The Devil Leader

There is a small tailor shop in our neighborhood. After staying in the locality for over 25 years, I heard the story of the ‘Devil Leader’ for the first time a few weeks ago… A story that that had Courage, Clarity, Candor and Care.

Right through her growing years in the village, she was treated as an outcast and a child possessed by the ‘Devil’ – because she had a big lump on her head. One day she decided that enough was enough and she would lead her life on her terms. She ran to the city (Bangalore) to start life afresh hoping she would not be treated differently. Unlike many others, she had the ‘Courage’ to question the status quo, not live by others terms and chart out her own course.

She was pushed to the edge but had the ‘Clarity’ that she would bring about a change not only in her own life but also of others. She was clear on what she wanted, may not have known how to get there, but was willing to commit to make it happen. In the ambiguity and uncertainty, she was clear in her thought which gave her the confidence and resilience to overcome her challenges.

She landed up in our neighborhood and started a tailoring shop. This was not a conventional tailoring shop – all she did was mend torn clothes, replace buttons and the like… no alteration, no new tailoring… She was ‘Candid’ to acknowledge what she could do and what she could not. By doing so, she could build something that she did well and over the years, she was able to create a sustainable, running business.

As work picked up, she hired young men and women who had been abandoned and taught them to sew and mend creating a small ecosystem of providing livelihood and independence to people… she clearly made a difference in her own small way. She ‘Cared’ and created a sense of belonging.

Courage, Clarity, Candor and Care – She was the ‘Devil Leader’. I too aspire to be one!