The Warden’S Lesson

A group of sixteen boys shared a dormitory in a boy’s hostel. They were all students of management. Being from affluent families, most of them had their own bank accounts and spent money carelessly. It so happened that one day, Sunil found that the Rs.7,000/- that he had withdrawn from his bank account on the day before, was missing from his cupboard. He raised a hue and cry about it. The boys almost came to blows with each other. Sunil was furious that he could not get to the bottom of the affair.

He brought the matter to the notice of the warden. The warden heard him out and had a fair idea of who the culprit could be. He said, “Sunil, if you get back the sum you have lost, would you drop the matter?” Sunil looked up with a sullen face and said, “Alright sir, but how would I get it back, without knowing who stole it?” The warden gave him a cheque for Rs.7000/- and said, “You have your money; don’t raise the issue again. The matter ends here.” Sunil was much taken aback. He had no choice but to remain silent. He took the cheque and left the room.

But did the matter end here? No, read on. Five years passed. One day, the warden received a hand delivered letter through his peon. He was pleasantly surprised to read its contents. This is what it said: Dear Sir, I never had the courage to own up before you when I stole Rs.7000/- from Sunil’s cupboard. But the way you stood in for me, touched me and I told myself, ‘If you are a man, you will make good his loss, as soon as you can.’ Sir, because of you I am still a man. You taught me more by this incident, than all the teachers of this institute put together, in the five years that we have been here. I am very sure that you always knew that it was me, but you did not expose me in front of everyone; instead you helped to uphold my dignity. Today, I have received my first salary cheque. Do allow me to make up for my misdeeds. I am enclosing a cheque for Rs.7000/-. If you would agree to see my face, I am waiting outside your door. May I request for a few minutes of your time? Yours sincerely, Kunal Dewan.

Needless to say, the warden sprang up from his chair and grabbed the handle to open the door. Kunal stood in the doorway. His eyes were full. He bent down to touch the feet of the warden, but the warden held him up half way, and hugged him close to his heart. He said, “I knew you would come one day Kunal. You are not just a man; you are a great man and I am proud of you.”

Teachers can do great things to children, if they were to not just teach subjects like English, Maths or Business Studies. But if they were to just teach children to make them complete human beings!