Bobby's Favourite Briefcase reminds him of a few lessons he learnt!
Bobby was on his return journey by train from Mumbai. He had been away for two days on business tour and was returning to Bangalore where he lived with his parents and younger sister. He sat comfortably in a reserved compartment by the side of a window and placed his favourite black leather briefcase on his lap and held it gently after spreading over it a big size handkerchief so that no dirt or sweat could spoil its look.
He loved the briefcase, this was a gift to him from his uncle on his birthday five years ago. Even after all these years the briefcase looked brand new. Bobby had been taking great care to ensure that there were no spots or scratches. He polished the briefcase every now and then and always kept it on the top shelf in his wardrobe under lock and key.
The seat next to where Bobby sat was lying vacant. A fat little boy was running around in the compartment and then he sat on that vacant seat. His parents were sitting on the opposite side. As Bobby looked at the little boy he smiled, Bobby smiled back. Bobby asked his name, he asked Bobby’s name and this way they got friendly with each other.
Bobby was trying to unlock his briefcase using the buttons with the numbering system. The boy became curious, he bent over and tried to touch the buttons and touched the briefcase with his sticky hand with half eaten chocolate. Bobby put his hand away, cleaned the briefcase and put it on the bunker making sure that it won’t rattle and hit anywhere. The boy didn’t like it, he asked Bobby to put the briefcase down and show him the numbering system as to how it worked. Bobby tried to change the topic but he kept on nagging him. Parents of the boy were in sitting position but both were sleeping and snoring like anything. Bobby looked at them and thought it was ridiculous, there they were sleeping peacefully and Bobby was in a way doing baby sitting!. He closed his eyes and pretended to have fallen in sleep and a little later the boy tried to open Bobby’s eyes with his sticky hands to see if he was really sleeping. Bobby opened his eyes and made his eyeballs look really big. The boy kept quiet, left the seat and sat beside his parents. It was a relief for Bobby to see that he also fell asleep in no time.
The train made an unscheduled stop at a railway station. He saw passengers getting off their compartments to find out the reason. Bobby followed suit. At a small distance away there was a tea and coffee stall. Bobby went over there and took a cup of hot tea but by the time he was going to give his first sip he heard the blowing of the whistle and the train started to move. He ran to get in the compartment and somehow got inside before the door was closed. This was an unreserved compartment and there was a chock-a- block situation. Not only all the seats were occupied, people were standing everywhere and in no way he could make a move anywhere. He knew that he would now have to travel in standing position and it would take at least half an hour or more for the train to reach Bangalore.
The little boy who was in sleep in the reserved compartment woke up. He started to wonder as to where Bobby had gone. An elderly lady, who was sitting on the other side of the window, told the boy that she had seen his uncle Bobby getting inside a compartment and that he would be able to see him later.
Bobby started worrying what would he do if someone just ran away with his briefcase? He had been thinking all sorts and was getting restless.
Finally the train stopped at Bangalore. Bobby couldn’t come out of the compartment quickly as there was heavy rush of people and porters unloading the luggages. When he managed to get down at the station he was in a panic, he moved forward and backward looking for the reserved compartment he was in when suddenly he heard the little boy shouting “Uncle, we are here!” He looked around and was glad beyond measure to find the little boy standing with his parents and holding his briefcase.
“ We were wondering what happened. Our son was even more worried”. The boy’s father told Bobby with a smile.
Bobby thanked them and looked at the little boy who had such an innocent smile on his face. Bobby took the briefcase from him and gave him a big kiss. His eyes were in tears, he patted the boy on his shoulder and kissed him again and waved them Goodbye as they took a taxi to reach their destination. Bobby took a different taxi and on his way home he kept on thinking about the little boy and wondered if they would meet again.
There was a long traffic jam and as a result Bobby was late to arrive home. With a cup of hot tea in his hand Bobby narrated the entire story to his parents and younger sister. He took a close look at the briefcase and was happy to see that it looked just fine.
“ Now my dear brother, do you know what this incident should teach you?”
“ Well, number one, never get off at a station where you are not supposed to.
Number two, Don’t ever leave your belongings unattended.
And number three, Never jump in a running train.”
Parents laughed and said to Bobby “ Your sister is right.”
Bobby smiled and said to his sister ” Yes she is. "
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