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The only thing that occupied Pandit Balakram's mind now was how to get another necklace made. Panditji could have pleaded helplessness and the neighbour would not have compelled him, a brahmin, to pay up. But, Panditji did not wish to sacrifice his pride so cheaply. He abandoned his laziness and devoted himself wholeheartedly to the sole purpose of earning enough money to accomplish this objective.
For six months Pandit Balakram worked day and night; he forsook his afternoon siesta and worked late into the night. Earlier, he had taught only in a school and did not engage himself in any other pecuniary work, which were open to him - he had despised these work. But, now, after returning home from school, he went to deliver religious recitations in the evenings, and, then, busied himself in preparing birth charts and horoscopes till midnight. He woke up at the crack of dawn and performed the duties of a priest in the temple.
Maya sometimes felt a pang of remorse at Panditji's state and thought she had unduly caused her husband so much trouble. Panditji's health worried her and she was beside herself with concern thinking he might fall ill. Five more months passed away.
One evening when Maya was lighting the lamps Panditji arrived with a packet in his pocket. "Take this; I am now free of your debts," he said tossing the packet at her.
Maya opened the packet; it contained a gold necklace. Her face shone with pleasure at the gleam of the gold and the elegance of the necklace. She looked up at her husband timidly and asked, "Are you giving this with a feeling of joy or in anger?"
Panditji: "How does that matter? Whether happy or sad, I have to repay the debt anyway."
Maya: "This is not debt repayment!"
Panditji: "What is it then? Trade?"
Maya: "No, not even trade."
Panditji: "What is it, then?"
Maya: "This is ... this is your gift."
Panditji: "Does that mean I have to buy another necklace to repay the debt?"
Maya: "No, no. The necklace was never stolen! I had raised a false alarm!"
Maya: "Yes, I am telling the truth."
Panditji: "Swear by my life."
Maya: "I am telling the truth. I say this by touching your feet."
Panditji: "So, you deceived me?"
Panditji: "Do you realize what price I had to pay for your deception?"
Maya: "More than 600 rupees?"
Panditiji: "Much more! I had to sacrifice my self-independence!"
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- Union Public Service Commission - www.upsc.gov.in
- IIT-Kharagpur - www.iitkgp.ac.in
- Indian Statistical Institute - www.isical.ac.in
- Indian Institute of Technology Madras - www.iitm.ac.in
- Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad - www.iimahd.ernet.in
- Indian Institute of Mass Commission - www.iimc.nic.in
- IIT Bombay - www.iitb.ac.in
- Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad - www.ismdhanbad.ac.in
- Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi - www.bitmesra.ac.in
- Central Institute of Fisheries Nautical and Engineering Training - www.cifnet.nic.in
- Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad (Deemed University) - www.iiita.ac.in
- Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Kochi - www.cmfri.com
- Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai - www.tiss.edu