In this world, it is often difficult to keep your head above water even if you are just looking out for yourself. If you have a family to take care of and provide for as well, that pressure can be extremely stressful.
I have a friend, I’ll call him by the alias Aarav since he is a proud man, who relayed a story to me recently. He told me this in confidence, but I feel it is a story that should be shared with others. If you have ever doubted which way the human race is headed currently, this should give you a good feeling inside.
Aarav does anything possible to put a roof over his family’s head and food on their table. He has a wife and two young children whom he adores. His schedule is always a bit hectic because he wants to provide his family with the best he can.
One of Aarav’s jobs is to clean apartments at the Delhi Capital Region in India. One of his clients, Anil Chaturvedi, is a banker who has an apartment there for when he and his wife are visiting. They are always very pleased with how well Aarav cleans their place, so they always contact him when they need it completed.
While many people treat people who provide services to them as strangers, Chaturvedi became a sort of mentor to Aarav. They bonded even though their lives could not be more different, with Chaturvedi a successful banker for the last four decades and Aarav struggling to support his family financially.
Aarav talked to Chaturvedi about how hard he works every day. He begins his day at five in the morning to clean his neighbors’ cars and is still laboring on the vehicles five hours later. Next, Aarav cleans a local cafeteria and serves tea there until six at night. After that, he cleans offices after which he finally returns home at 9 p.m. All these jobs together bring Aarav about $190 a month. The average cost for a one bedroom, one-bathroom apartment in Gurgaon is about $200 on average. His wife cooks and cleans at one of the wealthier resident’s home for another $150 a month as well. So, as a family, their net income is just under $350 a month.
It is incredible to think that a whole family can survive on this amount, but Aarav and his wife found ways to do so. Each dollar every month was accounted for without any extras. When emergencies came up, the family was not prepared for them. And that’s when things turned worse for my friend Aarav. While on leave for a few days, his job of cleaning the cafeteria and the offices was eliminated. All he had left was washing his neighbors’ cars, and that alone made it nearly impossible to feed and house his family.
Aarav told Chaturvedi that six months later, the employer that let him go said he found another job Aarav could do. However, the job was over three miles away, and his only mode of transportation, an old bicycle, was broken. He asked if Chaturvedi could loan him about $30 so that he could get his bike repaired. While $30 does not seem like much, it certainly is a substantial amount when you are barely making it by every month.
This was when Aarav’s friend Chaturvedi went above and beyond. He told him he would not loan him the $30. Instead, he would give him 20,000 rupees ($300) for a brand-new bicycle. Aarav was very thankful for such an offer, for the first time in his life, Aarav was riding a new bike. You know how some people take such pride in their new fancy car and always have it gleaming? This is what Aarav was like with his new bicycle.
Aarav was able to start in new job that was over three miles away, but it was only paying him a little over $100 a month. Still, he felt blessed that he had work to do and a friend like Chaturvedi had supported him.
It was another six months before Chaturvedi came back into town. When he arrived, he was worried about how Aarav appeared. He did not look well at all. He had lost weight and looked physically exhausted. Aarav told him that he was having stomach issues. After asking Aarav about it, Chaturvedi found out why.
It had been a very hot Indian summer, and Aarav’s didn’t have a refrigerator. His family was unable to refrigerate food and milk. The food and milk would often spoil, but the family would continue to eat it because that was all they had. In doing so, they were getting sick. It was not a good situation to be in.
Chaturvedi decided to help out, and promptly took Aarav to a store and purchased a new refrigerator for him. The new refrigerator cost about 14,000 rupees ($200) and Chaturvedi asked for nothing in return. Of course, Aarav’s entire family was extremely thankful, it had made a huge change in their lives overnight. To think of how Chaturvedi did all this for Aarav and his family is a heartwarming thing and should remind us all what good there is in the world.
If more people would help other families that are struggling without expecting anything back in return, the world would be a much better place. As humans, we have to remember to take time out of our busy lives to give assistance to those in need. By doing that, before we know it, there could be a little bit of paradise on Earth.