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PART - 28

(Continued from the previous issue)


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Sathya comes home, thorns all over His dress and on His head too. His sisters and mother are shocked.

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PARVATHAMMA: What’s this Sathya! I see so many thorns in Your head! Did You fall on a thorny bush?

VENKAMMA: O my God! So many thorns, so many of them! ….Mother see!

EASWARAMMA: What my dear?

VENKAMMA: Look how many thorny nuts are stuck in Sathya’s hair. Mother, see!

EASWARAMMA: Oh! So many thorns! Sathyam what happened? O my dear child, how did it happen?

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SATHYA: Mother, why are you so agitated? Good and bad, friendship and hatred, pleasure and pain, are all near each other! ….. I replied very well to the Master’s questions and he liked My answers. The other boys could not answer properly, and became angry with Me. To give vent to their anger, they pelted thorny nuts at Me.

PARVATHAMMA: They hit you?! I’ll ask father to break their bones!

VENKAMMA: If we tell grandfather, he’ll take care of all of them!

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SATHYA: Why are you upset so much about such a small thing? The feeling of anger and revenge are like fire. The fire blazes for a while but dies down eventually. These boys have again become My friends, have they not? They even asked for forgiveness. Therefore, we should not think of doing harm to them.

EASWARAMMA: My! What kind of friends! Do friends pelt thorny nuts? ….. If tomorrow something more serious happens……

SATHYA: Mother, nothing serious will happen! Why are you unnecessarily worried?

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Puttaparthi village scene. Cloth merchant Gurunatham brings his products on a cycle and parks himself under a shady tree. From there, he calls out to the village folk, particularly the women. He knows practically everyone by name.
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VENDOR: Clothes! Clothes! Gurunatham brings you all new clothes! Come quick, come one, come all! Ladies come! Venkatalakshmi, Ramalakshmi, Subbalakshmi, Veeralakshmi – all of you come! Hurry and don’t delay; if you do, the clothes will all be gone! And I won’t come again for another month! Madame Subbalakshmi, please come. [to a lady] You there, what are you staring at?

Hearing the cry of the salesman, many, especially ladies, leave their house to go and see what is being offered for sale.

LADY 1: Sister-in-law, cloth merchant Gurunatham has come. Let’s go and see what he has to offer.

LADY 2: Yes, coming.

VENDOR: Mothers, come quick, and remember, my next visit will be a long time after.

LADY 3: Gurunatham, any new designs?

VENDOR: Want to see? I have shirts and trousers for ladies and sarees and blouses for men! Would you like to see?

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LADY: Aren’t you getting your words mixed up?!

VENDOR: Oh, did I? Look, I have sarees from Barampuram, Vatlamudi, Gadwal, Dharmavaram and Ambajipeta [these are names of places famous for the production of good sarees].

LADY: Ambajipeta? That place is famous for bitter medicines, is it not?

VENDOR: Sometimes, business is also like a bitter medicine! [to a lady customer who is inspecting] You there, careful! You will dirty the clothes. For men, I have shirt pieces, lungis, and some under garment cloth.

MAN: What sort of cloth is that? I had a banian stitched with that cloth and I felt as though I was wearing thorns! It was that rough.

VENDOR: Where did you get the idea that under garment cloth would be soft?! Try this one this time. Shall I give you two yards of this? Here, take this.

WIFE OF THE MAN: That’s enough! He hardly gets out of the house; maybe once a year! Cheap cloth will do for him! Now, have you got any sarees?

VENDOR: Try this cloth. Make a dress out of it and lie down on a thorny bush if you will. Yet, you will feel as if you are sleeping on a rubber mattress. Lady, take a look at this Mangalagiri saree. Wear it, put a red vermilion mark on your face, and you will look just like Goddess Lakshmi! This one is from Dharmavaram. The design is absolutely new and it is double colour – dark green and pale red; both colours can be seen. And when you wear it, others will not be able to decide what the colour of the saree is.

LADY: What, are you saying that the saree will appear not to have any colour?

VENDOR: Why are you trying to buy a saree, without first deciding upon the colour?

Meanwhile, in Sathya’s house, the girls hear the sales commotion come out to see what is going on. They are excited to discover that clothes are being offered for sale.

PARVATHAMMA: Mother! Cloth vendor Gurunatham has come!

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KONDAMA.RAJU: [calls out] Gurunatham!


KONDAMA.RAJU: Come here.

VENDOR: [to the people gathered under the tree] Ladies, I have to go to Kondama Raju’s house. Please pay up fast.

LADY: Here’s the cash.

GIRL: Don’t forget to bring a silk dress for me next time.

VENDOR: You start saving money for the dress, and I will surely come at the time of the Dussera festival.

LADY: Here’s the money I owe you.

KONDAMA.RAJU: Gurunatham!

VENDOR: Coming sir! …. Oh, I forgot this sheet; someone might whisk it away!

Cloth vendor comes to the house of Kondama Raju. Kondama asks the girls to come out. Sathya also joins.

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KONDAMA.RAJU: Venkamma, Parvathi, come.

VENDOR: Salutations sir, and salutations mother!

