Drives. Part – II

Read Part – I here

Its morning. Meenakshi temple at Madurai. We stand outside in the queue. There is a puja on, inside. And we are in the queue. And i watch this man, with a giant ‘fan’ made of peacock feathers.

With one sweeping movement of his old frail hands holding the giant fan, he directs some still air onto sweat drenched devotees.

Young. Old. Rich. Poor. Everybody. For a brief, a very brief moment, are comforted with that muscle powered gust. And i watch. As i have been watching him ever since i was a small kid.

His frail frame gives away the fact that he has kept at ‘fanning’ for a long time. And he keeps at it. Even when nobody was watching. Even when nobody specifically asked for it. His body is frailer. The man himself has become older. The fan, though, with peacock feathers et al is the same.

What must drive the likes of this old man? I don’t know. He doesn’t give a clue.

Its another morning. Madurai. And i walk by this sugarcane juice machine. Its too early for the familiar sugarcane juice vendor. But he will be in. Soon.

To stow in the sugarcane, and give that wheel a strong twist, arching every sinew and causing his biceps to bulge. And of course, some there would be some fresh juice for thirsty throats ! My brother has been a regular here. For 20 plus years.

Ever since the price of sugarcane juice was Re. 1/-. In 20 odd years, the price of sugarcane juice has moved by all of 6 rupees. And the chap is still at it. At the same roadside. Sugarcane. With the same Wheel. And all.

He gives you a good glass full. His glasses are clean. He does not overcharge. He adds that dash of ginger and cuts open those giant ice cubes. To be just right for the juice that you are drinking. Every single time, with a perfection of a 6 sigma factory ! For 20 plus years. Modern day corporate world will dub him strange names.

Thats immaterial. For he is a happy man.

What is material to this post is this : What drives this man? I don’t know. The wheel doesn’t give a clue.

And then these last lines on the memorial rush back to the mind. ‘his love of justice and his kindly heart endeared him to all classes of the community. and thus he bore without abuse, the grand old name of Gentleman’.

There is an elegance in a pioneers work. And theres another elegance in the lives of ordinary men and women. Who go about living this ‘one life’.

And i think. Of that giant peacock fan. And that wheel. And wonder. About life. People. Men. And their drives.

13 thoughts on “Drives. Part – II

  1. I guess some people are driven by the wish to ‘serve’ their countrymen (and by ‘serve’, I do not mean it in a disparaging way). For some people, the act is its own reward. Wish there were more people like that!

    On a total aside (and not meaning any disrespect to honest sugarcane juice vendors), I remember waiting to get ganna juice in Kolkata and being told by my friend that the huge blocks of ice the vendors got were from the mortuary. We drank the juice after that anyway!

  2. Aleta says:

    And there is elegance in appreciating the simple lives and joy of those lives. You captured beautiful moments and shared them, thank you. We don’t have to have the best and the most powerful and the most advanced ~ to be happy. Life is like that.

  3. Lou says:

    I liked this post a lot! You are really musing on life and all it’s mysteries;)

  4. Ashokkumar says:

    Excellent thoughts are captured are presented well with suitable pictures and words. Keep writing

  5. Kumaran says:

    It is about what people choose as their path. I guess if they make a conscious choice then it becomes natural part on one’s self. In reality every path/aim however big can become neglible if the scale is increased. Check this post to understand what I mean

  6. ****Its written,
    but those in Sigma-6,
    obsessed with returns,
    brush it aside….

    Nishkaam Karma,
    The proud fanning
    of devotees,
    the biceps dazzle
    in spiritual strength…..
    Day after day,
    As the wheel turns,
    he quenches
    the throats,
    parched with hope
    and nostalgia,
    a scratch of ginger,
    few drops of lemon,
    And they are ready to face,
    Another Day,
    with no expectations of any
    of their labour….
    Their own puja
    to the One Up There…..

    ****in the Bhagwad Gita

  7. Swatantra says:

    Amazing!! It is beautiful written!! What drives, even i dont know but i am happy to see the faces around me who are happy, content and bring a positive attitude towards life..

    Great post!! Well written!!

  8. manju says:

    Lovely post, Kavi- as was your earlier one, too.

    What drives a person? Wish I knew. But people seem to be happy and satisfied when they do their jobs to the best of their ability. Doesn’t matter whether the job is an ‘important’ one or not!

  9. Jeevan says:

    Sometime we have to accept what life provides, with no second chance. And if they have come across either better way than the current, there life would have changed. People who admire what they do, keep flowing unless their mind change.

  10. Suma says:

    lovely post as always..have been reading all of them but rarely comment. i always feel that i have nothing to add, i always take from here.

    what drives people? tough question many answers. and i’m not sure i know all of them

  11. Kavi says:

    Roshini : I guess that type of people are a minority ! But would be good to have more of them !

    Aleta : Well said ! And yes. Life is like that !

    Lou : Thank you ! Appreciate you finding the time to be here in the midst of some heady schedules

    Ashok Kumar : Welcome here. And thanks for the generous words !

    Kumaran : Sure. I perfectly get what you mean. People sometimes make that choice. At other times go by the least common problem choice..Yet it all boils down to choice

    Ugich Konitari : Indeed fitting that a new blog has been opened to house such poetic elegance !

    Another Day,
    with no expectations of any
    of their labour….
    Their own puja
    to the One Up There…..

    Many times, thats what drives !

    Swatantra : Thank you ! Glad you liked it !

    Manju : Thank you ! And yes, there has to be ‘liking’ Thats the starting point ! I wonder how many people are yoked to things that they would rather not be doing…7 hope for things to change !

    Jeevan : Sometimes we need to accept. At other times, we need to fight on !


    Suma : Thanks for pausing by ! And yes, am not sure who know all the answers !

  12. Lovely post. And loved the sugarcane press photo. BTW, your photographic eye is really good enough for a second job as a press photographer.

  13. Dheepa says:

    Lovely! I know this man in Meenakshi temple. He stands I think after the main Meenakshi sannathi before going out from the side.Coincidentally I have a picture with him too!
    The sugarcane wheel too! They are happy, contented, beautiful beings who know how to live their one life WELL!Its even obvious when u look at their faces!:)I always say that! ‘Perfection of a Sigma factory’! U bet!

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