Yes We Can!

spicysaturday[1]HSK was thrilled! That morning, the HR Head had given him the letter, signed by the Managing Director himself, informing him that, in view of his excellent performance during the probation period, his appointment as Design Engineer had been confirmed!!

He was engrossed in his work when, a few minutes before noon, the MD entered the Design Department, looking very stern, and walked up to his table. “Good morning, HSK. I’m extremely upset with you,” he said. HSK was confused. The MD had signed his confirmation letter only yesterday. What had happened today? Why was the MD upset? Before he could say anything, the MD grinned and said, “This morning you received your confirmation letter signed by me, and you have not bothered to invite me for a celebration! Never mind, young man! I’ll invite you. Come on, let’s go out for lunch!”

HSK was on top of the world! He was sitting in the passenger seat of the MD’s BMW, while the MD was driving. The MD was like a king in this small city. The economy of the city revolved around his company. It was said that at least one member of almost every family in the city was employed by the company or its suppliers.

They were driving towards the exclusive multi-cuisine restaurant on the other side of the city. As they neared a junction, the traffic light changed from green to red. The MD applied brakes and brought the car to a halt.

A middle-aged traffic constable walked towards them. The MD turned down the window. “Good day, sir. Your car has overshot by about 6 inches. I’m afraid I’ll have to collect a fine,” the constable said. HSK was shocked! Was the constable insane? Didn’t he know whom he was talking to?

HSK got a bigger shock when he heard his MD reply, “That’s right, constable.” He opened his wallet, counted the money and gave it to the constable. The constable gave him the receipt.

HSK pinched himself to confirm that it wasn’t a dream!


This wasn’t a dream. It is a true incident that happened in Switzerland about 50 years back, narrated to me by HSK.

Can this ever happen in India? I believe it can. If many, many of us believe it can, and if we work hard and work persistently, we can surely make it happen! If it can happen in Switzerland, why can’t it happen in India?

6 thoughts on “Yes We Can!

  1. You know this brings to mind an interesting quote which was displayed in one of our classes on Kargil Day, at school, where a definition of Patriotism was assayed. It went something like this – do excuse the fact that I have not got the exact words of the quote – that a patriot is someone who gets a parking ticket and exults that the system works in his country. I hope you get the gist.

    Six inches over the line? I almost expected to read the usual as happens here, that he drove through the red signal. But yes, as optimistic as you are, so am I. I’ve seen this happen, people stop in time, people stopping at a zebra crossing to let the pedestrians use it; however, the numbers are small yet, and sporadic at best. Still, the wonder of it all is that it does happen.

    I am energized by this blog. Thank you for the upliftment it brings, the hope it fosters, and the encouragement to participate it lends to us. Keep us going.

    • Unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so. – Noam Chomsky

      We must be optimistic, and we, especially teachers like you, must ensure that our youngsters are optimistic about the future of our country. My optimism is not blind optimism. I know that we face many problems. But I also know that we have it in us to overcome these problems and become the great country that we can be!

      Thank you for your encouraging comment!

  2. Pingback: No need to recreate the Ramayana or The Bhagwad Geeta! | Proactive Indian

  3. That incident actually shows why the company was doing great in the first place. Their values and work-culture are solid and they are not tempted by short-cuts, like we Indians are. When your focus is on quality, you’d be proud to pay that fine because it’s a testament to what you believe in. That attitude will reflect in your work too.

    What we need in India is not incidents like these, but a basic shift in attitude.

  4. That’s one sensational thing had it happened in India. I don’t think this can happen here. Everyone here tries to show off their power and none ready to accept the mistakes. It would be very pleasant if things become like the one you’ve mentioned. Nice read.

    • Why don’t you and I start by trying to be different? Let’s try not to make mistakes. When we do, let’s accept them without showing off our power. Next, let’s inspire others to do the same.

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