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Dear Phisher, I Hope There Is Redemption For You!

You sent him a message on his WhatsApp telling him that power supply will be cut in his house if he did not pay his electricity bill immediately. The old man got worried. The next week, his daughter’s wedding was scheduled. All the guests were expected to arrive within a few days.

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Dear Phisher,

I don’t know you, and neither do I expect you to know me. We have never met, never spoken on phone or never have seen each other. And I would certainly prefer it that way. Though you must remember my father-in-law with whom you had spoken last month and swindled him out of his money.

You sent him a message on his WhatsApp telling him that power supply will be cut in his house if he did not pay his electricity bill immediately. The old man got worried. The next week, his daughter’s wedding was scheduled. All the guests were expected to arrive within a few days.

He thought, ‘What if the power supply is indeed cut. How would I manage with a houseful of guests with no electricity in it?’

Father-in-law is an honest and gullible man. He called you on the number you had given. You convinced him that he had to download an app and pay the electricity bill there. He did what you asked him to do. He trusted you and followed your instructions – downloaded the app, put his card number there and gave his bank account number. Then he was logged-in to the app using his bank online id and password.

And lo and behold!

Within few minutes, he got a text message telling him that almost Rs four lakhs were gone from his account.

He was aghast, he was shaken. How could that happen? You sounded so helpful and caring!

Now he knows that there is a term called ‘phishing’ for this type of online fraud.

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Anyway, you must have done this a number of times by now, so it would be a routine thing for you. I don’t know if this ingenious, but deceptive scheme of yours makes you feel bad or not. However, it is not my least intention to make you feel that way.

I wonder what you have done with that money – bought a new gadget or a new motorcycle? Or used it for some nobler purpose?

I have no grudge against you, I don’t judge you because I don’t know what your life story has been. We are all just a product of our circumstances, and I don’t know what your circumstances were.

Our outer circumstances – family, friends, books we have read, or haven’t read, decide a lot about our life’s trajectory. The rest is decided by our inner circumstances – the set of genes that you had received nine months before you were even born. We simply dance, like a good old puppet, to the tunes of both in this great show called life.

Is there any hope of redemption or law of eternal damnation when everything is already decided for us? The answer depends on what you choose to believe. I read it somewhere, and I believe in “predestination in theory but free-will in practice.”

I was lucky to be born into a family of honest people. My parents taught me good values and taught me never to cheat anyone. They gave me good books and inculcated in me the habit of book reading from early on.

My point is, would you not have been me if you were born in my circumstances?

And moreover, (and I shudder to think that), would I not have been you if I were born in your circumstances?

But it is high time now, and you must take responsibility for your actions. And may be, try to think and introspect about what you want your life to be? What you want to teach your kids? Do you want to be labelled a ‘fraud’ by you, i.e., by that inner voice of yours that always tells the truth? This inner feeble voice always tells us what is right and what is wrong.

Listen to that voice.

Follow that voice.

Have you heard the story of Ratnakar?

Ratnakar was an accomplished hunter and had a large family. As his family grew, it became hard to feed all the hungry souls. In dire need of money and in utter desperation, he became a robber.

One day Narad muni passed from that jungle and Ratnakar attacked him. The great sage was unafraid and unfazed and asked the robber, ‘Why do you commit this sin of robbing people, instead of trying to earn a living  in an honest way?’

Ratnakar was taken aback by this calm reply from this man, who seemed to be unperturbed. Normally, people used to get scared just by his appearance. He said in an angry voice, ‘I rob because I have to feed my family.’

Narad muni said, ‘Okay, well enough. Now go and ask your family members if they will share the sin with you?’

There was something in the muni’s persona – his intelligent face, his ochre robe, his saintly manner – that Ratnakar could not say no to him and went to his family to ask them.

‘I rob for you. I get a lot of paap karm because of that. Will you share that with me?’ He asked each of his family member. But they all said it was his duty to feed his family, and it’s his decision how he does that. No one was willing to share his sin with him. They all said he alone will have to bear the consequences of his actions.

Ratnakar was heartbroken and came back to the muni. The path to salvation, the muni said, was to chant the name of Lord Ram.

Long story short. Do you know what became of that Ratnakar after years of devotion to the Lord? He became the great sage Valmiki, who wrote the epic Ramayana.

His story is a great example of inner transformation if one is willing to do so. The journey of a bandit who became one of the most revered sages of our history is a testament that change is possible irrespective of our circumstances, and it is possible to redeem ourselves.

Time and money are fleeting. We cannot accumulate time, but we can have the illusion of accumulating money. Instead of trying to accumulate the latter (that the wrong way), try to accumulate something that is more meaningful and everlasting.

With SINCERE hope of your redemption!

Image source: Still from trailer of Jamtara Season 1, edited on CanvaPro

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About the Author

Swati Pandey

I am an avid reader, a writer, and a yoga instructor. I like to write about social issues, especially women's issues. With my writings, I want to contribute my share in making a truly read more...

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