DAY 2 ON THE STREETS OF BANDRA LINKING ROAD (23rd Mar 2010, 2245 Hrs)
The summer heat is killing and on 22nd March, it was terrible…I started my day at 4 pm and much to my surprise on the Western Line (from Dadar to Bandra), I was stopped by a Ticket Checker, who objected (in anger) me requesting the passengers for their valuable donation… it was surely a bad start I must confess because people had a mixed reaction. A couple of them donated and one fine gentleman contributed Rs.100/- much to the surprise of his fellow passengers, while there was a bunch of people, who were more interested to see the box collection… one man even exclaimed to his friends – ‘Arre look, there is a cheque of Rs.1000/- too!’ Yes, you all guessed it right! He didn’t even contribute one single rupee from his side.
I had to get down at Bandra, not before one educated gentleman vociferously told me – ‘The government has waived farmers’ loan, so why are you collecting money for them?’ I explained him how our Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress scion Rahul Gandhi had confessed to the nation on various news channels that 85 paise of every single rupee never reaches to the poor farmers. Soon he became busy on his mobile and many just watched in total silence. A bad beginning ended in a wonderful response from
Linking Road’s shopkeepers, who contributed generously with 10 & 20 rupees note.
An aged Sardarji came from behind to tap my shoulder on the street and contributed Rs.5/- with his blessings…an old gentleman followed me from behind to ask about the cause and donated Rs.20/- with his blessings…a beautiful lady was surprised when I requested her for one rupee donation and said, “I can donate more also na?” When I nodded, she opened her purse to contribute Rs.50/-… such kind people who realise the seriousness of the issue touched my heart to give me strength and boundless energy to keep going. Yes, there was one elite lady in one of the shops, when she heard about one rupee donation, she seemed to be very excited and donated sheepishly her one valuable rupee. The reason I am sharing my experience with you all is to make everyone realise how beautiful our nation Bharat is… Every single rupee counts and one panwala applauded for the one rupee donation and heartily gave his contribution.
The day belonged to Raymond showroom at the extreme end of Linking Road (towards the Khar end)… the sales executives were overwhelmed and contributed generously Rs.10/ each and made every member (six) to do so… surely they touched my heart with gratitude. The small Puma showroom showed what team spirits is all about… every young sales guy & girls contributed their share along with the boss with their cute broad smile… one shopowner surprised me saying, “I will not give you one rupee.” Paused a little and then took out Rs.10/- to put in the box… Yes, there were couple of posh big shopowners, who refused to even give one rupee but I didn’t hesitated to thank them for their contribution.
For four long hours I was on the streets, hopping shop-to-shop without a single time to breathe a sigh to rest a while. I really don’t know from where all this energy is coming from? When I am on the streets, I really don’t even think anything else except requesting and thanking everyone to donate one rupee for the cause. There is someone I wish to mention specially and the gentleman taught me one beautiful lesson that I wish to share with one and all, in my next post…
Managed to raise Rs. 1320/- with the help of photographer Akshay Kulkarni, who contributed Rs.500/- for the cause…