Meeting An Everyday Hero
--by neha.phukan, posted Dec 26, 2015
Last night my husband and me were taking a post-dinner stroll in a nearby parking lot, when we saw a man bent over on the ground, crushing something with a rock. He was completely focused on his task and didn't look up at anyone passing by. We kept noticing him as we took rounds of the parking lot and speculated between ourselves what he could be doing. I thought he was crushing stones to make sand, but why would he do that?
Finally we decided to go up and speak to him. He was crushing pieces of left over bread that he collects from all his room mates to make feed for the birds that come there early morning. The large pieces of Indian bread would be difficult for the birds to eat so he crushes them into a fine powder. He's been doing this every night, by himself, for the last 3-4 years. What moved us more was that he was surprised we were even taking an interest in this, since for him it wasn't a big deal. Every night, after reaching his bachelor accommodation from his job as a tailor, he goes around the villa collecting left over bread from all his housemates. He then eats a quick meal and comes here, and spends the next 1-2 hours, meticulously crushing each piece and makes a neat pile for the birds, which he says will be gone by next evening. He also leaves fresh water and adds millet on top of the pile, which he buys every month from his wages.
When we asked him what motivates him to do this simple, small but committed act of service, he shrugged his shoulders and with a down-to-earth sincerity said, "It's just something small i do; so that the left over bread doesn't go into the trash and the birds get food." We shared his story with the hope that it reminds us to be as mindful of leftovers too and perhaps it might inspire someone to start something similar in their own area.
His name's Tariq and he's from Gujranwala, Pakistan. :)