I, being an ex- Army man have lot of experience of working with Sikh troops and everybody knows about this community. The community is famous for valour and bravery. However, this experience which I added to my kitty was a different one and it further added to my appreciation for this community.
The day was 08th Jan 2016, early morning at 06.50 AM; I was standing at Ludhiana Railway Station, waiting for the Shatabdi express, which was to take me to Delhi for my further journey. Since, I was to attend the conference in the evening, straight from Railway Station Delhi; I thought it appropriate to get my shoe polished en-route only. I saw an old Sikh, with polish set, in his hand and looking at my shoes and requesting me to get the polishing done. I told myself that probably it was not the right time to get it done since train was to come any time and departure time was 06.57 AM. Hardly any time to get the polishing of shoes. He probably could see my hesitancy and said in chaste Punjabi that he will organize it within no time. I gave up and handed over my shoes to him and sat on a stool which he was carrying for Babu (?) like me. He started in right earnest. In the chilly Jan early morning, he was making all out efforts to do it in the fastest possible way.
Well, suddenly the announcement was done for the arrival of train at the platform. I got jittery lest I miss the train and the evening conference in Delhi, since this train has got hardly any stoppage time at Ludhiana. I kept the RS 20 note on his polishing set and told him to handover the shoes to me so that I can move and don’t miss the train. I told him not to worry about polishing since I had already kept RS 20 for him.
What he said is the reason for me to write this blog “ Saheb jee, paise to koi bhee kama leta hein, aasi to apni mehnat ka kamate hein, assi polish dhang se nahi keete to paise kese lenge, Tussi chinta na karo, assi tenu gaddi wich batha kar aange”( Anybody can earn money, I earn with my hard work, if I don’t do polishing properly how can I charge money for that, you don’t worry , I will see you off to the train properly. I decided at that point of time that let him do his job and even if I miss the train and evening conference, it is still worth it because I met somebody who probably gave a big lesson of life and labour to me.
Well, here was the gentleman who understood the dignity and ethical aspect of labour. How many times we meet the people of this calibre in our life. We keep on looking for heroes in our life. Here was the real hero.
I got the polished shoes back, put these on, boarded the train, and went for my journey and evening conference. You cannot imagine my cup of joy with the feeling that I have put on the shoes polished by some body that I considered as my teacher in very important aspect of life.