Gurgaon has become the job capital of North India. Most of the MNCs have their corporate offices located in Gurgaon. Fresh MBAs prefer to join the corporate offices of companies instead of branch offices as the corporate office culture adds to their vision, provides extra exposure and enhances their ‘market value’. Whosoever gets posted in the corporate office considers oneself lucky.
Young postgraduates, on their first posting, opt for a PG but soon get fed up by the restrictions imposed by PG owners, dreary cabins, tasteless food and sky high charges. So they make a group of two or three, rent a flat, hire a cook and live a freedom full life. So did Vibhor, my son, after passing his first few months in a PG.
The cook whose services Vibhor and his two friends Nitin and Nitish hired was working as a pantry boy in a company. The flat owner lived nearby in his own house and had recommended the pantry boy to them. So they had no qualms and felt luckier as the boy was expert in cooking and prepared delicious dishes for them.
The flat owner provided the boys a set of four keys to the main door. Each one of them kept one and the fourth one was passed to the cook who, after the departure of the three boys to their offices, would do the utensils, lock the flat and leave for his job. The arrangement went well.
The rent amount was shared equally by Vibhor, Nitin & Nitish and delivered to the flat owner by the 5th of every month. One month, my son left his share of Rs. 6000.00 in the pocket of his trousers hanging in the cupboard, told the others about it on phone and left for his job. Nitish was to collect it and from Nitin and pay the amount to the flat owner.
In the evening, when my son came back, Nitin and Nitish were waiting for him in the flat. They told that Rs. 6000 that my son had left in the trousers pocket were missing. Someone had stolen them.
Obvious suspect under the situation was the cook as only he had access to the flat in their absence. He was called and asked to return the money. The cook showed ignorance. Despite repeated pressure and threats, he didn’t budge. Nitin then decided to hand him over to the police. He asked for other’s opinion.
‘The flat owner told me that he supports a family. Once he lands in the jail, he’ll lose his job. That will be too harsh a punishment for him. Let us rethink over it,’ my son said. They told the cook to go away and not to come again. The flat owner was told of the episode and a day was demanded to deposit the rent amount. The flat owner agreed.
Next day, when the boys went to the flat owner to pay the rent, he asked them what action they had taken against the cook. My son explained that they had treated it as a loss as they didn’t want the cook to lose his job and reputation on landing in the police cell.
It so happened that the Cook’s wife worked in the flat owner’s house. She was in the kitchen and heard all the discussion. She came out crying, ‘You are so good people. I am going to tell him to return the money. If he doesn’t, I’ll commit suicide’. Stunned, the boys and the flat owner stared at her as she unfolded the details to them.
Next day, the cook came repenting and apologizing, with the money in his hand. The boys decided to hire him again. We don’t think he’d do it again, they thought. The good deed they had done by not handing him over to the police had paid back.