Monday, November 26, 2007

Vishal’s kindness

KParthasarathi Monday, November 26, 2007
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Vishal Gupta was one of the fortunate few born with a silver spoon in the mouth. Blessed with a good natured wife and intelligent children, he had nothing much to wish for. He was walking in the narrow pathway of the large municipal park one evening. He was late that day and it was getting dark. Except for very few old people spending their time on the benches, the park was desolate. The lighting was also not adequate with lamp posts far from each other. But Gupta followed religiously the daily regimen of forty five minutes walk prescribed by his doctor to keep his weak heart in good condition.
Suddenly out of no where a man emerged from the bushes. He was a strong built man but his eyes were sunk and cheeks hollow betraying his indigent condition. He simply stood opposite Vishal Gupta with his threatening physique but pleading eyes.Vishal said in annoyed tone “What is your problem? Why are you standing in my way preventing me to proceed further? “He replied in a tremulous voice “I want some money immediately. Give me the money you have. I think you can afford it”. Gupta being timid by nature was afraid to argue with him considering there were none around to help. He normally carried a small amount with him for any emergency. He took his purse and gave it to him meekly. The man opened purse and counted six fifty rupee notes. He kept one fifty rupee note with him and returned the purse with the balance He left hastily after saying “this is adequate for my needs. I am sorry for taking this money like this. I do not know any other way. Please excuse me.”
Gupta was intrigued at the strange behaviour of the man. His curiosity thus aroused he followed the man at safe distance. After passing thro several lanes he reached a hut. He heard the man crying and telling loudly to his wife that he had become a despicable thief and robber taking away money from someone without earning it. His wife was consoling him saying “what other alternative we had to save the starving children. They have not taken a morsel since two days and are weeping continuously. No one around here is willing to help. I am also not comfortable with this way. I will not ask you to do it again, I swear upon God.” Gupta heard the man beating his head with his hands and sobbing in remorse. When he entered the dimly lit hut, the man was startled and started crying saying” Oh God, police have come to take me.” Gupta patted him on his shoulder and asked him to calm down telling there is no policeman. He told the man who was shying away from him “Don’t be afraid. No harm will come to you. When you took only fifty rupees from the purse and returned the balance, I realized you are no robber and that circumstances must have forced you to take this cranky step. My impression is vindicated by the feeling of guilt shown by you. I have forgiven you already. I have now seen your pitiable condition. You can work if you are willing as a gardener in my house from tomorrow.”
He thrust the balance money in the hands of the incredulous man standing before him with folded hands. The man and his wife fell at the feet of Gupta clasping his legs. The bewildered children too followed suit by falling on the ground before him. The man mumbled “Sir, you have saved us from falling into a life of wickedness and misery. You are our saviour and we are beholden to you.”

Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, and kindness in your smile-Mother Teresa

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