It was a new locality that I had shifted in and was still discovering the neighbourhood. Walking the dog is a challenge in most crowded cities. I miss living in gated communities that provide enough walking spaces. Here, I was on the main road, so much noise, so much traffic.
As walked by, in one lane, I noticed an elderly, tall man, with a handkerchief tied to his nose, covering the entire face sweeping the footpath. He didn't look like the municipality sweepers, nor was he dressed like one. Every single day, I would see him sweeping. I noticed that whole stretch looked cleaner, neater. The trees in that area were not dusty but clean and shinning, they looked happy. He often collected all the flowers that were shed on the road and made floral patterns or carpets making it heavenly feeling to walk by. One day out of curiosity, I asked who maintained these green patches and he waived at himself. I took that opportunity to tell him that I liked walking through this patch it felt really nice. That did one thing, he removed his handkerchief and smiled. I noticed the gentleman had kind eyes and smiled with his eyes, As days passed by, we got talking. We sometimes exchanged a few words. I found it intriguing as to why does he sweeps the path regularly when he easily could get the job done by municipal sweepers, who swept the place around him. He said, there was too much of garbage and also he felt it was a great way to bring himself down a bit. He said"not all of it was noble" with a twinkle. A little humility did better in life. So he started sweeping and that he has been doing it for a whole decade. One day I asked him what he did for living, other than sweeping and he said he had catering businesses across the city. He also came from a well- to- do family, so was curious to know what the family thought of this morning ritual . He said there were very supportive. I thought that was great, because I am quiet sure this wouldn't have been accepted by most people I know of.
So many people talk about Swatcch Bharat Abhiyaan ..blah blah..and here is a man who is living it every single day for last 10 years.
Here are some of his floral designs on the road and yes, finally I asked his name after about 4 months and it is Kiran Shetty. Kudos to a man who cleans streets, every single day. I am honoured to meet a person who keeps his surrounding clean without any accolades or photo-ops coming his way. I wanted to take his picture too but still haven't got around to asking it.