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When 71 minutes rekindled my faith in my countyrmen

Saturday October 20, 2012 07:34:41 PM, Animesh Banerjee, IANS

Sometimes clouds do have a silver lining; occasionally the din does give way to a melodious symphony. Caught up as we are with the channels screaming negativity about our governance systems and the political class, last night was a refreshing change for me as a private retired citizen, or should I say mango person!

My daughter and my grandkids flew in from Bangalore last night to spend puja with us. They flew the new Boeing Dreamliner of Air India; yes the same plane that many have termed an inappropriate choice for an airline so close to the precipice.

In the melee that ensues with a large aircraft landing late at night (an hour late at 11:45 p.m.) and having to take care of two small kids, she forgot a bag on the coach. The bag had articles of significant economic value, a few gold ornaments passed on by her mother which any self-respecting Bengali girl would like to wear to the puja pandal.

Besides, my daughter had just returned from Germany on an official visit and by mistake a few left over euros were also in her bag. Thus, she was justifiably panicky when she failed locate her vanity bag! After she had all most given up, two gentlemen, Manish Arora, Assistant Manager (Commercial), Air India and Jagbir Singh, a senior Delhi Police officer, took the matter in their hands and found the bag, with all articles safe and sound after a comprehensive search for more than an hour. She could not believe when she found each of the articles were there, as she kept them before!

She did not know that how to reciprocate and was surprised when these two gentlemen only requested for a written recommendation from her, which she gladly complied with - and declined any monetary compensation.

Last night after listening this rare story from my daughter, I slept very comfortably, realising that in this prevailing vitiated atmosphere of competitive corruption in the country, there are still such people, that too in the much maligned public services, who still believe in honesty which is supposedly a basic human value.

Knowing that while Rs.71 lakhs may be too little for some class of citizens in our country, 71 minutes is long enough to rekindle my faith in our countrymen!

(Animesh Banerjee can be contacted at




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