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Pebbles on the Shore

A collection of Short Stories By VK Narasimhan

Contact: Plot no-2, Wahab Nagar Sikh village Secunderbad -09 E-mail: narasimhan_venkataraman@yahoo.co.in Phone no: 040 -27894001

About the Author: From the publisher


VK Narasimhan is a septuagenarian. He retired from the Railways as Chief of Security forces. This pious, ever smiling, always helpful Tamilian has devoted himself to the cause of senior citizens for well over a decade. He was recognized by the Government of Andhra Pradesh for services to the elderly a couple of years ago. He has edited Abhilash, the monthly newsletter of Senior Citizens Forum, Secunderabad for several years without interruption. In this collected volume of short stories we see a different VKN. We find a story writer with a lucid style, interesting themes who portrays commonplace observations in a way that will interest everyone, both young and old. We are sure you will enjoy reading this collection, as much as I did!

Publisher Dr P Vyasamoorthy President, Society for Serving Seniors, Secunderabad


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Table of Contents

Contents
About the Author: From the publisher ................................... 3 TIME-THE TEACHER................................................................. 7 Attitude ................................................................................. 13 Bhakthi .................................................................................. 17 LIFE-THE DIVINE DRAMA....................................................... 21 Mother-................................................................................. 25 MUTUAL HELP....................................................................... 31 Nirmala.................................................................................. 35 Orthodoxy ............................................................................. 39 PEACE OF MIND ................................................................... 43 Raksha bandhan.................................................................... 47 REALISATION ......................................................................... 51 Retired- not tired .................................................................. 55 THE REAL SERVICE................................................................. 59

TIME-THE TEACHER
In the fertile Gangetic planes, lies a village Viswapur consisting of 1000-1500 houses, mostly thatched houses except a few concrete roofed ones. On the banks of river Ganges, about 100 meters away a wall is built (12 feet length and 6 feet height).On both sides of the wall a picture of mother Ganges is painted. She wears a crown underneath her long black locks of hair which flow up to the knee. It is said by the elders of the village that even in worst floods, the flood waters only kissed the wall but has never crossed it. The people rever the wall by doing pranams to Mata Ganges. Viswapur has a Siva temple and the architects have planned it in such a way that the morning sun bathes the Sanctum Sanctorum and in the afternoon through an aperture made in the roof, suns rays fall on the lingam. Likewise, in the evening, the evening sun falls on the lingam before it sets down. The pujaris perform Trikala pooja by chanting Rudram and Chamakam, which are the Samavedic hymns very dear to Lord Siva. A Mela is held every year during Sivaratri wherein large crowds of nearby villages attend and enjoy.
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In the nearby fields, which extend more than 10 sq km, rice, mustard, sunflower are grown. When these plants are in ripe stage, due to the gentle breeze, they dance which is so enjoyable. One has to see it to believe. This terrestial dance, far better than the celestial dance of the stars, fills the art of villages. Viswapur village has a school for boys up to 6th standard and only two teachers are sanctioned, one of whom absents very often. The teacher reaches the school by about 100 clock by bicycle. One of the students cleans the cycle; another brings tea for the teacher after which the class starts. There are about 50 boys. Even though they are of different standards, they are made to sit in the same class and given different tasks to work. The most conspicuous boy is Bholanath aged 12 years, who is the son of the village headman. He is a fat boy with protruding belly. He attends the school more as a pastime than for learning. There is another boy Deenanath who is the son of a poor labourer, of the same age. He is well built for his age and has a receptive mind. He is a good wrestler, swimmer and kabbadi player. Bholanath has always a grudge against him and always used to snub and scold him. One day, when Deenanath was taking a bath in the Ganges, by keeping his lungi on the banks,
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Bholanath took away the same. Unfortunately, Deenanaths loin cloth slipped into the river. He couldnt come out of the river as Bholanath refused to give his lungi. Finally, he got out of the river and ran towards his house naked. Bholanath and his friends threw stones at him calling him paagal. He received lot of bruises and somehow reached his home. He did not tell any of this to his mother. Days passed by, Deenanaths father who had pledged his two Bighas of land with the village headman could not retrieve it and had to surrender the same to the village headman. He shifted with his family to another village, which was 10 villages downstream on the Ganges from Viswapur, where he found a suitable job. Deenanath joined a school and completed matriculation and got a job in the local Grameen bank. One evening he found few boys chasing a naked man and throwing stones at him even though the man was repeatedly saying that he was the son of the village headman of Viswapur. The boys were not paying heed to his words and chased him from street to street. Out of curiosity, Deenanath went near the madman who was suffering from bleeding injuries, and found to his dismay that it was Bholanath his old friend. Bholanath hugged him
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and requested Deenanath to save him from the boys. Immediately, Deenanath gave Bholanath his towel and took him to his house and nursed his wounds after giving him food. Bholanath weepingly narrated that when he was taking bath in the Ganges in Viswapur, his lungi was eaten away by the cattle and to his bad luck, he did not wear any loin cloth on that day. Since many people recognise him in the village, he swam downstream for an hour and got out of the river near the village when the boys accosted him. He further added that this was the punishment given by the lord to him for all the sufferings he gave to Deenanath during his younger days and he learnt a bitter lesson. He avowed that he would never insult or harm anybody and would put a stop to his arrogance, anger etc. Bholanath stayed in Deenanaths house for the night. Since Bholanath did not return to his house, his father sent people to search for him downstream. Many villagers stated that they saw him taking bath; none of them saw him coming out of the river. His father surmised that his son had drowned. Both Deenanath and Bholanath reached Viswapur in the morning and narrated the whole incident. Bholanath being a refined man after the incident got the two Bighas of land transferred back to
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Deenanath father. Before departing, Bholanath thanked Deenanath for rescuing him from the clutches of the boys and informed Deenanath that the incident has taught him a very good lesson.

