After parking my car last night it was on my mind that the extra food that I was carrying, I should be giving to someone. And right at that moment, I saw this old man with a broken abandoned-bicycle walking towards me.
While walking towards home. I stopped and took a look at him - he was covered with pieces of cloth, a plastic bag on his head to cover his head/ears from cold, plastic bag around his hands . He had even stuffed some cardboard on him to get protection from Cold.
Yet with a big Smile on his Face. In 44 deg COLD night, this man was a superstar for me.
I asked 'are you hungry' & I gave him the food I had and he was happy. He started eating in front of me and said ‘this is good, having after a lonnngg(as expressed) time’. While eating he started talking to me and mentioned - he was going south for the winter. he was walking from brewster and places in NY and in NJ now.
I asked him - where are you from - and he replied ‘we are all from same planet, right? ’.
I asked him so where do you sleep - and he said ‘I walk/cycle in the night time so it keeps me warm, and then I can sleep in the Sun in the daytime. (I was stunned by his answers).
(while he was eating) I told him to wait there. I’l be back,
I went up to my apartment - took at bag of bread i had, apples and bananas and some more food and put them in a plastic bag for the old man. As this old man was tall and big, my t-shirts/jackets wouldn’t really fit him. So I grabbed my comforter blanket(extra one i had), pair of gloves, a skull-cap. I saw an umbrella i had and i knew it was going to rain the next day.
I couldn’t just keep the umbrella thinking that I would need it for myself. I decided he needed this more than me as he’l be walking in the cold and rain.
I went down my apartment with these things. He was happy with everything i got for him. he started wearing blanket and gloves and cap and smilingly said - ‘look I am so warm now’ (And I felt the most happiness for him)
He asked me where I was from - I said I am from India from the other side of this world. (dint expect he would know India). And he said - yes I know Namaste in Hindi. and He asked if I spoke Marathi, I said - I understand it a bit. And he started singing 2-3 lines of a lullaby fluently in Marathi. (I was amazed). he said - when i was baby someone used to sing this. (wow! this just left me thinking…. An American Old man singing in a not-so-common Indian language)
Gave him some cash i had and he said - ‘I don’t need this. You have done enough. you have kept me in your heart and that is more than anything’. But still I insisted 2-3 times that you will need it later and then he said - ‘ok i’l save it’. Lastly I just gave him my hoodie that I was wearing.
All this time during the conversation the old man had a smile on face and a shine in his eyes.
I learned couple of things from him. In his own words ‘just be joyful with hope, no matter what’
What a man ! I felt he was sent by God.
Most of us are blessed with every basic needs but we are still worried about future and our desires that lead to greed etc etc. Lets give thanks to God for all the blessings, so that we can be a blessing & help His (needy) people.
PS - Sorry readers for the long Story.