This is an inspiring story of worker, who worked on daily wage basis, his name was Ismail. The story dates back in late 1980’s, when my Guruji was serving at the school managed by Vadtal.
Ismail worked there as a daily wager. But he was very honest in his work. Guruji often said, that no matter when you go to keep a check on him, he was constantly working. He never took unnecessary breaks. He was very honest and sincere in his work. He was a Muslim, yet he used to come to temple for Darshan. He didn’t enter the temple saying he wanted to maintain the purity of the premises, but he came for Darshan without fail, and only then he’d begin his work.
One day, he tied his handkerchief on his head and was working. Guruji went To see him, and asked what’s the matter? And why this handkerchief?
He replied, “What do I do Guruji? I have a severe headache, it seems it will burst open!”
Guruji replied, “Why don’t you take a break today? Come back tomorrow when you feel better!”
Poor Ismail became sad and said, “If I don’t work now, what will I eat? I earn during the day and with that money my family is supported.”
Guruji said, “Don’t worry, I’ll at you today’s wage, go home and take rest.” He said, “How can I take money without working. I have to work for taking money from you.”
Then Guruji said, “Take rest here for sometime, and if you don’t take money it is fine, take some food from here, but don’t push yourself too hard or else you’ll encounter some bigger illness.” He agreed and slept for an hour or so, but again he began to work. Guruji paid him and also gave him food, but with that he was so pleased with the man’s honesty that he blessed him and prayed to God in his heart may this man be like is forever, honest and sincere.
One there were wastage roofs sheets kept in the school, and he wanted it. So he asked Guruji how much for those sheets. Guruji was surprised to known that he didn’t have a roof on his hut. So Guruji said take it for free, it is waste and we don’t use it anyway. He said no, say some price for it, I’ll pay with my wages. Guruji then said, just pay one rupee each, just because you want to. He was so happy that he paid 10 rupees and said make good food for all the saints here!
He used to return every penny he found fallen down but never entered the prayer hall, but he used to come everyday for Darshan.
When he used work and my Guruji was free too, he used to narrate the stories of Muslim devotees of Lord Swaminarayan from a book called ‘Adarsh Bhaktagatha’ or ‘Stories of ideal devotees’. It is a wonderful Gujarati book, must read for all.
He used to like those stories and used to ask, will Lord Swaminarayan come to take me when I die? Will you come too with him? Guruji used to smile and say, keep doing the good work and always remember him, he is always with you.
He worked on daily wages, but he has forever made a place in my Guruji’s heart. Even I am inspired from his story. In such a world where people want easy money and will go to any extent to gain that money, there is this guy who has simple yet rock solid principles. How will God be away from such people? He may not have much money, but God has given him something which even the rich seldom have, peace and satisfaction.
Even we should take a step back and think of ourselves, are we honest and sincere in our work? Do we work enough to our pay? If not, we must start being honest. We are paid for working and not sitting idle. Let’s all be a good example for our future generations and our fellow partners.