Once an old thief who was on his death bed called his grandson and said to him, ‘son, many years ago I had buried in the Gold Merchant’s Orchard which is located in a town that is ten villages away on the east a treasure that I had stolen from his store thinking I’ll use it when I’ll grow old and when I won’t have the strength to work. Some years ago I gave the details of this treasure to your father and asked him to dig it out for me and bring it home. But your father returned empty handed as he was confused and could not locate the exact tree under which the treasure was buried.’
‘But where exactly is the treasure buried and what is it like?’ Asked the grandson.
‘Well they are gold coins … called asharfis, about half a bag full which is a royal fortune in present times. I had buried them in the mango orchard of the same merchant from whom I had stolen thinking he’ll look for his stolen fortune elsewhere, but never in his own orchard. I think the treasure still lies there right under the centre most tree of the orchard. I still remember after committing the heist in that dark night I went straight to the merchant’s orchard and buried the fortune there, after digging the ground as deep as my height. But when your father returned from there he said the orchard since then had expanded unevenly both in length and breadth, so it was difficult to pin point the centre tree.
‘So then what do you want me to do now?’ Asked the grandson.
‘Well I want you to go there and look for the buried treasure for me.’ So the obedient grandson started off for the orchard. On the way there was a temple where he met the temple’s pujari. The pujari asked the young ebullient grandson as to where he was going. The grandson innocently told him that he was going to the Gold Merchant’s Orchard to retrieve his grandfather’s ill-gotten wealth that he had buried there long ago.
The pujari said, ‘the buried treasure seldom serves the person who has buried it, especially, when he needs it the most and that too a stolen one. But yes, it may help a community or someone else who is needy and has a noble cause.’
The grandson asked, ‘why?’
The pujari replied, ‘because the buried treasure is always under mother earth’s control. It is like that seed over which the farmer has no control till it germinates and comes out of the ground. In the same manner the buried treasure is of no use to anyone unless mother earth unearths it. And remember mother earth keeps changing the habitat and the surroundings for the benefit of the mankind. In your case also the orchard has expanded so the tree at the center is no more at the center. Now you won’t be able to find the buried treasure ever.’
But the determined grandson did not succumb to pujari’s logic. He decided to carry on in search of the orchard. So after trudging for the next few days he finally reached the town where the orchard of the Gold Merchant was located.
But when the grandson reached the orchard he found there was no orchard there, yet the place was known as Gold Merchant’s Orchard, where now, the Gold Merchant’s Hospital stood. The grandson was amazed at the wonderful sight. He asked an old man sitting there.
‘Sir, was there ever an orchard here many years ago?’
The old man replied saying, ‘yes, there was one here, you’re right, but then those mango trees in the orchard had grown very old and were not bearing any fruit so they were brought down by the Gold Merchant to plant fresh trees, but while he was doing this exercise he found his lost gold treasure buried under a tree that was stolen by a thief many years ago. He thought mother earth has returned his fortune for a noble cause so he changed his mind and converted the orchard which he thought was for his own consumption into a hospital for the poor and the needy.
The relieved grandson after hearing the story returned home appreciating the Gold Merchant’s noble gesture only to find that his grandfather had passed away in his absence without enjoying the stolen booty. He asked his father if he knew about the hospital that had come up there. The father said, ‘yes he did, but he didn’t want to tell that to his father as he was living with the false hope that someday he will enjoy that ill-gotten booty and he didn’t want to break his false hope till he was alive, and that was the reason why he lied to him.’
‘Grandfather is fine, but why couldn’t you tell me when I left in search of the booty that the orchard is no more there?’ Asked the grandson.
‘Because my dear son I wanted you to witness the halo the grandeur of the hospital yourself as seeing is believing, and that the buried treasure never helps the person who has buried it and that too an ill gotten one.
Moral of the story: Beware of buried treasure … Kala dhan … Gada dhan.
By Kamlesh Tripathi
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GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE
(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 8 prestigious libraries of the US that includes Harvard College Library; Harvard University Library; Library of Congress; University of Washington, Seattle; University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; Yale University, New Haven; University of Chicago; University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill University Libraries. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in libraries and archives of Canada, Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai; Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida; India. Shoolini University, Yogananda Knowledge Center, Himachal Pradesh and Azim Premzi University, Bangalore).
ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY
(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi; Available for reading in Indian National Bibliography, March 2016, in the literature section, in Central Reference Library, Ministry of Culture, India, Belvedere, Kolkata-700022)
AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES
(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be the undying characteristics of Lucknow. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014. It is included for reading in Askews and Holts Library Services, Lancashire, U.K; Herrick District Library, Holland and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library, Mecklenburg County in North Carolina, USA).
REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD
(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)
TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN
(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)
RHYTHM … in poems
(Published in January 2019. The book contains 50 poems. The poems describe our day to day life. The book is available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha)
(Published in February 2020. The book is a collection of eight short stories available in Amazon, Flipkart and Notion Press)
Short stories, Book reviews and Articles published in Bhavan’s Journal: Reality and Perception, 15.10.19; Sending the Wrong Message, 31.5.20; Eagle versus Scholars June, 15 & 20 2020; Indica, 15.8.20; The Story of King Chitraketu, August 31 2020; Breaking Through the Chakravyuh, September 30 2020. The Questioning Spouse, October 31, 2020; Happy Days, November 15, 2020; The Karma Cycle of Paddy and Wheat, December 15,2020; Power Vs Influence, January 31, 2021; Three Refugees, March 15, 2021; Rise and Fall of Ajatashatru, March 31, 2021; Reformed Ruler, May 15, 2021; A Lasting Name, May 31, 2021; Are Animals Better Teachers?, June 16, 2021; Book Review: The Gram Swaraj, 1.7.21; Right Age for Achievements, 15.7.21; Big Things Have Small Beginnings, 15.8.21; Where is Gangaridai?, 15.9.21; Confront the Donkey Within You 30.9.21; Know Your Strengths 15.10.21; Poverty 15.11.21; Top View 30.11.21;
(ALL THE ABOVE BOOK TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)