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Give-back gesture

The queue seemed to be unending and everyone was restless. They pushed each other and created a lot of commotion.

india Updated: Jul 08, 2012 23:08 IST
Vineet Mani
Vineet Mani
Hindustan Times

The queue seemed to be unending and everyone was restless. They pushed each other and created a lot of commotion.

A man in the row was particularly feeling uneasy and was looking at his watch repeatedly. He was neatly dressed and was sweating profusely because of the hot weather.

Are you applying for the first time? An old man in the queue asked the man and started laughing. But the man paid no attention. He started looking in another direction, ignoring the comments of the old man.

And then he saw a young boy too staring at him but ignored this too.

There were still a handful of people ahead of him. He took out his handkerchief to wipe off the sweat on his face when he realised that the gaze of the boy was undeterred. The boy was standing away from the crowd, but his stare was direct and unending. He was looking at the man as if he had something to say But his searching eyes made the man somewhat uncomfortable.

Fortunately, soon the man’s turn came and he submitted his documents and handed over a Rs 500 note to the counter person. He was asked to pay the exact change but he could not. The people in the queue got restive and started protesting over the unnecessary delay.

The man was feeling bad and didn’t know what to do. He looked all around but no one was there to come to his rescue.

Dejected, he was about to leave the counter when suddenly a hand slid into the counter from nowhere with the required amount and made the payment.

The man looked up and saw the same boy standing and handing over the money. Before the man could enquire, the boy said, “Babuji, don’t be surprised. I am simply returning your money that you gave me at the medical store a year ago when I did not have money and my mother needed the medicines the most.”

Both were looking relieved. They smiled at each other and quietly took their different ways.

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