This is a story, loosely based on true events, about a man who gets caught up in the net of greed and does a mistake for which he pays for the rest of his life!*
“My name is Nuthuswami Iyer and I am 50 years old. It took me 50 years to understand what was really important in life but now it is really very late because the mistake I did 13 years ago, affects my family even today.
I was born in a middle-class family who were well-to-do. My father brought me up very well and made me capable enough to work at the managerial level in a reputed bank. At a very young age I was earning more than what my father, his brothers and their sons earned at my age. My father was really very proud of me.
Becoming the manager of a branch at the age of 30 was an achievement not many could have. But I had it and I was on cloud ten! I had become over-confident about myself and thought that I was smarter, better and sharper than everyone else. I had begun undermining the people I knew and had become a narcissist.
One day, as I was staring at my bank statements that showed a balance that had reached 1cr, a sudden greed engulfed me. It was so powerful that it overpowered my sense of right and wrong. My inflated ego further helped me to carry out an action that I am still paying the cost for.
I decided to quietly transfer the decimal point interest into my own account and not the customers. If they earned 1000.14 in interest, I transferred that .14 in my account and just doing that made me earn lakhs in 3 years.
Then after 3 years when the police knocked on my door, I was shot back to reality. What I had committed was fraud and I was not just facing a civil case but also a criminal one. That is when I felt like I was enjoying a roller coaster ride since a few years and then suddenly, I fell out from one of the carts right onto the ground that was stinking of dog shit.
What happened after that – is something I will never forget. Every moment after that day has been a moment of humiliation. And humiliation is really an understatement. My greed for money not only sent me to jail for 5 years but it also gave my father a heart-attack which took his life.
Yes, I killed my own father and disgraced my entire family.
My wife left me. My son refused to recognise me. Everyone left me and that is something I rightly deserved. Why did they all leave me? Because of my greed for money.
I slapped myself, banged my head in the wall and even contemplated suicide when I was already dying every minute inside in the court, hearing those accusations that I knew were true. I kept cursing myself, what was wrong with me? How could I not think about my family? What had gotten into me?
The night when I was sentenced to five years imprisonment and asked to pay fine and also repay all the money along with costs to the bank, I was not sad. I felt better because I could now repent. I thought that after I came out of jail in five years everything will be over. I was wrong. Direly, wrong.
In five years, prison time made me into a hard, ruthless and numb person. I went back to my empty, damp house and became an alcoholic. My bank account was empty in 2 months and I had to sell my house, the house that I had so fondly built. That is when I understood that it had all just begun.
I looked for a job but found a job of a peon in a small office where my boss was less qualified than me. I went back to my mother to apologise but she shut the door on my face. My wife looked at me with pity and said that she had remarried and my son was at a boarding school and I was supposed to look after his expenses.
I don’t want to whine. I deserved what happened to me. Today, I can barely make ends meet and I am treated worse than people in the ancient times treated their slaves. I am alone. There isn’t even a trace of confidence left in me. All because of my greed for money.
I am writing this story for all those young, dynamic people out there who think that the only goal in life is to earn money. I am writing this to tell them that greed for money will not get them anywhere. What will get them somewhere in life is earning honesty, respect and love which I so failed to earn because I busy accumulating money.
Please stop running behind money. Otherwise you will end up like me, along, suicidal and humiliated.”
*This is a story of fiction, loosely based on true events.