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Attitude
A frail figure with a dhoti, white shirt and a coat and a Maharashtrian type of cap walking briskly between nine fifty and teno clock towards Bolaram high school will be none other than Mr.Babu.Rao (Urdu teacher but good at teaching geography and English). Every day after singing the school prayer along with the children he would write thought for the day in the notice board and go for his class. He had a nack of attracting the students like flies getting attracted to beautiful flowers. Head master Mr.K.S.Murthy used to depute Babu.Rao for teaching geo and English to eighth and ninth standard students when the regular teachers would not be available. His teaching methods became popular among the students as some of the students of other class used to attend Babu. Raos class. He would ask people to spell attendance when the students spell dence instead of dance, he would tell them that at-ten-dance, similarly he would give a tip for spelling together and would teach to-get-her. For every thing he had a nack of teaching the students. It was a surprise that he would analyze the spelling of assassination in a jocular way. In Hindi and English he would say ass kebad ass us ke bad I, uske bad apna desh (nation), then the spelling would be assassination, by such analysis the spelling of this word became easy for the students. 13

In geography class he used to draw maps of great Britain, India, Australia etc on free hand. He would say old man sitting with a long beard is Great Britain. Italy will be in the form of a leg kicking football (Cecily) he would call tear of India is Srilanka. ABC of south America is Argentina, Brazil and Chile. He would also teach the names of various grasslands as savannah, prairie, and steppes and make the boring subject very interesting. He was against giving any notes and asking the students to mug up. In his coat pocket there would be minimum six half pencils, four erasers and two menders. He would scold students who have forgotten their pencils and supply from his pocket. Many students thanked him for this needy help. The great thing in him was his smiling face and ready to help attitude. Any student any time to clear their doubts. Most of the students were ignorant of his family circumstances One of the students who was loving near his house used to sat that he had a sickly wife, old mother aged eighty years and polio affected daughter, his day would start at four in the morning and after doing the daily chores and cooking he would rush up for the school to catch the morning train from kacheguda to Bolaram. Never did he express his difficulty to others. He was greatly impressed by the word attitude. He would explain that give number 1 to A likewise give 26 to Z. if u add the value of attitude ( 1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5= 100) 14

No other word would add up to complete hundred. If one gets adjusted to any situation by suitably altering ones attitude he would not confront any problems in life. This principle he has been following and has been quiet successful in facing ups and downs of life. On the day when students would leave the school after tenth class exam he would always request them to keep their attitudes according to the situation and be successful. Many old students while meeting him would congratulate him for this priceless advice which has stood in their days of tribulations.

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Bhakthi
Ragothamchar a retired deputy accountant general of defence accounts devoted all his time in performing poojas, preaching stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata specially pertaining to lord human, his ista devatha his regular pooja attracted many of the locality members who attended with devotion. Apart from bhajans and kirtans he had a melodious voice. His wife Laxmi amma also took active part in the bhajans. The numbers of devotees swelled day by day. Sri. Ragothama char had an urge to do something out of the ordinary which many attract more gullible people. As Prasadam he used to offer dahi bath and wadai as Prasadam to lord hanuman. After the poojas he used to openly exhibit the finger prints on the dahi baths and some of the broken wadas. He would tell the audience that lord hanuman had visited and blessed the pooja and blessed the devotees and accepted the Prasad. The news of finding finger prints and niblings of wadas after the pooja spread far and wide and many people witnessed but none had the courage to question how such a mini miracle would take place Ragothamchar, while being alone the conscious would prick him that he is virtually committing a sin and cheating the people .he would appeal to the conscious that such a thing is being practised only to ins]crease the Bhakthi bhava among the people . His 17

wife laxmi knew the secret that her husband is medling with the Prasadam when people are deeply engaged in singing bhajans and she had no guts to correct her husband. Similar was the position of his close friend devotee Govinda rao, Years rolled by Ragothamchar started performing such poojas in his friends house in various house, some of them had found out the real thing brushed aside the same considering the Bhakthi bhava he creates among the people. Ragothamchar turned eighty and due to blood pleasure he had paralysis on the right side and his speech became incoherent .while lying down in his bed he would question himself as to why he continued such a practice and cheated the public though he did not derive any material benefit . Because of his immobility the conscious was taking an upper hand and constantly pricking him. he had no answer but to surrender before the lord and ask for an excuse when his heath deteriorated further he happened to listen verse 23 of chapter nine of Gita which states that a leaf, a spoon of water and a flower if offered with a clear mind to the lord same would please him than a grand pooja with lot of flowers and eatables offered . This verse deeply affected him and tears started rolling down from his cheek. He called for his wife Laxmi and friend govinda rao, and admitted his sins committed by him. They both looked at each other which made Ragothamchar to understand that these two knew the practice made by him (story of visiting of lord 18

hanuman) in every pooja. They hold caught hold of his hand Ragothamchar and pressed meaningfully. He looked at them and stared and his eye balls stood still indicating that the life had passed away. Govinda rao, consoled laxmi, the regular poojas continued without any mini miracles govinda rao, in his preaching tells the audience pure devotion to the; lord is the best offering...............

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LIFE-THE DIVINE DRAMA


Duggirala Rama shasthri a student of 3rd year BA had a handsome personality with fair complexion prominent nose, bright eyes. He was soft spoken and respected the elders. He was endowed with a rich majestic voice which attracted the attention of the listeners. He was not only good at studies but also good at acting in dramas in Telugu as well as English. His English professor Vishwanath Rao spotted the inherent talent in Rama Shasthri .He encouraged him to act as in Julius Caesar and deliver the famous speech. His dialogue as allure Sitarama Raju attracted the attention of not only his college mates but also students of nearby colleges. He took part in inter university drama college at Delhi where he enacted the part of allure Sitarama Raju and delivered the speech in chaste Hindi. He thanked his teacher for the good translation in Hindi. D Rama shasthri got the nickname as drama Rao. He took the criticism in his stride and continued his good work. He completed MA in economics with distinction. His father being a tahsildar in Guntur district wanted his son to write the civil services exam which Rama shasthri obeyed and got through and was allotted to Jharkhand state. His father Markandeya Shasthri was very proud of his son. His value among the revenue staff rose high. Many parents of suitable girls approached 21

