A 4-year-old K. Sudhakaran runs a little shop, selling sweets, juice, cold-drinks and lottery tickets, in a market in Kanhangad, a town in northern Kerala. This soft-spoken, unassuming man shot into the news last year when he did something truly remarkable. One morning, P. Ashokan, a regular customer of his, called him up and asked him to set aside ten lottery tickets for him. Later that day, Sudharakan learned that one of those tickets had won the first prize-a whopping ten million rupees!
Sudhakaran rang up his father at once. "Call up Ashokan right away and give him the news!" his father told him. Sudhakaran did as his father instructed. Ashokan could hardly believe his ears when he learnt what had happened! Ashokan had not paid for the tickets. Nor had Sudhakaran told him the ticket numbers. And so, Sudhakaran didn't have to tell him that one of the tickets that he had set aside for him had won the bumper prize. He could easily have pocketed the money had he wanted to-that wouldn't have been considered illegal. Had he wished, he could have bagged the ten million rupee prize for himself.
What was it, I asked Sudhakaran, that had led him to choose the course that he did. "My father always told me that if you need to, you can even beg, but you must never snatch other people's rights," he replied.
- Roshan Shah