I was travelling to my home town and waiting in my car at the toll plaza. My wife had packed the same lunch for me as she had for my son, who had a cricket match. It was yummy. At the toll, I noticed a young, innocent girl around 12-14 years old selling toys. She quietly asked me if I was interested in the toys. She didn’t nag me and just moved on when I said no.
I wanted to help her but didn’t want to give her money as that would undermine the dignity she had earned by working hard. In the flash of a moment, it occurred to me that I could offer her the lunch box. So, I called her and asked if she would like to take the lunch box. After a bit of hesitation, she took it from me.
As I moved on, I realised that I was in the Fast-tag lane instead of the cash lane. I didn’t have a Fast-tag, so I offered the lady at the counter the cash for the toll. Strangely, she didn’t accept it and asked me to pass without paying. I looked at her in confusion, but she didn’t say a word.
I was astonished. I thought I might have got a challan for being in the wrong lane. However, that was not the case either. The lady had just let me pass without paying.
On my way back, the same girl and two other children were chatting by the toll lane. I grabbed a small sack of groundnuts and quickly offered it to them. The children were delighted and screamed happily, moongphali (groundnuts)!
I’m still wondering, how the little sack of moongpahli had so much joy!
What you sow is what you reap!
~ Rahul Dongare