The Richest Poor Lady - Goitha Wali

Life is beautiful. We don't need a raison d'etre to live. We live and life finds a reason for it. You may touch many lives, without being wealthy or educated or social. The story is about a wealthy lady, whose wealth cannot be determined by just monetary parameters.

My mother is a kind hearted person, one of the reasons, our home used to be a shelter for a lot of old aged women at different times. Some of them were annoying to us, but we, the family, respectfully accepted my mother's concordat with herself, to have her kind of social duty.

One such old lady, became part of our daily lives for few years, when we used to live in a rented accommodation. This old lady was a domestic help for our home owners. She was respected and loved in that family. The kind act of my mother, slowly made her part of our lives too. In her early days, the lady used to sell "Goitha", the cow dung cakes, which earned her the nickname "Goitha Wali", meaning, the one who has "Goitha". Sadly, this earned name wiped off her real name from the memoirs of everyone who know her.

Around an year or so, we shifted to another place, far away from that rented accommodation. Somehow the old lady found our home, and started visiting our place, almost daily. Since she was not annoying like others, for whom my mother was a charity trust, and was less interfering to us, we were okay with her visiting. She used to live couple of stations away. Used to travel via train, of course free of cost and then walk around for two kilometres to reach out to our place. 

She was poor, old aged and needy. But she was self esteemed. She never begged or asked anything for free. However, the age has taken toll on her, she cannot work to earn enough. One time food at our place and secretly given food for dinner ,was kind of nutrition that she used to get in exchange of the little things she used to bring with her. Thou those things were not of much of use to us, my mother kept them, to respect the self-respect of the old lady.

In the year 2003, I left my town for higher studies. My brother too became busy in his studies. The old lady kept my mother little busy with her stuffs, and was a company during afternoons. Then came a  phase, when my mother got seriously ill. Thou due to her illness and bed rest, my mother was not able to provide food or tea, the old lady did not stop visiting. She was there to take care of my mother, when my brother went out for college classes and my father for work, they relied on the old lady for taking care of my mother. She even bowed that she will perform some puja at her village, to make my mother healthy. Thou scientifically it doesn't matter a bit, emotionally it touched us. The old lady was not selfish. She was not only kind, but also generous by nature. My mother was back to healthy and the visits of old lady continued.

With time passing by, and age getting better on her, the visits of the old lady became less frequent. One hot summer day, she literally collapsed at our doorsteps, when she dragged herself to our front lawn. My mother suggested her not to travel alone anymore. The frequency of her visits further decreased. She used to take some kids from her neighbourhood to drop her to our place. Or somedays, she felt bold enough to travel alone.

One day everyone has to depart. The inconsequential part of our lives, the old lady also departed one day. Sadly, we don't know, which day. Her neighbours told us, that she used to remember my mother during her last days and wished she could give her a visit. The old lady may have been poor monetarily, but she was one of the richest by heart. She was self-respecting, caring and loving. She was generous enough to share whatever she had, time, love, care or Goitha, without expecting anything in return. 

In memories of the richest poor old lady, "The Goitha Wali".


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