When I was in class 6th, there was a short story prescribed in our Hindi literature book. It was written by a famous author named Sudarshan. The name of the story was "Haar Ki Jeet " (हार की जीत) . I don't know how to translate this in 3 words in English, but the essence of the story title is "The winning of the loser".
The storyline goes like this ... Once upon a time there was a hermit named Baba Bharti. He had a very beautiful white horse named Sultan. Baba Bharti loved Sultan very dearly and he used to say that he will never be able to live without Sultan. His day started with a ride on his favourite Sultan and it ended by feeding and caring for the horse. In that village lived a dacoit named Kharag Singh. He had heard about Baba Bharti and his Sultan from many people and one day he went to the temple to meet the hermit.
"I have heard a lot about Sultan. Can I see him once ? " Kharag Singh pleaded.
Baba Bharti was very pleased and he proudly took Kharag Singh to the stable to show him his prized possession. Kharag Singh was amazed. He had never ever seen such a beautiful horse. He thought that this horse should be with him rather than with Baba Bharti. After all Baba was a hermit. Why would he need such a horse ?
While leaving, Kharag Singh looked at Baba Bharti and said " Baba ! I will not let this horse stay with you !" , and went away.
Baba Bharti was scared. He lost his sleep. He would wake up with a start at midnight, go to the stable a check on Sultan.
But months passed by and Kharag Singh did not return. Baba Bharti became relaxed and thought that Kharag Singh had just jested with him.
One evening, Baba Bharti was riding on Sultan. Suddenly, he saw an invalid man , walking with a limp coming towards him. He was stooping and his white , unkempt beard made him look very old.
"Baba ... I have to go to the next village which is 3 miles away . I legs are paining and I cannot walk. Please let me sit on your horse and take me till the end of this village ... I will remain ever grateful to you ... God will bless you , my son !"
Baba Bharti was very kind. He stepped down, helped the crippled person on the horse and he held the reins and started walking slowly.
Suddenly, Baba Bharti felt a jolt. The cripple was sitting straight on Sultan and laughing. The reins of the horse was in his hands. He was dacoit Kharag Singh ! He pulled at the reins and started riding away .
"Wait ... !" baba Bharti shouted. Kharag Singh stopped.
"Tell me Baba ! I will do whatever you tell me to do. But I will not v return Sultan to you "
Baba Bharti looked at Kharag Singh and said softly .
"I will not talk about the horse. But I have one request ... "
"Tell me , O hermit ! I will obey "
"Kharag Singh, I request you not to tell about this incident - how you took away Sultan from me, to anybody ... "
Kharag Singh was very intrigued and surprised. He had never imagined that Baba Bharti will have such a request. He tried to comprehend , but could not think of any logical reason... so he asked
"Baba, why such a strange request ? What purpose will it serve for you ? "
Baba Bharti looked straight at his eyes
"My son... If you tell about this incident, no one will ever help a person in need ... they will never trust the weaker person ... "
After saying this, Baba Bharti slowly went away . He did not look back at Sultan even once.
Baba Bharti went away , but his words kept on echoing in Kharag Singh's ears. He was filled with remorse. At the dead of the night, Kharag Singh sneaked into the temple with Sultan . The stable doors were wide open ... Baba Bharti did not care to close them ...
Kharag Singh slowly tied Sultan. He had tears in his eyes. Tears of repentance and guilt. A few drops fell on the ground. Kharag Singh closed the stable doors slowly and went away.
The next day Baba Bharti got up a dawn and habitually walked towards the stable . Suddenly he realized that Sultan is not in the stable anymore. He stopped short and with a heavy heart started walking away. Sultan recognized his master's footsteps and started whinnying.
Baba Bharti could not believe his ears. he ran towards the stable and saw Sultan... Baba was overjoyed !
He embraced Sultan and started crying. "My Sultan is back ... Now no one will distrust the poor and the handicapped ... "
Baba Bharti's tears fell on the ground ... at the same place where Kharag Singh's tears had fallen...
Reader, you must be wondering why I have recounted this story ... well there is a reason ... Read my next post ..
Stay Tuned ....