Harekala Hajabba a fruit seller from Mangalore

Sri Chethan owns four semiconductor companies in the world and an Aristocratic industrialist and graduate from IIT Chennai and MS from USA writes an introspective article which is worth reading :-

“Gentlemen, I have been having a very weird and uneasy feeling since the time I saw the tweet about Harekala Hajabba. I haven’t been able to decipher what that is, but it made me sleepless last night. I was up at around 5:30 am with the hope that I will find someone to talk to, and share what I have been thinking about. My wife isn’t at home, and my dad and daughter are fast asleep. I can’t call anyone of you at 5:45 am. So, I thought I will just keep typing what comes to my mind.

After I went a bit deep into what Harekala Hajabba was doing, I could find out the following:

1. He is a fruit seller from Mangalore
2. He is 65 years old
3. He makes about 75-150 rupees everyday
4. He was feeding a family of 5 people
5. He built a school in his village by saving money from the income he was generating by selling fruits, with the help of his fellow villagers and a local Madarasa
6. And, he was awarded the Padmashri, one of India’s highest civilian honours

This is his bio-data in a nutshell. It doesn’t look sexy at all. No fancy degrees from top tier Indian universities or IV League US schools, no technology/medicine/investment banking/venture capital experience, he hasn’t raised money from banks/venture capital. Who the hell is he? Why has he taken away my sleep?

On the flip side, I am a lucky fellow who has always experienced the best of what money can buy, a resume that I can be proud of and can make me super egoistic, have worked for blue chip companies, have raised money from top tier venture capital funds for kick ass ideas, startup exists, elitist lifestyle for Indian standards, awesome group of friends, etc,. It’s just Wooow all the way.

But, if I just take one step back and compare Harekala Hajabba’s resume and mine, I am starting to think if my resume is worth anything. A person who makes 75-150 rupees a day had a lofty goal of building a school. That is after feeding 5 people. We can’t see a Merc, Porsche, BMW or any other fancy car transporting him, no Louis Vuitton or Ralph Lauren wrapping him, nor any fancy home to give him shelter. Yet, he has challenged the status quo. And, he went on to a build a school with such paltry income. What a lofty goal?

But a lesser mortal like me, who is so lucky, doesn’t do anything meaningful at all. Just a comparison of both our resumes makes me feel ashamed. Mine is so cluttered, complex and filled with things that don’t have any impact whatsoever. I have so much ego, I treat many people around me in a very indifferent way, I sometimes have contempt for the have-nots. Is my life worth anything? Why is that I am passing my time on this planet in such a meaningless way? I make money in many multiples of what Harekala Hajabba makes. Is it of any intrinsic value?

I hope to start finding answers to these questions some day. I wish the Almighty gives me the wisdom to do that.

I guess I have a conscience that keeps pricking me once in a while. But, Harekala Hajabba’s resume has started making an impact. I hope that stays on for long.

I want to summarise with the following words from the famous Kannada poet, Dr.G.S.Shivarudrappa

ಎಲ್ಲೋ ಹುಡುಕಿದೆ ಇಲ್ಲದ ದೇವರ
ಕಲ್ಲು ಮಣ್ಣುಗಳ ಗುಡಿಯೊಳಗೆ
ಇಲ್ಲೇ ಇರುವ ಪ್ರೀತಿ ಸ್ನೇಹಗಳ
ಗುರುತಿಸದಾದೆನು ನಮ್ಮೊಳಗೆ || ”
Some people live for themselves…
Some people live for their passions…
And most of the people don’t know what they live for….

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