September 27, 2020

A Servant at Heart with a Heart of Gold!

He must be 14 or 15 when he joined my aunt and uncle's office.  A meek teenager from a small town from Andhra. His older cousin Pedda (Big/older) Valli joined Valli for work. From then, he never left..never looked back. He grew up as an adolescent, as an adult along with us. Got married, had kids and he still stayed. As a loyal servant sent from God. He never stopped working. He opened the office doors rain or shine.

He became an integral part of our lives.  I don’t even know where to start if I have to tell about him. Aunt accidentally fell down from the stairs and had a cast on her leg. With her mother in law hospitalized at the same time, she needed assistance at home. Like many other times, Valli had come and stayed with her the past couple of days and started tidying up the home, the cabinets, throwing away unwanted stuff. See, he is not just an office boy…he is a boy in our home. Aunt said she was going to take a nap due to headache. Valli who is never used to sitting idle for a moment, took out an iron crowbar and went out to dig something. God forbid, he hit current wires and was immediately hit by a current shock and died on the spot.

Valli, how do we even recover from your loss? What do we tell your wife and kids? You are as important to us as you are to them. Though we are here thousands of miles away, we always keep hearing your updates from your Madam. How do you think your madam and sir will go to work without you opening it? Who else can we trust as a family other than you? In the last 25 years we have known you, I haven’t seen you get upset or cry or be angry at anything or anyone. Your ever-smiling face is the only thing we remember when we talk about Valli.

Can I even count what all you did for us? If I wanted papers to be xeroxed, I look for Valli. If I want a bus ticket to travel back home, later years, if I wanted my suitcases weighed, Valli. If I needed an auto to go anywhere, Valli. You called me and my sis ‘akka’ with so much love and respect we cannot fathom why. You have been the person we could not just count on, but who we could not imagine without behind any occasion in our household. Births, marriages, festivals, deaths, house warmings…no event went by without your help.

Right from opening their office doors, making tea, setting up lunch, carrying the paper stock in the press, you were not just an office boy. You looked out for each and everyone out there. With your innocence and trustworthiness, you always kept an open eye on everyone who came in and out. You were the watch dog no security cameras could bring us. And why did you walk so much? Every day of the year irrespective of the weather. Despite giving you a bus pass, you still walked Kms and Kms.

I will cherish your smile and laugh as long as we live. I will now on learn to keep smiling irrespective of how tough life gets. Above all, the love and respect you always showed on your wife. The way you addressed her as my Mrs. when you spoke to us. The way you never let her to do any work and you did everything. I can’t imagine what the poor girl must be going through right now. Losing someone like you is irreplaceable.

Aunt is numb right now. All of us are. She said, if his mom raised him for 13-14 years, I raised him for 25 years. That just broke my heart. Who can answer that? God, I never blame you for how things are designed in this life, but why are you so cruel at times? As a family, we promise to take care yours to the best of our abilities.

Friends, in the 9 years I had my blog; I never asked or raised funds, donations for my personal causes. But today, I am openly requesting as my aunt’s business has slowed down due to the Pandemic and she still did not lay off a single staff member and paying for them half the salaries from their savings. Valli’s LIC policy which she helped him pay for the past 25 years matured recently but he used most of it to pay of his brother’s debts. He was yet to start a new policy and this tragedy happened. If anyone wants to lending a help hand to Valli’s family, please let me know. Every cent and rupee count in these tough times.

I rarely use the words 'Rest in Peace' as most of the deaths I see are quite untimely. With yours, I thank you for all you have done for our family and promise that your kids are taken care of as ours. There is no wealth in this world that could buy us a Servant sent by God.

1 comment:

  1. Sad to Know..hope you and your aunt's family recovers soon from this loss.Please do share the link for donations.