August 23, 2007

Life is no Fairy tale

Imagine this:

You live with your family, in a remote village, under the shadow of a great mountain. The nearest town is on the other side of the mountain and you have to go around the mountain to get to the town. Your spouse is injured, and you have to take him/her to the hospital in a rush, but the huge mountain blocks your way. "Go around me!" it says. What do you do?

Dashrath Manjhi, a man from Bihar, faced a similar situation almost forty years back. His wife had fallen off a cliff and hurt herself while getting food for him, and Manjhi had to take her to the hospital. He took her around the mountain but decided that after this he was going to tear the mountain apart - with bare hands if need be. But, our Manjhi was no Hercules, nor was he a man with many resources. In fact, he was a landless man with the responsibility of a family on his shoulders. Yet, he had made his decision - the mountain had to go.

He sold his goats to buy chisels and a hammer and set to work. Many thought him mad, and even his family tries to persuade him to give up his task, which seemed to be an impossible one. But, Manjhi was not to be moved. He kept on working at the mountain. The mountain, meanwhile, stood there scorning the little man who was trying to work a way through him.

Soon, Manjhi had to face a huge tragedy in the form of his wife's death. "She died of illness. We could not take her to a hospital on time," said Manjhi. But, rather than be dejected and give up his plan, Manjhi's resolve to make a way through the mountain was further strengthened. He loved his wife very much and he would not let his wife's death be in vain.

In 1988, almost twenty two years after he had started, Manjhi had carved a 16 feet wide and 1.5 Km long road through the mountain using only his chisels and hammer. Everyone who had laughed at him, and made fun of him, was using his road now. Manjhi, who had sometimes not even bothered to eat when he was working, had become a legend. Children were told stories of the man who had successfully broken down a mountain. With Faith and Love one can achieve great things, and Manjhi showed us that with his example.

But, life is no fairy-tale where everyone gets to live happily ever after. Manjhi died of cancer, at the age of 78, at AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) on August 17th, 2007. And it is said that he died a disappointed man, because it was his dream to see the road, his road, metalled and made vehicle worthy. The Government has made promises of doing that, and even of opening a hospital in the village, but till now no action has been taken. Hopefully, all that changes soon.


Lucky Lady said...

enjoyed reading that very much sometimes i get so into the stories i hope other people read them seems they all have a message for us

Rohit said...

Nice work by Dashrath and author as well!

Inspiring event...

Both circumstances and your environment are responsile for your Determination...

Sandy Carlson said...

That's a powerful story of love and determination. Wow.

PS I just read your BYB post about trying to do an audiopost. Have you ever tried They offer a simple, straightforward way to do this. It's free and reliable. I recommend it.

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