Castles in the air
A Brahmin lived in a small village. He was an illiterate man. He was an idler. He never did any work and spent his time in day-dreaming. He earned his living by begging in village.
On the day of a festival the Brahmin would get a variety of delicacies as alms.
It was the day of Uttarayana. Now on this day, people donate generously to atone for their sins. `Today I will receive a lot of money,’ said the Brahmin to himself, rather pleased with the thought of receiving a lot of donations, `by the evening, I will be rich!.
Thinking thus, the Brahmin took his bag and his stick and set out to beg for alms. On his way, he first came to a potter’s house. In the compound of the house, under a big shady tree, there were many pots of different sizes and shapes.
The Brahmin stood in the compound and cried, `on this auspicious day of Uttarayana, does a righteous deed by donation generously to this Brahmin.’
The potter said, `If you want, you make a pot for yourself.’
The Brahmin up a pot went further.
On the day Uttarayana almost all the households in the village gave the Brahmin delicacies made from Jaggery, groundnuts and sesame seeds. At noon, his pot was filled with a variety of delicacies including his favorite laddoos. The Brahmin was very happy. But he had roamed so much to beg for alms, that his legs started pining. He could hardly walk.
While returning home, he again came to the potter’s house. `I am so tried,’ said the Brahmin to him. `Let me go to the potter’s compound and rest under the tree for some time.’
The Brahmin lay himself down in the cool shade of the tree. There were many pots all round him.
As the Brahmin was resting, he thought, `Ah1 I have earned so much today. Early in the morning, this potter gave me a pot… as if to fill all the delicacies in it. Almost all the household gave me something to eat end I filled the pot with it all.
`How can I alone eat all the delicacies’ thought the Brahmin, still feeling very pleased. ` I will eat some to fill my stomach and sell the rest. With the money that I thus earn,, I will buy many pots and jugs… I will sell them and buy betel nuts… I will sell the betel nuts and buy cloth…. Soon I will be a millionaire… and build a big palace for myself… and get marriage proposals from parents of the most beautiful girls… like kings, I will marry four women… But then the four of them will quarrel among themselves… and come to me with their complaints…
The Brahmin continued the day dream. `Oh, why are these four women quarrelling with one another? Have they seen this stick of mine? I will take the stick and … whack… smack…. Whack… smack… I will beat them black and blue…’
The Brahmin, who was sitting under the tree and day dreaming, took the stick in his hands and started swinging it and banging it round him. The stick hit the pots. And … smash … smash… all the pots broke into pieces. Even the Brahmin’s pot was broken and all the delicacies were scattered in the dust. The laddoos rolled on the ground and were smeared with mud!
When the potter heard the noise of pots breaking, he was agitated. `Has an animal entered my compound?’ he wondered. He took a stick in his hands and rushed of the house. And what did he see? -The Brahmin was swinging the stick around and breaking the pots!
`You scoundrel!’ cried the furious potter. `How dare you to break my pots? Now see how I break your head!’ saying this, the potter beat the Brahmin mercilessly.
The Brahmin said, `Why are you so angry? You have lost only a few pots. Look at me. I have lost my thriving business, my big palace and my four wives.
The potter was confused. He drove the Brahmin out of his compound.
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