A little background before I tell the story. A couple of months ago, I got this book from Nalinifaiba (mom's aunt, grandpa's cousin). First of all, thank you, Faiba! For sending this one. I didn't even know this book existed until then as it was written in the year 2000 after I left India and didn't know there were folks working on such a book since past few years at the time. It is a book by Shri Moolshankar Jeevanlal Pathak & Shri Kiritbhai Moolshankar Pathak; it is my maternal grandfather's life story. These are the two men to whom I am eternally grateful to for putting this book together because I've got to know more of my grandpa from this book than his life that I saw when he was with us. They've gone around and talked to people and pestered them to share more and more stories they know of grandpa to put this one together. I won't go into the details about that as it would fill up yet another book about how they started writing the first drafts and put together their collected information about someone who was not related to them but touched the deep chords of their hearts by how he lived his life and what he did. Tears well up in my eyes at every single page of thsi book and I feel more blessed reading each and every single story in it - to have such grandfather who is not only an inspiration to the family members but to almost every single person that knows him.
The book and stories are written in Gujarati so I will share that as well as my attempt to describe the incident in English.
ગરીબ કુટુંબ પતિ-પત્ની, બાળકો માંડમાંડ ગુજરાન ચાલે. વેતરાં અને ઢસરડાને કારણે પત્નીને ક્ષયરોગ લાગુ પડ્યો. મોડી ખબર પડી. ઍક્સ-રે જોઇને કુટુંબના દાક્તરે આશા છોડી દીઘી. સલાહ આપી થોડા દિવસની મહેમાન છે. થાય તેટલી સેવાચાકરી કરો. ભાઇને માથે તો આભ તૂટી પડ્યું. ગરીબ સંસાર ચૂંથાઇ જશે, બાળકો કેમ ઉછરશે વિગેરે ચિંતામાં તે પણ અર્ધો થઇ ગયો. કોઇએ સલાહ આપી કે 'દાક્તર અનંતરાય દવેને બતાવો'. દાક્તર દવેએ એક્સ-રે અને બીજા રિપોર્ટ જોયા. પત્નીને ઝીણવટથી તપાસી ગભરાવા જેવું નથી હવે તો ક્ષયરોગ કાબૂમાં આવી ગયો છે. જિંથરી ક્ષયની હૉસ્પિટલમાં લઇ જાઓ. હું ચિટ્ટી લખી દઉં છું. ખર્ચની ચિંતા ન કરતાં. બધું ગોઠવાઇ જશે અને બધું એવું ગોઠવાઇ ગયું કે એ બાઇ અત્યારે દિકરાના દિકરાને રમાડે છે અને સવાર-સાંજ ભગવાનની સાથે સાથે ડૉ. અનંતરાય દવેનું નામ લે છે.Source: સમાજ સેવાના વ્રતધારી ડૉ. અનંતરાય વી. દવે, જીવન કથા (Life Story, Dr. Anantrai V. Dave - the one who vowed for social service)
Needy family, husband-wife, kids were barely surviving. Because of overwork and no proper care, the wife was diagnosed with tuberculosis. It was too late. The family doctor looked at the x-ray and gave up all hopes. Said nothing could be done now, just help the wife spend rest of her remaining life as best as they can. The husband was suddenly overtaken by this great misfortune. Suffering thoughts of how his poor family will be tormented, how will the kids be raised, bothered him. Someone suggested 'take your wife to Dr. Anantrai Dave'. Dr. Dave looked at the x-ray and reports and performed a detailed check-up. He said things seem to be in control. Take your wife to Jinthri TB Hospital, I will write a note. Don't worry about the expenditure. Everything will be fine and everything became fine such a way that today the wife has become a grandmother and day and night she prays to God along with to Dr. Anantrai Dave.And today's fortune reminded me of Bapuji even more. It says "To be simple is to be great". May God bless him to be in a better state wherever he is and for me to be more like him.