On a day when Indira Nooyi, head of Pepsi, was in the news with her frank comments on women and career (though it's not the first time she said this), I was thinking of many unsung heroes that we see every day. We not only ignore them but also miss out on opportunities to learn from them. Couple of incidents come to my memory. A friend was admitted in a state-run hospital recently, and the patient next to him was a frail looking mother of four children. She has been in hospital for more than three months. She was so weak that someone has to help her to do the basic stuff. My friend was saying the couple from Bihar were probably from a very poor background, "The way the husband took care of his wife was amazing. He fed her with great patience, and took care of her needs. Probably my mom would have taken care of me like that."
Pretty much sure the family would have slipped back into poverty with this illness though the treatment in a state-run hospital is almost free with negligible fees (Rs 375 (around $ 7) for 10 days. It's also a sad commentary on the state of affairs in our country, where a poor has to travel 1,000 kilometers to get treated in a better hospital.
The second example is of my friend who take care of his terminally ill dad. My friend had few other siblings and was clearly under-achiever in terms of job or money earned. But of all the siblings, my friend shifted his job from a metro to a small city with a lower pay, and made every effort to get his dad treated even when doctors said there is no hope. At home, he would do everything for his dad, who was not able to move.
We glorify and applaud whatever the successful say, and there is nothing wrong in that. However, there are vital life lessons that one can learn from the least successful amongst us who sacrifice immensely to shower their love to people around them.
In my book, the poor husband from Bihar and my friend who took care of his terminally ill dad occupy a pride of place. I am sure, in fact more than 100% confident, that when my friend's dad passed away he would have been a happy man to see one of his siblings reciprocating his unconditional love even though he couldn't talk or express otherwise.