A one man enterprise: 75 year old Sayaji Rao a lean and sinewy man is a regular feature in our society. Always attired in a simple dress sporting a traditional Gandhi cap he goes around different societies on his bicycle. His job is to sharpen household knives, tools and garden implements with a grinding wheel mounted firmly on his trusted bicycle. The charges are meagre and customers never ever need to haggle as house wives know him to be a principled and honest man. Sayaji earns just enough for his daily needs and maybe a little more.
I once asked him why doesn’t he retire and live with his sons. He replied that till he has strength in his limbs he will continue to work as that’s what keeps him healthy – no medicines no hospitals. He sleeps well and is always content with his lot.
‘To labour is to pray’ ~ Motto of the Benedictines
This one man enterprise makes us believe that a man can lead a life in peace and harmony with few wants. Yet we have scores of examples of great companies going bankrupt due to their CEO’s becoming victims of greed and avarice and were even put behind bars. Not only were these top executives shamed but thousands of their employees became jobless overnight and their innocent families suffered too.
‘There is a sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed’ ~ Mahatma Gandhi
A lovely comment from a guest is reproduced as a postscript:
I had an ‘encounter’ with Sayaji today as I needed to have some knives sharpened.
I watched him work on his wheel, fitted on his cycle. What dedication & expertise.
A simple soul with a profound message for humanity. RLS