The real value

Mr Gill was an avid reader and an intelligent thinker. He was able to converse in 5 languages and had read 1,000+ books in his life. He had his own personal library as well.

Sarah, Mr Gill’s daughter, had just graduated and was about to take the first step into her corporate life. On such an occasion, Mr Gill decided to gift his favourite book to her: Nineteen Eighty Four – by George Orwell.

Mr Gill gifted her the book and asked: “Can you guess the value of it?”

Sarah quickly searched for the price of this book on Google and came up with the answer: “INR 400, Dad.“

“Are you sure? Let’s go to a Pawn shop and find the price.”

She obliged. They went. The pawn shop owner saw an old book with yellowish pages in front of him and based on his knowledge of second-hand books, he gave the price: INR 160/- (40% of the original price since it is not “brand new”)

Sarah was confused. What is the value then? Is it 400 or 240?

Mr Gill was smiling. They continued their search and reached the last stop: The office of the biggest art auctioneer in Mumbai.

Sarah handed over the book and waited impatiently.

The owner took the book in his hands and started flipping through pages. He read a few lines here and there while examining the book with the utmost sincerity. He typed something on the computer and turned to the father-daughter pair:

“After the initial research, and of course, there will be a detailed examination, I think the value of this book would be INR 909,000/-

Shocked by such a revelation, Sarah looked at her father for an answer and found him smiling contently.

The owner continued: “This is the first edition of a classic book: Nineteen Eighty-Four. There is a huge demand for this rare book in the international market and many book-collectors would love to have it in their collection. The price I mentioned is as per the last sale of a similar book in the United States. We would be happy to start the process for you right away.”

Sensing an awe-struck face of his daughter, Mr Gill took the lead: “No, no. Give us time to think on this.”, he took the book and moved out of the office.

After coming out, he gave the book to Sarah and continued: “This is the story of life. The right place will value you the right way. If at times in your life, you are not valued as much as you had hoped for, don’t get disheartened. It just means that you are in the wrong place. And NEVER stay in a place where no one is able to value you.

All the best for your corporate life.

And, also…. Don’t sell this book.”

She smiled. She had received the lesson. She was ready now.


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