him, to get Ramu married to their daughters.Ramu however declined their offers as he was of a different bent of mind.Ramu having been posted in Dehradun, he arranged for his parents to visit Badrinath and Kedarnath in comfort. He was posted as sub collector in Rishikesh where apart from his official duties he was greatly attracted by many spiritual leaders living in the holy town. In his sparetime, he studied the life of Swami Sivananda, Chinmayananda and Dayananda Saraswati. During his daily meditation he felt that all the human beings are mere actors and they are constantly being directed by the creator. His deep study of Upanishad and Gita confirmed his views on life. By the time he had put in more than 10 yrs of service in IAS cadre, he slowly began to think of resigning the job and enter spiritual life. To suit his thinking the lord created a situation in which as secretary of forest department he unearthed huge acres of land grabbing by local mafia. He got many of them prosecuted. In all these cases he found an undercurrent of ownership of these lands by Home minister of state Brig.Bhushan and chief minister Bajrang Lal.He received direct threats on his life through phones and letters. Some of his seniors asked him to apply for a transfer, which he did not do. His conscience rebelled against him and even suggested to quit the post than to be a party in allowing grabbing of lands. He called for a press conference as secretary of forest department and gave full details to the media. TV channels and radio investigated further and leveled 22

charges against the home minister and chief minister. They were forced to resign and they faced prosecution. Rama Rao IAS resigned from the post much against the wishes of his parents and joined the divine life society for serving the needy. His sudden change of position found him in tight spots, but he was able to adjust to the new surroundings. He started lecturing on honest management to the top executives of corporate offices, AS officers and professors. His actual case studies fitted to the problems faced by the administrators. He was even invited by Harvard University in USA, Oxford and Cambridge in London because of his rich voice and good delivery with truth as its base, his lectures became very effective. He would always stress that discharge your responsibilities to your utmost ability and leave the result to the lord as we are only the actors in his hands. He was in great demand throughout the country. The finance which he earned was directly credited to Sivananda ashram and he took only minimum amount for simple living. D. Rama Shasthri was 42 yrs of age when he visited Vijawada for his lecture. The lecture was well attended and his father and brother were in the audience without his knowledge. His brother a chartered accountant was looking after his parents in Vijayawada.After his lecture Rama Shastri visited his house with gifts for everyone. He prostrated before his parents and took their blessings and in turn he blessed

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the youngsters.Rama Shasthri asked for his favourite curd bath with gongura chutney. His mother obliged. After the dinner, during conversation he stressed that we are all actors in this divine drama. None of us should blame each other for not fulfilling ones expectations. He expressed the desire that he wanted to rest his head on mothers lap to have a sound sleep. Mother willingly hugged him and caressed mind.Ramu shasthri told his mother that life is nothing but a drama and whether ones part is good or not one has to act. He further said that he is sleepy and that he had a long way to go. After about half an hour, the mother kept a pillow under his head and covered him with a bedsheet.After a few minutes she tried to wake him up so that he can lie on the cot. There was no response, where her other son and husband found Rama Shastris body to be cold and calling a doctor, the doctor declared him as dead. His father, Markandeya Shasthri wiping his tears stated that life is a drama directed by the Lord.

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MotherIt is believed that god had installed the attitude of love and care in every mother so that his creations will be looked after by his agents(mothers) .None can deny the fact that word mother conjures love , affection and protection to her children. One such case is the protection of rukmini towards her children. Rukmini aged about fifteen years with chiseled attractive feminine figure filled samudrika lakshanam. Rukmini with her charm and grace arrests the attraction of whom ever she meets. She not only is attractive but is intelligent too. Many started asking for her hand. Her father a teacher wanted to give her in marriage to a suitable boy who had the capacity to come up in life and protect her. By the time she reached 18 years, Srinivasan father of Ranganathan a civil engineer approached Rukminis father Shri.Varadarajan for marriage. In matter of months marriage was performed. Rukmini joined her husband in madras where he was working as a construction engineer in Larsen and tubro group .years rolled by rukmini and ranganathan led ten years of married life during which time they had three children. Vishnu, Radha, Sriram. Fate laid his icy hands in which ranganathan had a fall during inspection of a dam under construction and lost 25

his life .rukmini did not loose her composure and shifted her family to vellore where she got a job of a teacher in of the schools on a salary of rupees 2500 per month . By her careful planning and frugal living, she manages the expenditure within the limits and the eldest son, Vishnu passed out his 12th standard. As he was a boy with a flair for outdoor duties he got selected as a cadet in national defence academy6 (army). Radha was two years younger to him, having completes her tenth standard wanted to do medicine after her twelth. Last boy Sriram dreamy eyed and had always planned o become a scientist and wanted to find out new things useful for the society. The three children having grown adolescent age used to discuss amongst themselves and wonder how their mother is always cheerful and somehow meets their needs not a day she had complained about anybody to them nor they were allowed to do so. Vishnu being the eldest knew that she had received some lakhs towards her fathers settlement and none of the children knew how it was dealt with. Radha having completed her inters could not get a seat in medicine but opted of software job which she got. Here again the age played its part and she fell in love with a boy six years elder to her and who was also a software engineer and had chances of going abroad. The boys parents approached rukmini for Radha hand but demanded five lakhs dowry and a decent marriage. Rukmini on a rough estimate found that she would ten lakhs for the marriage which she was not prepared. She politely refuses the offer and tried to convince Radha. 26

Though Radha outwardly agreed but internally she was for the to Krishna her boy friend. When Vishnu during holidays returned home the three children discuss amongst themselves and wo- dered why their mother did not agree. Vishnu, though he was 21years at that time and there were two years to complete his cadetship. He mustered courage and asked the mother as to why she negatived the proposal of Radha. Rukmini smiled and called her children for discussion and stated that Krishnas parents initial demand itself comes to about ten lakhs and the future demand would be more for every festival or birth of a child which she could afford putting the family routine at risk. At that time the children dissented but could understand the implications. Five years rolled by Vishnu having got his commission got married to a Punjabi girl (daughter of a commanding officer) without rukminis consent and one fine morning he and his wife landed at Vellore and wanted to take the blessing of rukmini. She never uttered a word of dissent and blessed her son and daughter-in-law. She brought some gold ornaments for her and some new saris. Vishnu was amazed at her acceptance and giving out the same amount of love towards him. the younger brother and sister no doubt showed dissent and never spoke with Vishnu , after his holidays he took leave of all them within a heavy heart and of course with a guilty of but helping financially for his sisters marriage . in the mean time Krishna secured a job I los angels and wanted Radha to join him after a registered marriage at vellore . Rukmini after taking the 27

