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The Torn Shirt

I had known him since my child-hood! We were best of friends and he was of the self-made men. During the earlier part of our child-hood, I saw him struggling in his poverty, going to school in old tattered clothes, and worn out shoes. He was a sincere student and intelligent too. And we respected his intelligence. And he was proud.  Proud to ask anyone any help, and too proud to accept anyone’s help. We knew it, and we let him keep his pride. And no matter what he would never let himself down, be in argument or academics. Through sheer hard work, consistency and diligence, he was successful both in personal and social life.
    He turned out to be a big business magnate. Well established, prosperous and a household name, people envied him. But then those who envied him didn’t know him closely. He was kind to the poor and needy. I presume he never forgot the days of his struggle. He gave secret donations to the orphanage, old-age homes and hospitals. And whenever he got time he would teach young students. I knew of his donations, because as best of friends, we had pledged together to contribute to the work of charity.
  One day, when I visited him in his private chamber, I was taken aback to see him in an old torn shirt. I felt intrigued. I wondered why a successful man would try to feel poverty in such a way. May be my friend was going senile. Or maybe the shirt had special emotional attachment to him: a gift from his dead mother, or a woman he loved, or maybe…. But I didn’t ask him and let the matter rest that day.
   Subsequently, I kept on thinking of the incident, and curiosity got the better of me. So one day, when we were in a jovial mood I asked him the reason of his wearing that old torn shirt like a beggar. He smiled and said in his ever wise tone, “Every day when I donate to the poor and needy, sometimes pride creeps in me and I think that I am great. So I go and pray to my Lord in that old torn shirt, and ask from Him and thank Him of His numerous bounties. I may be very rich, but then before my Lord I am just a beggar. I ask from Him as anyone in need would!”
The Torn Shirt Reviewed by Polymath on 1:55 am Rating: 5

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