Born in the early nineties, he still remembers as if it was only yesterday. He lost his dad at a young age and dearly misses him every day. After his dad passed away, life changed for him and his elder brother. His mother, however, was always a source of strength and if you were to believe his words, she is the only God he truly knows and believes in.
He was a brilliant student during school, however, he had to leave studies and assist his elder brother in making a living. He shifted to Ahmadabad in Gujarat, a city nearby, with his brother to work at a restaurant. He washed dishes there and he says was his first experience with the harsh realities of life.
With every passing day, he realized how important it is to have a father and every time he speaks about his father, his eyes well up.
Somewhere deep inside his heart, he knew he wasn’t supposed to live this life. So, he decided to move back to Delwara, his hometown, some 40 kilometres from the city of Udaipur.
Delwara is an idyllic town surrounded by hills. The place is modern yet full of old world charm. Its rich culture and heritage attract tourists from across the world to this small semi-urban centre throughout the year.
Our hero was no different. As a kid, usually after school and mostly on weekend holidays, he used to sit with his friends outside a five-star hotel here and wait for the guests to show them around the place. While other students struggled with English, he was different. For our little guide in the making, it was nothing but sport and he knew the game quite well. Most importantly, he liked doing it more than anything else.
Soon, he became popular among the Indian and international tourists. His friend list boasts of people from Italy, America, Germany, England and almost everywhere and there are instances where people from different countries have visited this place more than once and have asked for our little hero to be their guide.
He believes in building relationships and his message gets across very well because of his innocence and honesty.
He collects memorabilia from people he has taken around the town. He has such tokens from countries as far as Italy or England. His friends abroad keep writing to him and he saves each one of these letters.
But life was not as good as it is today. He remembers the days when he used to live with his family in a rented house with no electricity connection.
In the year 2012, Seva Mandir, an Udaipur-based NGO started heritage walk in Delwara. Our hero looked at it as a God-sent opportunity. This was what he always wanted to do. Seva Mandir hired him for he was hardworking and honest. The year 2016 has been quite prosperous not only financially but what makes it special is that he got to meet some of his friends from abroad who visited India again, took the heritage walk and didn’t forget to catch up with him.
When asked what message he would like to convey through his story, he said: “Life is not supposed to be easy. We never realise our full potential and never come out of our comfort zone. I’ve been through hell and there was a time when I didn’t even know if I would see the sun next morning. A lot of people go through tough times especially the youth and eventually give up. I want to tell everybody that all you need is to hold on. Tomorrow will be different. Just believe in God and do right.”
His name is Himmat and he is one man certainly living up to his name. And, this is his story of courage. Check out the site here. His efforts are certainly bringing a good name to his place and his community, which everyone is proud of. Well done, Himmat!