acceptance of parents of Krishna performed the marriage of his daughter Radha by appending about five lakhs which she had saved for her. Even though Vishnu was informed due to exigencies of military service he could not attend the marriage. Radha after marriage got settled in Los Angeles. Sriram completed Ms.c and was ding his research on microbiology his pet subject Rukmini having stood the vagaries of life calmly and collectively discharged her duties efficiently. Sriram being the last child was very much attached to the mother and he always [promised her that he would never leave her alone and even refused marriage. The charm and grace of rukmini was slowly reducing due her advancing age. One day when she returned from school. She complained of chest pain and went into eternal sleep putting Sriram into deep anguish. The other two children on hearing her demise returned to see her dead body after ten days when they opened the almara of rukmini they found a sealed cover with in structions that it should be opened after her time. Vishnu and the three children opened the cover and noted to their amazement that she had distributed eight lakhs to three of them equally being the settlement of their father. in addition she had been depositing regularly hundred rupees to each of their account all these years . These amounts were sizable and more than twenty lakhs each. She had also written the accounts of Radha marriage mentioning her minimum expenditure for the family which was about 1500 a month. The three 28

having grown more than twenty years of age realized the sacrifice of their mother and shed tears. More so Vishnu who even did not give her the pleasure of selecting a daughter-in-law of her choice. She had also willed that the small flat had purchased should be give to Ramakrishna mat for the cause of the [poor . the value of their mother the three said is priceless and she taught them everything needed in life by sacrifice and setting example in each walk of life

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MUTUAL HELP
Mr. Mahesh Saxena, a CEO of a leading car manufacturing company had to become an in patient in one of the corporate hospitals as he was diagnosed with blood cancer. In the special room to which he was allotted there was another patient named Narendra Dutt, suffering from prostrate cancer. He was also holding a top post in an aluminium producing company. To kill the boredom, two patients were housed in one room giving all the facilities of a single room. Mahesh Saxena, having been introduced to Narendra Dutt began exchanging their professional notes and the business climate of the country. Both had lot of plans to improve their business but alas they became victims of cancer. The best allopathy treatment was given to them but the disease could not be controlled. Mahesh, a post graduate, was well read and had a deep insight in spirituality, whereas Narendra was on the material side. Mahesh always would be in cheerful mood even after dialysis. Narendra used to be completely depressed and would present a picture of gloom. Mahesh explained the uncertainty of ones life and how the lord (the Creator) keeps everyone in their deserved spot and not the desired one. In one way both are facing the end of their life, one cheerfully, the other 31

otherwise. Narendra was confined to the cot with a bottle for collection of urine. He could not even read the newspaper properly. Mahesh used to read the newspaper and explain the politics, business and cricket to his friend. His cot being near the window, Mahesh would graphically describe the marriage procession (Baraat) with its 21 member band, special dances, shehnai troop and the bridegroom with Sherwani, cap sitting majestically on a pure white mare. He would describe the dresses of various members of the marriage party. On another day he would describe the march past practice of army, police and NCC boys and girls. Specially when the NCC girls marched with chest forward and measured steps he would photographically paint a picture to Narendra. Narendra would wonder at the command of English and Hindi language of Mahesh and always used to look forward to have a conversation with Mahesh. Mahesh once explained about the parasparatyaga bhava (mutually extending help to each other so that both would be benefited). Mahesh narrated a story that when amrita was taken out dfrom the ocean ,lord Vishnu said that he would give one handful of nectar and without folding their hands they should drink the same . Asuras tried their best but could not drink the nectar. When god gave the same to the devas, each one stood in front of the with the nectar in hand and fed the opposite deva without folding their elbows by such methods all the devas got the nectar and became immortal. Mahesh added that we both being the victims 32

of cancer must help each other and come out of this dreaded disease. Such words of encouragement would really lift up the spirit of Narendra and thanked the lord fort having given a friend like Mahesh After a couple of days, Mahesh was taken for dialysis and he did not return. Narendra came to know that he passed away. He was greatly upset and felt the absence of Mahesh. He asked the hospital staff to shift his cot to the window side so that he can watch the processions, parades etc: when he peeped through the window. He found only a barren wall, and then Narendra realized that Mahesh described everything out of his fertile imaginations only to keep him in good spirits. Narendra felt the real meaning of mutual help by gods grace he slowly recovered and in his office room and bed room he kept a portrait of Mahesh Saxena his mentor and guru.

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Nirmala
Balkrishnan, manager of Andhra bank at Vizag Having got married a month ago to Nirmala secured a flat in krupa complex at uplands in Vizag and brought his wife .Nirmala 25year old beautiful lady with expressive eye in her ms blue kanjeevaram pattu sari accompanied Balkrishnan to start their family life . Both were enthusiastic and full of life, Nirmala having finished her nursing course and interior decoration was also having an idea of securing a suitable job for her. In the complex she made friendship with dr.malini mostly of her age and invited her tea one evening to her place. Co incidentally when dr.malini visited Balkrishnan also came from office and was amazed to meet his junior in the college at Guntur. The idea of Nirmala to introduce to dr.malini was unwarranted as they both entered into nostalgic moments of their college days. After a few days Nirmala complained of giddiness and vomiting very often and was not in a position to drop her daily household work. Dr.malini her examined and was surprised to note that she had a tumor in the brain and it may burst anytime and would be fatal. Dr.malini broke this news only to Balkrishnan. He got totally frustrated and wanted his father-in-law to meet him urgently in his office. Mr.shasthri, retired headmaster father of Nirmala learnt that his daughter 35

is having cancer of the brain and his son-in-la wanted her to be taken away for treatment .the son-in-law even blamed the father -in-law for knowing her disease he had suppressed the same from him. Actually that was not the fact and Shasthri too was surprised at the bad news. Balkrishnan requested his father-in-law to take his wife for treatment and he would wait her for a year and if she could not be cured he would give her a divorce and look for a second marriage. On some pretext shasthri took his daughter away for treatment. He consulted very many allopathic doctors but all was in vain. He had by then spent more than a lakh from his meager savings; finally he took refuge under baba Ramdev. By continuous practice of Pranayam and ayurvedic medicines within a period of one year she got cured and was eager to join her husband. After sending away Nirmala, Balkrishnan fell into bad company and started getting fever which was not subsiding with all the medicines administered by Dr. Malini Finally when she got his blood examined to her dismay she noticed that Balkrishnan had contracted HIV the dreadful disease she did not reveal this to him Balkrishnan as it was almost a year Balkrishnan mustered courage and proposed for a marriage with doctor malini. malini asked him to recollect their college days at which time she had expressed her desire to marry him which he did not approve by chance she had heated him saying to his friends for his personality he would get a better girl ,than dr.malini . These words had disturbed her and 36

