Unhanging The Executed

When she called the agents for the washing machine, they promised to send a repairman immediately. She persisted, how long do you mean when you say immediately, she asked. “Immediately, means as soon as a technician will be available, madam.” the customer services replied. “ That is more truthful”, she told him, “ and when exactly will be that, “ she asked. She had three small children,  and the laundry basket was overflowing, she couldn’t afford to be nice, even if she wanted. “ You are lucky madam, one of our technicians who were around your area, just beeped to say that he has finished, I will direct him to your location”.

She immediately took a liking to the young technician, he was respectful, listened to her complaints patiently and thoroughly applied himself to the work of repairing the washing machine. It was almost as if he was devoted to his work, and she gave him a sizable tip after serving him tea with homemade cake.

She was engaged elsewhere and it was not until noon that she was able to have a look at the washroom where the washing machine was placed. The pane where she used to keep her expensive toiletries was empty, she was so particular about her toiletries, a habit she had acquired from her modelling days. The immediate suspect was the young technician.

“ So that is the secret behind this almost reverential application of himself to repair a machine. “ she told herself. “ She immediately called the telephone number of the technician,  she had acquired it, during the small chitchat she had with him while serving tea. She had some other electronic gadgets whose warranty period was over, would you mind looking into them during your free hours. He didn’t mind,  he said. He actually was on the lookout for freelance work.

“ I am not sure whether you noticed, when you entered into the washroom in our house” she immediately broke the subject as soon as he answered. “ there were some expensive toiletries, they are missing, I will have to inform your immediate supervisor “

She expected him to deny , panic  even may be disconnect the line.

“ Of course, he remembered,  there were some bottles on the windowpane, he had tried to open the window,  to get some sunlight, into the room, but he was not particular about the bottles.

But of course,  he understood her concern, he didn’t mind replacing them if she would give him their brand names and other particulars.

She gave him the details. The young man’s reaction left her bewildered, was he a pervert?. She was about to call her husband and her sister in law to recount the story.

But , both her husband’s and sister in law’s time was saved.

Instead, she called the technician again. She informed him that it was not necessary for him to come bringing the toiletries. She had found them, the maid of the adjoining house had found them on their rooftop, and suspecting them to be of the property of the other house, returned them through her house lady.

“ Why, did you accept the blame and offered to replace them,  if you were not the one to take them, “ she asked after profusely apologising. “ I really like this job and want to keep it desperately,  the pay is good and I have made a lot of contacts, for whom I work freelance. I knew that I couldn’t prove that I didn’t take those, it is an occupational hazard, we know we will have to bear”

She felt the guilt of executing an innocent man and the pain of not able to repay the damage back to him. And she knew it will be there for a long,  long time.

Aren’t we all guilty of hanging the innocent in our lives?.

When at university,  we had a very pretty girl, who was used to keeping to herself. After a while rumours started to circulate about her. “ Do you know that Shamalka had a child out of wedlock? Her parents gave away the child. “ I can’t quite recollect whether I really believed that story, but I still remember that when she asked me whether I would share my hostel room with her, I told no. I didn’t want myself to be associated with a girl of a bad reputation. I never tried to learn her side of the story. But later on, we learnt that the story was a  fabrication of a spurned lover, someone who was jealous of her because she entered the university. 

Now, she is married and apparently leading a happy life, because one person in our batch did not rely on the rumours, but choose to see through all those rumours at the beautiful person she was. I was guilty of hanging the innocent,  so I lost the opportunity of being the roommate to a really wonderful person.

My father came to the Kelaniya University,  from a remote village in Bandarawela. He had no relations or anyone known to him in Colombo. Once, his younger brother had some work he had to attend in Colombo. My father accompanied his brother to the boarding place he used to stay. He addressed the landlady respectfully and asked her whether she was willing to give accommodation to my father’s brother. “No way, he looks like a thief,  there is no accommodation for  a thief here “ the landlady screamed at my father,

My father and his brother spend their night at the railway station. My uncle recently retired as the manager of operations, of the Sri  Lanka Ports Authority. The landlady hanged an innocent man with great potential without giving him a hearing.

I don’t ask you to through caution to the wind and trust, everyone who crosses your path. But a little kindness can go a long way and the happiness you give comes to shine on you.

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