Indian Cyclists Network

138th recipient of help (livelihood bicycle) :

“Do not let a scar tissue form on the wounds you suffer.” …. And, about male-under wear and the bra. :)

Sandeep Nirmal (23)

Dhobi (laundry services)

Sandeep is from UP and lives at Bandra west. Sandeep’s father is a dhobi too, in Mumbai. They own some quantity of land back in UP, which their joint family cultivates.

They still cultivate their own small piece of land, but unpredictable weather and lack of rain, and often debt, makes these souls leave their ancestral homes for distant foreign lands they perceive having ‘more benevolent’ skies.

When Sandeep was in school, sparse income from agriculture that could have been used for their right to education, of his siblings and himself, was utilized to fight the court case for their rights on their ancestral house and land, both which got eventually divided.

Divided unfairly, not in his family’s favor. Their relative being too powerful financially, and goon-ish, he even beat his mother to make his father bow down. His father did. :( Without a fight. :(

The saddest part, for me, and shocking, after having spent much of their savings on their lawyers’ ‘fees’, after four years they found out there is no ‘court case’ against them! The ‘fees’ they had been religiously paying, through their nose most probably, was a friggin scam!!!

Their relative, in connivance with the local Police and a ‘soulless-lawyer’, had prepared fake case-papers and had been forging all relevant court proceedings documents for over four years, to make it seem he has been attending the district court and arguing their case!, so that he (the lawyer and their relative) can continue ‘stealing’ money from Sandeep’s father in the guise of a ‘Court-case ladhne ki fees’! (Advocates’ fees to fight their court case)

However, this dishonesty, corruption, blatant theft, humiliating incident of seeing one’s own mother being beaten by a goon-relative, her husband not being able to stop it and protect his own family, this humiliating and financially-crippling defeat, submission to someone more powerful, and a goon too, at the hands of their relative may have ended that court case.

But it did not bring Sandeep and his family at the end of themselves! It was to become a new beginning, just as it often is, to a new profession, a new life, a new city of dreams - Mumbai. :)

Thanks to his hard work in Mumbai, even though Sandeep could not educate himself beyond the 8th class, because the ‘court-case’ drained their savings, being the eldest he worked with his father in Mumbai and together they have provided school, and even higher, education for his siblings.

After speaking to him, I realized, Sandeep did not let a scar tissue form on this deep wound that their mother and family suffered. Being the eldest, he soon migrated to Mumbai, at 16, and began to learn the trade of a dhobi from his father.
He regrets he could not educate himself, but he is content and satisfied that he and his father could earn substantially to educate his siblings. :) God Bless.

I may have come to believe even more firmly now, things will look up, invariably, if you yourself first do. You need to ‘look up’ to feel the Sun, or even the ‘Moonlight’, on your hopeful-face.

Take me for example, when my business failed in 1998, in spite of 11 years of relentless hard work, and pouring in additional funds, which I could borrow interest-free from my well to do father, but losing some of it over a decade, and never being even able to pay him back in his lifetime (and, only in retrospect do I realize, I just did not have the aptitude for ‘business’, so just ‘hard work’ is never enough for success) I returned to my roots. My roots being, my post-teen love for random-writing. Poems, comprehensions. And I decided to come to films. A new beginning.

Lately, last year, I even wrote the Hindi dialogues of a Walt Disney production, Million Dollar Arm.

I believe, do not let a scar tissue form on the wound you may suffer. Failure or defeat may bring your dream, your project, your aspiration, your journey to an end. But it does not have to bring you at the end of yourself! You are your own new beginning.

Sandeep, and millions of underprivileged like him, even those who do not use a bicycle for their livelihood, gain their ‘independence’ by first gaining financial independence. Same, for women. Education and a job can bring them much of the independence they crave since childhood.

At the eve of our (Indian) day of Independence, from once-upon-a-time British rule, I have some thoughts on this significant moment that is repeated every year since 1948. ‘Independence’ will, naturally, mean different things to different beings, including humans. :)

Last week, inspired by the flight of the lovely and inspiring phoenix bird (Humay) from across the border-skies, I was inspired to ponder on what independence means to me. For me, ‘Independence Day’ does not arrive only once a year; many people need to gain ‘independence’ from negative thoughts or adverse occurrences on a daily basis.

Furthermore, ‘independence’ for me does not necessarily mean 'an absolute-freedom'. For me, independence comes along ‘with reins.’ They just not rigid ones. Just like a horse is ridden best controlling the reins, for me independence would be best lived with an occasional pull and release; a rain check, now and then, on your thoughts and actions from those thoughts, depending on the circumstances, the environment, the situation, the relationship, the culture that I am present in at that moment in life.

On a lighter note, if I may, I would not take the expression “Be free” literally. If we were meant to be ‘free’ in any and every sense, male under-wear and the bra would never have been invented by mankind. ;)

That is why animals do not need them. Animals, they truly were the only ‘free’ beings. It is us humans who are forcing them, year after year, into ‘smaller and smaller cages’ - by invading their ancestral lands. Humans can migrate to foreign lands, like Sandeep did. Where will such beings, our wild life, migrate? I sadly wonder. No Independence-day for them ever.

Thank you to Parag Parekh, and Anupama and Rajeev Chibber, for buying this new bicycle for Sandeep. Even Sandeep contributed partly towards its purchase.

And thank you to Kohinoor Cycles ( Siddharth Vora ( for the good discount and service.

Our recipients of help:

(PS - Rs 3000 is what it takes to donate a new bicycle; yes, because the balance, 2000 to 2500, is contributed by the recipient. :) )

#BicycleAngels #Charity #Donors #Donation #Bicycles #Livelihood #inspiration #RakeshAnandBakshi #RakeshBakshi

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