KONDAMA.RAJU: Girls, pick what you want. [to vendor] What types do you have?

VENDOR: All types sir! [to Sathya] Boy, how are You?

KONDAMA.RAJU: You are coming after a long time.

VENDOR: Yes sir. I came for Dussera but could not come for Deepavali because of the pregnancy of my wife.

KONDAMA.RAJU: Is that so?

PARVATHAMMA: [pointing to a dress] How much does this cost?

VENDOR: Eight annas [in those days, the rupee was divided into sixteen annas].

SATHYA: In Reddy’s house it was six annas and here in Raju’s house it is eight annas, is it?

VENDOR: What Reddy are you talking about? I did not go to any Reddy’s house.

SATHYA: Did you not sell a blue saree in Harishchandra Reddy’s house? I know everything!

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VENDOR: Boy! If you expose me like this, what will happen to my prestige? Will I tell a lie in Raju’s house? That blue saree was Salem silk. That material shrinks, and the saree will reduce to the size of a handkerchief! I sell such second-rate stuff to those who haggle and bargain. But here, I bring only good stuff! By the way, staying here, how do you know what happened there?

SATHYA: That’s something you will not understand!

VENDOR: Come on, take what you want, take it!

KONDAMA.RAJU: Gurunatham!

PARVATHAMMA: Mother, I’d like to have that purple-colour saree.

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EASWARAMMA: Take what you like, my dear!

KONDAMA.RAJU: That colour is a good choice, young one!

VENKAMMA: I want this red-coloured upper cloth.

EASWARAMMA: You already have a red piece; take one with yellow colour.

VENKAMMA: As you say mother.

VENDOR: Anything else you want? I have a good selection.

SATHYA: Be careful about the measurement!

VENDOR: Yes, boy.

SATHYA: When you were selling under the tree, you said two yards but measured out only one!

VENDOR: Come on! Don’t reveal all my secrets! It will ruin my prestige!!

K.RAJU: Look Gurunatham. A mistake can be corrected but cheating cannot be rectified! Measure carefully!!

VENDOR: Yes sir! …. [shocked by Sathya’s exposures] Oh my dear!

PARVATHAMMA: Mother, why don’t you pick a saree for yourself?

EASWARAMMA: Not now; later perhaps.

VENDOR: Mother buys for herself only at the time of the Sankaranthi and Deepavali festivals.

Venkama Raju walks in at this juncture. Seshama Raju follows a little later.

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VENKAMA RAJU: Hello Gurunatham, have you brought anything for me?

VENDOR: Clothes for you and mother are being specially woven now, and I will bring them at the time of Sankaranthi.

SESHAMA RAJU: Gurunatham, did you bring the Rangoon silk I had asked for?

VENDOR: Would I not?! Here, just for you, a piece six yards long. It is so fine and silky that you can wrap it up and hide it in the palm of your hand!

SATHYA: All lies! This is not Rangoon silk but Dharmavaram silk!

VENDOR: [squirming] Not quite my dear boy. Dharmavaram material gets shipped to Rangoon, and we get it from Rangoon. So it is Rangoon material, is it not?

SESHAMA RAJU: Okay, okay. Now how much does it cost?

SATHYA: Twelve annas.

VENDOR: Correctly said my boy! You have upheld my dignity.

SATHYA: Twelve annas is your price but the real cost of that material is only eight annas!

VENDOR: No, no! It is twelve annas!

SATHYA: Open and see and you will find eight annas printed on the cloth!

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SESHAMA RAJU: [to vendor] Hey you! Why did you say twelve annas, when it says eight annas here?

VENDOR: [to Sathya] I don’t understand how You can see what is written in the cloth?!

SATHYA: That’s the way it is. I can see what others cannot. ….. Just because we don’t bargain in the Raju household, you should not ask for any price you like! Don’t cheat!!

VENDOR: No boy, it’s not cheating …..

SATHYA: I know the difference between Truth and lies. Don’t tell lies again!

K.RAJU: [to vendor] Your name may be Gurunatham [meaning literally, Master of Gurus] but my grandson is the Guru of the whole world! Be careful, no one can cheat Sathyam!

VENDOR: Forgive me sir, I made a mistake. In business, one tends to exaggerate. Please don’t hold it against me. I’ll give you the best of clothes for bargain prices!…[to Sathya] How about this one for you son? It’ll look nice on You.

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K.RAJU: Yes Sathyam, You also take what you want.

SATHYA: Grandfather, I don’t need any clothes. These merely cover the body. What one needs is the dress of Wisdom, for it is Wisdom alone that can sweep away the dirt in the mind.

SESHAMA RAJU: Stop that silly talk and take this one. You will look nice in that dress.

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SATHYA: No brother, I have no desire for clothes.

EASWARAMMA: That’s all right son. Just take it; it will look nice on you.

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SATHYA: Mother, no! I have already said it – I just don’t want, that’s all.

KONDAMA.RAJU: Sathyam’s word is like the arrow of Lord Rama; it does not return!

(To be continued)

- Heart2Heart Team

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Vol 5 Issue 04 - APRIL 2007
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