Honesty is the Best Policy

There are score of time in ourlives when we are caught in between the dilemma of standing between the easy and the tough way out of a situation. The easy was is more paying, more tempting and more lucrative in the short run but our inner conscience knows that it is not the right thing, no matter how strong the pull might be. The courage to then opt for the harder but right way out is what sets us apart and counts in the long run of life.

Such was the dilemma faced by Rahman, the rickshaw puller in the small town of Lucknow where he pulled a hand driven rickshaw everyday within the narrow by-lanes. By nature, he was easy-going, cheerful and happy-go-lucky yet the events of the last few months had left him drained out. His youngest daughter Asma, who was the apple of his eye, had been diagnosed with a congenital heart disease. Day after day he was used to see her turn blue and had to be rushed to the hospital. The doctor had categorically mentioned that he needed to arrange for Rs.8.5 lakhs for her immediate operation. Rahman, who earned not more Rs.500, on a daily basis, was standing at the edge of a dark dungeon and knew he would be plunged headlong into it, any moment. Arranging this huge amount was impossible in his condition and even his earnest please and his immense good will could arrange no more than Rs. 1 lakh from his immediate surrounding of people in similar financial situation.

Such were the thoughts which plagued him that afternoon when an a well-dressed man, stopped him outside the hospital gate and hopped on his bulky frame in his rickshaw, demanding he be taken to the bus stand immediately , for the next bus to Kanpur. The heat was relentless, the sun scorching, sweat dripped from Rahman’s face as the man extolled him to ride faster , luring him with double the fare temptation, until he could feel his chest burst. The destination was reached and the man hurriedly rushed to catch the last minute bus, after meeting the fare.

Tired and exhausted, Rahman got down at the next Municipal water tap to quench his thirst and itwas then that he saw the bag. Catching hold of it, Rahman felt it was an answer from his Almighty to all his prayers. It was a bag full of cashbut the very next moment he Rahman felt guilt for harbouring such thoughts and realized that it was not his to count or keep. He ran towards the bus depot frantically looking for the man and found him sitting in a corner with his head between his hands.

Rahman returned the bag and the look of relief that passed through that man’s face was a gift Rahman would cherish for a long time. The man, revealed himself to be adoctor in the government hospital, who was on his way to arrange this daughter’s wedding and this was his lifetime earnings which had just encashed. He tried to pay Rahman extra but Rahman shrugged his head and was gone.

On Asma’s next hospital visit, Rahman once again met the doctor and the doctor was delighted to have come across him once gain. On hearing about Asma’s condition, the doctor, without thinking twice agreed to perform the operation, free of cost and arrange for the other expenses, from his pocket, declaring this was the least he could do towards the man who never thought twice about doing theright thing, in face of such adversity.

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