Kiran was a schoolboy aged 15. He had lost his parents in an accident when he was just six years old. Since then he was brought up by his grandmother. The grandmother was working as a farmhand. The wages the grandmother earned were too meagre to make both the ends meet. She was pulling on with great difficulty.
Kiran was a sincere and a studious boy. He passed his SSC examination topping the list of successful candidates in the whole district. He was honoured by his school. His photograph along with his success-story appeared in number of newspapers.
However, Kiran was keen in getting the higher education. Unfortunately there were no colleges of any kind in the village where he resided. Nor did Kiran had any money to pursue higher studies. So Kiran approached the wealthy people of the village with a request for help so that he can go to the district place and join the college there. Nobody came forward to help him.
Latumal was the richest cloth merchant from the village. So Kiran approached Latumal and requested him for monetary help. Latumal laughed at him and said, ?Money does not grow on trees. One must work hard and earn money?.
?Sir, I will ever remain grateful to you. Kindly help me in this hour of need,? said Kiran to Latumal.
Latumal again laughed with scorn and he threw fifty-paisa coin at Kiran. Kiran did not catch the coin. So the coin fell in the dust over the street.
Latumal was angry. Raising his voice Latumal said, ?Lift it and get lost. Mind you, beggars cannot be choosers?.
Kiran was unmoved. Latumal was irritated further. He added, ?Fifty paisa is not a small amount, understand? I work hard day and night and produce one rupee out of fifty paisa. Infact I have to invest fifty paise for six months to make it one rupee. Don'tbe arrogant. Have the money and get away.?
Kiran lifted the fifty-paisa coin and cleaned the coin with his handkerchief. Kiran then said, ?Sir, I do accept your kind gift. But I request you to keep this amount with you. Please invest it and return it to me when I would come back. As you said, let the amount get growing.?
Latumal accepted the amount with a feeling of disdain.
Kiran was not depressed. He went to the district place with empty hands. He worked hard there. He distributed newspapers. He worked on a part time basis as a proof reader in a printing press keeping his grip tight over the college-studies as well. He got the fruit of his perseverance. He passed the final examination of degree in electronics engineering with first-class-first-position. He was selected by a Tata concern in the campus interview itself.
Kiran had already shifted his grandmother from the village. His contact with the village was lost for over 12 years. So Kiran felt like revisiting the village for paying his respects to his aged teachers. So he came to the village and honoured his teachers with some gifts.
During this visit he also met Latumal. Kiran reminded Latumal about the fifty-paisa deposit he had placed with Latumal. Latumal could remember the incident very well.
Kiran said, ?As you had said within six-months you can double the amount?now twelve years that means twenty four units?each unit comprising of six months, are over. Kindly return the entire accumulated amount to me now.?
?Alright, I will return it? said Latumal gleefully.
So Latumal asked his diwanji to calculate how much is the amount accumulated over 24 units.
Diwanji took out the calculator and did the calculation.
?Lo, behold it is a huge amount?, exclaimed diwanji.
Latumal too was ashamed. He begged pardon of Kiran.
Kiran forgave Latumal with the condition that hence forth he would not throw the money at the needy and would treat the needy people with respect.
(The writer can be contacted at 16, Jeevanchchaya Hsg Society,Opp.Civil Hospital, Satara?415 001 (Maharashtra).)