Honesty is The Best Policy – Inspirational Real-Life Tale
This is a story of a poor yet honest man. We had gone to Darjeeling during the summer holidays and booked a cottage on rent for our stay. Our cook Gopi had come with us because we could not do without home-cooked meals.
Usually, all the shopping was done by our house-help, Bharat who had accompanied us to our holiday destination.
However, one early evening, my mother decided to do all the vegetable shopping herself. She believed that he did not wait to check out the really fresh items and instead, bought randomly in a hurry.
As a result, the vegetables he brought back were not fresh.
After getting ready, she took her favourite purse with quite an amount of money, thinking she could go to other shops too after finishing at the vegetable market.
My mother asked Bharat to get a rickshaw for her and on reaching the market, she asked the rickshaw wallah to wait for her.
She took a coolie and did her shopping happily, choosing some of the freshest green vegetables available there. At last her shopping was done. She returned to the rickshaw and sat on it while the coolie transferred all the purchases of the day onto the rickshaw.
On reaching home, Bharat took all the packets of vegetables inside and my mother quickly paid the rickshaw wallah and got off, forgetting to collect her purse from the seat of the rickshaw. The rickshaw wallah left soon after saluting my mother. All of us greeted my mother and asked her about her evening of shopping with much delight.
It was much later in the evening, almost 9 PM when dinner was about to be announced that my mother realized her purse was missing. She looked everywhere for it and suddenly remembered that after paying the rickshaw man, she had kept the purse on the seat before settling her sari and getting off the rickshaw. She had forgotten to pick up her purse which contained a lot of cash.
When my father came to know about this, he said that it was too late to look for the rickshaw wallah. If my mother had remembered about her purse on entering the cottage, he could have sent the house-help to look for him. We all decided that it was best to forget about it. Mom felt sad and guilty while sitting for dinner.
We were just about to begin eating when the doorbell rang. Bharat opened the door and called my mother to see who it was. The wonder of wonders, it was the poor old bedraggled rickshaw wallah standing at our entrance with a big smile on his weather-beaten face. He had mummy’s purse in his hand. He told her he had gone too far before discovering her purse, that is why he came so late. Could he be forgiven for that?
He knew she must be worried. My mom was taken aback by this poor man’s honesty when on opening her purse, she found all the notes intact. She wanted to reward the old man but he smiled and said, “Memsaab, I’m poor but not a thief” and went away smiling broadly.
All of us realized that there was still honesty and goodness in this world!
PS: Real picture of my mother shopping for vegetables in Darjeeling.
Contributed By: Amita [email protected]
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