There is probably no greater truth than when people say books are a person's best friend and if one is content with what life has given them, they can be the truly happiest. A humble bookseller in Mumbai seems to embody the concept as a time when the world is going through an unprecedented crisis amid a pandemic and many people have been hit financially, this roadside bookseller seems to have sailed through the crisis with just faith and his love for the written word.
Rakesh, who sells books in Andheri at a makeshift roadside stall, loans second hand books at Rs 10 only. But amid all the economic and health crisis that has affected everyone, Rakesh seems to have found a novel way to overcome all of it, his love for books. He loans them and sits there everyday without any complaints, reading. He is happy to loan the books to anyone at the meagre amount but just wants them to return it once they have finished reading so that others can then borrow them next.
Rakesh's story was shared on Twitter by IAS Officer Awanish Sharan who expressed how he was in awe of the humble man's grit and determination in the face of adversity.
राकेश मुम्बई के अंधेरी में सेकंड हैंड पुस्तकों की एक छोटी सी दुकान चलाते हैं, जहां से आप 10/- रुपए में कोई भी पुस्तक किराये पर ले सकते हैं. राकेश ने कहा कि लोग पैसे इसलिए कमाते हैं ताकि वो अपने शौक पूरे कर सकें. मुझे पढ़ने का शौक़ है और वो बिना पैसे खर्च किये ही पूरा हो रहा है. pic.twitter.com/VH3v0IydVZ— Awanish Sharan (@AwanishSharan) November 29, 2020
According to Sharan, Rakesh says he has no qualms in life and is content because he has everything he needs in life, the books. He says that people earn money so they can indulge in what they love but for him he already is surrounded by the only thing he loves all the time, his books and that is his only happiness.
During the lockdown, Rakesh was reportedly offered help by many, considering his situation. But he has politely turned them down, because according to him, the good samaritans should rather help someone who needs them. He says he has food, a roof over his head and thus he is in a better position than many others who do not have either of the two.
Rakesh is also a specially-abled man as he doesn't have a left arm. But that has in no way diminished his love for life and enthusiasm to live. He spends the whole day reading whatever books he has on different subjects and is content with that.
Twitter users applauded Rakesh' survival instincts:
गजब !! किताबों से जुड़ा व्यक्ति, निः शब्द !!— 🇮🇳बेरोजगार विनय 🇮🇳 (@vinaydu1221994) November 29, 2020
Books are the Best friends like no demands no complains. Even whatever knowledge they contain they give it to us. Only giving without any expectation in return. Only Books can do.— shashikant shukla (@shashikantshuk1) November 29, 2020
आख़िरकार शौ़क़ बड़ी चीज़ है।लोगों की शौक़ कभी खत्म नहीं होती और जिस व्यक्ति ने अपना शौक़ पूरी कर ओ दुनियां जीत ली।।— Roнιт Pαɴdey (@95rohitpandey) November 29, 2020
Salute to this warrior 🙏🙏🙏.. is an example for so-called people who think of making money by implicating people— Fighter_MyNation (@MyNation16) November 29, 2020
We wish his admiration for life and his favourite books stay intact always.