Penniless trip to Srisailam

How we set out to Srisailam without a paisa in hand: This was in the early 90s. We planned a trip to Srisailam and my schoolmate who was the regional manager, of APSRTC, offered to help us with seats (there was no reservation for day services those days) and entrusted the job to the station manager, Imliban.

‘Sir, the bus has arrived and your seats are booked. Can I get the tickets?’, he asked. ‘Oh. Sure. Thanks a lot,’ I said fishing out – rather than trying to fish out, the wallet. No, it was not there, not in my wife’s handbag either. I realized instantly that I left it, of all the places in the open sit out of our home overlooking the road. Feeling like a perfectly silly ass, I told him’ Sorry, we can’t make the trip. We have forgotten to pick up the wallet.’

The station manager, hereafter referred to as Good Samaritan, offered not only to buy tickets but to provide cash needed for our stay. But our immediate problem was to secure the wallet if it was not already stolen. We rang up a neighbor and asked her to go and see if the shoulder bag with the wallet was safe. She reported that the bag was safe in a hanging bamboo chair, but would not dare pick it up for fear of Marshal, our ferocious German Shepherd. The housemaid, who alone had the entry pass issued by Marshal, later retrieved it.

Greatly relieved, we gave in to the repeated offer of GS (Good Samaritan, not German Shepherd) to host tickets and expenses at Srisailam. The trip was very good – excellent darshan, decent accommodation, and what not.

Immediately on return, I returned the money to the Good Samaritan and thanked him for the great help. Rupees one thousand was a huge amount those days for anyone to give to a stranger. I was surprised to know that such kind people do exist. God bless him.

Lord Mallikarjunaswamy and His consort, Sri Bhramaramba, I thought, showered Their grace through our Good Samaritan.

Tail-piece: forgetting things – handkerchiefs, glasses, and wallets – has become a way of my life. Sometimes, I get back what I lose. More of this, in another post.