Hello Dear Ghumakkars,
Hope you’re all geared up for the upcoming festivals. But even if you are busy, do take time out to say hello to our new Ghumakkars and do leave a comment or two to welcome them to the family. If you haven’t read their stories yet, here are the links to their author pages:
This month’s editorial was meant to be about something else. But then I happened to hear a story that I wanted to share with every Ghumakkar because everyone should know what the world is capable of. We get lots of gory details of corruption, crime, and dishonesty. So I needn’t reiterate all that. It is just enough to say that if you read the morning newspaper or listen to any of the many 24 hour news channels, world does not appear to be such a nice place. We are gradually learning not to trust anyone.
Someone I know gave me an opportunity to look into an entirely different world – A world that I was beginning to think was dead. This person, let’s call him bhaiya, is a frequent traveller and makes many a trips from Jabalpur to Delhi. He is a farmer and also an entrepreneur. He is as comfortable in his corn fields as he is in front of a computer. He easily makes friends with people from different nationalities on Facebook. Yet when he talks, his dialect is a typical soft and respectful accent of Madhya Pradesh. Incredible as he is, he isn’t the hero of this story that I am telling you. The hero is not yet in the scene.
On the recent trip that Bhaiya made to Delhi, he stepped off his train and boarded a metro to get to his local abode. He was carrying luggage and was tired after the long journey but the train was crowded and there was no option but to stand. He pushed his heavy bag beneath one of the seats and then stood in a corner with his back against the wall. That was the only way to relax a bit. But then he happened to look at the display and figured out that he’s headed away from his destination and not towards it so he got down and crossed over to the other platform to board the correct train.
The train arrived in about 5 minutes. But once bhaiya had boarded the train, he realized that his luggage was missing. Panicking, he got down and searched the platform. Then he also searched the elevator that he had used to get to the platform but to no avail. The bag as expected contained all his belongings including a camera, his phone that he had switched off, some cash and clothes. But bhaiya isn’t the one to be hassled by anything. He notified the metro security and was asked to leave his address and phone number. They’d get back to him in case someone reported unattended luggage or if the bag was still there when the train went back into the yard at night. In short, they were not too optimistic. And I don’t blame them. The train in question was to pass through the unbelievably busy Rajiv Chowk and see for yourself whether any lost luggage could be retrieved after these many people have boarded and deboarded the trains:
So Bhaiya came home tired but not, in the least, upset. He left all his worries with God and went to sleep. But his wife knew no rest after she found out what had happened. She kept on dialling Bhaiya’s number. It was switched off as expected. Time passed and with that her hope of the phone ever ringing dwindled. If someone had found the phone, the first thing they would do is to remove the sim card. So it was probably futile to dial the number anyways. She persisted.
And after a couple of hours, Bhaiya was shaken out of his deep sleep by his frantic wife. “The phone is ringing, the phone is ringing. Wake up! Wake up!” Bhaiya got up rubbing his eyes, for a moment unable to comprehend what was going on. And then he grabbed the phone from his wife and held it to his ears. And sure enough, he could hear the sweet sound of the ring on the other end. He had, so far, been philosophical about the loss of his luggage. But now with the hopes of getting it back, he found himself redialling again and again till a male voice answered.
The man who answered the phone claimed that he had taken out the luggage and waited at the destination for bhaiya to come searching for the luggage and then had also gone back to the station where bhaiya had deboarded the train to search for bhaiya. But later had been forced to bring the bag back home where he had searched the bag for any addresses or identity and had found the mobile phone. His daughter had managed to switch it on because he himself wasn’t able to do so. He declared that he wasn’t comfortable with technology. He had been afraid to report that bag to the police. He set up with bhaiya to meet outside one of the metro stations and bhaiya, now fully awake and excited as a child, left immediately.
As he was coming out of the metro station, sure enough, bhaiya saw his bag sitting on the floor. On one side of it, squatted a man with patched up clothes and on the other side, his little son. They sat next to the queue of beggars and their faces lit up when they saw bhaiya heading towards them. The man got up and handed him his bag and refused to take the Rs. 500 that bhaiya tried to push into his hand. Bhaiya managed to convince him to take the money for the sake of his daughter who had managed to switch on the mobile phone. But the gratitude that he felt towards this man and his family was much more than anything money can ever pay for. They had not only reunited him with his bag but also with a side of humanity that we feel is vanishing fast from this world. He promised to help them whenever they need any help in terms of jobs for their children etc. Bhaiya felt the need to share this experience with anyone and everyone. He felt that he owed this man and his family this much.
And I felt the same when he related this story to me. I think we need to honour and reward such honest people who despite their own needs and obvious want of money, feel obliged to reunite someone much better off than themselves with his lost belongings. They are the heroes of this story and they are the reason why we shouldn’t lose faith in our society. All of us can take important lessons from them.
In a city like Delhi, the infamous “Crime Capital” of India, bhaiya’s faith was restored. He saw the India that we wish to show to the world, the India straight out of Aamir Khan’s Incredible India commercial.
I wish more and more such incidents will come to light. If you have any such stories to relate, please do share in your comments. The whole world needs to know about them.