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Tit For Tat

2006-07-14 00:27

  Hundreds of years ago in a small Dhani (cluster of houses) on the bank of the river Lunee, there once lived, two neighbours, Lakshman and Manohar Singh belonging to Bania and Jat communities respectively. Both, were on good friendly terms.

  Once the whole area was badly hit by drought and consequently by famine. Lakshman and his wife decided to go to some other city for better living. Both discussed among themselves about the safety of the ornaments and other belongings and decided to leave the same in the custody of Manohar Singh.

  Next morning Lakshman went to his friend, Manohar Singh's house. Manohar Singh was not there. So he called his wife and said, “Bai, we do know how long this famine will continue, so we are going to some other city. It is not wise to carry the ornaments with us, so we have decided to leave them with you.”

  The talk was going on, when Manohar Singh also arrived. Lakshman repeated his words and asked his friend to take good care of his belongings. Manohar Singh and his wife readily agreed to the proposal.

  Lakshman and his wife set out on the journey. After living for some years in Malav Desh, they returned home. They had amassed a lot of wealth including gold and money.

  Manohar Singh learnt about their arrival, he did not feel happy. But, to keep his face, he and his wife visited Lakshman's house and enquired about their well being.

  Next morning Lakshman's wife went to Manohar Singh's house and asked for the ornaments and other belongings, which they had left with them.

  To her great surprise Manohar Singh's wife told her that the belongings and ornaments had been eaten away by the mice.

  Lakshman's wife was shocked and was angry. She did not utter a word at Manohar's house but she and her husband realized that their friend had cheated them. They discussed a plan and finalized it.

  After some time, one day Lakshman requested Manohar to send someone to his land to remain there, till he returned from the next village, as his wife was not feeling well. Manohar readily agreed to send his younger son, to guard the standing crop.

  Lakshman took the boy to one of his relatives in the nearby village and asked him to stay there, till his return. The boy agreed.

  When Lakshman returned, Manohar asked him about his son. Lakshman replied sorrowfully that the boy had been carried away by a big eagle, while he was coming back.

  Hearing it, Manohar got terribly upset and started shouting at him for murdering his son.

  Some people advised Manohar to approach the mukhia (headman of village) about the grave incident.

  The mukhia heard the whole story and asked Lakshman-“How it is possible, for an eagle, to carry away a boy of thirteen years?”

  Lakshman replied in the same tone-“Why not? If mice can eat away our ornaments then an eagle can also carry away the boy”。

  The mukhia now wanted to know the story of the ornaments and mice. Foolish Manohar narrated the whole story.

  The mukhia gave his verdict that all the ornaments and other belongings of Lakshman Bania should be returned to him and in exchange, Lakshman should return Manohar's son.

  As a result Lakshman got his belongings and Manohar his son.

  It is rightly said-“Bad deeds do not yield good results”。

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