Mr. and Mrs. Srivastava always went for a morning walk at 7:30 everyday in their locality. Their walk commenced from their house crossing the street outside to the adjoining street. From that street a turn around the corner passing the local school and another turn passing the local temple. The walk ended at a park where they spent the next one hour before returning home. Ever since Mr. Srivastava had retired, this was their daily routine.

That tuesday too they were on their routine walk. While approaching the park Mr. Srivastava noticed a young lad, bare footed walking in the direction of the temple. He was dressed in a semi-formal attire, half sleeve white shirt which could be worn both for office and casual use and a black trouser with belt.

“Strange” Mr. Srivastava remarked. “What?” asked Mrs. Srivastava.

“You see that man walking towards the temple. I have seen that lad quite a few times in our previous walks, everytime he is dressed reasonably well but walks barefooted.” said Mr. Srivastava. Mrs. Srivastava just nodded in acknowledgement, “Yes, strange indeed.”

The next day again, during the walk, the young man was passing by, when Mr. and Mrs. Srivastava were entering the park. Regular faces now, he gave them a smile as a sign of greeting. Mr. Srivasatava couldn’t hold back his curiosity and asked him, “ Hello, young lad. What’s your name?”

He said his name was Ramesh. A casual conversation ensued, in which Mr. Srivasatva got to know that Ramesh was new to that locality, having arrived from his village a few days back and was presently searching for a job. Mr. Srivastava asked where he was headed to and he said he was going to the temple. As the conversation continued, Mr. Srivastava asked him why he was going bare footed.

Ramesh smiled and said that he had resolved that he would start his day by going to the temple barefooted and praying for a job as well as a  good daily wage for that day. This was his “mannat”. His day went really well and he able to make ends meet due to this, he said. Mr. and Mrs. Srivastava were moved by the young man’s firm belief in God.

“Such a pious man !” Mrs. Srivastava remarked as they saw Ramesh walk away towards the temple.

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Ramesh entered the temple. He went towards the idol and prayed to God, “Oh Lord, forgive me and bless me. Please provide a good ‘branded’ product today.” He bowed and offered Rs. 2.5 in the ‘daan-peti’.

Ramesh stepped out and saw the footwear lying outside the temple. Chappals, Sandals, Shoes.. all were there. He noticed a seemingly new pair of “Nike” sneakers. They looked expensive.
“Good Brand ! Thank you Lord !” he remarked and smiled. Silently he wore those shoes in the most casual manner and left the temple. Today too he will earn his daily bread by selling the shoes and also add some money to his savings for a change…

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