‘Did you taste the bananas I had sent for you yesterday?’
‘Yes, it was very tasty indeed,’ Krishna smiled.
‘It’s a special variety I had planted this season. What I sent you was the first ‘thaar’ (bunch) of the season from the field.’
‘But you sent just one.’
‘Just one? I had personally handed over an entire ‘thaar’, not keeping even one for our home.’
‘Don’t know about that, but I got to eat just one and it was delicious, not the usual stuff.’
‘That’s surprising…never mind, today I’ll personally come with two thaar’s since you liked it so much. Be there till I turn up, don’t go away; I’ll surely come…will surely come…will surely come…’
‘Enga (Hey), where are you going to and where are you coming from? Wake up, it’s morning. You were dreaming,’ his wife was standing beside him.
The devout mirasdar (landlord), startled out of his sleep, taking a little while to gather his wits, dismissed his wife: ‘Oh, it’s nothing, don’t worry. Get the coffee ready, I’ll be there in a few minutes. I’ve to go to the field thereafter, so don’t delay.’
When he returned later with two huge thaar’s in his hands, his servant, coming to work just then, rushed to him: ‘Ayya, why did you bother? But for my son – down with fever, he didn’t sleep all night – I would have been here much earlier.’
As he tried to relieve the master of the heft, he found himself pushed aside petulantly.
The inquisition began: ‘Tell me first what happened to the bananas yesterday?’
‘Why, I carried the thaar you had given and delivered it to the Ayyar (priest).’
‘How many bananas were there in the thaar you carried?’
‘Ayya, I did not count. I guess it must be over hundred.’
‘And you handed over the whole thaar at the temple? Don’t lie – I’ve a way to find the truth.’
‘I did exactly like you had instructed, Ayya…except for a small lapse.’
‘Just when I neared the temple, the sight of the bananas drew a beggar child who seemed too weak even to beg. He barely managed to put out his two hands, his hunger-dizzied eyes fixed on the fruits. I did not have the heart to walk away. Gave him a fruit that he eagerly partook…it was just one small fruit from the bottom of the pile, squashed on one side by the weight of the thaar…’
Despite his efforts to minimize the loss, the servant stood waiting for the inevitable reprimand.
Finally, ‘Go, take these two thaars…’
‘I’ll go right away and this time there’ll be no lapses, I assure you, Ayya…’
‘and distribute among the hungry.’
‘You heard me right.’ The mirasdar walked away.
The servant’s jaw dropped. He had expected to be fined a month’s pay for the infraction.
Vexed over ‘whatever happened to his master?’ he trooped out carrying the bananas. He was not going to lose his peace trying to figure things out.
Source: Adapted from a post in WhatsApp. Image from urbandud.wordpress.com