Daily Archives: July 4, 2018

Running away was better

Continued from here

Guruji and Harish started walking. Earlier in the day it had been raining, so Harish had not brought his bike.

Guruji chuckled. Harish was surprised, ‘What happened Guruji?’, he asked

‘You are what 23 now Harish?’, he asked.

‘Yes, Guruji’

‘You know when I was your age, I had decided to renounce everything and do penance’, he chuckled again.

‘Then who stopped you?’, asked Harish

‘My Guruji’, he said,’he told me that I had responsibilities that I could not leave. An ailing father,an unmarried sister. He told me that to understand the absolute truth I needn’t be a sannyasi. I could be grhasta (householder) and still delve on the self.’

By that time they had reached Harish’s home. ‘So Harish times may be tough but your duty ;you have to perform. Do it with sincerity and dedication and stop thinking of running away. And see then you will surely get a breakthrough.’

Harish felt a strange calmness descend on him. He slept soundly.

Two days later……

Around noon he reached the shop. After sometime, his brother went home. He would take lunch, relax for sometime and then return.

Today was Tuesday. In their shop they also sold milk packets. The agent would come for collecting his dues every fortnight. He sat down and wrote ;

Red Packet     40 packets @ 42=1680

Green packet 20 packets @ 20=400

Blue packets 100 packets @38=3800

Total= 5880

He took out the cheque book to get the cheque ready.Just then a customer came in asking for a chips packet. He gave what the customer wanted and then took the money from him. He pulled the cash till out. It was empty. He felt giddy. He knew something was terribly wrong. he called up his brother, Vanhi picked up the line. ‘Your a  Anna is having lunch. Call him later’, she said and cut the line.

Harish left a whatsapp message, ‘call me as soon as possible’

One hour elapsed but no answer. Next he called his home landline number. His mother picked up the phone, ‘Suresh is in his room’,she said.

‘Call him amma please, it is urgent’, he said.

After sometime Suresh picked the line,’Can’t you handle the shop for 2 hours’, he said.

Harish took a deep breathe and said, ‘ Anna, why is the cash till empty?’

‘Oh that…you couldn’t wait another hour to ask, is it’, said he

‘Anna just tell me’, Harish said

‘DInesh came to collect the dues. I gave him cash, because he said Mr. Ranga wanted cash this week’ said Suresh. (Mr.Ranga was the supervisor at the milk dairy)

‘Did you cross check with Mr.Ranga’, Harish asked.

‘No, but he gave receipt’, said Suresh.

Harish searched and found the receipt.

But on an impulse asked, ‘Anna how much did you pay Dinesh’, said Harish

‘Rs. 6880’, he said proudly, ‘I checked twice’, Suresh said.

Harish banged his head. ‘Anna the receipt here is for Rs 5880’, he said and kept the phone down.

His head was reeling quite bad. ‘Let my dharma (duty) go to pits, I am running away from here, somewhere very far, maybe Himalayas. No one should be able to trace me’, he thought.

In 15 minutes Suresh had come to the shop .He picked up a notebook and showed to Harish, ‘ See you ask me to write down all the calculations. I have done, see:

Red Packet     40 packets @ 42=1680

Green packet 20 packets @ 20=400

Blue packets 100 packets @38=3800

Curd packets 50 packets @ 20=1000


Harish said drily, ‘ Anna we pay for curd packets only at the end of the month when we get our commission. At least you could have cross checked with the receipt’

There was silence and then Sumati, Suresh’s wife spoke, ‘It is only 1000 Rs, it is ok.’

‘Yes, it is ok. Everyday a loss of Rs 1000 is ok. Very soon we will be on the streets’, he said and got up took the receipt and the calculations.

‘Where are you going now?’, asked Suresh.

‘To Mr. Ranga’s office. Let me see if I can catch Dinesh there’, he said

to be continued

Our scriptures never recommend running away from situations. Even when Arjuna thinks of becoming a beggar, Krishna recommends that he do his prescribed duty first.

sreyan sva-dharmo vigunah para-dharmat sv-anusthitat
sva-dharme nidhanam sreyah para-dharmo bhayavahah
It is far better to discharge one’s prescribed duties, even though they may be faulty, than another’s duties. Destruction in the course of performing one’s own duty is better than engaging in another’s duties, for to follow another’s path is dangerous. (BG 3.35)


Harish is performing his duty as a brother. As a brother or sister it is our duty to help our siblings. Suresh too is doing his dharma as a householder; he has to earn for his family but the question is will he be able to? Yes, he is faulty but will he learn from his mistakes. That remains to be seen.

I am taking part in BAR-A-THON Edition 3
The theme is RUN










Filed under short story, Slices of life