The gold coins
I was lone child of my parents. They had little education. They had no regular job and were dependent entirely upon agricultural income The land was fertile but there was no proper arrangement for irrigation and people were dependent on nature. Moreover, the income from cultivation was uncertain and needed initial investment which was a problem. The condition of the farmers was not good in general. The problem compounded when there was no rain or there was, too, much of it followed by flood and other natural calamities.
My parents sent me to the village school for primary classes. I was a brilliant student from the outset. I always stood first in my classes. I attracted attention of my teachers. The Principal of the school, too, started taking interest in me. I got many rewards in recognition of outstanding performance in the school as well as extracurricular activities. I passed fifth class examinations in the first division and also topped in the school as I had obtained the highest marks in the entire school. Despite the fact that I was a brilliant student my family was extremely worried mainly because they did not have adequate means to support me. There was no school for higher classes in the village. The nearest school was about six kilometres away from the village. Even that school was only up to the class eight. The High School was located in the district headquarter about 10 kilometres away from the village.
One day while my father was sleeping, he heard Devi Saraswati stating:
“Ramanand! You need not worry about your son. He is very lucky. He would bring good name to your entire family. Pl open the box which is lying near your outer gate. You would find there everything that you need. Then Devi
Saraswati started further telling me: “Your son was a great saint in his previous birth. He was a great scholar but he died prematurely due to an accident. He would recover his memory soon. “I just got up to find none. I told everything to my wife. She was immensely surprised.
Soon after getting from the sleep I rushed towards the gate of my house. There was nothing as such. Then I tried to look left and right but nothing could be noticed. I was disappointed. I heard similarly the next night while I was sleeping. This time I even saw the hidden treasure which was lying in a small bag.
Next day my father got up as usual. There was nothing new which could have invited anybody`s attention. But he saw something below the tree in front of our house. He ran towards that. In the meantime, a dog appeared on the scene and took away the small bag in his mouth.
My father ran after the dog. On seeing me running many villagers, too, started running. Gradually the whole village was running. The dog was ultimately surrounded by the villagers. The dog left the small bag it was carrying in its mouth on the nearby land.
The police had got alerted on seeing the whole villagers running and picked up the small bag left by the dog. In the meantime, the dog vanished from the scene. The police tried to open the bag but it had nothing. They, therefore, threw it on the road. The villagers ,too, scattered here and there.
In the meantime, my father heard the voice again directing him to pick up the bag which was lying unattended on the road. He did accordingly. He was surprised to listen beautiful music coming from inside the bag. He also noticed some gold coins lying in it. He picked up the coins and threw the bag on the road.
My father reached the house with the gold coins. My mother was very happy. She was very keen to know the details. My father told her the entire story. She was, however, disappointed to know about loss of the bag. According to her the bag was mystical and would have brought us prosperity and happiness. But what could have been done now.
My father nevertheless tried to get back the bag. He went to the same place where he had thrown the bag but could not see anything. Soon, he heard a roaring sound warning him to leave the place at once as he had done a great sin by not obeying the message of God. My father got afraid and left the place.
Anyway, my father got few gold coins which helped us to arrange for immediate requirements. I got myself admitted in the High School located in the district town. The expenditure was arranged by selling the gold coins.
I passed the Intermediate examination in Science getting the highest marks in the entire board. I was awarded certificate of merit and also a monthly scholarship. I cleared the entrance examination in the very first attempt. I got admission in B Tech course in the subject and college of my choice. But arranging money for admission was a big problem.
One day while I was moving alone in the IIT Campus I met with the admission in -charge Dr Devan. He at once recognised me as he had seen my picture in the newspaper. He asked me about my future planning. I told him about my problems. He immediately offered to bear the entire cost of admission. Besides he also promised to help me in future.
While at the college I worked very hard. I cleared all the tests of my engineering course in the first attempt with excellent marks. It increased my self-confidence. I became a known face among the students.
I got B. TECH degree from IIT with full support of my teacher who kept his words and gave enough money every month so that I could manage my requirements peacefully and could concentrate on my studies.
I got many campus placements. Ultimately, I decided to join the London based company which offered me the highest salary package. Within a year I purchased a house in a posh locality of London. With the growing income my life style changed completely.
While studying at the IIT, I had developed intimacy with my fellow student Nilima. She had been helping me whenever I needed it. She was doing well in her examinations and got good placement along with me. Luckily, she, too, got posted in London. We remained in touch during our stay there. Our intimacy grew with time. We, therefore, decided to marry. Our parents were happy to bless us and had readily agreed to our proposal. Our marriage was a simple affair. We decided to make it a purely private affair. Besides our parents only a few personal friends were present.
Both of us started living happily in our own house. It was very conveniently located. Our offices were at walking distance. So, we used to have our lunch there. The house approved very auspicious to us. We had to kids while living in the house. We were both holding very high position in our companies. We were now economically sound and wanted to do something for our motherland.
As planned, we returned to Mumbai. There we met with Dr Dewan, our teacher in the IIT.I told him about my planning to do something to repay my indebt to him and also to the motherland. He was very glad to know this. He said that the best way to repay him would be to help the poor and needy students who are unable to take up higher education due to financial constraints. The advice of Dr Dewan worked well. Both of us decided to return to India. We resigned from our jobs, sold our house in London and returned Mumbai with determination to follow his instructions.
On return to Mumbai we set up an institution for free coaching of the meritorious but poor students of the locality. They were provided all the facilities including books, notes and even fee for the entrance examination. Our efforts have blessed many poor and needy students. So far more than five hundred poor students trained by our coaching institute have got degree from IIT.
Years have passed since we returned to Mumbai after resigning our lucrative jobs at London. We feel lot of satisfaction and internal happiness which we never got from the gold coins which we earned during our days in London.