12kris's picture

Average: 5 (2 votes)

`Bhoopathy lived upto his name which meant "The Lord of the Earth". His single minded devotion was to acquiring more and more land. If that is a measure of success in life, he was indeed a successful man. As it always happens, the more his acquisition kept growing, the more he desired! "How wonderful would it be if I could own so much land that I could never see the end of it!" he used to wish.

In his obsession with wealth, he even forgot that he even had a family.He was always out looking at new parcels of land.Bhoopathy continued to aggrandize. But is anything for ever? One day it had to change. And change it did for Bhoopathy and how!

He started feeling an excruciating pain in his stomach. The best of Physicians tried to cure him of the unbearable pain. Many times the pain would subside, only to return the next day.

It was then that he heard of a great Sage Physician and Astrologer from Shambhunath, his trusted accountant and book-keeper. The Physician was summoned immediately. It didn’t take long for the Astrologer Physician to make his pronouncement that the disease was incurable. On top of it came the prediction that Bhupathy would die on the full moon day of Chaitra month. That meant that he had only a month and a fortnight to live!

Bhupathy closeted himself with the Sage in the visitors room, for he didn’t want anyone else to see how scared he was of leaving this world and all his riches. Bhupathy pleaded with the Astrologer to find a cure for his disease or to prescribe a ‘parihara’ (solution) for his bad fate. After all, forty five is hardly an age to die!

The Astrologer confessed his inability to do it as ‘nobody could change fate’. Bhoopathy would have none of it. He fell at the feet of the Sage and entreated the Sage to bless him with immortality using his Divine powers.

The Sage had his eyes closed while Bhoopathy was bowing and scraping. After hours of weeping and pleading, Bhoopathy thought that his persistence was paying off. The Sage smiled and said, “You are blessed with immortality.”

Bhoopathy’s face beamed with happiness. “So I will not die next month after all?”

“You will not”, said the smiling Sage.” But you will leave your present body.”

Bhoopathy’s disappointment was acute.”So what do you mean by saying that I will be immortal?”, he said with irritation.

The Sage continued to smile. “The good news is that you will be re-born in the same vicinity that you are so attached to.”

“The fisherwoman Meenakshi who lives in the colony nearby will be in your mother in your next life.”

Bhoopathy was vexed by what he just heard. He couldn’t imagine becoming the child of a lowly and poor Fisherwoman. He bade farewell to the Sage as he had no further use of him. He sulked for a few days before he decided that brooding would not get him anywhere. For all he knew, the Sage may be a charlatan and maybe bluffing. He decided to check out.

That night he told his wife who was ignorant of all that had transpired between the Sage and him, told her of his impending death. The wife had hardly enough time to fathom the gravity of what she just heard, when Bhoopathy started talking again.

“You must check out,” he whispered to his wife in the silence of the night, “if Meenakshi, our fisherwoman, is expecting.”

His wife was curious why her husband was concerned about the Fisherman’s family. However like every dutiful Indian wife would do, she made a visit to Meenakshi’s family. She discreetly made enquiries about her health. To her astonishment Meenakshi said, “I am going to be a mother shortly. My Seemantham* is on the full moon day of the Chaithra month.” The astrologer says the child will bring us great prosperity.”

Bhoopathy’s wife started wondering. How does my husband know about Mennakshi’s pregnancy? Is there something more to it? But she dared not to express her suspicions to her husband who was in a bad mood these days. She merely told him,”She is indeed pregnant. Her seemantham is on the full Moon day of the next month."

Bhoopathy almost swooned. His worst fears were confirmed when he knew that the Sage was not bluffing. He had heard that the soul enters the womb during the Seemantham celebrations. He became totally restless and uneasy, but not for long! Slowly the same cunning that made him the owner of so many acres of land made him see a window of opportunity even in his misfortune.

He had not become so successful in his business without a good reason. Like the low lying land that he bought for a song he converted to a lake, doubling the value of his surrounding land, he knew how to handle pitfalls in life-maybe in death too! He had an ingenious idea. The same cunning that made him the owner of so many acres of land made him see a window of opportunity even in his misfortune. Now that he was sure to be born as Meenakshi’s Son, the wise thing to do would be to transfer all his property into the name of Meenakshi, for he would inherit that as her Son. She made arrangements to make the transfer keeping matters confidential even from his Accountant Shambhunath.

His idea having been executed legally, he was back to his cheerful ways.His wife wondered why her husband's disposition had changed all of a sudden.Bhoopathy told her that the Sage had convinced him about the immortality of the Soul and he was only happy to die. He consoled his wife telling her to turn to Spirituality, and not to mourn his death which was just two days away.
When his death occurred, she was as good as her promise.

In his hermitage, the Sage was suppressing a chuckle knowing that nothing else would have made Bhoopathy hand over his wealth to anyone else, so willingly!

Asanga's picture


I am, yet I am not...

Asanga | Mon, 07/30/2012 - 16:40