Continued from here
Harish parked his bike in the parking lot at the dairy. Mr. Ranga was busy. So he had to wait for sometime. As soon as he saw Harish, he came towards him saying, ‘What happened today Harish, we had agreed that we would deal only in cheque.Why did you give cash today?’
The throbbing in his head had worsened, Harish sat down heavily. Mr. Ranga was worried now.’What happened Harish, why are you so worried?’
In a low voice Harish told him everything and concluded by saying,’ It is not about Rupees 1000 Mr. Ranga. We had agreed on cheque payments then why did Dinesh ask for cash. I know my brother did a mistake but we are hoping to be in this business for a long time. Honesty and integrity are vital for any business. Why did Dinesh say that you asked for cash and if my brother did a mistake,why didn’t he correct my brother?’
Mr. Ranga heard quietly and then after sometime said,’You are right,Harish. I have to ask Dinesh why he did this. Wait, I will call him’. Mr. Ranga kept on calling Dinesh but he didn’t pick the call.
And with each successive ring, Harish’s heart sank a little more.
Mr. Ranga then said.’Harish, Dinesh was supposed to go to some villages to collect money.He was supposed to go by bus maybe that is why he cannot hear the phone ring. You go home now. As soon as he returns, I will ask him.’
With a heavy heart,he returned home. Lying in the bed he felt disappointed with life in general. He had heard that elder brothers are just like surrogate parents, they care for you, nurture you but in his case, it was different. He had to be the guide and after that there was no gratitude. Only complaints.’I have neglected my own business so that anna can settle down nicely and here ,messing up with everything’. At that time Suresh entered the room,’Harish I remember what had happened when Dinesh was there, someone had come for some urgent provisions, so I didn’t see the receipt…..’
‘Anna, what are you doing here so early….is our father there in the shop?’, asked Harish.
‘Errr, No. I was so disturbed that I closed the shop and came’, Suresh said.
‘Anna someone may come for some urgent provisions, then? Nowadays we have cut throat competition. Customer once gone, does not return..
Suresh was uncomfortable.
Harish just picked his bike keys and left.
It was 5.30 in the evening when Harish’s mobile rang. It was Mr. Ranga.’Harish, Dinesh swears that Suresh gave him Rs,5880 only. I don’t know who is right and who is wrong? I really don’t know what to do?’
Harish had anticipated that. Dinesh might have understood Suresh’s nature. He had asked for cash deliberately. But what to do now?
‘Deep in thought dear’,someone said.
Harish looked up to see his father standing, ‘I heard that there is some trouble, so I came to meet you’.
Harish told his father the entire episode and even what Mr. Ranga had told him.
‘Hmmm’,said his father
‘No hope father…it is not just about the money. I believe in fair business but what Dinesh did was crooked. Taking advantage of a gullible person….’, said Harish,
‘All sorts of people in this world, Harish’, said his father. ‘But wait, we still have an option left…if we have any witness then maybe we have some hope’
Harish brightened up and immediately called his brother,’Anna,you had said that when Dinesh came, there was a customer.Do you remember who it was?’
‘Err….no that is what I was thinking buttt there were so many customers in the morning that I don’t remember’, he said.
Harish disconnected the line. At present he just wanted to dig a tunnel deep inside the earth and live there,He didn’t want to worry about payments or money or to search for witnesses. Maybe, he thought, I should take sannyasa…enough of this life.
to be continued
All of us commit mistakes. That is one of our qualities which differentiate us from parmatma or the supersoul. But just because we do not want to commit mistakes, we cannot run away from our duties or responsibilities. Suresh is trying hard, the shop is his only hope now….even if he is faulty, there is no go, he has to learn from his mistakes
sarvarambha hi dosena dhumenagnir ivavrtah
So Suresh has to keep on endeavouring and Harish has to keep on with ‘his’ endeavours