The Road to Salvation – Mukti Marg

Whenever Jhingur looked at his cane fields a sort of intoxication came
over him. He had three bighas of land which would earn him an easy 600
rupees. And if God saw to it that the rates went up, then who could
complain, Both his bullocks were old so he’d buy a new pair at the Batesar
fair. If he could hook on to another two bighas, so much the better. Why
should he worry about money?

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Power of a Curse – Garib Ki Hai

In a village of Chandpur Munshi Ramsevak was a very rich man. He could
be seen every day seated on a broken bench under a neem tree within the
precincts of the open- I~ air small-pleas court. Nobody had ever seen him
presenting a brief before the tribunal or arguing a case; but everyone called
him ‘attorney’. Whenever he made his way to the open court the villagers
crowded after him. He was regarded by everyone with respect and trust, and
he was renowned for possessing the eloquence of the divine Saraswati
herself.

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Big Brother – Bade Bhai Sahib

My big brother was five years older than me but only three grades ahead.
He’d begun his studies at the same age I had but he didn’t I like the idea of
moving hastily in an important matter like education. He wanted to lay a
firm foundation for that great edifice, so he took two years to do one year’s
work; sometimes he even took three. If the foundations weren’t well-made,
how could the edifice endure?

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January Night – Poos ki Raat

Halku came in and said to his wife, “The Landlord’s come! Get the rupees
you set aside, I’ll give him the money. Munni had been sweeping. She
turned around and said, ‘But there’s only three rupees. If you give them to
him where’s the blanket going to come from? How are you going to get
through these January nights in the fields! Tell him we’ll pay him after the
harvest, not right now.

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Car-Splashing – Motor ke Chinte

Well it’s like this: early in the morning I finish off my bath and my
prayers, paint a vermillion circle on ;my forehead, get into my yellow robe
and wooden sandals, tuck my astrological charts under my arm, grab hold of
my stick a regular skull-cracker–and start out for a client’s house. I was
supposed to settle the right day for a wedding; it was going to earn me at
least a rupee. Over and above the breakfast. And my breakfast is no ordinary
breakfast. Common clerks don’t have the courage to invite me to a meal. A
whole month of breakfasts for them is just one day’s meal for me.

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