On Fairness[not the fair &lovely variety] Sixty years back when I was walking near VGP in Mount road,a haggard looking fellow in his mid forties approached me and said that he was a sea man , had lost every thing in pick pocket and needed money to have food and go back to the harbour.He offered a sheaffer pen and wanted Rs.25.It was around 8 pm.I examined the shining pen,scribbled to check the nib.My mind immediately thought of striking a hard bargain taking advantage of his helpless situation.I offered him Rs Ten and stuck to my offer inspite of pleading by the sea farer for a better price.Finally pen and money exchanged hands.Clutching the most expensive pen[I thing it was around Rs two hundred those days and costs around 1600 RS now] I rushed home and showed it to my younger brother a veteran Madrasi.He asked me whether I bought it in Mount road-followed it up with whether the person who sold this was a sea farer.Sheepishly I said yes. Look at the name of the brand embossed on the pen-he ordered with a pitiful look.To my horror I found the name as Shaffar.My brother said that it was manufactured at Sowcarpet,costs Rs. Four and that the man can easily identify gullible people, with a twinkle in his eye. I deserved this disgrace,as I had taken advantage of a seemingly helpless situation. Many of us some time or other do not let go of an opportunity to be unfair,if it involves monetary gain,official and social status or to put down someone. It requires great strength of character to be fair in all our dealings.It is therefore heartening to see many instances where fairness is displayed without second thought. A house owner rented his house for two years with three months notice on either side.Due to some exigencies the tenant gave three months notice after one year but vacated the house in one month. Balance two months rent was deducted from the deposit as per terms.After a week the tenant was surprised when the house owner refunded the balance two months rent stating that a new tenant had been finalised and it was unfair to collect rent from two people for the same period.It was fairness on display. Vani and Lavanya,two girls working in the same organisation and good friends were trying for a transfer to Chennai from Bangalore.There was intense completion among them when a vacancy was announced in Chennai. However when each ones case was discussed,one Lavanya withdrew her request for transfer even though her husband was in Chennai.The reason was that Vani' s mother was battling Cancer and her brother was not giving adequate care.Vani went with folded hands to Lavanya who opted out, to thank her and felt sorry that she wont be able to join her husband. Lavanya replied”I can take up another job in Chennai where he lives or he can get a job in Bangalore whereas your mother will not survive without attention."I don’t know whether you will call this act as fair,decent,considerate or kindness but no doubt that this is a finer aspect of human nature. This brings backs to memory of what I was taught in college 65 years back, the statement of Sir Philip Sidney who when wounded called for water but gave it a fellow soldier saying “Thy necessity is yet greater than mine” Mohan tells his mother “ will and give away the house to sister as I am earning well and she has commitments” Husband after retirement shares the household duties.While the wife set the table,the husband cleared the table.When wife was sick the husband took over including feeding the wife.What would you call this.Fairness, decency,kindness or doing his duty? There is an interesting example of ensuring fairness.Mother bought a cake and her two children were fighting for a bigger portion.To get over the problem her friend suggested”give the option of making portions to one boy and the option of choosing the portion to the other boy” Fair means,Fair share of the property,got due and fair credit for the team performance,fair compensation,fair treatment, fair charges for services rendered etc are utterances of satisfied and grateful individuals resulting in good and reciprocal relationship.Live and let live,aim for a win win situation are all statements made to encourage fairness. Being unfair, gives one temporary gain while being fair results in everlasting inner peace.. Mahatma Gandhi said” Ëarth provides enough to satisfy every mans need but not everymans greed”. PS-Being 83, facing multiple challenges on the health front.Having been hospitalised four times in six months,this snippet is an attempt to pretend that every thing is normal.