We are just halfway through March and the temperature in Trivandrum is already a blistering 35 degree centigrade. Predictions are that in the next few weeks it might even go as high as 38-40 degree centigrade. Quite tiring for anyone living in the capital city.
So you can imagine if you shopping at Chalai with the sun busy over your heads. Or even worse if you are one of the traders or laborers working in the market or an aged man caught in the heat of the mid-day sales (or mid-day sun). Dehydration, tiredness, sweat, anger, what not. Imagine it’s noon in Chalai. The roads are dusty and busy. Sales and screams continue ceaselessly. The heat is relentless. Everyone is tired and down. Well, almost.
Now, what if someone offers you a cool drink or badam milk? Here come the Chalai Brothers - a group of ordinary people doing this noble deed for free. For the past one year, they have been providing juice/ water free of cost to everyone coming to the market from noon to 2 p.m. Mostly, they do this three days a week- Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. One day it is mooru/sambharam, next day cool drinks, another day badam-milk or pista-shake. About 700-1000 cups every day. “Daily expense comes around Rs.1,300, and the 10 of us share this expense equally among us. Once in a while some kind-hearted customers give us small amounts to help us with this”- said one of the Brothers.
Chalai Brothers at work
The Chalai Brothers are unwilling to reveal their
identities. “We are not doing this for any
publicity or profit, but to serve the ordinary man in small ways
possible to us. But we wish other people out there in another parts of
the city would come forward with something like this and serve the common
people, then our city can be a much better place”- said another member
of this wonderful brotherhood.
And the lucky ones
“The rich and young people of this generation are only concerned about their fortunes, they are not concerned about the lives of others- their fellow human beings. There are so many ways in which they can help others, not necessarily very big things, but even a small deed like this. And they can help bring a smile to the faces of many,”- expresses another member of this group.
Happily smiling and thankful are the ones who get their share of badam milk . The sad kids are smiling again, the tired sellers are energetic again, the general mood is happy again. This is not an apparition, this is an everyday picture you get to see at the Chalai market- thanks to the ‘Chalai Brothers’.
You don’t have to be a keen observer of the subtle nuances of your fellowman to understand their problems, just have an open mind and an open eye. There are so many worthwhile and interesting things happening out there. And through subtle deeds of kindness, we can bring smiles to many lives out there. Have a go, create more smiles. Follow the noble elixir from the Chalai Brothers !
- by Ashish Paul