“Ever since I started my sweet shop, I have treated all my employees like my family. Yet, someone managed to steal from the galla petti (Money box).” thought Murugan, the owner of the sweet shop. Someone had stolen Rs. 4000/- from the money box.
“This is the first time that we are using the CCTV footage to find out who took it.” Murugan thought to himself.
Watching the footage at 4:15 PM,
“Dei, play it forward to 4:50. Because I was there till 4:50” said Murugan to Dhaya, who was operating the remote.
There were 6 people in the room. Everyone was a bit tensed. Reason being, it was not a healthy environment to see things like this in a work environment. And if someone breaks the trust, it is the entire team that comes under scrutiny from the next time onwards.
“Who would have taken it? Maybe one of the new guys? Maybe Anbu? or Logu? Those are the two new guys.” he thought to himself. As he knew for sure that the old employees wouldn’t have done this.
“Oh shit! I never thought there was going to be a camera in such a small shop” thought Logu thinking what was about to come next. His face became very tensed. But since everyone was tensed, no one noticed his tension.
“I don’t know what they will do to me. I shouldn’t have done this. What if they handover me to the police? How will I send money to my mother? What will my mother think if she came to know that I was a thief? She won’t even talk to me. She once told me, in any situation, be honest. I am betraying her. I betrayed the owner’s trust on a new guy. I shouldn’t have done this.” he thought to himself as the CCTV footage moved forward to 4.50 PM.
As the thought of who would have done it disturbed Murugan’s mind, he watched the expression of each of his employees to identify who it was.
“Oh my God. Please do something. I will get caught at 5PM.”
“I remember the time I stole, as one of the programs in the TV (Nalaya Iyakkunar) was starting. I could hear the sound track at that time.”
“God, please save me somehow” pleaded Logu.
As Murugan observed the expression and body language of each and every employee, he found something strange about Logu’s mannerisms.
“Why this guy is unusually tense? He is one of the best employees here. Even though he joined just 2 months back, I have left the galla petti open a couple of times and left home a few times. He is trustworthy.”
“But why is he tensed? Did he do it? No. It can’t be. He is very talented. Why does he need to steal?” conflicting thoughts fighting for their space in his mind.
“Dei, I was back by 5.05, so it should have happened between 4.50 and 5.05, so watch carefully.” instructed Murugan as he kept a close eye on Logu’s facial expressions.
“Cha. Why did I steal it? I could have asked for an advance. Maybe he would have given. Can I ask for forgiveness? Should I run away? But what if I get caught by police. I think I should ask for forgiveness.” Thoughts raced in Logu’s mind, now extremely jittery.
“But now? In front of everyone. I am close to getting caught. Even if I ask for forgiveness, no one will agree. They will handover me to the police. Better I should run.” Thought Logu.
By now, Murugan had identified that Logu was the culprit. He couldn’t believe it. He was trustworthy till now. But he broke the trust. He felt very bad. He knew that he was going to get caught in the coming moments.
The hour hand had almost touched 5, minute hand 12 and the seconds hand inching towards 12. Logu knew his good time was about to end. It was just seconds away.
He was prepared to run. His position changed. He had now made up his mind. He noticed that everyone is seeing the TV and by the time he saw the owner, he had turned his face towards the TV. He now thought that no one is seeing him and he prepared for the escape as the seconds hand was at 11. 5 seconds to go.
TV went blank suddenly. The fans and the lights stopped working. The power went off.
“Oh. What happened suddenly?” Asked one of the employees shocked that it almost went off at the wrong moment.
“Power cut machan” said another employee.
“Oh that’s bad.” remarked Murugan.
After a pause, “It’s ok. Now get back to business. We will see this after power comes back.”
Meanwhile Logu was relieved, “Oh my God. Thank God. You saved me this time.” Murmured to himself.
“God saved me this time. But I have to do something before power comes back. I should silently escape saying that I am going for a loo break.”
Everyone went back to kitchen to resume their work. Except Logu. He was trying to go outside. He opened the glass door.
“Logu, where are you going?” Asked Murugan.
