yesterday as I was driving to work, he met me at the gate and stopped my car. Once again he repeated,
"You are so busy. Tell me if I can help."
He had his family in Mumbai and was frequently traveling there.  So this time I replied, "Really? You keep dashing back to Mumbai, how will you help me?"
He stopped smiling and said, " No Ruhi, you just tell me what you want done and I will cancel going to Mumbai." He was so much in earnest, that I was moved.
He died 12 hours later.
I have nothing to remember him by except  his morning smile, his wave and his earnestness.
These are small things, I know.  But 2,014 years ago, a wayside Simon helped to carry someone else's cross for a few minutes, and the ages remember him!
Whether all those you did help, remember you or not, my friend, you will always remain in my memory.

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