Often, I traverse the path to St. Britto’s High School, Mapusa, to pick up my sons from school. On one such occasion, as I was strolling towards my sons’ Alma Mater, I happened to glance at the wildflowers by the edge of the road. Amongst the numerous blades of varied grasses, and a dozen or so of bluebell, and yellow buttercups, I spotted a lone plant, with gorgeous violet flowers. I was awestruck by the sheer vivacity of its blossoms! The corolla had brushstrokes of deep violet at its tips and in the centre, there was a bright psychedelic yellow line, kind of like the ones we see marking our roads to alert drivers about lane safety. I determined there and then, that I wanted to adopt the little beauty and so, on my way back, I carefully uprooted it out of its squalor, and brought it home. Every morning I water the wild plant, never ceasing to be amazed at its undimmed beauty for me. If this is love, then, well, I am in love! I gently pluck an offering of a single bloom to place at the feet of the Blessed Virgin Mother, as I start my day.
This unique love for a wild flower, made me recall my teaching days in Mumbai where I once came in contact with a unique child, named Roshan Dixit. Roshan’s father had expired prematurely, leaving behind three children for the hapless widow to raise. Roshan was the eldest, so he took upon himself the responsibility that his father had left behind.
He was a meticulous student: his notebooks were a joy to correct! His quiet, self-confident demeanour made him the darling of all his teachers, me included. He was a self-learned boy; the only help I could offer him was to purchase his textbooks and guides for the Board exams. This he accepted with a soft, tender expression and a sweet, shy “Thank you Miss”. But more than his academic excellence and excellent manners, was the determination to succeed despite all odds.
Early in the morning, he would awaken to sell maps and newspapers to the passing vehicles, near his home. He helped his mother at the candle-making factory she worked in and, in the night, he would sit up late to study with a dim light. The family lived in a poor slum, in the area, somewhat like a suburban Dharavi shanty town. This boy, to me, was a wayside violet. He captured my heart: if this was love, well, yes, I was in love!
For those of you, who ignore the weeds and wayside wild flowers, seeking only the exotic blooms of the marketplace and boutiques, here is a lesson you ought to take to heart. It is the wayside blooms that touch the heart, and satisfy the soul continually. For those who have had similar experiences as I have had, rejoice in the glory of God’s amazing works in the crannies and nooks of life.
Many of His handiwork, have never been discovered yet: He gives us the wealth of wisdom and eyes of faith to find his creation in the most unexpected places. Why did I share this story with you? Because Roshan met a foreigner, one morning, when he was selling maps and the man, impressed with the intelligence of the young lad, offered to sponsor his education. He even approached the school for permission to do so. Unfortunately, the principal at that time, refused that permission and Roshan lost a golden opportunity, to make it big.
But I am sure that wherever he is right now, he is doing something great. When he finished school, our lives parted, I moved to Goa and he was left behind. My attempts to find him have not met with any success. I long for the day when I will meet my wonder boy again, and hope that when I do, he will be someone, I will be proud to acknowledge as my ‘Wayside Violet’, undimmed in his beauty and brilliance!
SINCE I WROTE THIS, I HAVE MADE CONTAT WITH ROSHAN AND AM HAPPY THAT HE IS NOW TRAVELLING ALL OVER THE WORLD. HE WILL BE IN SINGAPORE AGAIN ON DUTY AND I HOPE MEENESH WILL MEET WITH HIM.