A matter of trust

A matter of trust

It is indeed heartening to note that acts involving breach of trust by public servants are being recognised as criminal offence at least now after Anna Hazare’s movement against corruption started gaining steam. ‘Trust’ for the common man means a thing of virtue on which hinge the meaningful and cherished values of our day-to-day life thus imparting an ethical sheen to our existence.

Amazingly, this potential binding power called ‘trust’, held sacred by all right-thinking people, is not limited to interactions covering parents, children, spouses, siblings, friends as well as business partners. It is a vital organ inherently present in the anatomy of a civilised set up despite the persistent onslaught on its sanctity by unscrupulous enemies of society.

Several years ago I happened to travel from Madras central to Nagpur with my wife by the GT express with rather heavy luggage. Waiting along with us at the platform for the arrival of the train was a friendly senior citizen with whom we struck an instant rapport.

He had been placed at No.1 in the waiting list on this train while we had confirmed first class reservation. Madras being the originating station, enough time was left for train formation; hence we decided to have snacks by turns at the restaurant located in the first floor of the waiting room at the far end of the station.

Our new friend suggested that we go first while he looked after our luggage which incidentally contained valuables.

While getting down the stairs after having our refreshment, my wife accidentally missed a step and badly twisted her right ankle, the swelling of which rendered her immobile. As advised by a doctor who luckily happened to be at the waiting room, I rushed out to the nearest medical shop by an auto to get a crepe bandage and it was only after this first aid that we managed to slowly reach the platform, by which time the train was whistling for departure!

Worried, we looked around, expecting to find our good friend busy with the TT for getting his reservation, leaving our belongings unattended (understandably so!), but what we saw was something unbelievable!

He was still there, guarding our luggage, eagerly waiting for us! By then unfortunately the TT had allotted the only vacant berth to the next one in the waiting list.

Without a second thought we asked our friend to just get on the train with us and once inside managed to accommodate him in our reserved coupe which, indeed, was the minimum gesture of gratitude we could show for his gracious act of honouring the faith we had reposed in him, at the cost of his own accommodation notwithstanding his urgent errand at Nagpur.

If only all our elected custodians of public wealth displayed even a shadow of such an intent to value the trust the people have reposed in them, the quality of life of the common man would be far better than what it is today!