Sep 24, 2013

"The Beggar's Honesty" from Sermons in the Stroms

This happened while I was once travelling to Delhi some years back. In the gangway of the compartment which was overcrowded was a crippled beggar in dirty tattered rags.
In the morning while the train was nearing Ratlam, I went to make use of the lavatory. As it was then engaged, I waited on. Just then, a Travelling Ticket Examiner came from the next compartment. As my ticket was being checked, the above said beggar handed over to the T.T.E., a money purse which he said, he had found on his bed and added that it contained lot of money. He asked the T.T.E. to find out the owner and make it over to-him.
It was a big size green purse with an attractive picture of Lord Shiva in a dancing pose embossed on it.

The T.T.E., weighingly gave the purse a look over, put it into his bag and informed the beggar that the same would be handed over to the owner. After that, he left the compartment without checking.
When I returned to my seat, I asked some of those who were seated near me if anyone of them had lost a purse. The question passed on from bench to bench and none in the compartment complained of any loss.
In the meantime, the train Reached Ratlam Junction and the beggar detrained there with out any airs of having done a great deed and disappeared in the crowd.
When little over an hour later the train reached Nagda station, a gentleman who was sleeping on the luggage rack facing my seat, got down and was hurriedly rummaging his bed and baggage and searchingly looking about hers and there with an apprehensive countenance. Obviously, he had lost something.
When asked, he informed us that he had lost his purse containing Rs. 860/- and some important documents. Describing the purse, he said that it was a light green leather one with, a picture of Shiva in a dancing pose on it. He also said that it was likely that the purse fell off from his pocket while he was boarding the train at Godhra in the early hours that day.
 After informing him how his purse had made way into the hands of a T.T.E., I took him with me and moved from one end of the platform to the other searching for that T.T.E., in the train and in the offices. I found only new faces. As was usual, the batch to which that T.T.E. belonged had changed at Ratlam.
Though Ratlam was only about 25 miles from Nagda, yet, the chances of our being immediately connected to that place either by train or by bus were nil. And that apart, we wouldn't have got back the money from that Travelling Ticket Examiner who had deliberately pocketed the purse with dishonest intentions.
Enduring the loss by overcoming his earlier feelings, that gentleman who was bound for Kotah Junction noted down from me the identity of that crippled beggar and I could see that he wanted to pay in person his hearty homages to HONESTY which was moving about in rags.

The educated and the moneyed one very OFTEN finds, Are generally very selfish, sinful and of perverted minds. The uneducated and the poor-on the other hand, are more humane and worthy sons of the God's land.

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