somehow swallowed the bitter pill. Finally she broke the news to Balkrishnan about his having contacted HIV. On hearing the news he was crest fallen and got into a depression. One fine morning Nirmala and her father arrived unannounced and broke the good news that she has been completely cured. There was not effective response from Balkrishnan. In a days time she cleaned up the whole house and made Balkrishnan to have a hair cut and shave. In one of the evenings Balkrishnan raised the subject again wanted to sign divorce papers. Shasthri got enraged and arguments ensued even going up to the extent of accusing unparliamentarily words. Dr.malini by chance entered the room and finding the situation bad she broke the news that bala was not fit for family life as he has contracted aids during the absence of Nirmala a. Mr.shasthri cursing the fate wanted his daughter to pack up and leave . Nirmala on the other hand was very composed ands stated that even if bala would ask for divorce she would not do so and would gladly serve the rest of her life in helping bala recover from the dreaded disease . She was also confident that dr.malini would give her a job of a nurse in her clinic with such income she would look after bala and her father (widower). Dr. Malini approved of her plan; bala had no words to express the extreme sacrifice of his wife. He wondered of what strong will Nirmala was made up of. Days rolled by during the conversation with dr.malini on one evening Nirmala stated that she would always urge god to take 37

away bala before her as bala cannot stand her separation and would not be able to live without her help. Bala heard this in the other room and he raised both his hands in the direction of Nirmala and tears rolled down his cheeks. He cursed himself as how cruel he was to ask for a divorce when she was suffering from brain tumor. The lord has taught him a lesson which he would never forget. He remembered the masculine will power will crumble before the feminine will power like a pack of cards in testing times. He felt that his wife Nirmala was in the making of mother Teresa.

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Orthodoxy
Jandyala Jagannatha Shasthri of Pedda Kura padu village is a well known Sanskrit and Telugu scholar. He is highly skilled in lecturing Hari kathas puranas and Upanishads. . He stands almost six feet tall with proportionate body and a slightly bulging belly. On his broad chest lies the sacred thread and rudraksha mala. When he walks in the village with his wooden chappals, he commands respect from every passerby and they salute him. He equally acknowledges their greetings with respect. At his house no person of lower caste is allowed to come through the main door. The servants especially Gouramma who used to clean the cattle shed after finishing the job, she would give a call to Kamaksiamma, wife of Shasthri. She would in turn ask her to be at a quite distance and used to place a vessel containing remains of yesterdays food for gouramma. She has been told not to appear before shasthri garu as it would spoil his madi (purity). Days rolled by when in the evening, Shasthri after giving a lecture in a nearby village was returning home in a rickshaw. Suddenly a cyclone which was predicted for the next day hit the village and the rickshaw was blown away and the rickshaw puller ran to save his life. Shasthri was very much perplexed and he took refuge in a big Hume pipe of 6feet diameter which was 39

kept for drawing water from Krishna River. It became dark all of a sudden. He thanked the lord for the safe place he was in. When he switched on his pocket torch, he noticed that gouramma was sitting in the far corner and greeted shasthri even in that situation. The wind and rain was of great velocity and he could hear trees falling and people running for shelter, it was almost eleven in night when he felt the pangs of hunger. Gouramma lit the oil lamp and there was a small photo of lord Shiva kept in that make a shift house of hers .she opened the small vessel containing some dosas. Hesitatingly she pleaded with shasthri garu to share these dosas with her. Shasthri being a diabetic could not resist the offer, she served two dosas with a chutney and politely said Shasthri garu, this is from your house and u can have it . Shasthri in normal course would not have touched the dosas and would have chased gouramma for the offer. It dawned on him that the so called orthodoxy and untouchables is purely man made to suppress the illiterate masses, virtually the atman in Gouramma and shasthri are the same as that of the paramatma. Shasthri also remember that how adi sankara was taught a lesson by lord Shiva when appeared before adi sankara as a sudhra surrounded by four dogs. When sankara asked him, to move away, Siva questions him whether his moving away is for the body or the atman. Sankara realized his mistake and prostrated before the lord in natural form.

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Shasthri slept in the pipe itself and in the morning the Gail subsided. Shasthri and gouramma came out of the pipe when somehow the villagers passing by noticed and were surprised. The family members of Shasthri due to natures fury could not make any attempt to search for Shasthri in the night. Shasthri himself reached home at about eight am. He after taking bath prayed before the lord for having being ignorant and arrogant in not respecting the sentiments of the people who work for him and asked the lord for pardon. From this experience Shasthri in his subsequent lectures Advocated that orthodoxy should be in the heart in not allowing bad and cunning ideas to enter the mind. Mere calling a certain group as outcast is such an unpardonable crime Nature taught Shasthri the real meaning of orthodoxy.

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42

PEACE OF MIND
Mr. Vinayak Bosekar, a retired postmaster of 70 years spreads an aura of confidence when he walks with a broad smile, prominent nose and bright eyes. Any passerby would like to have a second glance at him. His middle class Maharashtrian fair colour adds attractively to his moments. He is a resident of Surya chawl consisting of nine one room tenements. He is known fondly as kaka of the chawl. His day starts at 4.00 AM and after finishing his daily ablutions he practices Yoga and Pranayam for an hour followed by half an hour of meditation. Being alone he cooks a simple breakfast and a midday meal in the morning itself. To keep his food fresh he uses a small fridge which his wife had purchased when she was alive. He is sentimentally attached to the fridge and at times unknowingly he speaks to the fridge as if it is his wife. After few seconds only he realizes that Nirmala, his beloved wife, is no more. A tinge of melancholy sets in him which gets effaced by his Gita learning. Bosekar daily leaves his chawl at about 10.30 AM. All the other eight chawl members give him a bag each to purchase sundries along with a shopping list and money. His radius of operation is only 4 Km. from his residence on his bicycle. If one looks at his well 43

