Zero to Hero stories are usually 2 hour movies, aren’t they? I witnessed a story in reality, right in front of my eyes. And believe you me, it can happen anywhere! If you keep your eyes open, you are sure to witness miracles around you…put down your mobile phone, look up, breathe! For now, enjoy an anecdote out of the pages of my life!
I can’t remember how many months back this was. I have been meaning to share it with you…and finally I manage to sit and write it down.
On a hot Saturday afternoon (I remember it was a Saturday) I walked into a SubWay store to grab a subwich for lunch. While I stood at the counter choosing the kind of bread, veggies, sauces, etc (If you have walked into SubWay for a meal, you know what I am talking about) a Boy, about my age or slightly less, walked in. There were just two of us at the store, apart from the guy at the counter, of course.
I looked at Boy. Tattered clothes (well not exactly torn, tattered!), sweating quite a bit, shy demeanor, curious eyes – he had walked into this store for the first time. As the guy at the counter finished wrapping up my subwich, gave me my bill and waited for me to pay up, Boy found his moment to talk to the guy.
Boy: Is there a vacancy for work here?
His accent is…Strong!
Guy at the counter: Part time or full time?
B: Part-time. I have my school during the day.
G: I’ll ask the owner and let you know. Leave your number here.
He handed a small piece of paper. The boy wrote down his mobile number and walked out of the shop.
I wondered if I would ever see him again. I hoped he would find a job somewhere, if not here. His intent won me over. He didn’t steal, he didn’t demand. He requested. And not for money or a meal, for work!
A few days later…maybe a couple of weeks or even a month. I walked into the same SubWay with a friend for dinner. There was no one at the counter. I rang the bell to call for someone. And who do I see at the counter? The Boy!!! I was overjoyed. He didn’t show any signs of recognition. I didn’t mind.
He carefully made my subwich, smiled while he took orders and cheerfully delivered my impeccably wrapped sandwich. I smiled as I handed over the money. He took time to calculate the change he had to return. I didn’t mind. I stood there patiently. He opened the till and handed over the exact change. I also noticed that his accent was gone. He spoke so well.
I devoured the meal that night. And I was proud of him too. Sure, he was a stranger. But who said I can only be proud of my own kin? A month back he was disoriented and looking around to find a place to work. And today, he was working at a good franchise, making whatever money he could. And his smile said he was happy.
He wasn’t roaming around the streets wasting his time. Nor was he cursing his fate for having put him in a position so weak while many enjoyed riches they didn’t deserve. He worked. Maybe he was now supporting his family, or maybe he was just working to earn a little pocket money. Or maybe….he was working to pay for his education. Whatever it was, he was working his way through life to steer away from his current state.
That made him my Hero!