Beneath the Umbrella: A Rainbow of Grace & Giving

The True Generosity of the Giver:

I cherish riding my bike the most, but on workdays, when I have to dress formally, rain showers disrupt my routine and present me with a new experience.

Kalu Ram ji is an incredibly kind man, surpassing all my expectations. He hails from Rajasthan and earns his livelihood by selling umbrellas. I used to misunderstand people like Kalu Ram, assuming they were in dire need. Whenever I saw them approaching on the roadside, trying to sell something, I would often ignore them, thinking I probably didn't need what they were offering.

However, recently I found myself helplessly caught in a sudden downpour, nearly drenched and desperate for cover, I had no choice but to seek help. I asked if I could borrow one of Kalu Ram's umbrellas to shield myself from the rain. To my relief, he nodded and allowed me to take one.


In that fleeting moment, I couldn't help but wonder if he had ever studied in a business school or taken management courses that might have taught him to solve problems and charge people for solutions. In today's world, it would be entirely fair for him to ask me to buy an umbrella. After all, that's how things function in today’s world. He likely faced his own financial challenges, especially considering he had a family to support. His daughter was just the corner observing me presence.

uriosity got the better of me, and I decided to strike up a conversation with him. I said,

"App toh bade acche hain,"

expressing my gratitude for saving me with the umbrella. He remained quiet initially, but as I asked a few more questions, he opened up to me. Kalu Ram shared an incident from a few days ago when two other people in need had asked him for help during the rain. He trusted them and asked them to watch his place for two minutes while he tended to some work. Sadly, upon his return, he discovered that those individuals had taken off with the two umbrellas.

But when she arrived for evening work, I was touched to find that she had brought two tomatoes with her, costing 10 rupees each. She made sure our dinner would be as delicious as we expected. That act of kindness really amazed me and reminded me of the incredible power each individual holds.

I was even more astonished to learn about this situation, yet despite it all, he still chose to help me. When I asked him about it, he simply replied,

"Agar me madat kar sakta hoon, toh me kar deta hoon" (If I can help, then I will).

His response left me deeply touched.

This encounter reminded me of a valuable lesson my family taught me in my childhood: true giving isn't just about having enough to spare; it's about giving in any way we can within our means. And such acts of kindness return to us manifold. The act of giving transcends the boundaries of haves and have-nots; it's about good-hearted people making a positive impact in every possible small way they can.

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