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Romesh closed the windows behind his seat to leave for his home. The peon appeared and showed him one two thousand rupee notes. He had found it on the floor while cleaning. It was a normal thing to find notes on the floor in a bank. Every time the peon discovered notes, Romesh offered him a bar of chocolate to recognize his honesty and patted on his back in affection. This time, the peon disagreed to receive the chocolate and requested, "Sir, please give this money; my wife is ill and I don't have money; it will take another ten days to get my salary." Romesh smiled and replied, "How can I give this money to you? It is the bank's money. We need to give details of every rupee. You see, someone has to repay it from his pocket if I give to you."
The peon stood for awhile seeing the note and said, "Sir, what if I hadn't given it to you?" The banker kept silent and was speechless. Yet, he was firm in his thoughts, "Peon Dada, you know me very well. If you want money, I can give you from my pocket but not this money." Romesh opened his purse and extended his hand with a two thousand rupee note. The lean and thin man was clueless about what to answer. He folded his hands and said, "Sir, if I take this money, then again I have to repay it from my salary and if I do that, I may not able to pay my house rent. So, better you keep it." Turning back, he started sweeping the floor singing a devotional song.
The next day was the last day for the annual closing. Therefore, Romesh brought a double meal to the bank. He searched the peon to inform him about arranging two plates well in advance. During the lunch break, Peon Dada was the most sought after man for cleaning and mopping the tables dry. The man wasn't there. On inquiring from the security man, he learned that he hadn't come to the bank as his wife was unwell and admitted to a hospital. A pang of deep guilt shook his conscience. Then, immediately he ranged him over the phone. The reply made him feel like a sinner, "Sir, my wife passed away in the morning today." Romesh wanted to ask if he had given him two thousand rupees then would she have survived. The unstoppable sobbing of the peon stopped him from asking. After a few seconds, he realized, it had no meaning. The peon was still on the call. Romesh tried to console him, "Peon Dada, do you need anything now? Don't worry, I am there. Just give me a call. I will be there for you."
The reply came, "No, sir, I need nothing now. Before I cut the call, I say SORRY to you." Romesh wondered, "Why are you sorry, Peon Dada, rather I am really sorry for not being able to help you yesterday." In a trembling voice he replied, "Sir, that two thousand rupee note, I wanted to steal it from the bank and kept it in my pocket in the morning when I went inside your cell to give you tea. Later, I felt bad. Therefore, I lied to you in the hope that you would reward me with two thousand rupees for my honesty. By the way, my wife died because I couldn't bring her to the hospital in time. No auto driver agreed to bring her to the hospital in the night without money." A stream of tears fell from Romesh's eyes.