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A Bribe

2006-07-13 21:02

  Once upon a time, in a village near the Banas River there lived side by side a Goojar and a merchant family. Both were on friendly terms. While the Goojar was poor but honest, the merchant was cunning and shrewd. Besides his grocery business, the merchant loaned his money on very high interest.

  One day, nobody came to his shop either for purchasing or for loan. In the evening, the merchant approached his friend Goojar and said, “For how long you want to remain poor? If you think you should be well off, take money from me, my friend and purchase a buffalo of the best breed.” The Goojar at first refused the offer and said that he was satisfied with his poverty. However, after some persuasion, he agreed to take the money on interest to by a buffalo and promised to repay it as soon as he could.

  Days passed, due to continuous drought and other unforeseen circumstance, the Goojar could not keep his promise.

  The merchant reminded the Goojar from time to time, about the loan, but the Goojar was helpless and could not keep his promise. The merchant wanted his money to keep flowing, but in this case the flow had stopped and showed no sign of reviving.

  The merchant lost his patience. He send a number of reminder and threats too, but of no avail. At last, the merchant filed a suit against the Goojar in the local panchayat. For a long time, the panchayat could not meet. The merchant became furious. Ultimately, he came out with a bribe to the sarpanch. It was in the shape of pagari (turban)。 The Goojar came to know about the bribe. He, as result, also offered a bribe. It was in the shape of a buffalo, which the sarpanch liked very much.

  At long last, the panchayat met and heard the plea from both the sides. The judgment went in favor of the Goojar who was asked to pay the loan at his convenience. The merchant was at a loss to understand the mystery behind the judgment and also the sarpanch's motive. As the proceedings were going on, he tried to attract the attention of the sarpanch by touching his turban again and again, but the sarpanch ignored it.

  Finally, he could not restrain himself and reproved the sarpanch, saying: “Kindly do give regard to my old age as also to this white turban.”

  The sarpanch got his point. He replied in the same refrain: “The buffalo has eaten the turban, Seth Ji,” and smiled.

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