This incident happened sometime ago on my way to Badrinath. As the evening set in, I felt tired. Spotting a place to rest, I got off the bus I was traveling in.
On an enchanting meadow, I was about to open my packed food box, when I heard someone calling, “Gentleman, why don’t you come and take your food here. It will be more comfortable for you.”
As I turned, I saw an old man waiving his hand. Soon I was in his room. He made me feel comfortable, heated my food and served me water and tea. After relaxing for some time, as I got up to take leave, he said,” You should go in the morning. Day journey will enable you to enjoy the scenic beauty. You can share this room.” I agreed gratefully.
Next morning when I got up, he was already free from his morning chores and had kept tea and hot water ready for me. I had a wonderful stay and before saying good-bye, I thanked him profusely and put some money on the table.
“Hey, what are you doing? I’m a retired professor and all my children are highly placed. I am staying here because I want to pass the twilight years of my life away from my kin.”
Then he took me to the adjoining room which gave the look of a class room with benches and tables.
“See, here I conduct coaching classes for the students of the nearby villages so that they can compete with the privileged lot for cities. Since I’ve much more money than what I need, sometimes I help the needy in their higher education.
Villagers also take care of me. The food what I served you in the night was brought from there and this is a packed food for your journey. And, thank you for giving me this wonderful opportunity.”
I didn’t know how to thank him but the kindness and love shown by him is etched on my mind. Here was a ‘karmyogi’ who was ascetic and yet always looking for an opportunity to help others without expecting anything in return.