Laxsha Natraj



Laxsha Natraj


The Long Time Investment

The Long Time Investment

5 mins

Somya's brother Venkat and her sister-in-law Sarala were having a whale of a time, enjoying the train journey because they could trap Somya as their Guinea pig, for all their entertainment purposes. They were going to Pune by train just for the fun of it.

Her brother was a CEO of a finance company and her SIS a vice president of a bank. They could never understand how their sister could be so foolish in money matters (according to them). They could not simply assimilate the fact that in a present-day condition how Somya does not know the difference between a closed-end and an open-end mutual fund, does not know as to which is the most profitable way, to invest one’s money, or cannot even bargain intelligently from a street vendor, etc.

Venkat always said that with her double postgraduate study she had wasted her life by becoming a school teacher, that too after resigning her good bank officer job.

He was now giving his wise advice as usual. “See Somya, you have to be a little smarter and invest in your future. See Sarala, She is not as qualified as you are. But she joined the bank, slowly improved her qualification steadfastly, and she had reached such high post. She had wisely invested all our family money so that in our old age we have so much financial support. You were all the time stuck with your school job, with a salary which is even lower than that of an office peon. What will you do in your old age?”

Sarala continued from where her husband left, “See Somya, long time investment is very, very important. Let me know about your savings. I will give you correct guidance” Somya smiled sheepishly.

Suddenly the train violently jerked and there were screams and shouts from all around. The train came to a screeching halt. Everyone peeped out and the latter jumped out to see what had happened. One of the compartments had derailed and the other compartments stood dangerously tilted. The public immediately rushed to help and pulled out the passengers who were stuck in the partially tilted compartments. Luckily, there were no casualties.

Now though there was no immediate danger, all of them were left stranded, between two mountains and thorny bushes. Many people had not bothered even to bring in a bottle of water as Mumbai to Pune was a short journey. Now the small children started crying, some in hunger and some for water. Some men started climbing the steep hill, searching for some small streams.

The guard of the train came around and announced that it may take five to six hours before they could pull the compartment with a crane and then bring in another train to transport the passengers. Until then, there was no alternative but to wait.

They all got out and sat on the grass. They had left early morning and did not even have breakfast. Of course, the Royal Blue Express train served breakfast and snacks and tea on normal days. But the train had derailed even before they started preparing. They sat quietly in the hot sun too tired even to speak. Someone said that if they walk two kilometers along the mountainside they can reach the main road. But no one knew which was the correct direction, to do so is.

Suddenly people started shuffling moving towards one point. They saw that an IAS officer from a nearby town had come to the spot. He apologized to the public for the inconvenience and trouble. He said that the Railway had arranged for food and water and by half an hour it would reach the accident spot. He added that the crane was already reaching the spot and by three fours the train may be able to move. The public surrounded him and bombarded questions at him. He patiently answered all of them

Without wanting it consciously, the mob had pushed Somya and Venkat to the front line of the crowd. As the officer was generally swiping the crowd with his eyes, his eyes got fixed on Sarala. He continued to stare at her for a few seconds and Somya was a bit embarrassed and she tried to move away from the spot.

But now he walked directly towards her and reached her in two quick steps, said his voice bubbling with happiness, “Madam, You are Somya Madam am I right?” Somya blinked and in a little bit confused voice said, “Yes, but you...” Now, not only her brother but the other entire crowd surrounding them started watching them curiously.

He said, “Madam, I am Siddarth your past student. Remember how many days you have taught me Math in extra classes because I was not so good in that” Recognizing him she smiled broadly and said,” You Siddarth. Are you the officer here?"

Unexpectedly and suddenly he bent down and touched her feet and said,” Madam whatever I am today it is only because of you. I am an IAS officer here in Ulhasnagar. Madam, why you have to wait here in this hot sun for the train? Please come with me to my house. You can later continue your journey by road”

Without waiting for her reply he took her travel bag from her hand and started walking ahead. They climbed a slope and reached the road, where his official car was parked. The two police officers standing near the jeep came running and took their entire luggage. They all got into the car. Siddharth was breathlessly talking about his school days, his career, etc.

Soon they reached Siddarth bungalow and received a royal welcome and lunch. All the members of Siddhartha’s family came and touched the feet of Somya as her brother and his wife looked on with open mouth. They were given a royal lunch Later Siddharth arranged for an AC car for them to travel further to Pune...

As the car started moving to Pune, sitting in the comfort of the car Somya said,” Look here, Venkat. You were asking me about my investments Right? Students like Siddarth are my long term investment. Any part of the world I go to there will be a student like Siddarth for me. Is this not a wise long time investment of mine?” Venkat just stared at her unable to answer.

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