Friday, December 12, 2008

Keeping the Faith

I have always believed that people are innately good. There’s a “nice” person in everyone. When I mention this to people, I often get a strange look that almost seems to say “yeah right!”

I’m not surprised at this reaction. In a day and age when bad news makes great headlines and good news isn’t so interesting anymore, it is easy for even the greatest optimist to turn cynical.

I am reminded of an incident that took place nearly four years ago when I was attending a week-long residential training session at a company farmhouse in New Delhi. After a hectic day of workshop sessions, I played a game of volleyball in the lawn along with my colleagues. It was an invigorating game. As I was walking back to my room, I noticed that my ring was missing. It was a gold ring with a beautiful red ruby stone, a gift from my grandmother before she passed away some years ago.

Without a second thought, I ran back to the lawn and began frantically searching in the grass. It was like searching for a needle in a haystack. And to make matters worse, the sun was setting; it would be pitch dark very soon. My colleagues joined the search too but it was in vain. Before I went to bed that night, I knew I had lost a precious heirloom that grandma had entrusted me with.

The next morning, I was up early and searched the grounds once more. Not a trace of the ring. Having given up all hope, I casually mentioned to the maintenance staff about the ring and to let me know if it turned up. My colleagues laughed at me, chiding my naiveté. Saurabh confidently proclaimed, “If they find it, they’ll keep it for themselves. What makes you think they’ll return a piece of gold with a real ruby?”

I didn’t respond. I thought to myself, “Miracles do happen.” My mind drifted back to the day that grandma had given me the ring, a sparkle in her eye as she passed on a ring that was once worn by my grandfather.

“Sir! Sir! Is this yours?” I was shaken out of my reverie by an eager voice. I saw Ravi bhai, the gardener, running towards me, his hand outstretched. In his palm, sparkling brighter than ever, was my ring. Ravi bhai looked happier than me. “I was trimming the bush when I found it, Sir!”

I knew, right then, that I would never give up on the power of goodness. I thanked Ravi bhai profusely and put in a good word for him with the staff management.

1 comment:

Maanya said...

You are absolutely correct. I can quote innumerable (I really mean innumerable) incidents when strangers have been nice to me, or I have found things that had been lost for days.