The Unlikely Hero
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And strangely enough I found the answer on a social media site. The image of a lush orchard with a group of men standing in the middle discussing something looked rather unusual when compared to the preened and propped images that one usually encounters on social media. At first I could not even recognize him. He looked so different. Shorn of his corporate attire and in his work clothes, he was the complete anti-thesis of the dapper guy that I had met a few years back. Only the smile remained intact. Or has it grown brighter, I pondered with a hint of jealousy.
Not too long back, he had been a part of the rat race. Reveling in onsite assignments, succumbing to the 14 hour workdays and ramping up his case for the performance appraisals, he was just another anonymous face in the IT crowd. But something happened in his personal life that changed his view towards life forever. Though his family owned and maintained quite a few acres of thriving farmland and orchards, a sudden bout of illness incapacitated his aging father. Of course, they could have chosen to sell off the farms or lease it to someone else and shift the aging parents to Bangalore. But not within disturbing the equilibrium that had been maintained over the years. There were the village people who worked on the land and also lived on it. There were traders who made their living by buying their produce. It was a complete ecosystem and removing even a single link threatened to disrupt everything.
It was his call. And he could have taken the easy way out while maintaining his cushy lifestyle. But it was this decision of his which changed his life and of others too !! His old parents are happy and so are the workers/villagers who work for his farmland. They are ensured of a decent living as he has been leveraging information and technology for increasing the crop yields. Being the tech savvy guy that he has always been, he has been teaching their kids with the help of online teaching aids. It is something that they cannot access in the modest government school in their village. Though on a small scale, his efforts have made a positive difference in the lives of people around him. And with so much happening within the short span of just over an year, I am pretty sure that he will continue to drive a greater change.
His social media updates might just have gone down but everyone now looks forward to them. His bold and selfless step has become an inspiration for all who have known him!
This post is written for www.youthkiawaaz.com .