It does not matter where you are born, what matters is what you become!
What can one expect a 5-year-old child with abusive parents to do after he drops a tray full of tea glasses on the floor? He would dread the consequences following the incident, run to hide somewhere and pray to never be found out by his parents. What can you expect this child to grow as? Still struggling, trying to make life better? Getting wasted on account of losing opportunities? But that is not the story of Amin Sheikh, who ran away from his abusive parents to work and stayed at Malad Railway station polishing shoes, surviving on the food from the bin and singing in the local trains. “When I was five years old I used to work at a tea shop, but one day when I dropped a tray full of cups I ran away, terrified. I couldn’t go home to my abusive parents, so I ended up at Malad Railway station.”
Amin is now a fluent English speaker and the founder of Sneha Travels which aims at helping people from all over the world to discover Bombay through his eyes.
After being raped by people who pretended to help him, Amin could not trust his life saviour, Sister Serafina. “One day, Sister Serafina came upto me and said, ‘come to Sneha Sadan, we will take care of you’, but I was scared because previously, people had lured me into their homes and raped me,” Amin shared his story with Human of Bombay.
After Sister Serafina’s various attempts, Amin decided to come along with her. For the next 10 years, Amin was under the care and guidance of Sister Serafina and Father Placie. Amin worked as a driver for Mr. Eustace, who taught him to read and write in English. Mr Eustace gave Amin all the inspiration to make a better life of his own and to have an identity. He wanted to travel the world and discover and show people Bombay the way he has seen it. “Every year he would gift me something for Christmas, so during my 4th year, when he asked me what I wanted — I said a trip to Barcelona,” said Amin.
When he got back from his trip, he wrote a book on his life which his neighbours edited for him and started Sneha Travels with the help of Mr. Eustace. Here is my inspiration, Amin Sheikh’s life story as shared by Human of Bombay.
If you know a person whose life story is a big inspiration for you, do share their story with us!