The Man Who Moved a Mountain

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Dashrath Manjhi, popularly known as the “Mountain Man” is a legend who’s works have enforced the believe that nothing is ever impossible to a man. His life depicts moral lessons that even a small man, with no money and no power, but burdened with raw determination can indeed move a mountain.

Dashrath manjhi lived as a poor labourer in a village called Gehlour in India. His determination to carve a path through a small hill of about 360ft (110m) long, 30ft(9.1m) wide and 25ft(7.6) high was birth from the pain he experienced when his wife, Falguni Devi died while crossing the hill to bring  him lunch. She slipped and seriously injured herself, which eventually led to her death. Poor villagers in Gehlour have to traverse through a narrow and treacherous pass to cross a huge mountain for their daily needs and for transport and connectivity. Falguni his wife, as every villager needed to climb the mountain in the scorching heat in order to get over to the other side of town. Upon hearing the tragic thing that had happened at the mountain, someone from the village alerted Dashrath at the mines, where he worked.

It was the shocking news of his wife that put Dashrath into a state of panic and he quickly took his blood splattered wife to the nearest hospital which was 70km away, where she was declared dead. The heart-broken man who loved his wife more than anything else in the world, deeply disturbed decided that very night to carve a path through the Gehlour hills so that his village people could have easier access to medical attention.  That’s crazy right?

Personally, the one thing I find so interesting about this man is how he thought even in the face of a tragic event. I mean, who in the midst of losing someone dear to them would ever dare make such a resolve? For most people, the pain and hurt forces them to either blame God, or the hospital or even the doctors for not doing their best. Memories of the times spent together quickly rushes in and the thought of knowing you’ll never see them again just becomes unbearable. Of course, as humans, it comes easy to us to blame, do some crazy things and even say things we don’t mean when in pain. But strangely, to dare entertain the thought of carving a path in a mountain? Now that’s just being stupid or it’s just far-fetched.

But no! That wasn’t the case for Dashrath. Burdened with the poise of his loose, he took to it. Alone, he spent all of his time and with his very own tools he carved away. Using the only tools he had, a hammer and a chisel.

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I have never seen or heard of a man, so insane or goal driven to pull something like that off. So what is it that you’ve been told on countless occasions that you cannot do? What idea is it that you’ve had to discuss and yet people think it’s too far from reaching reality? Are you thinking of giving up because you didn’t get the expected approval on your proposed plan? Or you think you’ll be mocked should you share that insane (brilliant) idea of yours.

It would interest you to know what Dashrath said when he embarked on his path carving quest. “When I started hammering the hill, people called me a lunatic, but that steeled my resolve”. He said. He managed to complete the work in 22years (1960-1982). And this reduced the distance traveled from 80km to 10km.

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Though mocked for his efforts, he made life easier for his people. And also demonstrated that a man can truly move mountains. In the same way, I am of the believe that you can also move certain mountains in your life. Why wait till you loose something valuable to you before you start? Why wait till something goes wrong before you know you can make a difference? Why wait till poverty strikes before you know you can make a difference in your finances? You have always known you could start your own business. You have always known you can make a change in someone’s life. You have always known that you were born to matter, and that your existence must mean something much more than it looks. You have always known that a whole system can change, neighbourhood or town could change if you start something positive to affect what’s lacking. You have always known. You have always known you can be the exception. You have always known…

Just like Dashrath, BE THE CHANGE