When the Zamindari System came to an end, Vikram singh started farming on a small land of his ancestors. He had a small family which comprised of his two sons and two daughters and a dog, Moti. As his name was, he was really like pearl. Anyone could think himself blessed if he got him. When Vikram Singh was in the service of the landlord he got enough salary to support his family. But now his income was low and the crops often went bad due to drought or excess of rain and sometimes there were other reasons. So he had a hard time. However, he was trying his best to do all that was needed for his family. He provided good education to his sons and the result was that his elder son became a lecturer at a degree college and the other son became a government doctor. The two daughters studied at a local school, one in high school and the other in eighth standard.
Vikram and his wife felt very happy. They thought that their sons would lessen a little their burden. For some days everything was right with the couple as their sons helped them emotionally and financially. But as the time passed both of his sons got married and had children. They kept themselves confined to their wife and children that they cut off themselves from their parents and sisters slowly and slowly.
Who knows what the time has in future for a man? One day, while the youngest daughter was returning from her school, she was hit by a speeding car. She tried her best to save herself but could not avoid it and came in front of the car and broke her leg. Vikram singh had to admit her in a private hospital as there was no required facility in the public hospital. It cost him a good deal of money to get her cured. This sum he managed by selling his wife’s bracelets of silver.
Time kept on moving on its pace. The elder daughter developed all the attributes of a woman. Vikram singh worried much about her marriage. He did not have enough money for her marriage. This added to his misery. The world has a callous face which is revealed to us when we have hardships. He was no exception to this. Wherever he went, he was asked about money.
Vikram singh thought and thought lying on his cot. There was nothing valuable left in the house which could fetch him enough money to arrange for his daughter’s marriage. He was so deeply engrossed in his thought that he could not know when his eyes closed. Next morning when he woke up, he felt a little refreshed. He called his wife and had some conversation with her. He wore a faint smile on his face.
After walking a long distance of about ten miles he had reached the village known as Jhoola Garh. Soon he found himself before the Haveli of the money lender, Hiralal. He was met by the gate keeper who told him to sit in the verandah and wait for the arrival of the moneylender. After half an hour there was big body who enquired him, ‘‘From where did you come?’’
‘ ‘Narangpur’’ replied Vikram singh.
‘‘Why have you come here?’’
‘‘I want some money’’
‘‘You must have known that I don’t lend for free. I keep something as mortgage for that.’’
Vikram singh said, ‘‘I know all that’’.
‘ ‘Ok, how much money do you want?’’ asked the money lender.
‘‘One thousand will do’’
‘‘What do you have to offer me for that?’’
Without speaking a word Vikram Singh stretched the string to him to which Moti was tied. The land lord was taken aback because in his life he has never seen anyone offering a dog for money. Though there had been people who had mortgaged their buffalos, cows and goats. But it was a unique case. The landlord looked some hesitant about it. Vikram singh perceived it. He spoke politely, ‘Keep it Seth Ji. It is my faithful dog. It can do wonder in times of need’. Somehow, he was able to assure Hiralal and get money from him.
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The villagers had gathered before the Haveli of seth Hiralal. Police was busy with enquiry. Hiralal was weeping bitterly. All his money and jewellery was stolen except few coins. Moti was barking and moving here and there. In midst, he would catch the border of Hiralal’s dhoti and tried to drag him. Hiralal looked at him with scorn and anger as it did not bark at night when the thieves broke into the Haveli. An old man noticed the actions of Moti and said, ‘‘Let us accompany him. Perhaps he knows something and wants to tell us it.’’
Some men followed Moti. They were taken to a pond nearby the village. Moti went into the pond and on one place began to dive. One man plunged deep and searched underneath. Soon the booty was recovered from there. When the landlord saw all this, tears rolled from his eyes, he came to Moti and touched his head gently and lovingly, spoke to him, ‘You’ve paid all the debts of your master. Now you are free. You can go back to your master.’
Moti kissed the feet of the landlord and without delay left the place to meet his master. But, perhaps, the fate had its own way. When he was running fast to Narangpur, vikram singh was coming from the opposite direction. He saw his dog on way. He thought it had fled silently from Landlord’s house. His eyes grew red with anger and in no time he attacked him with his axe. The poor animal soon became lifeless.
Vikram singh with folded hands was standing before the landlord apologizing for the guilt of his dog. The landlord narrated the whole story of his freedom to him. When Vikram singh heard this, he fell down there on the ground and small purse containing one thousand rupees, which he had taken with him to make his dog free,also fell there.