Global Pay-It-Forward?

Mar 2, 2005

Sitting on the cushions of the Gandhi Ashram is quite a feeling. Things just happen.

An old man, with a small, less-than-5-foot frame and glowing eyes, comes in and shares his art: four carefully detailed portraits of Gandhi, hand carved on plastic. He later told me it takes him 2 days to make just one of these 3x4 inch pieces.

Impressed by his art, but more so by his demeanor, I asked him if I can visit his workshop. "Oh yes, anytime," he said with a big smile. "But my house is kind of a mess, especially with a lot of animals around."

Modibhai is in dire need of financial support; yet if he sees animals in need, he keeps 'em in his house till necessary; if guests comes to his house, he greets them with abundant smiles; if someone requests a devotional art piece, he gets especially enthused. "One time, I did a piece for some Jain monks. They must've prayed to it millions of times by now," he said. "Right before I gave it, they even told me that I was going to get liberated from maya, in this birth." We both smiled.

Little by little, he wants to earn Rs. 7000 -- $200 -- to create his life's masterpiece, a life-size piece on Gandhi. He says he'll be ready in couple of years.

If someone feels like contributing something to him, Paypal me. I'm thinking of smile-carding him. (Note: please don't give more than 10-20 bucks each, because otherwise I'll become rich :)).   

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"Service doesn't start when you have something to give; it blossoms naturally when you have nothing left to take."

"Real privilege lies in knowing that you have enough."