Since 14 months of his retirement, Gupta Sir neither got his pension nor his G.P.F. money. He ran here and there but still the output was zero. Really, he was feeling very hopeless and helpless after all. But surprisingly one sunny morning, while reading local news paper Gupta Ji found a known name on the front page of a news daily. That was nobody other than his student Bhagaban Das. Yes, Bhagaban Das, student of Gupta Sir came to that district as new District Collector. Unknowingly, a ray of hope shined at Gupta ji’s face.
The very next day he ran to the Collector’s office with a hope that his student, Bhagaban, will help him in getting his pension and due G.P.F money . Guptaji showed all documents anxiously to his student, and narrated his sufferings. Bhagaban listened to Gupta sir and with a long breath said “this is a big process sir, it will take at least a week and yes you need to spend some money as well.” “Spend?” Gupta sir asked astonishingly. With a smile Bhagaban replied, “Yes sir, I can do it if you are ready to spend only Rs.4000 as you are were teacher. For others I would have asked a minimum of rupees 15,000 for this work.” Gupta sir, surprised by hearing those words from his student asked “for this work you are asking a bribe Bhagaban?” Bhagaban replied, “Sir, it is not only me who will take this 4000, there is a junior clerk, senior clerk, lower officer, peon, everybody, who will take their shares from it.”
Gupta ji said “Won’t you get your salary Bhagaban, really it is very shameful for me and it hurts a lot that my student has become a corrupt officer”.
With a smile on face Bhagaban replied, “I am your student, that’s why I am doing this sir, and you are asking whether I get salary or not..!!! In the past days, you were also getting salary sir…but without completing the course in our school classes, you were giving priority to your tuition, and earning extra money out of your salary, why sir? And today you are trying to underestimate me by taking the name of illegality and corruption? Do you remember those days sir? Our village doctor’s son was very much weak in education as compared to me, but each and every time you were being partial and were making him come 1st in class, by getting beautiful and costly gifts from his father. You always helped and supported those rich guys in our school at the time of the exams. Sometimes you even wrote for them on their examination answer sheets. You were always giving extra marks to your tuition students. I think you forgot those days when you were smoking in front of us and even passing comments on some young girls of our school who were of your daughter’s age. Your name was scribbled and displayed on our school walls by other students. So after all, I am a student of such a great teacher. And what is the problem if I ask for only Rs. 4,000 instead of 15,000 sir? Now you can go and please come after a week with the money I asked for, and collect your documents ready.”
After a week Gupta sir came. The district collector, one of his oldest and poor students, Bhagaban was not in the office. But his steno was there. Without asking anything from Gupta sir, the steno gave him an envelope and said that all the work had been done. And as per the commitment, Gupta sir handed an envelope containing Rs.4, 000 to the collector’s steno. But the steno refused to take that money from Gupta sir and said, “Sir has asked me not to take anything from you, and has left this letter for you..!” Gupta Sir sat beneath an old mango tree inside the office compound and opened the letter.
The letter read as follows:
As a human tendency, when anybody feels a little bit of scarcity of law, humanity, punctuality in other’s ideology, then he starts complaining and arguing, but he never feels the same scarcity that has also been inside him, and unfortunately he never tries to research his own ideology. But I have researched this sir. So I never learnt any bad things from you, despite being your student for a long time. I neither take bribe nor indulge in corruption. I never misbehave with my women colleagues in the office or do partialities for any of my office staff members. I neither smoke nor drink alcohol. I am an honest officer sir. Hope you never mind what I said to you because it was what I felt. Sir, today I recall one small story, you were saying on those school days. “If we want to listen to a sweet voice of cuckoo, we need to provide a mango tree and a spring environment to it, otherwise that sweet voice will move far from us. Now stopping my writing here sir.
After reading this letter, Gupta sir kept silent for some time and realized his mistake. At last, he felt proud to have had such a great student in his whole life time. He then started for his home with a smile of happiness and 2 tear drops of realization.