In a touching incident, an Indian tea seller living in Dubai was accorded the rare honour of being invited to open new branch of a shop he has been serving for 20 years.
50-year-old Mohammed Shafi from Kerala was pleasantly surprised when Neelesh Bhatia, chairman of Key Fashion Electronics Trading, invited him to be the guest of honour for the inauguration of his third showroom in the area.
Visibly shy, Mohammed Shafi cut the ribbon with a smile on his face amid the applause of dozens of people, including employees and guests. Bhatia also draped a shawl around Shafi as a gesture of honouring him, a report on Gulf News says.
But before that, just after he entered the shop, Shafi took no time in picking up a mobile headphone set and handing out a Dh200 note to the manager at the shop. He did not wish to get the balance for the first purchase from the newly opened shop.
The service-minded man was quick to join the shopkeepers at the store in serving sweets and savouries for the guests.
Speaking to Gulf News after the ceremony, Shafi, who works with Dream Way cafeteria in the neighbourhood, said he was pleasantly surprised when Bhatia invited him as the chief guest.
“I never expected anything like this. It is so sweet of him to do this. I have not heard about people doing such nice gestures. I just want him to get more business and prosper in life.”
He also praised Bhatia for his benevolent nature. “He was the one who encouraged me to let my son continue his education after he passed his 12th grade with good marks. When I was thinking of bringing him over to Dubai as a salesman, he [Bhatia] gave me some Dh15,000 and told me to use it for my son’s higher education. I am very much indebted to him as my son is now an IT engineer in Al Ain.”
Bhatia from Rajasthan was also all praise for Shafi. “I felt it was appropriate to invite someone, who has served us every day for 20 years with love and dedication, as the chief guest. He is a true well-wisher also. When I am in the shop, he will bring a green tea without sugar without even asking me. On occasions like Diwali, he brings special juices for all of us.”
Sometimes, it is Shafi who keeps a watch on the shop and keeps the keys with him if the employees are late, Bhatia added.