maintained bicycle one can imagine his disciplined frame of mind. By about 1.00 PM he would return with the eight bags containing the ordered goods of his chawl members. This routine he has maintained for more than eight years. Being a pure Gandhian he would always go for Swadeshi goods and home made remedies and only in extreme cases he would recommend his chawl members to go to a allopathic doctor. Having mastered homeopathy to a certain extent he would treat his chawl members for common cold, fever, cough and even prescribe anti measles pills for the children. He would teach the children basic qualities of cleanliness, like washing hands before food, cutting nails, wearing washed neat clothes and daily cleaning of their footwear and entering the house only after washing their feet. Kaka got the name of first aid doctor. Every member of the chawl would look up to him for solution to any problem. Sushma, a 14 year old girl studying in ninth standard was emotionally attached to him and would always observe closely his activities. She noticed Bosekar kaka purchasing about 200 post cards a month and posting at least 5 10 cards a day, Whether he receives a reply or not. Sushma was curious and wanted to know the reason for such an act and she could not muster courage to ask him a question directly. The same evening a big car stood before the chawl and a well built tall gentleman got out of the car wearing 44

costly clothes, presenting a picture of opulence. He asked for Mr.Bosekar and Sushma took him to his room. Suresh Chand, the visitor introduced himself and stated that he received a post card from Bosekar expressing deep condolences for the demise of his young daughter, Santosh, aged 18 years who died few days ago in a car accident while she was driving. Suresh expressed thanks to Bosekar kaka and wanted to know why he had written the letter? Mr. Bosekar offered him only a bench to sit instead of an easy chair which would be uneasy for his size. Bosekar narrated that 12 years ago he lost his wife and daughter in a train accident at Sion and got their mutilated bodies in gunny bags after 3 days! He performed their last rites. Though he informed some of his relatives at Nagpur none of them turned up and sent only formal letters. He added that he suffered lot of mental agony and pain without anybody to share. He had determined then that he would console the bereaved people whether they are acquainted or not. One such letter was to him, Suresh Chand. Suresh, almost with swelling eyes offered Bosekar a flat in Parel and a comfortable suitable job for him in his Estate which would give him lot of peace of mind and happiness! Bosekar kaka respectfully declined the offer and stated that every chawl member is his extended family and he gets lot of peace of mind by doing small chores of work for them, uncalled for. God has given him lot of peace of mind and he had given him all what he wanted and deserved and did not give him what he did not require, like fever, chronic 45

disease etc. In his simple way of living and high thinking he derives lot of peace of mind than what huge wealth would give him. Suresh looked aghast and wondered how this simple man could lead a satisfied life with minimum wants and always with a desire to help others. He realized such unselfish acts only would bring peace of mind. Sushma the teenaged girl was a witness to all these happenings with wondering look. Her esteem of kaka increased manifold. Suresh virtually shed tears and did pranam to Bosekar and left with a lightened heart

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Raksha bandhan
Mrs.Mohini mathur 80 yrs lady stands 55 tall with slightly high heeled chapels .she has a proportionate body and expressive eyes .being fair in complexion and a special bindi. she exudes confidence in people whom she meets .she is from a mathur family settles in Hyderabad for more than three generations ,during nizams rules he had brought kayasth mathurs,srivastavs from the north iyers and iyengars from the south for running the administration .many from the south learnt Urdu and were experts in Muslim law . Many of them were in police service too. Mrs. Mohini mathur married to Kailash mathur of Hyderabad who served in revenue department. Mohini father Mahesh mathur and his close friend Aftab Hussein were living in adjacent houses near pattargatti in Hyderabad both these families had very close friendship during ramzan, dussera diwali sweets used to be exchanged freely among them. There was communal harmony in erstwhile Hyderabad and people freely mixed themselves and served the Nizams sarkar. In Hyderabad there were 90% Hindus and 10% and the king was a Muslim, whereas in Kashmir there 90% Muslims and 10% Hindus and the king was a Hindu that is Raja Hari Singh.

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When India got independence in 1947 the cunning britisher gave freedom to about 600 raja s and nawabs in there country and left to their wish whether to join the Indian government or not . Sardar Patel being the iron man of the country was able to bring the Indian government all the rajas and nawabs except the nawab of junnagadh (who fled to Pakistan later), Cochin who later joined the Indian. It was only the nizam who defied and delayed joining Indian government. from 47 august to September 1948 a religious fanatic named kasim razwi virtually became the strong man of the state and insighted the Muslims to loot the Hindus and rape the Hindu women ,atrocities were many ,communal tension was often reported . Even prior to this turmoil mohini tied rakhi to Altaf Hussein who was six years senior to her. He promised as a true brother that he would protect her honor at any cost when the situation warrants. During January to May 1948 there were communal riots in Hyderabad city. When the Mathur family used to live in the cellar of altaf Husseins house by locking their house from outside. It was such bond of friendship which lasted among them Aftab Hussein sons showed interest in Pakistan and migrated to Lahore. There as no alternative for aftab Hussein top follow. Due to the police action planned by sardar Patel Indian army marched into Hyderabad and forced nizam to accede to Indian union. Prime mister Lai kali fled Hyderabad. Nizam was made the raj pramuk and subsequently that status also withdrawn 48

After all these troubles between both the countries the bond of friendship between aftab Hussein and mathur family became strong and atleast once in five years members of the family exchanged visits. Aftab Hussein in his seventies he visited Hyderabad and stayed with mathur .mohini and her husband took him to various place in the city and explained the advancement made by the county in the computer field, industry, atomic energy etc; aftab was really pleased but he had tinge of sorrow and stated that dictator after dictator is looting the country and putting the common man into trouble. top keep the public under control leaders raise anti-Indian naras .mohini used to explain to her friends common persons either in Pakistan or India come from the same lineage and only during the times of aurangazeb some were forcefully converted to Islam . She used to explain most of the classical singers in Hindustani style were high cast Hindus and converted them to secure safety to the families. Mohini used to say further that if dnas are checked it would lead top a common ancestry. She used to take aftab Hussein to various clubs in the city and introduce as her foster brother. The bond from people to people was so very evident there was not even a iota of animosity between them. Mohini was always proud to celebrate the Raksha bandhan day and remember aftab Hussein to this date. People to people either in Pakistan or India need and love peace and it is the cunning politicians who lead them astray. On every occasion mohini used to stress 49

this point. She predominantly displayed joint photographs of both the families in her drawing room. She would urge her children top continue this friendship forever.

