Friday, 20 September 2013

A Beggar Entrepreneur

Once I came across a beggar entrepreneur. ‘Beggar entrepreneur’ is the title I have created and bestowed on him. He was a beggar with a vision of life. His vision of life was different from other beggars we usually come across. That is why I gave him the title “beggar entrepreneur’. After reading this short detailing about his vision, I hope that you too will agree with me.

I met him at one of my friends’ retail shop. My friend was running a retail shop for Air Conditioners. I was sitting in his office cabin talking about life and after life. Then came the ‘beggar entrepreneur’. My friend saw him approaching his shop through the glass window and interrupted our talk to instruct his salesman to let the beggar inside his office cabin. I was expecting a valuable customer of my friend. To my surprise there came in the beggar.

A beggar in the office of a business man was a strange idea for me. I look puzzled at my friend. I knew my friend well and was sure that there is some mystery surrounding this beggar. Otherwise he would not have called him it. My friend wanted me to meet an extraordinary beggar.

To my surprised look, my friend started explaining his strange action. This beggar was a lame fellow in his later twenties, who found it very difficult to walk. He crawled wherever the ground is tidy. In other areas of dirt and mud, he strenuously pulled his legs and moved forward. Hence his legs were dirty. He had a rather clean shirt when we relate it to other beggars. There was no expression of frustration on his face. His struggle to survive carved strange wrinkles on his face. Above all these, though faint, an amazing glow of hope made him stand out from other beggars. At the first sight itself I was assured of an extraordinary air about the beggar.

Let me describe him as my friend introduced him to me. He was a runner for the race. He was a beggar when I first saw him, but was not going to live long as a beggar. He had a vision in life. All his days are spent as a struggle to reach the success line.

As I told you already, he was lame. He could not stand upright or walk properly. So he could not take up any job like the rest of us. He had little education because his parents could not take him to school regularly. Still he knew how to count money and addition and subtraction. He could read the native language with much strain. He was aware about the political atmosphere of the state but never wasted his time for it. He had a bigger dream in life.

He was a beggar, but never stooped too low to repeated humility. He did not relate his story to everyone, but those who noticed the glow of hope in his face asked him questions which he answered truthfully. He was married and had two children. His wife served as housemaid in neighboring houses. She earned a little money in such a way. That sufficed the daily expenses.

The money he collected from begging was entrusted daily with a merchant in his village. The merchant, a truthful man attracted by the vision of life of the beggar, deposited the money for him in a local bank. This daily routine had been continuing for some years. The beggar is not sure exactly how much he had earned till then. He might have earned well. He is not alcoholic, not a smoker and not a careless man with money. He saves with pain. He lives in pain. He suffered the pain because he knew that pain would deliver a bright future.

He had a dream, a dream of a day in which he would own his own small merchant outlet in his village. He dreamed of a day in which he will be no more called a beggar, but an entrepreneur. His children would be called son and daughter of a rich merchant.

He begged to earn a capital for his future business. He saved towards the capital money of a business. He knew the truth of success: hard work and perseverance.

Professor Jacob Abraham

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