It's All About Money, Honey!
by Shilpa Nair
Praveen was in a hurry. He didn’t want to be late to office at least this day, the day when he would be getting his first salary cheque. He took his leather wallet which had been gifted to him by his father. He had decided to keep the wallet empty till he got his first salary. He was excited because it was time for his wallet to be filled that evening. In a jiffy he left home on his bike. On the way, he noticed a police constable waving to him to stop his bike. “Where is your helmet, young man?” asked the policeman.
“Oh!” exclaimed Praveen. He had forgotten his helmet at home as usual. He was never caught before and hence was careless about wearing his helmet. But this time he knew he was surely to be punished. He pleaded to the policeman to leave him lying to him that it was his first time without helmet. But the policeman was adamant to fine him. Praveen was getting late. He had no time to argue. In a fit of rage he yelled at the policeman, “You guys are always behind people for money during month ends. Don’t you know it’s crime to take bribe?” The policeman was taken aback. He replied, “And don’t you know it’s danger to drive without helmet, eh? You youngsters think too much of yourself. Now take out the money you have or else I’ll take you to police station.” Saying this, the policeman put his hands inside Praveen’s pocket and took out his wallet not knowing that it was empty. “Now I am going to take all your money. Let me see what you will do to me”. Saying this he left. Praveen tried to call him back to tell that it was his lucky wallet and that it was empty. But before that the policeman left. In a sad mood, Praveen left for office, cursing himself for not wearing helmet. He swore he’ll never drive without his helmet again.
The constable was happy that he had made lot of money that day. “I’ll buy biriyani today”, thought he. As he tried to open the wallet, a hand landed on his shoulder. He looked back and saw a young man with a video camera in his hand. “Yes, what’s the matter?” asked the policeman. The young man introduced himself as a TV reporter and said that he had recorded everything in his camera. He showed the clipping of the policeman snatching the wallet from Praveen. The policeman was shocked to see it. The young man said, “Look Mister, you know what will happen if I telecast this in our news channel? You will be expelled from your job. Do you understand?” The policeman was almost in tears. He said pleadingly, “Please don’t do that. You take this wallet, but please leave me. I have a family to look after.” The young man took the wallet left smilingly. The policeman fled from the place, thanking his stars for saving him
and also swearing never to take bribe in future.
The young man cheerfully left for the nearby bar. He thought the wallet must be full of money and hence didn’t bother opening it. He ordered for drinks, had his fill and as he opened his wallet, he had the shock of his life. The wallet was empty! He tried to escape, but was caught and on knowing that he was penniless, was thrashed head to toe. They took his watch and threw him out on the road. Disgusted, he threw the wallet and walked away ashamed, swearing never to cheat anyone in future.
A beggar saw the wallet lying on the roadside. Slowly he slipped it into his begging bag and left toward his favourite place- gambling point. Thinking the wallet to have lots of money, he gambled like never before. On losing he realised that the wallet was empty. He not only lost his day’s earnings, but got thrashed badly for wasting others time. He cursed himself for leaving his begging job and wasting time gambling. He could have earned so much had he just stuck to his regular activity. He swore never to gamble.
The wallet landed in another man’s hands who fled the scene lest someone saw him. He got into a bus and was now relieved. When the bus conductor approached him for ticket, he put his hand into his pocket only to realise that someone had stolen his wallet. He searched frantically but in vain. The conductor slapped him left right for trying to travel without ticket. Meanwhile some other people too complained of missing wallet. The conductor immediately asked the driver to turn the bus to nearby police station. Upon searching, the police traced out the pick pocketer and he was beaten black and blue. He swore never to steal. All the wallets were returned to their respective owners except one. They opened it and saw it empty, but just before disposing it off the constable happened to notice Praveen’s visiting card.
At office Praveen was sad the whole day. He told his best friend Uday about the wallet he had lost. Praveen told him that the wallet was always lucky for him, be it during exams or during interview. It was his father’s wallet and held an emotional value. His father was no more and this was the last gift from him. “It was my dad’s blessing”, said Praveen tearfully. The same evening the wallet was returned to Praveen by police. He couldn’t believe his eyes. He was thrilled to see his lucky wallet back. He thought he had lost it forever. Uday, too, was happy to see his best friend smiling. “See”, said Uday, “Your dad’s blessings are always with you.”
Praveen hugged Uday and the same evening he put his first salary cheque in his wallet. “This is my lucky day. I learnt an important lesson”, thought Praveen. Well, the wallet actually taught everyone an important lesson that day- the policeman, the TV reporter, the beggar, the gambler & the pick-pocketer.