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REALISATION
Suresh Gopal Malpathak, a retired IAS officer aged 78, stands 62 tall with a proportionate body, bright eyes, broad forehead, prominent nose over which a spectacle sits majestically, exudes a picture of confidence to whomever he meets. He is proud of his dentures which is intact even at this age and fairly good eyesight. He attributes often the secret of his health to Spartan habits and avoidance of non-veg and alcoholic drinks throughout his life. He is blessed with a dutiful wife, Sumantai, aged 72, a son, Vishnu, aged 50 and daughter Suma aged 45, residing in America along with her family. Having retired he secured a good residence in Pune Cantt. Where he, his son and his family along with two grand-children, Raju aged 13 and Shubha aged 9 live comfortably. To help him he has his old servant, Rudrayya who has served him more than 40 years and become almost a family member. Being an IAS officer and administrator, Mr.Malpathak has introduced a system in his house for every activity like doing homework by the children, prayers morning and evening and social calls. Virtually there was complete regimentation in the house which the members followed albeit willingly. Mr.Pathak 51

thought that but for him the whole family would go to shambles and none of them are capable of holding the family burden, more so his quiet son. Because of his sumptuous pension he catered to the needs of all the family members before they could demand anything. Inwardly, Mr.Pathak was proud, arrogant and authoritative. Every one of his family members used to praise him for the timely help and the care he takes for them.Mr.Pathak being a devotee of Vithoba of Pandharpur spent his time morning and evening in prayers and he followed instruction of his guru Tukdoji Maharaja whenever he faced problems. In one of his visits Mr.Pathak expressed happiness over the loyalty of his family members and thanked the Guru for his Grace. The Guru, in reply, stated that he will give some vibhuti to Mr.Pathak who should consume the same at night. From next morning for 7 days he would be in a coma and will have the power of listening to all the remarks of his family members for which he would not be able to reply. On the 7th day he would regain consciousness and become normal. The Guru asked him to see him on the 8th day as to how he lived the experience. Mr.Pathak after following the instructions of his Guru went into coma. The whole family got perplexed. The children were sent to school, the elders brought the best of doctors to diagnose and treat Mr.Pathak. Doctors who attended on him stated that all his bodily functions are normal except the brain! The neurosurgeon 52

sated his helplessness and said that it should be left to God, for the recovery. Sumantai cried profusely recalling all the past activities. Rudrayya became dumbfounded, except for the tears rolling from his eyes... On the second day his grand-son, Raju told his sister that because of grandpas sickness he is quite happy and is able to do as he wishes. So did the granddaughter, Suma stating that Dadaji used to make her sit down immediately after her return from school and make her do her home work whereas other girls of her age would be playing outside and enjoying. Mr.Pathak got the first shock of his life. His daughter-in law told her husband that though Dadaji was kind but he imposed lot of restrictions on her movements, like going for outing, putting on a glittering sari and attending kitty parties along with her friends. She felt greatly relieved of the tensions. Son in turn told his wife that though he is 50 years of age, he is known only as Pathaks son, and not by his name. He had no independence to invite friends for parties at home. He further added that he being a senior economics professor in Pune University, had no independence of action in the house. He thought that this was a great drawback in his life. Pathak again got shock after shock and shed tears inwardly. His wife Sumantai was telling her son and Rudrayya that she served Mr.Pathak dutifully all these 55 years and never crossed the line which he would have drawn. She lamented, even selection of saris for her, was Mr.Pathaks choice. She added that she lost her 53

originality and became a mere puppet. Rudrayya on the other hand said good words for Mr.Pathak and expressed his gratitude for all the help he received last forty years. As promised by the Guru on the 8th day Mr.Pathak regained his consciousness. The whole family was overjoyed and they stated that they prayed for his recovery because of which Lord Vithoba has given Mr.Pathak back to them. Mr.Pathak smiled meaningfully having known the truth of their emotions. The next day he went to his Guru and prostrated before him that how foolish he was to misunderstand the feelings of others. He promised the Guru that he would never impose his ideas on others and be within his limits and only give advice whenever called for. After returning from his Guru there was a sea change in the behaviour of Mr.Pathak towards his family members, and left them to fend for themselves. His son even suggested to his mother that they should consult a psychologist for this sudden change of behaviour of Mr.Pathak. Mr.Pathak once again meaningfully smiled that he had realized the truth after Gurujis advice. Later on he often used to say that it is all Gods wish which is being executed by the members and all of them are the instruments of the Lord. Mr.Pathaks personality devoid of arrogance, anger and pride started glowing with a gracious smile for the benefit of all.

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Retired- not tired


Harischandra Saxena and Krishna Prasad, two retired railway officers one being the engineer and the other form the traffic department, one evening in their thoughtful mood decided to start a company to help construction of sidings and connected matters to the railways and the manufacturing units. they retired in 1985 and by their persuasive methods and getting in touch with their contacts in business circle as well as in railways they were successful in getting few orders to start with their main investment was few thousands of rupees but they had plenty of skill and caliber coupled with honesty ,sincerity and transparency. After few years of teething trouble they were able to slowly make a mark in planning, constructing and maintaining the railway sidings for the cement, steel and other companies. In 1991 the economy of the country was opened up and free trade was permitted by the then Narsimha Rao government. This resulted in establishing many cement companies / steel factories. As the company headed by these two retired officers also grew in stature as they stared getting regular orders. . They recruited suitable retired railway men having experience in engineering, traffic and signaling. Due to their long term policy. The pricing of the project were minimum along with a reasonable cost. 55

They adhered to promised time schedule with proper coordination between railways and the companies. This aspect indirectly created a trust by the clients by word of mouth alone the good name spread among all the intending clients and orders started pouring uninterrupted. When the company was in tackle of stage the icy hands of fate took away Krishna Prasad leaving Harischandra Saxena. As fate would have it, an impeccable honest officer of the railways by name Sriram who has the goodwill of number of his subordinate officers even after eighteen years of his retirement ,his dealings with his juniors then was humane and considerate which now bares fruit. His joining enhanced the prestige and spear of activity of the company far and wide.Saxenas son surrender started helping his father in the company affairs which inturn relieved the senior officers the work of day-to day ad ministration and allied matters. The note worthy future was that foreign countries like England, Malaysia, France, and Indonesia started placing orders on this company for turn key projects (sidings and working and maintenance). The main attraction of the foreigners was this companies charges were cost effective and the quality of the work was world standard. But hard and honest work for the last twenty seven years the company built up a reputation which is commanding future work. The under current for such a success is the application basic honesty ,sincerity to work ,keeping the time limits 56

