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A Fair deal
06-17-2010, 07:29 PM
Post: #1
A Fair deal
Maniki Deep

Sant Singh was a money-lender. He was sharp, astute and quick-witted. In his professional dealings he was clear-headed and forthright. Simultaneously, he enjoyed a bubbling sense of humour and the twinkle in his eye won him many friends. One day, a debtor, Nek Chand, came to him. It was his due time for paying up. He stood humbly and said he did not have the money. Sant Singh checked his books; he had already extended repayment of the loan by fourteen months. This clemency had to stop. ‘People take advantage of generosity and become lax’, he thought firmly. He would not let this account loosen willy-nilly. Sant Singh sternly admonished him and insisted on final payment. Nek Chand stood with folded hands and sought more time but Sant Singh cut out this wheedling. Nek Chand would have to surrender a collateral.

Before long the deal was made. Nek Chand would either pay up or give Sant Singh his cow in a week’s time. At the dining table Sant Singh told his mother, wife and three children that they would soon have a cow in their back garden. His mother and wife were delighted. No more milk from the wily milkman. There would be plenty of rich, pure milk, butter and ghee from their own backyard. The children were excited. They always wanted a pet. A cow would be odd but interesting. They played with all sorts of names – Pyari, Nyari, Motti, Mittho, anglecised Dolly, Daisy and Bluebells. They eventually settled for ‘Daisy’. A shed was built by some labourers in the large back garden with a door decorated with painted flowers and ‘Daisy’s Den’ designed on it. Sant Singh’s mother and wife laughed as they saw the children rushing to and fro – they bought bells for Daisy’s neck and feet and a blanket to keep her warm. There was a lot of excitement and hub-bub in the house.

After one week Sant Singh walked down towards Nek Chand’s house. Nek Chand welcomed him in. This was his first visit to his client’s house. Nek Chand regretted that he should not have troubled himself to come all the way to take the cow. He was in fact ready and just about to bring the cow to Sant Singh’s house. Sant Singh cast a sweeping look at the surroundings. He saw his old parents huddled in a corner sunning themselves, his wife looked weak, sallow and overburdened. Seven children played in the yard. The house was sparse and bleak. The cow was in a corner. There were pigeons and sparrows pecking at some grains scattered for them. Sant Singh held his breath, put his arm around Nek Chand’s shoulders and walked away out of the house. “Nek Chand”, he said, “you can keep the cow and forget the money”. Nek Chand was dumb-struck. He choked – speechless. He took a lingering look at Sant Singh and smilingly nodded his head, tears glistening in his eyes. Sant Singh returned home. His family waited with shining eyes. “Where’s the cow, our cow”, they exclaimed. The children came running, clinging about his legs. “Where’s Daisy?” Sant Singh’s eyes twinkled as he hugged them.

“First”, he said, “I’ll tell you a story about Guru Nanak”. He sat on the dewan‘mid sunshine and shade, and gathered his children warmly and lovingly around him. “One day, when Guru Nanak was young, his parents gave him some money to go to the market and buy some articles which could be resold at a profit. On the way Guru Nanak came across a group of priests (sadhus) who had not eaten for some days. ‘There can be no better and more profitable a bargain than that of feeding such hungry devotees of God’, he thought. He bought food from the market and distributed it amongst them. He then returned home satisfied. Guru Nanak’s father was furious at this crass waste of money and beat him. Guru Nanak bore the beating but in his heart he knew that he had struck a fair bargain.”

Then Sant Singh told his family of Nek Chand’s plight. If he had claimed the cow, he would have deprived that poor family of eleven of basic, good, wholesome nourishment, whereas he, Sant Singh had a small family and sufficient financial resources to lead a contented life. Bowing to the memory of Guru Nanak, he absolved Nek Chand of all financial borrowings and set him free. He urged his children to treasure in their hearts the story of Guru Nanak’s “Sachha Sauda” or “Fair Deal”, of Guru Nanak’s love, wisdom and grace in caring for those in need.


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* 2122, Sector: 15-C, Chandigarh


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07-22-2010, 02:19 PM
Post: #2
RE: A Fair deal
Its a very well narrated story which includes some clippings of 'Sacha Sauda' of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. I must say your article states the feeling of soft corner in someone's heart by just viewing the scene at his home. The comparison which he makes by using Guru Nanak Dev Ji's saakhi with his own viewing describes the ananlysis his understanding of the plights of the debtor Nek Chand & taking it on serious mode with a view of helping him.

Amazing words..!
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