And We Thought He Was Just an Ordinary Boy
Nothing Special in him
Ganesh was the only son of his parents. From a distance he was just like any other child of his age. But only those who know him from close quarters knew about him. They knew him as a guy who was good for nothing. He was not very good at studies and would just scrape through in his exams. His father , Ramesh, was very worried about his future. Being a clerk in a bank he knew that he will not be able to pay huge amount for his son's college admission. And his grades were not showing any improvements. But for some reason Ganesh's mother , Lakshmi, was very proud of him. She always had that feeling that Ganesh was born for some purpose and he will bring laurels to his parents.
Lakshmi always used to talk high about her son and used to go out of her way to protect him. Ganesh also was very close to his mother and she was his only friend. He used to spend most of his time talking to his mother and the only time he used to part from her was when he had to go to school. If one does not consider the academic aspect of Ganesh's life, he was the kind of son every mother would dream to have. Very loving, caring and always there for his mother. Maybe that is why he was named Ganesh.
Ramesh was very happy thinking that his son will at least be busy doing something and will gain some experience and understand how the world works. He shared this good news with his wife, but instead of being happy she became very angry. “How can you?” she asked “ let our son work in a small shop?” . Ramesh was shocked seeing Lakshmi's reaction. He asked be musingly “ What do you expect your son to be? A collector!” and gave a wry smile. “Mark my words, you will be proud of my boy one day” said Lakshmi to her husband. She would have said this to her husband a million times now but every time she said there was a glow in her eyes and there was sense of self belief. Ramesh tried his best to make Lakshmi understand his motive but failed to do so. He knew that if his wife had to agree to what he wanted he had to take a different approach. Ramesh knew that if Ganesh talked to his mother about it then she will agree to it as she will never say no to him.
A Helping Hand
So as planned Ramesh called his son that evening for a walk and discussed with him about the job offer. Quiet contrary to what he was expecting, Ganesh immediately accepted to go to work. And also said that he will talk to mother about letting him go to work. Ramesh knew that his work was done and he could relax now. As expected, Ganesh talked with his mother and convinced her to let him go to work in Vinay's shop. That night Lakshmi didn't talk to her husband and gave her the cold look. Ramesh knew the reason for her behavior, but he knew that his intentions were right.
Least did Ramesh or Lakshmi know that this will be the turning point for their son. Both of them had different feelings regarding their son going to work. Ramesh was happy that his son will be doing something and not just sitting idle and his wife was sad thinking that her son was being sent to do menial jobs. Ganesh started going to work in the shop and was more of a helping hand for Vinay doing small odd jobs here and there. Vinay was happy that he had more time now to spend at home and not worry too much about the shop as he had a helping hand.
Ganesh's day in the shop usually started at around 7 in the morning when he had to open the the shop and used to end at around 9 when he had to close the shop and update his owner about that day's events. Being a small shop the sales were also very nominal. Things were going smoothly and very soon the time came for Ganesh's first pay day. He was given around 5000 for his whole month's hard work which he came and gave to Lakshmi. She was very proud of her son's first salary. That was a day of celebration for her. She cooked all her son's favorite dishes that day and was the happiest woman on earth. They celebrated his first salary within themselves that night but little did anyone know that this will be the last happy day for this family for a long time to come.
The next morning Ramesh woke up to find that his wife had passed away. There was a smile on her face. A smile which said a lot. A smile that showed the sense of pride of a mother. When Ganesh came to know about it he almost went into a state of shock. Ramesh hugged his son and said “ She was very proud of you my son, she always felt that you were born for a purpose and that you will bring fame to our family. I want you to prove her right” and started crying. Ramesh could see a lot of changes in his son soon afterwards. He would not talk with anyone and would be within himself. Very soon a time came when Ramesh had to retire and had to leave his bank quarters. With his savings Ramesh had managed to buy a two bedroom apartment in the suburbs of the city and he moved to his own house after his retirement.
And Life moved on
Life was going as usual for Ramesh and his son and they had settled down. Ganesh's salary was now around 12,000 rs and he had become the floor manager of the shop. The shop had grown with time and now it was not just a mom and pop store. It had grown up to become a supermarket. Ramesh had settled down after his retirement and his day used to pass doing his favorite pass time that is reading books. He had become a member of the local library and used to read books news papers and magazines. He had his own group of friends in the library with a similar passion for reading and together they would read books discuss on various topics.
