Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Tip

The noises were too loud to be ignored. Though he had slept hardly for an hour, Raju could no longer continue his sleep. His landlord had come again, demanding the rent. This was becoming the routine from last seven months, when his father passed away. He was frustrated by the naggings of his landlord, milkman and the person who had given them a small debt.

His father was a taxi driver, and when he was alive they had a comfortable life. If you are thinking what comforts a driver can give, you come from a different piece of land. Isn’t having an assured meal without any worries a big comfort. No one knew it better than Raju.

But one accident changed his life. His father died on the spot and his family was given one thousand rupees in all to forget about the case. Raju whose life till now revolved around cards and friends became the sole bread earner of the family.

He adapted well with the change. Raju’s father had taught him driving long ago, after seeing his disasters in studies. So Raju got a job as a driver, by the 'generosity' of his father’s employer, albeit at half the salary. He worked really hard and no one could have imagined Raju like this when his father was alive.

Now he had to save money, save the family from continuous naggings of everyone and also put together some money for his sister who was already fourteen. Adding to this, even the health of his mother was deteriorating.

So Raju was saving in all the ways he could. He ate with half the money that his employer gave him, stopped having his ‘pan masala’ and took any additional job that came in the way.

One day he was sent to get a carwash. There was a carwash market, which had tens of shops bustling with activity. The fixed rate was forty rupees and that was what his master gave him. But Raju decided to bargain. He tried in many shops, hassled with shopkeepers, argued with them and then found one who agreed to do it in thirty. That shall enable him to save complete ten rupees.

This was going to be the way in which all his dreams will get fulfilled. Why is it not possible that he will own a fleet of taxis on day? Even if a fleet is not there, he may be able to drive his own taxi. His father always said that fortunes are built by meager savings.

Lost in his dreams, he was watching the ten year old boy washing the car. Thin as a kite, the boy had to apply all his strength to remove the car stains. He was wearing torn clothes and a big talisman on his arm. He must have been from the fleet of young boys who came to the cities from villages to get some work. There must be a family back home that was waiting for the wages of this boy.

When the work was done, Raju came and sat in his car, his dreams somewhat disturbed. He started the car but then he noticed the hollows around the eyes of this young boy. He could not move on.

He called the boy and gave him ten rupees tip.

PS: This story is almost based on a real incident. Humanity keeps on amazing me!

News for you all, my raft got toppled while River rafting. I drank at least 2 lts of Ganges water, had many up and downs in river rapids and was finally rescued after three minutes which seemed like a lifetime. Now I think I should put adventure sports to the backseat for sometime.

13 comments:

Cosmic Voices said...

It was really good.

Considering that your service provides you with opportunities to interact with and observe different sections of the society, I am sure you would go a long way with your sensitivity.

Praveen said...

I'm ignorant about where the 9%+ growth is going in to. Is it just the service sector?
I wish we(read government) could provide an assured meal to everyone. It's disheartening to see that child labor prevails even in the MNC's.

Having started work at 17 I can tell that there are better things to do than work when you are under 18 :-)

I'm sure you guys* will make a difference.

guys* : annayya.. If you happen to see this :-)

Cosmic Voices said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cosmic Voices said...

Thammudu,

We will :-)

Anurag Srivastava said...

@cosmic voices: Thank you :-)

I am looking forward to work in the field. You know how it is to sit in classes and mind it, unlike you I remain awake most of the time :P

Praveen: We will surely try our best. But since only wealth and not povert can be distributed, so any growth is welcome.

@both: I am finding my comments hijacked by telugu, please keep on translating :)

Praveen said...

> I am finding my comments hijacked
> by telugu, please keep on
> translating :)

:-)

annayya : brother (elder)
thammudu : brother (younger)

Praveen said...

btw: if you haven't noticed I managed to create a blog :-))

Hari said...

Hi Anurag one more beautiful piece of writing.

Yes humanity keeps us amazing. But sometimes it makes us disappointing and sometimes disturbing .Yesterday I happened to read one disturbing story in The New Indian Express.

The crux of the story is this.

There are agencies which made begging their business. There are around 50 agencies which employ around 50 street children each. The children turn up around six in the morning . The agency picks them and transports to nearby commercial and industrial towns where they are dropped in railway stations , bus stations and any crowded place they find.The target for each child is Rs 80 Per day. By 6:30 pm in the evening, they are collected and taken back and dropped at the agency. Each child is given Rs20 and seved dinner. Next day, the business is same as usual. And one more thing Anurag this is happening in southern India which is considered progressive when compared with other regions.

I also read another story .

And this one is heartening. A well-known software company under its ‘Corporate Social Responsibility Intiative’ adopted government public school in its surroundings and donated one crore rupees to modernize the dilapidated school building, construct toilets, provide pure drinking water and a compound wall besides providing security. What more, it has also decided to provide Mid day meals to all the students and the food will be the same that is available and prepared in the corporate canteens. Isn’t our growth rate percolating ? And I also belong to the school of thought which believes that only wealth can be shared not poverty.

And in real India we can find countless examples for both. Perhaps how we look at things matters. Why not each responsible individual not make a difference in his/her ( see i am also gender sensitive) way. But the real responsibility and opportunity will be on/for three people in society – Politicians, Bureaucrats and Corporates. And I am happy u are one among them.

PS: Anurag u reworked about me profile is really good. I must say I am overwhelmed or simply don’t have enough words with me to describe more. But I have two comments here. One u r location is shown as Afghanistan and I think it is by default. And second u r
Webpage doesn’t fit in normal screen while earlier it used to be. May be u r latest laptops
provided by the government should be having bigger screens. I think it would be better if it fits in normal monitors as to avoid horizontal scrolling.

jyoti said...

a nice one......to appreciate such kind of acts,one needs to have a sensitive heart ......but to act in the same way one needs a golden heart......

Anurag Srivastava said...

@Praveen: I will just check it out :)

@Hari: Thanks for your comments. I know its better to see the glass half full than talking about it being half empty.

I will change the location. Regarding monitor, I talked to onw of my com science friends. He said that it depends not on size of monitor but resolution. Though I will try to figure that out, but you also please see whats the resolution on your comp.

I am not a geek so correction may take time :)

@jyoti: :) thats very true

Hari said...

I must admit that u r at least remotely connected with it through u r engineering background while I am not. So u need not worry on that count.

I have also checked with some my friends with relevant background. They said the normal resolution is 800 by 600. And for most of the web pages this is the one generally used.

Take u r own time . My only intention is to bring to u r notice.

Praveen said...

[Regarding only wealth can be shared not poverty]

aren't both the same? By distributing wealth we are making people less richer.. (relatively, less richer = poorer) ;-)

Kidding aside.. I got what you mean.

Anurag Srivastava said...

@Hari: Now I think most people use a larger resolution tha 800*600

You can try increasing it by right click on desktop->click on settings->increase the resolution on the scale that you will see

In case you are using XP this will be easil done.