Friday, May 22, 2009

Loan redeemed

I knew Rajamani Iyer for a long time. He was living in the same locality for years. We became good friends over a period of time. He had retired from state government and was drawing a small pension. He was a man of character and despite working in what is considered a lucrative department he had not made money. He was not popular amongst his colleagues who were all worldly wise and amassed wealth disproportionate to their salaries. Surprisingly Iyer was not shifted from the department until his retirement for reasons best known to the department. He did not get any promotions too. These things did not bother him. Spiritually inclined he spent most part of his time reading books and attending religious lectures. He had one son who after a brilliant academic career left for States. He married an American woman and settled there permanently. There was practically no contact except an occasional letter from him.
Iyer moved to his village with his wife where he had a dilapidated ancestral house that was small and needed good repairs. An independent man with lot of self respect, he refused to accept any remittance from his son that was offered to him. The couple led a frugal life within their income spending their time in the local temple activities. I had lost touch with him for nearly a decade when one fine morning he dropped in at my house. After the pleasantries, he informed me that he lost his wife a year back and that he was living alone. He was getting his food from the temple on some payment and that he spent most of the day voluntarily helping the temple administration. He said that the temple was in very poor condition and that efforts are on to make some minimum repairs. Being associated with the temple he wanted to donate some amount from his side. He wondered whether I could extend a loan of Rs.5000 which he would repay without interest in due course. He did not specify any time. He said he had no ready cash and did not want to ask his son’s help. Considering the facts that the amount was not big, the cause was worthy and that this was the first time he was seeking my help, I readily gave him the money. I knew his poor financial position and was not particular or sanguine about getting the money back.
Years passed by with no communication from Iyer.I had also forgotten about the money I lent him. One day, I received a long letter from his son Ravi along with a draft for Rs.5000 intimating that his father had passed away about three weeks back. He had lamented that after his marriage his father never forgave him and refused to accept any help even monetary from him. He was not kept informed of his mother’s death too. He came to India when the trustee of the temple had telephoned him about his father’s demise. His father had left a note in a diary wherein he had mentioned that the ancestral house was pledged with a cooperative bank for a loan taken. It appears that he had spent a major portion of the money for his wife’s treatment and the remaining portion he had donated to the temple. Iyer had also mentioned in the note that he had taken an interest free loan of Rs.5000 from me and that he was feeling guilty about the debt he owed me for a long time. He desired that the amount be paid to me with his sincere apologies for the delay from the sale proceeds of the house after settling the bank debt. Ravi had expressed his surprise that the balance left after clearing the bank liability was exactly Rs5000 that his father owed me.


  1. This feeling of gratitude for the people who help you is very important and whts more imp is to fulfil a promise, coz one day we'll have to leave this world but what would still exist would be our words and our deeds.The respect in the hearts of those we came across. That would indeed make our journey complete.The protagonists might have forgotten Iyer after giving him money, but by getting it back, and by realising the fact as to how worthy his friend was, he made him immortal..alive in his memories forever.
    A beautiful story:)

  2. really touched me..A man of his word, shows the respect he had for himself and for the people around him...real lucky to have such people in our lives.

  3. Namaste.....
    That was a touching story and also there was a lesson within. Thank you for sharing

  4. umm that quite sounds like one we get to hear when we go for charismatic retreats ...

    the providence at work! ha?

  5. As usual a winner story from you.. Such selfless people are very rare indeed...

  6. A person with self respect..
    personally, marrying a person of one's choice is not a sin but avoiding the parents completely is..

    It is a nice story..