A simple, honest, innocent story with a good old moral. Written in a poetic expression for new readers and for those who have heard or read the story earlier.

A poor young man walked about,
He had no place to go and was in serious doubt.
No education meant no job,
He could see his future and it looked like a big fat blob.
But he was clever and hard working,
So he thought to earn some money by using one of his schemes.

He sat one day, doing nothing.
From around a corner came a lady,
with a dead rat in one hand while the other hand carried a baby.
He told her that he could help her get rid of the rat
But in return he would only need a rupee fat.
The lady happily handed over the mouse-trap,
Gave him money and went back in a snap.

He roamed a while to find a house with a cat.
He found one and offered them the dead rat.
In exchange, he asked for rupees two.
They gave it happily, as their cat let out a mew.

With his money he went straight to the big old shop,
Bought kararechane, but only ate few for his plan shouldn’t flop.
He walked miles to the old jungle,
Waited underneath a tree for the travellers who bungled.
He sold chana to those who forgot to bring their meal,
He charged them 5 Rs per pouch and that was the deal.
He collected 25 Rs that day
and went back to the shop, to buy more chana, and then to pray.

From that day on, he would keep chana and water for travelers.
They would pay as much as asked, for most of them were foreigners.
He saved most and bought more, and finally saved enough to set up a cart.
He added more items and that was a good start.
It came to be known as Teelu’s mart,
and people came from far to try his famous ‘chaat’.

This went on and his business bloomed.
It was the same old Teelu, who everyone thought was doomed.
He opened more such “marts”;
He became very rich but his health started falling apart.
He asked his children to take-over his business of marts,
But they bickered among themselves and the business fell like a deck of cards.

They didn’t understand the reason and went to ask their “Pa”.
He made them realize it was only hard-work that would take them far.
He worked hard all his life.
They should too and bury the strife.
He said, “The solution was easy,
Work hard although it might make you queasy.
But in the long run you shall succeed,
This is your father’s advice, shake hands now and do good deed.”
His sons followed his advice.
“Teelu’s mart” resurfaced and they turned wise.


* karare-chane: an Indian snack made of spiced dry roasted chick-peas.
# chaat : an Indian snack made from a dry roasted bengal gram mixed of masala, onions and tomatoes.

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