If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare write a poetry.  He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.                                                      

                                                                                   -          Martin Luther King (Jr.)

 By the time of writing this story,  Sukh Ram just turned 60, retired and proceeded to his native place in Uttarakhand, India after fruitful government service.

 He  was a sweeper in a central police organization, India.   I closely  observed his work life  for  five years.  Truly he is the sweeper the hosts in heaven cherish for. 

Sukh Ram is a silent worker.  I never find him sitting idle during the work hours.  He constantly sweeps the floors and wipes them with wet cloth.  He is such a devoted worker and never gives an opportunity to be pointed out on his work.  He always keeps the floor, wash basins and toilets neat and clean.  Anybody who see the premises must feel so homely.

Whenever I am in low moods, I look at him and draw inspiration.  He is a fountain of energy.  His small built but robust limbs never get tired to climb up and down the stairs during the day.  He always respects his seniors with courtesy and smiling gesture.  I used to see him closely in my afternoons at the library where he reads the local newspapers to keep himself abreast of the world affairs.

When I called and interacted for this story, it was totally an exhilarating experience.  When I see such hard-working people, huge respect flows from my heart and I look into their eyes to draw inspiration for such exemplary work culture.

When I talked to Sukh Ram, I did not feel that I was talking with an old man who was on the verge of retirement.  There was no tiredness on his face. Physically and mentally he looks  sound to work for another decade or so.  

Bookish knowledge is of no avail to you unless it is translated into action.  In the worldly point of view, Sukh Ram is not literate enough to gain media glare nor he did any such extraordinary feat to come to limelight.  He simply did his job so well that caught my attention.  On moral and ethical side, he is taller than his insignificant position in work life.   In one word, he is a package of different sort.

Worshipping the workers, noted Indian poet Subramania Bharati says that:

I sing in praise for the work you do,

Like Brahma, you are creator too.

Whenever I speak to Sukh Ram, these words of Swami Vivekananda resonate my mind:

He who does the lower work is not therefore a lower man.  No man is to be judged by the mere nature of his duties, but all should be judged by the manner and the spirit at which they perform them.

So many people come and go in our lives,  but Sukh Ram etched in my memory  with a permanent home in my heart due to his unparalleled work ethics.

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