In the last week of December 2021, I pushed my introverted self to spend some days in the oldest living fort in the world (Jaisalmer Fort). Every day, while walking around the fortress, I would witness this humble soul performing under a tree.
There was something captivating about him, humane- eyes so unsure but reeking of kindness, that attracted my attention. He would look at the people passing by, nod and then close his eyes to play the instrument in his hand, one after the other, again and again. One day I sat by him, continuing with my contract negotiations from under this age-old tree and giving him company, as we observed people and the world walk by without a care. Only a few pigeons noticed this unwarranted duo, probably complaining to each other.
The clock ticked, hours passed by and the day came to dust, he would accept any donation(s) that came his way and those that did not without any remorse or complaint. He finally turned his attention towards me. Looking with humbleness and warmth, post a few inquires he requested “visit me here tomorrow you kind soul, I shall share with you my story. How I came by and have been performing here for the last 40 years!”
Forty (40) years, that intrigued me further. This man here was singing and playing this instrument for the last 4 decades, he and the age old tree behind him must have seen the world change around them. Nodding my head and accepting the invitation, I asked “and how may I address you?”
“You may address me as Ram, for that is what I stand for.”
Unfortunate it be, that I could not find the time to visit him again despite the invitation, but his words still resonate in my thoughts- “you may call me Ram!”
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