Logu got shocked. He thought the owner suspected him and that’s why he stopped him.
He stammered a bit while replying “Anna, piss anna” said Logu. One could easily make out that he was the most nervous in the room.
“Piss or going to run away?” Asked Murugan, calm and composed.
Logu got shocked. He now knew that Murugan knew that he stole it.
“Please forgive me anna. I stole it. I wanted to give some extra money for my mother’s treatment. I got tempted and stole it. Really really sorry anna. Please don’t handover me to the police. I will give back your money and quit job right now. I won’t come this side at all.” begged Logu, almost crying.
“Boys” called Murugan. Everyone came from the kitchen and assembled.
“Oh no. Why did he call everyone? Does he want to insult me in front of everyone? Shit. What to do?”
“Maybe I have to go through this. I did this. Now I should face the consequences also.” he thought to himself.
“Extremely sorry boys. Actually I took the money and had kept it in my bag. But I did that while I was on a call. I just now happened to see the money. Very sorry for disturbing you all. Please don’t mistake that I suspected one of you. Please go and see your work.” Said Muruga.
Logu was totally perplexed by the situation and his owner’s words. He did not know how to react. Tears almost rolled down his eyes. He was so surprised that he wanted to fall on his legs and cry.
“Oh wow. Great anna. Good that money is there. It’s ok anna. We will not mistake you. It’s your right to know about your money.” Said one of the employees. Everyone was finally relieved and they left to resume work.
Logu stayed back. He was stunned by the happenings around him. That was when Murugan went and switched on the main power supply lever from the electric board.
Logu now knew that his forgiving owner had himself switched off the power. To save him from the insult. His heart almost ached after the happenings.
He started crying. He fell on Murugan’s legs and told him “Anna, you are God anna. You are God. Please forgive me Anna.”
“Dei, don’t make me God and all. I just didn’t want everyone to know about this. That’s all. I thought it will be humiliating to you.” Said Murugan and lifted Logu up.
After a pause, Murugan looked straight at Logu’s eyes and said “Logu, Remember one thing in life. It takes life long to build trust and one moment to break it. You are not just breaking the trust a person has on you, but also the person who trusted you. You are breaking their heart too. After their trust is broken, they will find it very hard to trust anyone again. You are punishing them for no mistake of theirs. So please don’t betray anyone’s trust. Hope you will not repeat this again in your life.” Said Murugan
“Never Anna. Extremely extremely sorry anna. I will never do it again” apologized Logu with tears in his eyes.
“Ok, now do one thing. Take that 4000 and help your mother’s treatment. You can pay in monthly installments of Rs. 500.”
“Thank you very much anna. Seriously you are God anna. God anna.” said Logu still weeping.
“Dei, enough enough da. I will better be a good human, that’s enough for me. Now go and fill the pakoda. Customers will start coming now.” Said Murugan.
“Sure anna” said Logu, wiping his tears, now a changed man went to resume his work.
Murugan was satisfied. He felt at peace. He now knew that Logu’s life would be changed for good. He now knew that he would end up being a good man in his life. After all, People deserve a second chance.
Sitting proudly at the owner’s chair, he thought to himself “Life always doesn’t give you a second chance. But sometimes people give you a second chance. It’s upto you to make the best use of it. Not everyone makes use of the chance. But it’s still a risk worth taking. If it doesn’t pay off, you end up having a lesson in your life. But if it pays off, you end up creating a good human being. In my early career, I tried to steal a jewel from a jewel shop. My owner did the exact same thing that I did today. He didn’t insult me in front of everyone, but spoke to me individually and advised me. He gave me a Second Chance”
Behind the Scenes:
I was in a sweet shop to buy something. That’s when I saw all the people were engrossed in the CCTV. Maybe it was new or maybe I didn’t notice it before. But that evoked the curiosity in me. But I didn’t ask them anything, bought the sweets and came back. But I was thinking what if someone had stolen something and they were trying to find the culprit using the CCTV. That’s when inspiration struck me. That gave the birth to this short story.
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