GUILTY, MY LORD! (Based on actual incidence) Sometimes in 1964, I was going from Banglore city, (now Bangaluru) Mysore State, (now Karnataka to) Hubli, still Hubli by train on some company work. On the train, I met a gentleman from North India, who was also going to Hubli on his company's business. Like me, he, a jolly good fellow, had also been posted in South India. We became friendly. It was decided that we stay in the same hotel on room sharing basis and split the expenses. I was new to Hubli so reached a hotel suggested by him and it was obvious that he had stayed there. In those days, there were no credit or debit cards so we had to carry cash tucked in the inner pocket of the pant. Even though we had turned friendly, there was no point in trusting blindly. Following the edict 'Better be cautious than repent' I thought to be cautious and hid the cash somewhere. I am sure he must have done the same. We had some beer with dinner and said good night to each other. The next morning, when he was in the bath, I checked for my cash and it was not there. I checked the attaché and all my pockets but no trace of those notes. Fact is, I had forgotten where I had hidden the money. My first thought was, yes your guess is as good as mine, that he had swindled me. Above all, no one else came into the room. At the same time, I did not want to be naive and charge him openly. I thought of checking his pockets but somehow restrained myself. I put an urgent call to our regional office in Madras, (now Chennai), in Madras, (now Tamilnadu), and requested them to send me money by telegraphic money order immediately. I got the money the next day. In the meanwhile, I found all the hundred rupees notes hidden within the pages of a thick book, I had purchased from Wheelers at Bangalore railway station. I remembered everything. How silly of me? By this time, the friend had left for another town. I had a feeling of guilt that I suspected him. How come that we do not or can not trust people? How come that trusting people is so complex? It feels meaningless when we say ' innocent until proven guilty. I had already made the culprit. This feeling of guilt still pricks me even after 56 years and during this whole period, Bangalore has become Bangaluru, Mysore, Karnataka, Madras, Chennai, and Madras, Tamilnadu. What if I had directly charged him? On the hind side, had he not already left, I think I could have told him everything when I found the money but I am not sure. Could have asked for forgiveness, at least. Again not sure.