I had to travel from Delhi to Indore. I was already late to reach the station. It was almost the time and I was afraid that I might miss it. I was rushing with two bags in my hands, One of which was quite heavy. I saw that the train was delayed by 30 mins and took a deep breath. The train was at the 4th platform. So I had to take carry the luggage to the 4th platform using overbridge. This was a bit irritating after a journey in state transport bus from Rohtak for 5 hours.
Just as I was taking my last few downward steps, I saw a guy, he was visibly very much helpless. He was asking two men about something. He was somehow now able to converse with those men. Out of pity feeling, I asked him what happened. He tried to talk in his broken Hindi. I somehow sensed that he might be Marathi speaking guy. I said few words in Marathi n suddenly his face lit up. He was indeed a Maharashtriyan guy. He then told me that he had been traveling with his family (He, his mother, father and a sister) before they got separated from his father. His father was having all the cash and they literally have nothing .
Then I probed him, “Which place in Maharashtra?”
He reverted “Nanded.”
I said, “I am from Hingoli district (which is near Nanded) where are you exactly from?”
He reverted, “Sengaon in Hingoli district”
I was surprised as it was my place. So I asked him an exact place and he was from a village 6 kms from mine. I couldn’t believe it, so I asked him for his I’d proof. He showed me his driving license. He was indeed from a place near me. I also got to know that he and I have someone mutual known person. I tried to call that person by taking the number from my dad. I couldn’t reach him and my dad to advised me to not to help unless the uncle ask to do so. I had also heard stories from my friends about people making excuses at Delhi station and then taking money. But, my heart wasn’t listening, it wasn’t accepting that it was a just another coincidence – a person met me at Delhi station, who is in need n is exactly from a place 1500 kms in Maharashtra. It can’t be just coincidence. I shall definitely help him. I took all my luggage, looked at my watch, I had 12 mins to afford which was a short duration. Still, I went Out and got cash from ATM and gave him 2500 rupees.
I didn’t ask him for return but he himself promised me to return it. He took my dad’s number and address. Hence I admitted to my dad of helping him and asked him to take money whenever this guy visits. Few days went by and my dad kept telling me that no one came. I was asking him to keep patience as it will take time for this guy to arrange money. Finally after months of not turning up, we accepted that this guy isn’t going to return it. It was a bad experience for me and a lesson learnt.
3 years down the line, I was coming from Rishikesh to Haridwar on my bike. I stopped in between just to check a call. By the time I ended my call, I find a couple waiting next to me. They told about how they came to Haridwar looking for work but due to fog there in no work. The couple too was from Maharashtra. Once again I thought what a level of coincidence that I stopped my bike at random outskirt point and found someone looking for help. But due to my past experience, I told them I can only help by a few bucks for a meal and extended 150 rs which I had in my wallet. This guy immediately replied, “I don’t want to lie to you. But I had food in this temple (pointing at a temple nearby) So if you are giving money for food, I can’t take it. I need money for the ticket. 500 is something that shall do”. I told him that I don’t have and shall check if there is an ATM in next 500 meters stretch. If I find one I will come back and give money otherwise I won’t. He said OK. Though I didn’t find an ATM in 500 mtr stretch I found one after it. Somehow I didnt had enough motivation to return from that long. There was one side of me telling not to leave someone in the cold of uttarakhad. The other side of me was reminding about the earlier incident. The later side finally turned victorious.
That night I kept thinking how dishonesty in an honest work broke the chain completely. At least few things should be kept pure. If someone wants to cheat there are so many other ways than taking blanket of some pure things. There should be some honesty even in dishonest things.