, and not having any hidden charges rather transparency was the hallmark . After a successful long second innings when the two were asked reasons for their success they would say its all due to gods grace and mercy and their efforts to a certain extent. Their achievements are 1) Getting about two hundred men gainfully employed 2) To increase the gross domestic product by apt services 3) To establish the skill and efficiency of the Indians in the rail road construction 4) To maintain at all levels transparency and honesty 5) They follow the principle of paying deserving salaries to skilled staff (they remember .Singapore pm lees words that if you pay peanuts to your employees youll get only monkeys for service Concluding the two instead of enjoying arm chair living and passing unwanted comments are usefully employing themselves and adding domestic product to the country. (For purpose anonymity names have been changed)

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THE REAL SERVICE


Gunadala Appa Rao stockily built; boy of 16 years studying in a private high school in Vijawada was not unto the standard in mathematics. He used to struggle to get even 35%, whereas many of his other classmates used to score more than 80% and he failed to understand the secret of getting such marks. When he was in the 10th standard, a new mathematics teacher named Philips joined the school .While taking attendance, inadvertently, Mr.Philips overlooking the full stop between g and Appa rao, read his name as gappa rao .This silly mistake created uproarious laughter in the class. Thus g Appa rao was christened gappa rao .This mistake had a telling effect on his self respect and he was crestfallen. Philips realising his mistake openly apologised to Appa rao and begged to be excused. This incident brought the teacher and the taught closer and Philips coached Appa rao methodically in mathematics and Appa rao was able to secure 70% in the class 10 public exam. During his meeting with Philips, Appa rao learnt the following principles of life: 1 .Any work that we undertake should be done with full commitment and concentration.
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2. Faults, if any, in work by a team mate should not be directly pointed out to him. 3. Maintain clean habits and clean environment in the working place. 4... Think before you speak and that too to the point at hand. 5 .Approach any problem with confidence and do your might. During the later years, Appa Rao recalled his acquaintance with his teacher, Mr.Philips and since his father became sick and he had to take the burden of running his family consisting of his two sisters, brother and mother. Mr Satyanarayana, a wholesale fruit merchant, friend of his father, took him as his assistant and paid him Rs.100 per month.Appa rao, with full commitment cleaned the office premises which were very dirty and introduced systems wherein he could get previous reference letters immediately. He prepared a list of telephone numbers of all the customers easy contact. The money outflow was controlled by proper accounting. His keen interest in work reduced the expenses by half.Appa Rao convinced his boss to pay the amount saved as bonus to eight of the employees including him. This act brought more cooperation from the staff.
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The main business of the company was to procure mangoes from nearby towns and cities and transport them to cities in the north. Merchants from the north used to visit the mango groves near Vijay Wada and assess the crop by surveying the flowers in the trees. This act required great skill and intuition, which Appa Rao slowly learnt from the northern merchants. Basing on the assessment, advances were paid in the month of February itself for the crop to be harvested in May. Gradually, the company, by Appa raos handwork and leadership grew in stature and the turn over rose from lakhs to crores.During a span of 5 to 10 years, Appa Rao got his two sisters married to respectable boys and took good care of his parents. The owner of the company Satyanarayana gave his only daughter in marriage to Appa Rao. Having become the virtual owner of the company, Appa Rao devised new management procedures in the company and the news spread in the business circle that Appa Rao was a man of integrity and honest dealing. His continuous commitment made many loyal employees to join him and improve the quality of work. He had created a group of loyal assistants who were paid well and their families looked after. He was elected
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as a corporator and he also became a member of the zonal railway users committee. This position made him come in contact with top railway officials. As years rolled by, Appa Rao had a daughter who always thought that she was born in heaven and sent to Earth for work. She displayed an air of superiority in dealing with others. Mr.Appa Rao never forgot his younger days and had always desired to do some service to the poor and needy. With this in mind he started a society along with his friends by contributing a lakh from his side as seed money. Likewise, many of his friends also contributed. A trust was formed with about 50 lakhs with the sole aim of helping the needy as was done by mother Theresa. His friends amongst themselves doubted Appa Rao for starting such a society and were of the opinion that he might enter politics. On the day of inauguration his wife and he had to be there at 100 clock, but his daughter insisted that she wanted the vehicle to attend a function along with her friends.Appa Rao instructed his faithful driver murthy, to drop him and his wife and to return home and pick up his daughter. The function went off very well and his friends dropped Appa Rao and his wife home. When he returned home, he found his daughter
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Sukumari, fretting and fuming and in an agitated state. He had never seen her in such a mood before. She stated that murthy did not come to the house with the car and he did not have the courtesy to even give a phone call explaining the delay.Appa Rao was greatly hurt. At about 2:30, the driver Murthy came in the car. Even before he could give reasons for the delay.Appa rao threw 5000 at his face and told him to get out of his house.Murthys silence aggravated Appa raos anger. Forgetting murthys past good work he lashed unparliamentarily words and scolded ; for which the only reply was stoic silence.Appa raos wife Girija a calm and collected lady called murthy by the side and coolly asked the reasons for the delay.Murthy,gave a very valid reason for which she was very proud of his services.Mrs. Appa Rao narrated that Murthy while coming from the function hall found an old lady lying unconscious. He immediately stopped the car and took her to the hospital. Some medicines were to be purchased for which he paid out of his own pocket. After giving drips, she slowly regained consciousness. She had fallen on the road due to hunger. He brought her some food and after getting to know her address which was 7km away he dropped her there. This was the cause for delay.Mrs Girija explained to her
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husband that what all you and your friends have planned in a big way and started a society with much fanfare, Mr.Murthy has rendered on humanitarian grounds unmindful of the consequences. Dont you feel proud of him? She asked. Instead of sacking him he has to be rewarded. Mr Appa Rao was convinced and went and hugged murthy and asked him to keep the 5000 as a reward. He also stated that you have done the real service and us so called well to do people have just advertised our intentions.

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