The Philanthropist

leavesThe sun was pouring in the midst of the intervened leaves of the huge banyan tree. The scorching sun rays were striking against his tanned skin. He had a lean figure with a suave face. He was working on his small stall of the world’s best lemonade. His wife, a woman in her forties was a stark contrast to how her husband looked, she was bulky and huge. She was making masala chai (tea) at the other corner of the stall. It was that time of the day when the sun is at its peak and keeps the liberty of burning the pedestrian’s skin severely. I was sitting on one of the crooked benches they had put in front of the stall under the shade of the tree.

Sipping my lemonade and contemplating upon what had left me infuriated some time ago, my train of thoughts was disrupted by the wind that blew over and left a cooling sensation on my body, I was sweating profusely. As I sat there, I observed the destitute couple who were devoid of any possible comfort of this world but sported a smile on their face. That man was teasing his wife. His wife liked the innocent teasing and smiled slyly. I was forced to admit the fact they were happier than anybody I can possibly recall.

This alluded to almost all the destitute sellers I knew. Right outside where I live, there is a small market comprising a vegetable seller, a tailor, an ice cream seller and a cobbler. All these people sit beside the road and earn their living. They endure the coldest days to the hottest and most humid days of the year. Even then, if you are having a bad day and you go to one of them to purchase something even for 2 bucks, they greet you with not just a smile, but with enquiries about your home and your family. They are always concerned for the people around them. At the time of the day when the traffic is slow, they play the radio, I hear the sounds in my room and those songs are ancient but melodious. The vegetable seller always slips in some extra green chillies as a freebie, the tailor always comes and delivers the clothes at your doorstep the moment they are ready so that you don’t have to bear the pain of going to them. Their small acts of kindness are priceless.

tea stallThese people have the minimal amount to eat, the minimum number of clothes to protect themselves and not even the comfort of a cozy bed to sleep at night. Even then they are happy and content in life. They enjoy the simple things in life and don’t run after things that are not theirs. I on a personal level feel that we all are running in a materialistic race where the winner is always the one with the most goods and comforts of life. The fire to have more than the person living next to you is such that sometimes we forget who we are and what are we actually fighting for, is it that big car or the posh bungalow on the next street or just the mad rush to get the next big thing. Living a purpose driven life is amazing, but if you lose the central idea behind that life then trust me your life is heading towards an aimless gamble.

I was 18 when my mother told me to do engineering, as a gamble I pursued it. Today I can say I am not happy. The mistake I committed 4 years back of not deciding the goal of my life and not living a purpose driven life has costed me 4 years of my life.  So don’t commit the mistake I have committed, be aware of what you are searching for and what can make you feel ‘complete’. Acquiring the best of things can satisfy for a transitory phase of your life. Think beyond today and beyond the materialistic world that is holding you down.

Right now I have a clear mind and I feel blissful. I have an aim to live with the minimum possible comforts. I don’t sleep in an air-conditioned room, I speak the minimum possible on the phone and I try to make every minute productive because after witnessing the lives of the unprivileged people of my society, I have now understood one thing, that the lesser you have, but sufficient, the happier you are. Filthy rich people are not happy; they are not content with their lives. There is a void in their lives that no amount of money can ever fill.

Be a philanthropist and amaze people around you by your generosity and drive to live a simple yet fulfilling life. So now I have just one motive in life and that is to be known as ‘ The philanthropist’ who is virtuous and peppy. Also, I don’t call people philanthropist only by the amount of money they donate, a true philanthropist is happy and satisfied in his life. Can a person who is sad in his own life make others’ life better? I don’t think so. Charity begins at home, so help yourself before you attempt anything else.

I leave with a quote -
source:favim.com

“In a world where there is so much to be done, I felt strongly impressed that there must be something for me to do”
~Dorothea Dix (Social Reformer, 1802-1887)

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54 thoughts on “The Philanthropist

  1. Tanushree, you need to take it easy on the likes of me. Measure out these words of wisdom in small doses. At full strength I am forced to hang my head in shame for being found out! But I do like the title you have taken: The Peppy Philanthropist. That fits you nicely. Keep that.

