Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Stories on wheels- Vinod's Bookshelf.

A well dressed elderly person was painting the doors by himself. "I have work. I offered you the rooms I have. You decide and let me know because, I have work to attend to," said the old man.

Azhar, Pushp and I travelled to Mandvi on a holiday. We stayed at Rukmavati Guest house. As we entered, we discovered a book shelf. Azhar and I told to ourselves, pointing out to the bookshelf. “They got books in the house.” 

After we visited beach and arrived late night to the guest house, we walked to the bookshelf checking out the books.

Looking at the us seeing the books, Vinod came in and encouraged us to pick any book. “You can pick any book. Read it. And you can take it with yourself, finish it and later courier it to me. Pick up any book that interests you.”

We assumed that he had this for selling. We didn’t expect this. You trust your customers and share the books, inspiring.

“Sir, I’m 60. I have no intention to suspect. What do I get after I deceit or suspect each other?

“When did you start this initiative?” I asked.

“I didn’t start this. I am not owner of these books,” Vinod shared his experiences.

He began his journey. “In 1998, when I began this guest house, there were hardly guest houses in Mandvi. We were the 4th guest house to set up. I used to do all the work in the guest house. Back then, I owned 2-3 gujarati books for myself.

Whenever I get tired after the work, I pick up a book. I pick up so that I get sleep when I read. In that way, I have 3-4 books at this corner,” Vinod pointed out the bookshelf,“there were a few foreigners who walked into guest house. I used to rent out double bedroom for 40rs per day. I began at such times. They enjoyed our house so much that they spent almost for a month. They liked our place so much that, they gifted us books, putting next to my 3-4 books.

In that way, many people walked in and gifted me books. None of these books are bought by me. There are books in Dutch, Japanese, English. All these books are a blessing. I can’t sell them. Many people come and request me to buy these books. I tell them, “I’m not owner of these books. It’s a blessing. You can read them. Take them for sure. Whenever you’re leaving India or whenever you’re done, you can always post the books to my house.”

In this way, Vinod shared about his bookshelf. It’s inspiring that he trusts and respects others. “Frankly, when I expect my children to be respected or when I want goodness around me, I’m obliged to be good. I can’t afford to deceive. I give and I get a lot in return. I do not cringe for petty things. Business is not about manipulation. You can always trust yourself and be abundant.

“Azhar asked about the resorts, I suggested him.” Vinod recollected the morning experience, when we were checking out various hotels, he suggested other resorts as well. “I do not worry about not finding the customers. I try my best to serve or help whoever walks into my guest house. And I never had to feel bad or feel less. In this way, I live and I’ve been living. It’s a blessing.”

Vinod shared, "I cleans the rooms, I mop the floor, I clean the bathrooms. I'm the owner of the guest house. Also, we have invested our lives in this guest house." He talked about the trees we observed in the corridors. "Not a single tree hasn't bought. We didn't get it from outside. Over the years, we planted each tree. made the pot stand. We made all by ourselves. This is my house. If someone walks in, I serve them happily. I wish them to leave my house with a smile and peace. I try my best to serve them to my best. "

Moved by his experience and the honesty, we listened to him in awe. The clock struck 12. We could feel the  late night cold. Vinod said, “I’m glad to catch up with you. Pick any book,” he suggested us to read.

Thanks Vinod. Inspired by your abundance. I picked up Rohinton Mistry’s book, the Long Journey. Would read it and post it once I’m done.

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