In remembrance of Ishwar kaka, several friends did random acts of cleanliness. Here Netika Raval Shares a beautiful aha moment:
On Dec 26th , my sister and I went to a local homeless shelter called “Someone Cares.” Since we were on an enthusiasm high, we reached earlier than we were needed and ended sweeping the parking lot, walkway etc and clearing the old leaves. Yes, good folks, we went armed with brooms
Once the volunteering shifts started we were pulled into the kitchen to peel, chop, sizzle, cook and bask in the camaraderie of fellow volunteers. Soon enough I saw an old tall man with the cleaning supplies headed to the restrooms and I chased after him. Stopping him with a smile, I said, PLEASE may I clean the toilets? He looked dumfounded and said no, no, no – I usually clean the toilets. I go on “I know. But today, if you would be so kind, let me clean the toilets.” And he again looks confused and says but that is what he does, cleans toilets. Anyhow – this goes on for some time. The kitchen gets silent and everyone stares. You can imagine the expressions on everyone’s face – never had they seen two people WANTING, almost VYING to clean toilets! Then I tell him my reason for wanting to clean the toilets and talk about Ishwar kaka. He listens first with barely sustained interest. Then as I share more about Ishwar Kaka’s life he bends lower to listen more carefully, his eyes attentive, a smile on his lips. When I finish, he says he has a reason too – and proceeds to tell me his story. He was homeless for sometime in his life and this was the shelter he used to come in those days. So, many years later, he still comes to clean toilets – because he remembers that he could get by with food that strangers kindly gave him, but there were very few places that he could go to relieve himself in dignity without the cops arresting him. We paused. We looked at each other. We both decided to clean the toilets – he did the gents and I did the ladies.
Next Dec 26th, I will have two reasons for cleaning up – Ishwar Kaka and Bob.