Do you have to be a rich person or the one in a high position to be of help to others ? Not necessarily , I would say.Most of the time , it is persons with limited means and not too exalted a position who have mattered to me a lot , or rather compelled me to deliberate about human goodness.
In the year 1986 on completion of last leg of probation- cum- training at Ghumarwin, I received my posting orders for Pooh in the tribal District Kinnaur. I was expecting my orders in March'87, but got the same four months earlier in November. Prakash, who assisted me as my Reader at Ghumarwin was nice enough to give me a reference – his younger brother, Chiranji , a chowkidar in PWD Rest House , Pooh- in case I had any difficulty. After spending my joining time at Shimla, I headed for Pooh on 26th November, with my wife, my seven month old daughter , and of course my father in law who volunteered to accompany us for good reason - to reach my destination on the morning of 29th facing many hard ships in the way . It had already snowed once in that area , so neeedless to say it was very cold. To add to my misery , I had to stay in the PWD rest house , a couple of weeks , as my predecessor would vacate the earmarked official accommodation only after his son had taken the annual exam in the local School. One day my daughter fell sick with fever and had to be taken to the Army hospital for checkup and medicines . The room in the PWD Rest house was so cold that the heater was also of not much use, besides power supply was not regular and would play hide and seek. Seeing our plight , especially the illness of my daughter , Chiranji, the Chowkidar offered us his room to stay, which had a provision of steam coal Bukhari to keep warm.For days together we slept in his room , and he would stay elsewhere. Not only this,during my entire stay of a little less than three years Chiranji was also accommodating enough when some visitors came unannounced, without proper booking or permit.
Again, the same Chiranji happened to be the Chowkidar at Circuit House , Bilaspur, when I went there on posting in 1995. Again, I was forced to stay in the Circuit House for a few days, and again he was very nice to us . Meeting him again, was an opportunity to relive our memories of Pooh, and also express our gratitude again to Chiranji, the good Samaritan.