  2. Tanushree.!! Your thoughts and observations of Life to some extent seemed like as if you have stolen my Thoughts. The Worldy things dont attract me.. So I also wanted to live with That purpose. I must have thought Numerous times about doing something for the poor. The examples of you where you mentioned of giving “mirchis” was that a middle class person like me is aware of. And thats whyyour Pure and Clear thoughts in a Way were Inspirational. I also want to Contribute. Tell me How can i ??

      • Ok…… Ya.. I will … You know.. I am struck in the confusion of engineering. Want to get back from this drama with a degree now.!! I am bored the way these four years went. I don’t feel like satisfied or you know having achieved anything. ! I also want to give my best wishes to your organisation.

        Real Being Human is Tanushree. God Bless you :)

  3. A few years ago as I made my way to work. I would get caught in a traffic jam every morning. It used to stress me out greatly. Then one morning I looked at the faces of the people sitting at the side of the road. Few of these people had jobs, many wore no shoes, and yet they were all smiling and laughing with each other. I then looked at my fellow motorists also on their way to work. Almost everyone appeared as stressed out and frustrated as I was.

    At that moment, it appeared that those that had nothing or very little, were happier than those that had more. I then realised that the less you have the less you have to worry about. I began to envy those people who had nothing, they appeared so happy. The more I saw of them the more I resolved to posses as little as possible. I finally left the well-paying job that I had grown tired of and no longer enjoyed.

    Today I am working for half as much as I did back than then, and I am a much happier. person. Well most of the time :-)

    • I am so glad that somehow our thoughts match.
      Read this-http://charity-spring.org/2012/10/06/peoplevscrowd/

      You will know;)

      BTW, you gotta love your work, which you do now. Life is not perfect but its worth enjoying :)

  4. Wow! Wonderful post. I can relate to your feelings regarding life’s purpose. I’ve been a firm believer in the pursuit of personal fulfillment for a long time. It’s good that you recognize the importance of listening to your inner voice at such a young age. There are many who never figure that out. One of the first books I read on the topic was Manifest Your Destiny by Wayne Dyer. I highly recommend it… and thanks for liking my post, The Beautiful Mermaid. I look forward to reading more of your stories.

  5. Nice piece! And I can connect very deeply with your thoughts. I guess, I am on the same page…..I loved writing, but took mechanical engineering. And now i am 19 and already bored.
    But lately I have been happy, maybe because my debut novel is about to be released. I have always wanted to do that, write something that inspires people. There is too much chaos in the world, the rich getting richer. But as you said, we don’t need money to be happy, we just need to serve the needful and their smiles would be enough to keep us happy and satisfied
    Great Post!!!!

  6. Love this post so much, really enjoyed reading it. I love how the word ‘minimal’ appeared so many times in this post, also because I find that the ‘minimal’ of person X living in country A may not be the same as person Y living country B. With different living standards and family background, the word ‘minimal’ can go to very extremes. Keep writing :)

  7. The timing is perfect.My passsion is children and education. I hope to find a sponser for my 11 year project in developing a not- for- profit kids performance art center. ( I don’t know if you saw the youtube link) A MILLION-GABILLION thank yous for creating this blog and finding me. You write beutifully.

  8. Really enjoyed reading..I appreciate your sensitivity and your hang for choosing the right words to describe them. We always tend to overlook the small,simple yet wonderful things in life and chase, blinded, behind these huge beastly bulldozers. I am an architecture student and 4 and a half years ago, my parents insisted on perusing engineering too. Against their wishes and after throwing in a lot of tantrums, I am finally here where I am..in the field I always wanted and I am in love with it..
    But I realised one thing, at 18 you are too young to decide..too young to even know who you are. So whatever career path you take up, be it the one you wanted or the one your parents had pushed you into, you would in the end find your love..your heart will give the call..all you need is patience and courage to follow it.
    Hence, never regret things behind you..because these things shaped you and brought the real you from within.
    Now I am almost done with my bachelor and planning to take up my photography and travelling..something I really want to do..I do not know how..lets see:)
    Anyways thank you for stopping by my blog..I am looking forward to more of your posts:)..cheers

  9. Pingback: Why Blogging has become My Life! | Tanushree Srivastava

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