Ramesh had actually stopped asking his son about what was doing and how his work was progressing. He was seeing subtle changes in his house and that was proof enough for him that his son was doing good and was financially secured. Ramesh had virtually gone into a shell. He was busy in his own world and very rarely talked with Ganesh. Ganesh tried from his side to share with him his career plans and about his growth with his father but rarely got any response. So as time passed by even he stopped telling anything to his father. They both were busy in their own world but Ganesh made sure that he did everything that a dutiful son should be doing for his father.
The Surprise Call
One evening Ramesh got a call on his Mobile. This was not from any of his library friends and he had never see this number in his mobile. At first he did not bother to pick the call as he knew that it will be of a tele caller trying to sell insurance policy or something else. When the call was persistently coming he kind of irritatedly picked up the call and had made a mood to answer back in the rudest way possible to make sure that the caller never calls back again. As son as Ramesh answered back there was a male voice on the other side asking a strange question” Ramesh remember me?” Ramesh was not in any mood to solve puzzles at this time of the day and replied back very rudely “ I don't remember you and don't intend to try and remember you too”. Listening to his reply the caller burst out laughing. And then answered back “ yes it is my fault that I didn't keep in touch with you but if I didn't call and thank you today then there will be no one who is more selfish than me in the world” Ramesh was now puzzled. Who is this man wanting to thank me and for what? Thought Ramesh. Almost like reading his mind the caller said “ want to know why I am thanking you? Then please come to Park hotel at 7 pm. And make sure that you come in formals as that is the dress code for today's dinner there”. And the caller cut the call. Ramesh repeated the lines of the caller in his mind a few times and when he could not decipher it he thought that it might be a prank call and totally forgot about it.
At around 6:15 pm his doorbell rang. It was too early for his son to come back from his work or for his friends to call him for the walk at night. So with reluctance he opened the door but to his surprise it was his son along with his old friend Vinay. Ganesh had a sheepish grin on his face and Vinay was smiling from ear to ear. He was not understanding as to why Vinay had come to meet him after so many years. Suddenly Vijay asked “ are we not invited inside?” That is when Ramesh realized that he had not called them in. Even before he could ask them to come in Vinay had gone and taken his place in the sofa. Ramesh followed them in and sat there. There was an uneasy silence in the hall which made Ramesh a bit itchy. He was not knowing how to start and was searching for words when Vinay asked him “ Were you not supposed to be ready to come to park hotel for dinner?” Ramesh asked “ was that you who called?” Vinay sat near Ramesh hugged him and asked “ who else you thought called?. The prime minister of India?” and laughed again. Ramesh was still very much confused about what was happening and was only staring at his son and his friend.
The Mystery Unfolds
Ramesh could not take the suspense anymore and ended up asking “ will either of you tell me what is happening?” “ Because of you I have lost somewhere close to a few millions till now” said Vinay “ How do you plan to repay men back?” Now Ramesh got scared. What has my son done? He thought. Reading his mind again Vinay said” No your son has not done anything wrong. Instead both you and me, we have been doing wrong for all these years” “ You never knew that you are handing over a gem to me and I never knew that I was missusing the gem for so long” Ramesh was still confused but was now smiling. The only person ( apart from his wife) to call Ganesh a gem was Vinay. But still the reason for doing so was not known. And for some odd reasons Vinay was not ready to disclose it.
Vijay and Ganesh waited for Ramesh to get ready. It had been years since he stopped wearing formal shirt and pants. Last he was formally dressed when he retired from his company. So he was feeling a bit awkward getting dressed formally. Once he got ready they sat in the car and started to drive to the hotel. While they were driving to the hotel Vinay asked him about the car. It was a jet black Skoda Octavia and had all the features of a luxury car. Ramesh said that he liked it but could not believe his ears when Vinay said that his son was the owner of this car. Ramesh was happy about it but was curious to know about everything in detail. Ramesh was not at all interested in the discussion that Vinay and Ganesh was having and wanted to know exactly what had happened and how did his son manage to hit a jackpot? Did he do anything wrong? Was he involved in some kind of a scam? All kinds of thoughts started hovering his mind.
