Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Honesty by the road side

She sells tender coconut on the road side in Bangalore. Unable to determine her exact age but definitely beyond 40. And she can teach a lesson or two in honesty to all known and still to be known corporate fraudsters.

Tender coconut is a commodity - unless you package the milk and see as a brand name. But the majority in south India just stop by at one of the many sellers that road the road side in Bangalore. The sellers make a killing at tourist spots but the price never goes beyond Rs 15. In Bangalore it varies from Rs. 10 to 12. One tender coconut seller is as good as the next. So, people stop at whim and on instinct or when convenient.

Last Saturday I needed to take my sons on a long drive to the British Library and then to the Science Museum. So I stop at this lady's so that we are well hydrated. I give her a 50 rupee note but has only Rs 12 so I waived the remainder sum of Rs 2. As I focus on the sweet milk and my children (one of them does not like the taste and I need to goad him into drinking it), I feel a tap on my shoulder. This lady has rummaged her belongings and found a Rs. 2 coin and she wanted to give it to me. As I indicate that this was not necessary, she points to the sky and indicates that God is there and that she cannot take the Rs. 2 that does not belong to her.

Pity! People, like the disgraced former chairman of Satyam Computers, Ramalinga Raju, never stop by to drink the sweet milk of tender coconut on the road side.

Picture courtesy: Manu M

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