Sunday, November 21, 2010

Simhapuri Stories : The Rich Beggar

Once up on a time while you read this story, on the banks of the sacred river penna is the beautiful city of Simhapuri.

Like every other day Venkatesh is waiting at the Nippo factory bus-stop to catch the 9 O Clock bus to work.Like every other government initiative the bus-stop that was constructed a few months back soon turned in to a home for the beggars.And the buses usually stop 10 or 15 feet away from the bus-stop.Leaning on his back next to one of the the bus-stops pillars looking at Venkatesh was a very old man in his torn/patched up light brownish clothes.Venkatesh never payed much attention to him but has first seen this old man and four other beggars in this bus-stop couple of months ago.The old man normally stays at the busstop while the other four beggers collect waste cans/botlles/paper from garbage and sell them for their living.

Venkatesh who works as a clerk at the municipal office has spent half of his life and money in helping others and today he is in need of two lakhs rupees to send his daughter to the medical school.Venkateshs mind is filled with sadness as none of his friends or relatives came forward to help him ,instead blamed him for his situation.He is left with no other option than selling his house.

Suddenly the old beggar looking at Venkatesh said -Son, Catch the train that leaves to Chennai from platform number 3 at 10AM .Catch the 11 C bus from the station.Get down at Guindy.Walk down to the Madras Race Club .At the betting counter,do a Straight bet of 5000 rs on horse number 4 for the race that starts at 3 PM.

Venkatesh first thought that the beggar has gone mad .After sometime he thought - may be the beggar was once a gambler and lost all his property while betting on horse races.The beggar says - If you are thinking that i am a mad beggar talking randomly, you are wrong.It is by your karma that made you stand here and time has come for you to cherish all that good you have packed for your self.It will be more money than you need to send your daughter to the medical school.

After a brief shock he runs to the ATM  and then catches auto and makes it just on time for the Chennai passenger train.It is a three hour travel to Chennai.Venkatesh still can not believe that he is doing all this listening to the words of a beggar.He catches the bus to Guindy.

There are not many people in the race course.Venkatesh saw a  man in his fifties wearing a cricket cap,eyes covered with goggles and holding a walking stick in one hand and a cigar in the other a few seats away .Next to him standing were a couple of security personnel.At 3 PM as the jockeys take off Venkatesh holds on tight to his seat and closes his eyes forgetting about everything around him and he sees a vision of the old man and his words.Half way through the race he opens his eyes to see horse number 4 in third place.Venkatesh closes his eyes again praying.As they approach the finish line Venkatesh opens his eyes and looks at the TV monitors.Shocked/Thrilled , with out uttering an other word he walks toward the prize money collection counter.

The guy in goggles was Sundhar Pandiyan , the rubber business tycoons in Tamil Nadu.Horse racing is one of his gambling habits and when he remembers that once every 3 or 4 months he throws a few lakh rupees which today is forty,i.e four million rupees.

Venkatesh rents a taxi and rushes  straight to Simhapuri and to the Nippo factory bus-stop only to see that there is a traffic jam for miles on either sides of the road.From the crowd outside he hears that there is a swamy in the Nippo factory bus-stop whose predictions came true and few  were saved from death and a few turned rich overnight.As Venkatesh makes his way through the crowd he finds those four beggars standing on the four sides of the busstop blocking people .Next to them is an other layer of security - police.Standing in a queue are the richest of the rich jewelers,politicians waiting for the old beggars call.

Venkatesh goes home happy and later through TV comes to know that the saint was born in Bihar and left to the Himalayas at a very young age and no one knows how old he is now and those four beggars serving him are his disciples.

As long as we run for money it stays away from us and when we think we are happy with what we have and stop worrying  about it, it will run to us and we will be the happiest person on this planet.We can see this today with the richest of ministers and business men surrounding the sanyaasis who gave up everything and are not interested in any of the worldly pleasures.