A True Gem
As soon as they reached the hotel and sat in the table that was booked for them Ramesh blurted out “ Now will you tell me what happened?” Vinay could not hold on and laughed out loud stating how impatient he was. He then ordered lime juice for Ramesh and Ganesh and red wine for himself. And then sat down to tell about how things changed for them. It was basically a Sunday morning and the shop was virtually empty as it was too early in the morning for the customers to start pouring in. The atmosphere in the shop was very relaxed and that is when someone entered the shop asking for some bottle of water. Ganesh attended him and after a few minutes the customer went but before giving his business card to Ganesh. Ganesh didn’t have a business card so shared his phone number with the customer. The whole day passed by with nothing unusual happening but at around 8 in the evening Ganesh got a call on his mobile fro the same person who had come to buy a bottle of water from the store. He asked Ganesh whether he is ready to join him and would be ready to sponsor his visa to Australia and be ready to pay him any amount he wants as salary.
Ganesh very politely rejected the offer.Very soon the persistent caller got tired and stopped persuading Ganesh to join him. There are a few people who do not run behind fame, money or success. For them loyalty is much more important than all the other materialistic objects in the world. Ganesh was among one of them
Life was going business as usual for Ganesh when his boss summoned him one morning. It was very unusual for Ganesh to get a call from Vinay early in the morning. Vinay asked him to meet him immediately as there was some important thing to be discussed. Ganesh rushed to his house and as usual Vinay was in his study. Vinay asked him to grab a seat and continued with the work that he was doing in his laptop. Tea was ordered for both of them and after having tea Vinay asked him whether anyone got in touch with Ganesh with some offer? Ganesh got a scare of his life and did not know what to say and how to say. He thought of telling the entire story as it happened. So he narrated the whole story to Vinay and all the while Vinay gave him a very patient hearing. Once he completed the whole story Ganesh waited for Vinay to speak up.
Vinay stood up from his chair and came up to him and gave him a big hug. And then revealed that the person who contacted Vinay was the owner of a chain of Super markets in Australia. He was very happy with Ganesh’s marketing and sales skills and wanted to hire him. But more than his skills he was impressed with Ganesh’s loyalty towards Vinay. So he changed his plans and offered to open a chain of super markets in India in partnership with Vinay. And Vinay wanted Ganesh to be a partner as this whole deal came because of him. Ganesh didn’t know how to react and was awestruck. Was he day dreaming? This cannot be possible he told to himself. So he pinched himself to confirm that it was not a dream and was a reality.
So from a manager in a small store now Ganesh was a partner of a chain of super markets in India. Now he would not getting a monthly salary, instead he would be getting a share of the profit. When Ramesh heard the whole story he could not believe that his average son could go so high in life. Ramesh was very anxious to know as to what was it that he told to the rich person that he was so impressed with Ganesh? Hearing that question Vinay started laughing out loud and then asked Ganesh whether he would like to take over from here or should he continue? Ganesh gave a smile and asked Vinay to do the honours. Actually the person who had come to the store that day was Dave Whatson. The famous entrepreneur who was the most saught after name in higher circles. Ganesh had never known about him and treated him as any other ordinary customer. Dave had come to the store to buy a bottle of Bislery water and as it turned out he didn’t have the exact change and handed a hundred Rs note to Ganesh. Ganesh didn’t have the change so he asked Dave to purchase a few more items and started a conversation with him while he was looking around to see what else he could buy. While discussing with Dave, Ganesh came to know that he had come to the town for the weekend and was planning to stay indoors as it was too hot. Ganesh suggested him a few places that he could visit and also gave ideas on how he could spend quality time. All the while he was also suggesting him the things he could buy from the store, like eatables and soft drinks. By the time he finished the bill was of thousand five hundred rs. Dave had come to buy only a bottle of water and ended up buying much more than that. He realised it only when he was going out of the store. That is when Dave came back asked Ganesh his name and gave his card to him and went. He realized the marketing and sales potential that Ganesh had.
Tears started rolling down Ramesh’s cheeks. When Vinay saw him crying, he asked as to why he was crying. And Ramesh said “ My wife was right. My son is a diamond. I failed to recognize him”