Open up

My theme for this year's
Blogging from A to Z Challenge is called the
Click here to read more about it.

Today's words are
'Open up'
which means to reveal the possibilities of something; to reveal an opportunity. There are plenty of meanings used in various contexts for these two words. But here it would make more sense as to "make something available or accessible."

For years Gopi would stagger by Babu bhai's tea stall, on the way to school. Gopi lived with his paternal uncle and aunt ever since he lost his parents at a raw age of three years. His uncle was kind enough to take him in, much to the disapproval of his aunt. They themselves were hand to mouth with three kids of their own. His uncle's income from a carpentry job barely took care of their needs. Yet another mouth to feed, was a liability that Gopi's aunt did not embrace willingly. Gopi was enrolled in a municipal school that was quite far from the slums they lived in. But the little child's determination towards educating himself would see him walking all the 15 kilometers to school, on an empty stomach. Although, his cousins were fed with stale bread from the previous day's dinner before they left for school perched precariously on their dad's bicycle on his way to work, his aunt did not oblige Gopi with any meals before he left, just coz' there was just enough leftovers to feed her own kids. Since the bicycle could not accommodate more than three kids, Gopi had to walk it to the school.

Babu bhai noticed this weary looking 8 year old child dragging himself to school each day with a heavy satchel latched on his back. One fine day, when Gopi halted for a few seconds to catch his breath near the tea stall, Babu bhai beckoned him into the cool shade of his thatched tea stall. On probing more about his background he got to know the plight of the poor child. "Here, would you like some biscuits?" he inquired handing him a packet of glucose biscuits. Gopi nodded and peeled the wrapper hurriedly, before he started munching on the biscuits, making his famished state more than obvious. Babu bhai waved it off kindly as the child smiled back and thanked him in gratitude.

From that day on, over years, till Gopi attended school, every single day, Babu bhai would wait for Gopi to hand over a pack of biscuits. They would exchange a few pleasantries while Gopi would dig into the biscuits. And again as the day ended, Gopi would stop by after school to have a mandatory cup of the special tea Babu bhai was known for. He did all this with an open heart in spite of his own modest earnings from his tea stall.

This went on for all the years of Gopi's schooling. But after that Gopi stopped walking by that road. And all Babu bhai knew was that he was trying hard to get admission in a college while working at some call center. He never saw Gopi for years after that. As days passed by, Babu bhai could not survive the competition of the fast food joints that had sprung up around him. His stall was less preferred over the posh eateries along the lane. His income swooped down and it was difficult for him to even break even. He was losing hopes of survival with his source of income diminishing into misfortune. Just when he had given up hopes and was about to shut down his stall permanently, one fine day a young decent looking chap approached him. His smile was familiar. Yes, it was Gopi! Despite his shoddy state, Babu bhai welcomed him warmly and over hot cups of his special tea, they updated each other on the days they had missed out on. 

Apparently, Gopi had finished his higher studies in hotel management and was working with a well-known chain of restaurants. He had gathered a good amount of experience in the last few years as an intern and on job. When he learnt about Babu bhai's predicament, he suddenly drifted into deep thought. But before he left, he asked Babu bhai to hold on to the stall till he returned. Within a few days, he was back with a plan. Babu bhai could not believe his luck till the plan came to fruition.

Today, Babu bhai along with Gopi owns not one, but a chain of tea stalls across the city. These stalls were mobile tea stalls  revamped by Gopi to give them a contemporary look to give the funky fast food joints around them, a run for their money. People appreciated the fresh idea of a young mind, who came up with the mobile tea stall which would park itself outside potential places of business like colleges, call centers and offices. Gopi's bright entrepreneurial  ideas worked! Business flourished and Babu bhai's special tea was now a copyrighted entity. Babu bhai had least expected this miracle and was moved beyond words. All those years when Babu bhai had been kind to open up his heart to the young child with his generosity had paid off with dividends on his rainy days and brought him prosperous sunshine in his ripe years.

Open up your heart
And you'll find that
the sky is yours.

Linking this to the Blogging from A to Z (April 2015) for the letter O.