Some stories need to be told. This is one of them.
This happened during our ride from Kanyakumari to Khardung La. We were riding in interior Madhya Pradesh that day. It had been an uneventful morning. The rain Gods had been merciful on us. It had been pouring thunderously past noon, everyday. So we had decided to cover good distance before the onslaught of showers would slow us down.
Madhya Pradesh before rains, and in summer is a land of dry arid plains. You can see the horizon, plain and clear, as long as your eyes can see.
After a good 4 hours of riding, we stopped at a nondescript village, in a not so crowded dhaba for lunch. We had our staple food - Roti and Dal. No reinventing of the wheel there.
After lunch, we had our tea and just when we were about to leave, a man walks up to me and mumbles something. I am not sure what he asked for, but since I had a cigarette in the hand - I assumed he was asking for it.
I was about to give him a smoke and the owner of the dhaba, who was serving us himself till then and had appeared to be a man of few words, appears and tells me that he will not take it.
When I told him he mentioned something to me - he said - 'Saab, he keeps mumbling something in Tamil'.
I was taken aback. 'Tamil??' I reconfirmed.
He then proceeded to tell the man's story. They do not know his name yet. Somewhere close to their dhaba, exactly 5 years ago, this man was beaten black and blue and thrown out of a moving car. The dhaba owner says he was unsure if they were the man's relatives or some criminals.
Anyways the car had fled the scene, leaving this Tamil man behind, on the road badly injured.
They took him to a nearby hospital, got his treatment done, that stretched over couple of weeks. They also discovered that he had an injury to the head, which had made him lose his mind.
They have allowed him to stay with them for more than 5 years now.
The dhaba owner further mentioned ' we do not give him left over food or anything. Whatever food gets cooked for us, the same is shared with him. Every once in a month, we give him some liquor and he is more than happy to have that too.'
When I asked him if he needed any financial help, he refused and said he can manage in the money he makes and felt it would not be right to ask for money that he did not need, even if it was for a good cause.
I could not believe my ears. I just thanked the dhaba owner for this selfless act and continued my ride a happier person.