Manjhi’s labour of love

11 May

“A teardrop on the face of eternity”….that is how someone described the Taj Mahal. For sure, for many of us, the Taj epitomizes the grandeur of romance and to those who swear by the magic of love, being together in the vicinity of that monument on a moonlit night ,is the ultimate ode to one’s romantic inclinations.

But then, Shah Jahan had at his disposal, all the wealth that could pay for the architectural splendour of that building ; he had at his bidding, craftsmen from far and wide, who laboured through days, months and years, so that he, the Emperor, could bask in its glory.

All the admiration one had for the Badshah, however, paled to insignificance, when, for the first time, one read about Dashrath Manjhi, the Mountain Man of Gehlour, near Gaya in Bihar, who for 22 years, chipped away at a mountain, to build a road across it.

Dashrath Manjhi was twenty years old, when his wife Phalguni Devi slipped and fractured her leg, on the way across the mountain, while carrying food for her husband. Without sparing another thought about the foolhardiness of single-handedly chipping through a mountain with a hammer and a chisel, to cut out a road through it, he went about doing just that. People called him mad, but nothing deterred him. He shifted his dwelling closer to the mountain so that he could continue working at night. He kept chipping away for 22 long years till the people of his village could walk through, across the mountain on a road that was 360 feet long, 25 feet high and 30 feet wide. Sadly, his wife did not live to see it.

Manjhi died of Cancer at the age of fifty seven a couple of years ago. He had been admitted to the All India Institute of medical Sciences in New Delhi at the behest of the Chief Minister Shri Nitish Kumar. It had been reported that on an earlier occasion, when Manjhi met the Chief Minister in a junta durbar, at Patna, the Chief Minister had got up in reverence and made him sit on his chair.

Manjhi had been allotted five acres of land in Karjani village by the State Government. True to his character, he donated the land for building a hospital. When he died, he was given a state funeral.

This blog is my salute to Manjhi and his indomitable spirit and his palpable love.


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3 responses to “Manjhi’s labour of love

  1. surekh

    July 5, 2011 at 8:26

    I remember a story that i read in the magazine Life Positive…

    Once Arjuna accompanied Krishna in a journey,on the way they met a wealthy man who was a devotee of Krishna.He took them 2 his home,fed them ‘n gave his room 4 them 2 rest.But all these time he boasted about himself_he wanted 2 show before them that he’s some1 gr8.
    When they were about resume Krishna said…”May You have more wealth..”They started again,on their way they met another devotee of Krishna_a very poor woman,her only source of income was from a cow she owned.Her joy crossed all boundries when she saw Krishna.She took her 2 her home,fed them ‘n cared well…when they were about 2 leave Krishna said”May ur cow die 2morrow…”
    Arjuna was very much surprised ‘n became infuriated…he asked Krishna “that wealthy man boasted about his stupidities ‘n You said he may have more wealth,but that woman was really innocent ‘n treated us without any expectations…but You said her cow may die 2morrow…this is really strange…?”
    Krishna replied “The wealthy man has 2 travell a long long way 2 reach me,but the only block between the woman ‘n me is the cow..”..!!!

    I don’t know whether the mythological characters Krishna ‘n Arjuna really existed but 4 me Krishna is nothing but the nature_existence itself.

    Live the mystery_Life…!!!

  2. Lui

    May 13, 2011 at 8:26

    Nadira, this is such a special tribute.
    I am returning your visit and thank you for your kind words.


    May 11, 2011 at 8:26

    Pity that such people do not get due recognition and publicity. They could be so inspiring for this lap-top generaton – a lesson on what can be achieved if one puts one’s willpower into it. Thanks for a most enlightening post.


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