They set out with empty pockets but returned richer. City boy Rajul Mahajan and his two friends Abhimanyu Rao and Manobal were eager to determine if having money and being rich are two different things. The trio is convinced that it is not money alone that makes one rich.
The three boys, who are pursuing a degree in Economics in Hans Raj College in New Delhi, headed to Agra where they visited the Mogul emperor Shah Jahan’s ‘monument of love’ Taj Mahal, and managed to return to their hostel, without carrying a single paisa or even their mobile phones.
Rahul is a product of Siddhartha Public School in the city. “We did not even carry our student ID cards and managed to travel back and forth thanks to a few good-natured people who helped us. Our only transgression was a lie that we had been robbed of our money by pick-pockets. We were given help by strangers because people respond differently to the beggars and those who genuinely need help,” says Rahul.
With a sound financial background, it was a new experience for him to sleep in the open and make do with a small cup of tea and a few biscuits for a meal. “The most difficult part was convincing the caretakers of Sulabh public toilets. The first time, we were shooed off the place but we managed to convince them in the second attempt,” he recalls with a smile.
More than anything else, the trip has infused a confidence in the boys to face unfamiliar situations and people. “The fear of being surrounded by strangers in an unknown terrain is no more,” he declares, informing that help came from the most unexpected quarter. “A Good Samaritan working in the parking lot of Taj Mahal was of great help. He wanted us also to help others without expecting anything in return,” he fondly reminisces.