Philosophy of Life by an Indian Carpenter

Remember that illiterate carpenter I had introduced in my earlier blogpost on Maid in India (Part 2)…Over the course of my book rack, I got to know him a lot better. Our conversation never ended without him giving an anecdotal story about his life, his experiences and his journey so far. The book rack is complete and I may not get to talk to him ever so often, maybe never. But his words will surely stay with me forever. The anecdotes, unfortunately have blurred in my memory but the quotes are stuck. Here are some of his words (almost verbatim) on topics as varied as his personality.

On Business

  • Charge less to the poor. Charge more to the wealthy.
  • Create wealth not to sustain yourself but to sustain the households of your employees.

On Roles of life

  • Respect everyone’s role in life.  If the cook doesn’t cook, you’ll die of hunger. If the cleaners wont clean, you’ll die of pungent smell.
  • You yourself have multiple roles to play. Play each one according to the need of others. Be a child with a child. Be a husband to a wife. But be a friend to a foe.

On Friendship

  • Friendship is not about showing off your worldly possessions; friendship is about showing off your true self.

On Challenge

  • Why fight with others? The only fight should be with yourself.

On Truth

  • Half truths will always haunt you. Truth is what will make you fearless.


On Meaning of Life

  • Pray for everyone. If everyone does the same, the good wishes will come back to you.
  • Everyone lives to die; those who live after death are the real men.
  • The true path of life is always difficult to walk on, but far more satisfying. And satisfaction (of a good life, of a good deed) is the currency of the soul.

I tell him I’m surprised at his philosophical expertise, esp. since he cannot read or write. He says, “I’m because I experience. I cant read words, but I do read people every day and process them through my heart.” 

I ask whether I can blog (to him..write) about his words of wisdom. He says,  “Pls. do spread my word around. The world doesn’t need everyone to be good. Only a few good men will do.”

Nothing less than a certain “Jewish” carpenter..right?!

6 thoughts on “Philosophy of Life by an Indian Carpenter

  1. wow!! Those words are so inspirational. Good example what experience can teach.And wonderful writing from you. Loved it as always.

  2. I always remember some sentences that my mom said while I was growing up. She would say – always think from somebody else' perspective and then yours. I never understood the importance of that until I started working, got married etc. From people like this carprenter, if we can take one good thing to follow – life would be much better everyday 🙂

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