It was a rainy day in Adyar, a posh locality in Chennai with a lot of trees. One could see coconut trees standing tall along with the other trees. I heard a man’s voice shouting, asking if anyone wanted the coconuts on their trees plucked. A few landlords came out and asked him to reach the next day. It was around noon, and the clouds indicated that heavy rain was on the cards by this time. The man murmured, saying that he had no earnings that day and would have to return the following day.
He turned up the next day and got a few orders. The trees were wet and slippery, and he climbed five trees in 3 hours, risking his life. When he finished, he asked for his wages (Rs100/- per tree), and the owners started bargaining and gave him Rs400/-. By this time, I had reached the entrance gate, and I could see he was taking his cycle back. I asked about his wellbeing, and he told me: “Sir, I must cycle 15km every day to reach the city for doing this work. Unless I earn a good amount, I cannot feed my family. Due to rain, I had no earnings yesterday; today, I climbed five trees but was paid only for four. It is a very risky job. I can support my family only If I am in good health and alive!!”
Moved by his plight, I gave him Rs100. He wished me with a smile and told me he was surprised to receive the cash.
Hard work and courage, kind words and gratitude bring smile and happiness.