It was drizzling outside. There were not many in that small bank in the outskirts of the city.Raju had just withdrawn a heavy sum for some function in his house. He suddenly felt a sharp nudge of cold steel on his back. He heard a rough voice”Don’t panic. Hand over the money quietly. There is a reason”
Raju turned to see a coarse looking man with a big mustache and a deep scar on his face. There was a faint familiarity in his face. He looked like any sidekick of the villain in the movies with shaven head and a red scarf around his neck. Raju perspired heavily in fear. The few staff in the bank behind the glass partitions did not notice them.
Raju said “I am a poor man. I have withdrawn this money for my daughter’s wedding preparation. Please spare me.”
“Don’t fear. I have not come to harm you as you think. Your money would be safe if you give it to me” he said
Raju asked “How come? I need this money immediately for my use. Please spare me, I beg of you.”
“There are two men outside waiting on their motorbike to snatch this from you. When I saw you, I decided to save it for you. I will give it back after they are gone.” he said
Confused and still shaking in fear Raju asked “How can I be sure that you would return this money? Why are you considerate to me? I have never met you. Please allow me to go.”
“Okay, if you do not trust me, deposit the money back in the bank before they pull down the shutters. Do it fast. I cannot remain here for long. One of them waiting outside may come in here to see what is happening. I will tell you why I am being kind to you after you have deposited the money back “ he said hurriedly
Raju without loss of time quickly credited the amount back in the bank much to the amusement of the bank cashier..
The man said “You may not remember me. About six months back on a lonely stretch I way laid you and asked you to hand over whatever money you had on you. You had just a few rupees and a watch. As you were handing over the money, a police patrol car suddenly screeched to a halt by our side. Seeing you in your clean attire and me in my rowdy appearance, the police asked you whether there was any problem. You told them’None.we know each other and are exchanging pleasantries’ and they sped away.”
“I could not forget the help you did that day. You could have simply handed me over to them. Probably you took pity on my poor condition. When my buddies and I decided to rob, I was sent inside to keep watch. When I saw you, I wished to do you a good turn. Let me hurry before they become suspicious” he said and vanished
Raju stood there dumbfounded at the thought that even vile persons have a streak of gratitude in them and that it is not the possession of only the virtuous.