One Who Scattered Wealth
My middle sister’s husband Meghraj had a sister named Pushpa. She lived in Amritsar with her husband and family. In 1964 she died in childbirth at age 37. This is her true story.
She was pregnant with her 5th child, some complications developed, they got worse, and the doctors in the biggest hospital in the City of Amritsar were unable to save neither her nor her baby. Many relatives came to her funeral. An unusually large number of neighbors had come, especially the poor of the area.
Eyes of most people were wet. One young man was crying bitterly as if his own mother had died. Meghraj ji was curious. He went to the young man and asked, “You seem to feel my sister’s death very deeply, why is that?”
“Brother, how can I possibly express my grief? Your sister was like my real mother. I am an ordinary vegetable seller in the Bambewala Khu area. I started my business at a very young age. We were very poor then. Somehow we scraped together a few rupees and I started selling veggies placed over a gunnysack spread on the ground by the roadside. Your sister used to come to buy veggies from me even though there were many better shops nearby.”
“One day your sister asked me why I had such a meager stock to sell. She was concerned that my income from the sale must also be small. She knew I had parents and siblings to provide for and on income from my tiny stock it must be hard. She asked me why I did not bring larger stock to sell. I told her I did not have the money to buy more. She did not say anything but I could see that she was planning something in her mind. Two days later when she came to buy veggies she gave me an envelope with 100 rupees in it. In those days, for a poor man like me, this was a huge sum.”
“I was dumb struck with this windfall of generosity. From that day I began to worship her as a goddess. With bigger capital I began to expand my business. This kind lady had fired my zeal up. Partly to please her I put all my energy into the business. Sometimes I restocked my shop 3 times in a day. Soon I had enough money to rent a shop and then even to buy that property. This pleased your sister very much. At the time of returning her money I wanted to pay interest. But she refused it. Due to the generosity of your sister I am a successful businessman today and have a happy family. My regret is that I could not do anything for her when she was ill. I told the doctor to take all my blood if that would save her life, but my blood was not of the right kind.”
Pushpa’s husband had a small income from minor work in the textile market. From the money she got for buying food for the family she put aside a few paise every day. It is this money that she gave to the vegetable man. She must have helped many others in a similar manner, for this was her nature. No one ever knew because she did not tell any one.
She never gathered much to keep for herself but she knew the importance of sharing with those who had less than her. She knew that it was nobler to scatter than to hoard.
June 16, 2007