Sunday, August 11, 2013

Honorable Honesty Over Goading Greed

Monday- the first day of the week. The morning blues never cease and even that Monday I was late for school. Still dozing in the unfinished night sleep, I walked through the gate of my building and towards the bus stop. Time seemed to move at a snail’s pace, and my legs felt laden with lead- heavy, and tired. The effort to reach my destination seemed magnanimous, and the destination seemed unreachable.

Panting, and huffing, and sweating, I finally reached the bus stop, 5 minutes after my daily scheduled time, and I was sure my daily bus had gone by. Plunking myself on the minute metal seat, I closed my eyes to get back my breath. Phew, I was tired already! How would I haul myself to school?!

Trickles of sweat ran down my brow, and soiled my white shirt, destroying the clean and clear- as it had been.

“Now the teacher will scold me for two reasons- a soiled shirt, and being late for school. Oh God! Why does the week always start like this,” I looked up and thought.

The whirr of a bus caught my attention, and I looked towards the end of the road. Impatient, as I have always been, to get to school, I got up from the stop and walked towards the road. And there she was...

On the grey asphalt, so shiny that you could look at your reflection in her; her appearance was so striking. Crafted from leather, she looked me in the eye, all beauty, no beast. I was moved by the vision of the wallet, and I bent down to pick it up. Opening it carefully, as though it would break on my rough touch, I glanced at its contents. The contents held me still; my legs were stuck in their place; my mouth stood wide open; and my eyes shone.

Notes of various denominations gleamed at me, and I just stood still. Not that I had never seen so much money, finding it on the road was a new experience. The horn of an approaching bus reminded me of my original itinerary, and I happily jumped into the bus, holding the leather wallet in my hand as a prize.

Thoughts of buying new games, a new phone, and various other prized collections developed in my mind, and the dollar sign we see in the eyes of Tom & Jerry sparkled in my eye. Greed had overtaken me, completely.

As I dreamed on, movements in the background caught my attention. The conductor of the bus- a mustached man dressed in khaki coveralls; a bag filled with money slung on his shoulder. He was guarding it safely, even though none of it was his. He did not spend it, nor did he think of spending it.
“Well, that’s his job!”

A carpenter, probably dressed in the same dirty pair of clothes he had worn yesterday, walking down the road with his armaments. His destination would be a house which would be enjoying the luxuries of large beds, and comfy sofas; and he would be the one to make it for the dwellers. But, the irony was that, when he returned back home, he would be sleeping on the cold hard floor with this children. Still, he worked from his heart.

A lady travelling in a car parallel to the bus, busy shouting instructions over the phone. Instructions about a delivery to be made, an order unfulfilled. She could have left it undone, but here she was, earning her keep. She was satisfying her job in the true sense.

And here I was. Sitting serenely, dreaming to spend someone else’s hard-earned money. All excited, and happy, at the time when someone would be crying over their loss. The tears played in my ears, and the grief struck me. Mother’s words about honesty returned to me as the visuals continued passing- a vegetable seller shouting loudly to compete against rivals; a policeman watching over the traffic; a driver waiting for his boss to command him. All of these played vividly in high definition color in front of my eyes. And I made up my mind.

That evening when I reached home from school, I reopened the wallet, and rummaged through its contents- for an address, a telephone number, or any indication of identity. Finding a card with details, I picked up the phone, with a new wish, a new hope.

The dark mark of greed on me started washing away, and so had the heaviness of wrong doing. The glum voice at the other end transformed; transformed into a cheerful chatter and as I kept down the receiver, the demon of wrong vanished. There appeared the light of the right, and it kept saying to me,” You did right, you did right.”

I am sharing my Do Right Stories at in association with Tata Capital.


  1. Honesty is always the best policy and it takes a great heart to be honest and I am happy the post ended on a note of Honesty.. :-)
    But on a funny note--Mondays are the days hated by people of all ages I guess.. :-P