A Meeting With Veerappan Lookalike

Holy shit! This is Veerappan Part II.

Immediately my mind shouted. For those who don’t know who this gentleman is, here’s a brief. Veerappan commonly known as sandalwood smuggler was an Indian bandit who was active for years in scrub and forest lands covering about 6,000 km² in south India.

I met him while we were hosted by this tribal village in Gujarat. This is a remote hamlet in India that is not even on the map. Around 3,000-4,000 tribal people are staying in this village and one of them is Ramjibhai Dungargarasia.

He is one of the men of the hamlet who goes to work and is the breadwinner of the family. I couldn’t understand a word of his language and he also didn’t understand a word of my language and he didn’t care a shit. But, we’d a small conversation with the help of our friend who’s their taking care of the hamlet.

First, I thought that he might be a fiery man with lots of anger and hellfire inside but to my surprise, he turned out to be the opposite. He was a calm and soft-spoken man. He was on his way to work when we met him. He has hurt his leg while cutting a tree for fire. I became sad and asked him whether he wishes to be in the city and lead a different life. His answer shocked me.

I would rather kill a tiger than stay in the city.

His answer made me speechless. I understood where he was coming from; although, we the city folks are not that bad for sure. He loved his forest too much and wants to lead a simple life with basic facilities like light and a hospital. That’s all he wants! I couldn’t so much but I, along with few friends have now adopted this hamlet for solar electrification.

Life is all about contrasts!

One who never drank one drop of alcohol writes the most beautiful poem praising alcohol. One who has seen major communal riots all his childhood makes the most beautiful romantic films. One who has been living in fluent riches leaves the material fruits and becomes the lord of renouncement and enlightenment.

And Veerappan lookalike turns out to be his inverse of him, the most beloved and compassionate.

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