At a time when our society is experiencing a feeling of increasing cynicism and moral turpitude, I recently experienced an inspiring act of honesty.

I visited Agra with my family to see the Taj Mahal. After the visit, I hired an autorickshaw to go to Agra Fort, near where I was staying. When we got down from the auto, we absent-mindedly left in the vehicle our bag containing some valuables along with the pictures of memories of the Taj Mahal.

Much to our consternation, we realised after a little while that our bag was missing. But by that time the auto driver had peeled off into the thick of traffic. I immediately set out in search of that auto with the help of another auto driver who was parked where we got down. Though I distinctly remembered the face of that auto driver, I had not noted the number of the auto.

We searched in vain for half an hour and came back feeling dejected and confused as to what to do. I was actually more worried about those pictures than the other items in the bag. Having lost all hope of recovering my bag, I called the photographer who had taken and printed our pictures before the Taj Mahal and requested him not to delete the images and to print them again. As he had not deleted them, I felt relieved — even as I was hoping against hope that my lost bag would be recovered.

Back with the bag

After about 45 minutes, to my great surprise and joy, the autorickshaw driver turned up with the bag. Sporting a smile, he humbly handed it over and asked us to check if all the items in the bag were intact. Our joy knew no bounds and we jumped with joy. I appreciated the auto driver for his inspiring act of honesty, suitably rewarded him and took a photograph with him. He also felt very happy, accepted the reward with humility and told us some invaluable words: “God is watching all of us. If we are honest, he will shower upon us his bounty and unlimited blessings.”

I think all of us need to take that advice seriously. We came back to Delhi from the Taj Mahal not only with wonderful memories worth cherishing for a lifetime but also with the lessons learnt from that honest auto driver. It strengthened our belief in human goodness.

alimahabub@ gmail.com

Keywords: AgraTaj Mahal

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