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  • Writer's pictureL.J. Singh

Goaded by Inner Voice.

Updated: May 7, 2021

Many a time our actions and reactions are goaded by the inner voice from within ourselves.

Years back our ship had a brief halt at Singapore for fuel bunkering, which was a sort of duty-free port in those days, before proceeding on a long voyage, through the Pacific Ocean to the West Coast of the USA. As the bunkering got delayed for some reasons, I left my ship for a small visit ashore after leaving some instructions for the duty engineer. As I was just leaving the wharf where our ship was berthed it started drizzling, which is quite normal in tropical Singapore, since I did not carry any umbrella, I went to borrow one from our local agents' office which was nearby.

After taking leave and umbrella from the Agents with the promise to return their loaned umbrella, I went to a, well visited by seafarers and tourists, Eastern Emporium Store on High Street just for browsing. And as is the good habit of Singaporeans, following the same, I also left my borrowed umbrella at the allotted place for wet umbrellas, just at the entrance of the shopping emporium. While leaving I picked up the umbrella and strolled away to another shop where the leaving the umbrella outside ritual was repeated. This umbrella leaving/retrieving exercise continued for few more times. Since the rain had stopped briefly, I forgot to pick up the umbrella from my just left store and went to another store, from where when leaving the rain came back in force.

Since, now, I had no umbrella, I did the most foolish spontaneous act, I just picked up a similar-looking umbrella from the wet umbrella rack outside the store and started for the agents' office to return their umbrella. As I was nearing my destination, I felt some sort of nagging thought, which became a goading by some inner voice, as if it was questioning me about the lost umbrella episode and my so uniquely executed solution of the same. I ambled back to the last store from where I had picked up someone else's umbrella, deposited the same back in the rack, went back into the shop, purchased a new umbrella, took a cab back to the agent’s office where I explained about my folly while returning the new umbrella with thanks to the amused umbrella owner.

For some moments I had harboured a silly thought that since I did not steal the umbrella in the real sense. I had just exchanged some one's with that of some other person's umbrella though both belonging to Singapore, I was justified in carrying out this strange barter. But it seems my inner voice became my guide to reach the right decision, which always helps me whenever there is any situation pricking my conscience.

Written By-

Lal Singh

Retd. Chief Engineer (IMN)

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