The hero of this story is no suave, sophisticated or rich gentleman. But he is indeed a gentleman. My apartment’s security- Hari. A man who has travelled all the way from Nepal to Kerala to make a living. A dull depressing moment of the day made me search my brains for some reason to smile. And then, swoosh… Hari lands up in my thought!
He is often a subject of wonder and amusement for me and my husband and has intrigued us several instances over the last three years. We don’t know if he has a full name. All we know is he is called Hari. I felt I need to write about him; because, his unassuming wisdom and philosophy, at times, take us a few inches closer to enlightenment. Because, life is like that. It throws you lessons from quarters where you would never expect it from!
All Hari does, day in and day out, is same and simple. Open the gate, close the gate, guard the space, maintain the premises clean and occasionally clean a few cars.
When we walk in to our apartment in the evening after a drowsy day, with innumerable complaints and grievances in mind about everything that constituted the day, he stands there with a mischievous smile and opens the gate. Sometimes he would be sitting on his chair, chasing an army of mosquitoes with the electric mosquito racket, with a tranquility that signifies some amount of happiness that we could never decipher. We crack some joke at him and he reciprocates with no ado. This man’s life, according to us, beats the popular logic and definition for happiness in life. Miles away from home, he still appears to belong. As he says, in less than a year of his arrival to Kerala, he equipped himself with Malayalam language well enough for colloquial communication and now chats away in our mother-tongue almost putting us to shame.
On an occasion, he shared with me his vision. “One can’t always keep doing this; opening gates. I save. I will go back and do something in Nepal. I have very limited expenses.” The man has a vision. He is working hard for it. He is away from his wife and son who he brings to Kerala for vacations. And they live together happily for two months and he sends them back. He visits his home in Nepal once a year too, for a month’s sojourn. Rest of the year he lives in a faraway land. Happily.
Recently, he had a medical condition. An abscess sprouted on his shoulder near the collar bone and it grew. He considered it as an insignificant anomaly and applied basic medical treatment. When all of us who live in the apartment came to know about it, we grieved, sat in a huddle in the secretary’s flat to figure out the way forward because our security guy was suffering from a disease which could turn out to be malignant. We arrived at the momentous decision to contribute to his surgery if required and one of the elders decided to take him to hospital. I had to travel the next day and I looked at him sympathetically before leaving and as usual he took some clever dig at me (most of the time about how I don’t cook). In another two days, I was back. I saw him, at the entrance with his customary hold on the gate and I asked him glumly if he visited the hospital. He smiled and replied in his Hindi mixed in Malayalam with a nonchalant shrug; “It is gone. It burst. I told you right then, it’s nothing.” I heard and I laughed. Heartily. Unabashedly. At our own educated foolishness to make mountain out of a molehill. And he laughed along…
He continues to amaze us with his outlook towards life. He may not have so much money, neither the company of his loved ones. But this man laughs, jokes, dreams. I wish I learn from him about how to spread joy the way he does. I wish I catch on his unadulterated enthusiasm and dream and live!
Thank you Hari, for coming into my life. All the way from Nepal!
You have made me smile now.