The Price of the Fumes: A Short Story
A short, but powerful fictional piece with a strong social message.
Once there was a man in Persia named Bohlol Dana. He was famous for his wisdom and benevolence. Bohlol used to spend his money to help others.
Once, Bohlol was making a basket near an eatery. He saw a poor scrawny man standing in front of the shop. His clothes were tattered and he seemed very hungry. He was just staring at the food items covetously. A chef saw him and did not like his presence there. He came out at once and said, “Why are you standing here?”
“I am very hungry,” the poor man replied.
“Do you have money?”
“No Sir. If I had money I would have bought something to eat. I am just relying on the fumes.”
The chef slapped him and forced him to pay for the fumes that he consumed. The poor fellow started weeping as he had no money. When Bohlol saw all that, he went there and told the chef that he would pay on the poor man’s behalf. He asked the price of the fumes of the delicious food. The chef asked him to pay fifty coins for that. Bohlol at once took out fifty coins, made them clink and put back in his pocket. The chef got very angry. “Pay the price at once.”
“But I have already paid the price”
“Everyone witnessed that you put the money back in your pocket”
“Yes. Didn’t you hear the clinking sound of fifty coins?”
“Yes, I heard.”
“That clinking was the price of the fumes that the poor man smelled. You are paid and everyone witnessed it.”
All the people supported Bohlol and laughed at the chef. He got embarrassed and left hurriedly. Bohlol and the poor man had their lunch together.
(Note- This is a real story with some variations)
Pic Courtesy: Morguefile
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