The Reluctant Donor
The Reluctant Donor7 mins 80 7 mins 80
Nandu was a twenty five year old youth with lot of dreams and ambition. He had completed his college education and was doing a job at an MNC firm. But he wasn't content with it. He had a dream to be a civil servant and serve the people. His family lived in the suburbs, some thirty kilometres away from the main city. Nandu or Abhinandan stayed in the city near his work place and came home on week ends. After office hours he took coaching for the civil services exams. As he had a good academic record in college so he was good as far as his subjects were concerned. But he needed training for his updation in general knowledge and preparation for personal interview and group discussion. After a couple of months of coaching Nandu had honed his GK skills considerably so that his instructor told him to try and appear for a reality show based on pure GK.
'' There is a mega prize of one crore rupees. You can try your luck with the knowledge you have gained, '' his instructor Amar sir had said. Nandu had become quite curious about the show and also about the prize money at stake. So he fiercely upgraded his general knowledge and was toying with the idea of appearing for the auditions. It was not easy to get a chance to get an entry. Besides having knowledge, lot of luck and presence of mind was needed. Nandu knew what was at stake so for sharpening his presence of mind, he started doing meditation to make himself mindful and remove all the clutter from his mind.
After two to three attempts, Nandu didn't get an entry to participate in the show. But he didn't lose hope and continued with his regular practice sessions.
In the meantime all this preparation had come handy for his civil service exams. He cleared the preliminary examination and subsequently the main exams also. In between he kept on trying for an entry to the show but did not meet with success. Now after clearing the hurdle of the written tests for the civil services he appeared for the personal interview and group discussion. These were a major hurdle for all the candidates and all other examinees who were present with Nandu were visibly very tensed and worked up. But Nandu was relaxed as if it was a cake walk for him. Because his concentration was the reality show with the enticing prize money that had kept Nandu intoxicated. So getting selected in the civil services was not too difficult a task for Nandu. After his selection and subsequent training period ended, Nandu was given a posting as a Block level administrative assistant at a District Town not too far from his suburban home. Here Nandu had sufficient time at the side of his job to concentrate on the entry trial for the reality show. Then one day he did break the jinx and finally get a call from the organisers of the show. By the time, Nandu had completed two years in his job and had completed his probationary period. So getting the clearance to appear for the show from his seniors didn't prove a challenge.
His parents were invited as special guests to the show when Nandu was scheduled to participate. Back home his grandparents and his uncles family were glued to their television sets as theirs was a big joint family.
Nandu faced all the questions very intelligently and played skilfully. The host of the show a very popular film star was praising the way Nandu was tackling the questions. Very soon Nandu had extinguished all his life lines but had also managed to reach the final question that had the prize money of one crore. Before the final question was put the host asked the parents to come and bless their son Nandu. Then Nandu finally faced the last question and although he was not too sure of the answer, made a guess and got it right. Then the host sprang out of his seat in excitement and shook Nandu's hand and there was lot of celebrations when the winning prize was announced. The host asked how Nandu intended to spend the prize money to which Nandu had answered that he had charity as the major beneficiary on his mind but he had some personal desires also to be fulfilled.
Back home there was big celebrations and sweet distribution by Nandu's grand parents. The celebration got bigger when Nandu returned home with his parents.
In a few days Nandu went back to join his duties. The prize money was transferred to his bank account. But there had been a substantial tax deduction so Nandu had been made poorer by some thousands. So this antagonised Nandu to the extent that he forgot about the promise of charity that he had given to the host of the show. But as he was a government servant now he could not think otherwise. So he silently digested the matter, about the tax deduction, and continued with his day to day work.
Then one of the biggest natural calamity befell on the area where Nandu was living. A fearful super cyclone had hit upon directly on their area. The intensity of the cyclone was too fearsome and nothing of the sort had ever occurred in the past hundred years. The weather office had been giving discreet warnings for past few days but no one had taken the warning seriously as no one had expected this intensity. So the damage also was telling. Fortunately there was no loss of lives but the damage that had been inflicted was absolutely back breaking. Assets built over more than one life time had been reduced to rubble. No elder could recall such a calamity in their life time.
Lot of financial support was required to overcome this humongous tragedy. The government alone couldn't handle this tragedy. Prayers were made to the general public through various media platforms to whole heartedly help the government to lessen the human tragedy as far as financial help was concerned.
Nandu's parents also requested him to contribute to the government initiative from his prize money. But Nandu had suddenly become stone hearted and refused to be a part of this goodwill gesture. His mind was possessed of a demonish desire to spend the money on his desires. His family was surprised and much pained to see this change in Nandu. They were at a loss and puzzled to see Nandu turn so cruel hearted. None amount of pep talk could influence Nandu. Even the family Guruji was employed to influence his thinking. Guruji studied Nandu's mental state with his innovative style. He analysed that the thought of the possession of the big amount had blocked his normal senses. He gave a remedy that another like amount gained by Nandu may influence him to think rationally and help him part with some amount for charity.
Then Guruji had a talk with the family elders without the presence of Nandu and held a brainstorming session.
Then Nandu's grandfather made an offering. The erstwhile government employee had retired at the time Nandu was born. So his grandfather had started an investment - a mix of share, bonds and mutual funds initially funded with some of his retirement funds as a gift for his grand son . Then his grandfather had continued the investment monthly. Now the corpus of this fund had grown to a sizeable amount almost similar to the prize money won by Nandu. His grandfather had saved the amount to spend for the education of Nandu. But as Nandu was a good student so his education was funded by government scholarships and as a result his grandfather's help had not been required . Ultimately the funds had been earmarked for the marriage of Nandu. Now as per Guruji 's advice he redeemed the fund and gave it to Nandu. As this amount was given as a gift to Nandu, the amount was totally tax free for Nandu. So seeing this huge amount being transferred to his account, Nandu was all of a sudden taken aback. Now this gift from his grandfather was more than the prize money won by him he received after taxes. There was a sudden change of mind for Nandu. He felt very ashamed of himself now and the feeling of guilt engulfed him. Out of guilt and remorse, Nandu, immediately transferred the full amount received by him to the government's citizens welfare fund. Because Nandu had enough cash earned from the prize to fulfil his life's desires. How sorry he now felt for being so reluctant in donating towards a Humanitarian cause.