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The Difference

2006-07-13 23:38

  There are many legends of the brave Rajputs giving their lives for the honour of their ancestors, women and land.

  Once in Kishengarh, there lived a Thakur, who much conformed to the classical Rajput tradition. He was a very towering personality and sported a well-groomed moustache. He was, in fact, very proud of it.

  Often while talking to people, he would twirl his moustache and add additional force to his heavy reverberating voice. Among the Rajputs, moustache is a symbol of the integrity of a person.

  The Thakur was all for keeping up the Rajput tradition. He spent money like water if the situation so demanded for its upkeep. Unfortunately for him such situation will numerous. His wife often counseled him on being frugal and think of his family also but the Thakur gave a deaf ear to her and continued with his wasteful squandering.

  As a result, his accumulated savings drained away and a day came when he was left a pauper. To make things worse, there came a drought and his crop withered away. When poverty set in, he found his children go hungry, as there was nothing to cook.

  The Thakur's wife pleased with him to get some loan from the Nagar Seth (city merchant)。 There was an initial hitch but then the Thakur agreed.

  Putting on his turban and taking up the sword in his hand, he set out to request the merchant for the loan.

  When the money-lender saw the Thakur approaching, he immediately guessed, what it could be. He received the Thakur and enquired of him what the matter was.

  Also, keeping the past relations on view, the merchant said that he was ready to solve Thakur's problems to the best of his capability.

  When the Thakur apprized him of his plight, the merchant said that as a matter of principle, he could not extend a loan without proper mortgage.

  The Thakur informed him that he had nothing to pawn as the ornaments had already been disposed of an and he would not mortgage land, as that would be an insult to the Thakur's ancestors.

  “O.K., give me a hair from your moustache”, the merchant said “I will accept that as a mortgage”。

  The Thakur hesitated but then agreed and gave him a hair. The merchant kept the hair in a small box and after completing the due formalities, gave him money.

  A poor Bain (trader) who watched this entire transaction went to the money-lender and said, “I, too want a loan and you can keep a number of hair of my moustache as mortgage.”

  The merchant smiled and said, “Dear friend it is not possible. You might be having a good moustache but all moustaches are not the same. There is a lot of difference between a Thakur's and a Bania's moustache.”

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