Topper And Lousy

Topper And Lousy

8 mins

“In a very real sense we have two minds, one that thinks and one that feels” Daniel Goleman


In a reputed college of the district, Business Management was being taught in the lecture hall. .The internal construction of the hall looked not like a classroom but more like a theater.The students had their chairs and tables laid on steps from lower front rows to the higher back rows divided in four segments vertically.

There was a shining wooden podium on the rostrum for the lecturer with projector screen, kept in front of the students. In this air conditioned hall,the bright students were referring to their notes, average students were gossiping and weak students were shouting. At the appointed time when the lecturer entered, the hall became quiet. Students started opening their notebooks and getting ready for the lecture to start.But surprisingly, on that day ,after taking the attendance the lecturer did not start teaching the subject as he looked a little sad and gloomy.

“Dear students,yesterday evening I came to know of a tragedy in our neighborhood. In the colony adjacent to mine there lived a poor family with an 18 year old daughter. The girl was to be married by the end of this month. But unfortunately her father, a poor laborer, had died of heart attack. He has left behind him an aged mother, a daughter of marriageable age and a son aged 13.” The sad teacher became emotional and stopped talking .

All students heard him attentively but some of them looked at each other in awe.

After a while the teacher started talking with more aggressive voice“ As you all know a marriage is an important event in one’s life. It involves a lot of financial and social commitments for lower or middle class families such as dowry, catering to the needs of guests from both sides and arranging for their boarding and lodging, decoration, ceremonies etc. In this world, money is needed at every stage from birth to death”.

The teacher continued his talk "I came to know that the father was the only earning member in the family. He wanted to solemnize the marriage of the daughter somehow even if it required borrowing from friends and relatives.. Unfortunately he died before that.There is no earning member in that family now and the possibility of getting loan is also remote. As the marriage of the girl should not be postponed and only 15 days are left, I discussed the matter with my neighbors who have agreed to collect money from different sources to help the family.” The teacher took a long pause after this.

After some time the teacher started talking again but not in commanding tone but in a softer tone which one could see from his expressions.“ It is my request to all students individually to see how best they can extend the monetary help to the family for solemnizing the marriage of the poor girl on the stipulated day”.

His request made to the students brought mild whispering. “Please keep silence.” the lecturer told this time softly to bring class to order.The class became silent.

"I know all of you are dependent on your guardians for financial help.You may be constrained to extend help substantially. However, you may try to extend your help within your means so as to serve a noble cause. Any student may volunteer for this sacred work of collecting money from other students.” The lecturer ended his talk and looked at students quietly for their response.

The teacher had not to wait for long because suddenly a student from the back row got up and placed a note of Rs 500 firmly on the table and told , “ Sir ,I give from my side Rs 500 to help this noble cause.”

The impression of students about him was that he was a laggard, a useless probably because he was poor in English, not serious in his studies, was absenting himself frequently from his class, and gave irrelevant answers to the questions asked .In other words he was a duffer. For this reason the students used to call him Mr Duffer jokingly.

The entire class was stunned to see the response of this student when he paid Rs 500 and that provoked whispering among themselves once again. Seeing the attitude of students Mr Duffer quietly withdrew himself from volunteering for collection. Instead he could convince his friend and entrusted the job of collection to him.

The student who volunteered for collection placed Rs 100 along with Rs 500 of Mr Duffer and proceeded to collect money from other students. Although other students co-operated they could give a minimum of Rs 100 and a maximum of Rs 300 only.

The third wave was yet to come.The student volunteer approached the topper of the class who was sitting in the front row. She was a topper in the internal and the university examinations by securing the maximum number of marks in her class and so was famous as Miss Topper. She was from an affluent family and had topped in the 10th , 12th and the graduation course securing the highest marks.

“Kindly extend your help in this collection” pleaded the student volunteer to Miss Topper.

“I have full sympathy for that girl” replied Miss Topper with a slight indifference without contributing a single pie.

All students, including the student volunteer, got stunned to see the reaction of Miss Topper. He moved forward to collect from other students.

From this class the collection, including the sympathy of Miss Topper and Rs 500 of Mr Duffer totalled to Rs 10000.Lecturers collected from other two sections adding which the total came to Rs 15000. Apart from students, lecturers contributed a sum of Rs 5000 thus making the grand total collection of Rs 20000.


As it was the lunch time, the canteen was crowded with students. Students, both boys and girls, were buying samosas,pastries, parathas,tea, coffee,soft drinks etc at higher prices than the market as there were no shops nearby the college.

Miss Topper bought a plate of Chinese Hakka Noodles and a cup of cold coffee for Rs 120. She was returned Rs 80 by the vendor when she gave him Rs 200. She sat on a chair at the centre of the canteen and ate noodles speaking on her smartphone.

Mr Duffer was sitting with the student volunteer, who was his friend, in one corner .

“As far as I know you had Rs 500 in your purse.Then how could you give all the money when others were not paying more than Rs 300?”, the student volunteer asked Mr Duffer.

“My dear friend, I only used my common sense and started the money collection contributing a bigger amount. Had I given Rs 100 or Rs 50 no one would have given more than Rs 10, 20 or 30 as an individual contribution. We would not have been able to collect a handsome amount for the noble cause .By giving Rs 500, I set up a standard and as you know people do not want to go below the standard”, Mr Duffer gave his reply smilingly.

“That is fine. But where do you have money to buy the bus ticket for return?” The student volunteer asked with a little doubt.

“As you knew that I had only Rs 500 in my purse, I knew that you had Rs 150 in your pocket.You gave Rs 100 as donation. So you are left with Rs 50. We need only Rs 30 for buying bus tickets for both of us. So you may still be left with Rs 20. Get two cups of tea for both of us” saying this Mr Duffer cleared the doubts of his friend.

“ You will not improve” The friend told smilingly and proceeded to bring tea..


The poor girl’s grandmother had her eyes full of tears when she accepted the amount of Rs 20000 from the lecturer. She had no words to praise them. But her tearful eyes were enough to express her gratitude.

No one knows whether the sympathy of Miss Topper reached that poor girl or not .But the amount given was of great help to them because now they could confidently proceed with arrangements for marriage.

On the appointed day the marriage of that poor girl was solemnized successfully by the financial help given to them by the staff and students of the college, including others.

In her last year of the college Miss Topper got again the maximum marks and topped the university for which she was presented with a gold medal. got a job in a reputed company through a campus interview in her college.

Mr Duffer had secured average marks and so he could not get a chance to appear in the campus interview. But he was selected in Air Force later by virtue of his common sense and the spirit to serve society which are not generally seen in most of the people.

I know that you may be curious to know as to what subject was being taught by the lecturer in his class.

The subject was “ Corporate Social Responsibility” which means that the responsibility towards society far outweigh the profit and loss in a business.

"We need business to understand its social responsibility, that the main task and objective for a business is not to generate extra income and to become rich and transfer the money abroad, but to look and evaluate what a businessman has done for the country, for the people, on whose account he or she has become so rich". Vladimir Putin

Miss Topper had secured maximum marks in this subject too.

“आपका जीवन तब तक सार्थक नहीं है जब तक कि आपने किसी ऐसे के लिए ऐसा कुछ नहीं किया है जिसे वह आपको कभी नहीं लौटा सकता”

-जॉन बुनयन

"You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you. If my life is fruitless, it doesn't matter who praises me, and if my life is fruitful, it doesn't matter who criticizes me".John Bunyan.

Original Story:- Topper and Lousy - A Short Story In Hindi By Abhishek Tamoli

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