If it is not yours, do not take it was the first moral science lesson we all would have learnt in our early childhood.
Here is an incident when this thought came back again.
My friend had troubled look on her face day before yesterday. When asked what was bothering her, she said, she was unable to find her wallet. Now, we all know that Wallet almost equals to a hold-all to most people. It had some cash ( thankfully minimal), a credit card, a debit card and an Insurance card. Enough reason to trouble one's mind and face. In a crowded bus, where she remembered taking out her wallet last, there was no hope to be able to trace it, ever. Without much delay ( thanks to her commonsense quotient) she called up the bank and blocked the cards.
When you lose something, you look and feel lost, more so, if it is your wallet; the most important, close to heart, best friend everywhere - because it has the cash and cards and also because it might be a gift from someone. This wallet was also a gift from her close friend. One more valid reason to be troubled, although no point.
That said, work was calling and we proceeded with what we were doing. I doubt my friend was able to focus on her work, but I could see that she gave up on the lost wallet, although did not want to let go of the thoughts about it. They say, such things take time to get over from.
The next day, she is all bright and happy and I see her Wallet with her.. Enough reason to understand her smiles that morning.:-) Lost and Found is a nice feeling... Well, I mean, 'Lost' is not, 'Found' is.. Once lost and Found later is wonderful. Obviously, we need to know how, else work day does not begin. :-) Office is nice place to be if and only if such exchanges happen.
The wallet had fallen off her bag in the bus, when she put it back inside after paying for her tickets. Someone found it at the end of the day when he was finishing work for the day. One last check in the bus found him this wallet. He had two choices - One to take the wallet with him and do nothing about it and Two, to find the address of the owner and return it.
While the former seems an obvious choice, this blessed person has chosen to find out more about how to get the wallet back to its owner. When he opened the wallet, he found three cards, one dry cleaner's bill with a phone number and a cheque from the Income tax department.[ To know what an it means to lose an IT returns cheque, you really have to lose it. No point in me trying to elaborate how difficult it might be to get it back.]
My friend had a call from this BMTC ( Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation) worker the same night with the details. After she confirmed the address, she and her family had driven over to collect the wallet and to thank the worker. The old man's house was in one of the darkest narrowest lanes of the city. There was no power, so no one could see the other person's face clearly. After confirming the identity of the new comers the old man gave the wallet to my friend, with everything intact. My friend and her folks were amazed to note that there are such nice people in town even when all that was around them screamed that there was need for money. The BMTC worker stood very tall that evening in spite of his family's financial needs and demands that faced them.
My friend had blocked the cards, so the wallet's find would not be a big deal ( yes, I agree about the sentiment that it was a friend's gift, but other than that, there was nothing else binding her to the wallet with invalid cards) for her at that point, still the family drove to the worker's place just to look at the face of the voice that called her and to appreciate and thank the efforts.
It is important to note that in a world where all sorts of thefts are increasing, people like this old man are definitely a rare kind.
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