a poem by Uday Ghosal

A Foolhardy
once stumbled on
a clever Benia*
checking coins
by a round magnet.
Benia replied in a
sonorous voice
“Rupiya Rupiya Ko Khinchta Hai”.
Night befell and slept the
Foolhardy and up in dreams
saw a chain of coins serpentine
A snake with myriad
Rupee, athanni, chauanni*
moving slowly to him
carrying Grandma’s dazzling ring
on its peacock hood.
Long back Grandma while
with abundant love gave
the beautiful ring blessed
“my son keep caring luck will come
on your way surely a day”
Foolhardy sanguine the dream genuine
ran in the morning
and sold of the ring
bought a bunch of tickets
of bumper lottery some where near.
Results came out
on a bright sunlit
autumn day delight and he
purchased a news paper
out went running helter skelter
“Have I won”, “Have I won”
shouting along the way
the poor, the illiterate.
All said “No, You have not won”
“You have not won”.
Sad and broken ran he then
to the clever Benia whose
word was truth gospel truth
bent knee down
with folded hands asked
the innocent, what happened
my master, I did not win
and lost all my belonging.
The Benia replied smiling as ever
hear carefully my boy
“Unka jasti rupiya tumhara
thoda rupiya ko khinch liya”*.
Down and broken returned the
Foolhardy rubbing fingers all the way.

*Benia – Traditional Businessman
*”Rupiya Rupiyako khinchtahai” – Money pulls Money
*Rupee, Athanni.Chauanni – Rupee, half rupee, quarter rupee
“Unka jasti rupiya tumhara thoda rupiyako khinchta hai” – Their more money has gulped your little money