It was my friend Kumar’s birthday and I had to board a train on 2nd December 2007. I boarded a train to Itarsi a city in the state of Madhya Pradesh. I took another passenger from there to reach Narsingpur. In this passenger train which goes to Bina I met a very interesting old man. I could say he would be very helping to any person around him. You will soon know why I mentioned that he’s helping.
Well I was in the general compartment of this passenger train. As it was the first time I was going to Narsingpur I enquired the guy sitting besides me about the time I could reach my destination. He just said he never went to Narsingpur either so he didn’t know and interestingly the old man replied (though I didn’t question or bother him) that it take around 2 to 3 hours. After a while I was getting bored it was around 4:40 pm on a cloudy day. So I took out a book at started to write down something. The old man bought an afternoon newspaper and was going though it. When he was done without a word, he held his newspaper before my eyes. I was startled. He noticed the question mark on my face and said” You can read this, to pass away boredom. Of course, after you are done with your writing.” I immediately responded” Well I can do that later. Thanx for the paper.” The train moved on some guyz got down at different stations. I moved closer to the old man returned his paper and sat there.
I was watching the fields out of the window. It was clear after sometime that now boredom has struck the old man. I could say that as he wanted to talk to me. And he began by asking “Is this the first time you are here.” I said “Yes.” and the conversation went on. At one point of time when he knew that I was doing my B.Tech he started to narrate to me the story of a young boy who wanted to be an engineer during 1960s and how this man had helped him. The narration goes as follows…
The old man started “I have a nephew. He’s brother’s son. My brother wanted him to quit studies after tenth and wanted him to work as he was unable to meet all the needs of the family. I was working in Indian Railways as a gaurd The boy came up to me and asked me t provide a job. I could get him a job of train driver or a guard easily or even a ticket checker. He wrote the required exams got qualified had an interview, got though it. Just before the day he was about to join the duty and leave our town. The my nephew came to me and burst into tears. I enquired what was bothering him. He just stayed silent. I told him that he was old enough to go by himself and he shouldn’t have any homesick. He replied stating it wasn’t homesick. I demanded to know what was wrong. He just told me that he always dreamt of doing Engineering, and now dream is shattered. I knew the boy was upset he only wanted to work because my brother insisted him to do so. The boy was very good in science and mathematics I thought for a while and gave him an option if you are really willing to study hard I shall sell myself but make you an engineer. I could see the sparkle in his eyes but they vanished after a while. He was in doubt would it be really possible.
I just tore his offer letter and took him to a gentleman from Punjab who runs a polytechnic college in our town and with got him admitted in polytechnic college paid his fee. Then with the help of the same man I joined my nephew into an Engineering college. Now he is a working with the electricity department of the government. He often calls me up to know if I need any help, but I tell him “Son, right now I am living very happily but one day I will need you. On that day I will definitely ask you to help me.”
I said “Wonderful. You did a very good thing. You gave him life.” Well the talks continued. Now the train was getting closer to the old man’s destination. I wanted to make friends with the old man I took his phone number. The old man assured me if he ever comes to Narsingpur during my stay, we would have tea together. It never happened as I stayed there only for 2 days. Also I tried calling the man, he identified himself to be B.G. Aggarwal, but got an ‘error in connection’ or ‘number not in use’ message. May be I noted it wrongly. Anyway, I had a great time with him.