As I neared the auto-rickshaw stand near my residence earlier this afternoon at about 3.30 pm, I saw that one rickshaw was stationary with a lady standing near it and chatting with the driver. The driver signalled that he wasn’t available to ferry me. I started to walk to another stand about 100 mts away, when another empty rickshaw came along and offered to take me wherever I wanted to go.
As I entered the rickshaw, the driver, very visibly a Muslim, said “Asssalamalaikum” and I automatically responded with “Walaikumassalaam’. He must have decided that I too was a Muslim seeing my beard and the native dress that I wear usually.
During the short journey to the mall which was my destination, the driver asked my permission to ask for a favour and on being given permission narrated a story. His four year old daughter was in hospital undergoing surgery and treatment for injuries suffered from an accident and he was desperately working long hours to raise enough money and sought financial help from me. He kept insisting that Allah will bless me and that the driver would return the money in a few week’s time if I gave him my address. By the time we reached the mall I had decided to help him and instead of the normal fare of about Rs.35.00 I gave him Rs.500.00 and told him that instead of returning the money to me he should help someone else in need at some future point of time. He was all gratitude and touched my feet and hugged me with tears in his eyes and I turned away to enter the mall.
As I entered the mall, my monkey mind took over. Did I do the right thing or had I just been conned by a con artist? I said to myself that the man did not look like a conman and looked genuinely to be distressed. My monkey mind suggested that good conmen are successful because they do not look like conmen. I tried to put my mind at rest by suggesting that I had done something good and if I had been suckered, so be it. I had earned positive karmic points anyway!
As I write this it is 9.15 pm and this internal dialogue is still going on.
How our mind works!