Writer owns up to breaking lamp, 68 years later

From Star of Mysore:

Mysore, September 6: People usually like to forget the mistakes they committed in the past and would seldom want to recall them. But here is a rare example of a noble soul who not only confessed of his crime committed out of childish naughtiness but also punished himself.

The noble soul is litterateur Dr N. Ratna, a resident of the city and former director of the all Indian institute of speech and hearing (AIISH).

He recently wrote a letter to the Mysore city corporation (MCC), confessing to his “crime” of smashing the lamp globes of streetlights when he was a boy, about 68 years ago.

Dr Ratna says the guilt had been pricking his conscience ever since and he wanted to compensate for the loss he had incurred to public property.

Taking the occasion of the 150th anniversary of MCC as the right opportunity to absolve himself, Dr. Ratna wrote in his letter that though he had lived in Mysore for half the number of years of the 150th anniversary and had served the city in many ways, he intended to punish himself for smashing the light domes by paying a sum of Rs. 2,500 to the MCC.

The letter enclosed a cheque for the amount.

He also added that he was prepared to undergo any punishment that the MCC meted out to him for his “crime”.

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6 Responses to “Writer owns up to breaking lamp, 68 years later”

  1. T.S. Nagarajan Says:

    Ratna, son of Mysore’s famous theatre personality and one of the early Directors of Akashvani, Mr Natesh, was my friend and a classmate in the Maharaja’s High School. He was short and stocky, and like his father, loved the theatre. Not a front bencher, he attracted attention by his talents. After finishing Metriculation, we got separated. I took to photojournalism and he specialized in speech and hearing and became Director of All India Institute of Speech and Hearing in the city. I met him lost, years ago, when we ran into each other at an international airport. I feel proud of Ratna reading his gesture of paying for a juvenile fault. Only our beloved Mysore could produce such memorable people.

  2. Suresh Panje Says:

    Although ‘Better late than never’ is well said, what Dr. Ratna might have done or indulged as a teen was a foolhardy act. Certain destructive traits, not necessarily sadistic, do prevail among youngsters as such his breaking of lamps ought to be overlooked and condoned.
    All said and done, all of us, nay the entire India must learn a lesson from the letter that Dr.Ratna wrote along with a cheque to cover the damage caused by his pranks.
    In the same vein, I wish our Netas and Netranis, before kicking the bucket own up their follies and remit the amount that they looted, misappropriated besides the damages caused during Bandhs and protest rallies as well as the numerous scams.

  3. A. Patrawala Advocate Says:

    Such magnanimity is expected from Justice Katju who questioned the teacher litigant a question from the bench just to test his I.Q.: What is 1 divided by zero. The teacher timidly replied infinite. Judge expected the answer in indeterminate. This episode was narrated by him in a recent public function and no body dared to correct his lordship.

  4. Chidu22 Says:

    Too late I am afraid. Its alright to pay for it now,but it won’t wash away your guilt, Sir. God knows how many had to endure the blackouts and difficulties as aresult of it. I only hope nobody came to harm because of it. I think people who consider paying back after a long time,a great deed, are doing it so because of your goodness. If it was a prank, juvenile fault or what ever, you were human. The best thing would have been to apologise then itself. You sure are a good person Sir, however this was unnecessary.

  5. gururaj shivamogga Says:

    we all know you are a genuine Rathna

  6. babuds Says:

    Thanks to the media for the publicity given to this magnanimous act, now I know who Dr. Ratna is.

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