How much do I pay?

~ G. Rajan 

It was around 10 am or so on a normal office day. I was busy opening the envelopes of incoming “Dak”, sorting papers and identifying those to be put up to the Secretary NDDB , who was busy in a meeting, and those that were to be marked to departments directly

I was surprised to see Shri TK Patel assisted by his attendant Jayantibhai, slowly walking into my office.

It surely was an awkward situation for me as I never expected Shri TK Patel coming into my office room (PS to Secretary).

Shri TK Patel, for those who may not know, was the founder Chairman Kheda District Milk Producers Union Ltd and Guru of Dr. Kurien . He normally would visit office of Dr Kurien to meet him.

Seeing Patel Saheb, I immediately got up from my chair and greeted him;

“Namaste Saheb”

“Bhai, I want two copies of this paper.”

“Ok Saheb” , I said taking the the paper from his hands, photocopied and returned the same to him in quick succession.

“How much do I have to pay?

I was shocked as I was not expecting this query.

“That is okay Sir”, I said

“It is not okay” was the response of Tribhuvandas Bhai.

“If you don’t tell me how much I have to pay, then I will go and ask Kurien” he said.

Dr. Verghese Kurien, Shri Tribhuvandas K Patel and Shri HM Dalaya the Trimurti of Amul

I was in a fix. I did not know how much to charge as there was no such system was then in place.!!

I rang up Shri Rangwala, Treasurer, NDDB to seek his guidance. He too was perplexed and surprised as this was a peculiar query.

“I will call you back” said Rangwala Saheb.

As I waited for the return call Shri TK Patel patiently waited in the waiting area of Secretaries office. After some time Rangwala Saheb called back.

“Rajan, I checked with my colleagues, we can charge him 0.50 paise for the two copies.(25 paise per copy)”

I conveyed this to Patel Saheb. He nodded his head in agreement and pushed a fifty paise coin into my hand. I thought the matter ended there.!

“Give me receipt for the fifty paise.”

This time I did not take a chance and requested Shri Rangwalla to help , he rushed an assistant to me with the receipt for Ra.0.50 piase which I handed over to Patel Saheb who was in the waiting area.

He said “Abhar” to me and slowly walked out with Jayantibhai.

I can never forget such an incidents which has influenced me in many ways.

Great people ….great thoughts, they lived for others. Persons with integrity प्रामाणिक मानुष !

I feel privileged and fortunate that I had occasions to meet such people during my work life.