Prowess and Power

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Gopal and Sripal were not only farmers but close relatives, too. Their fields were adjacent to each other. One day, while irrigating their fields, they took up a quarrel and could not come to a compromise. There was a scuffle, and Gopal fell into a ditch and was injured. He was very angry. “You need not have pushed me down,” protested Gopal.

“With injuries all over, I won’t be able to do any work for some days. I never expected this from you, Sripal. Anyway, I’m not going to leave the matter at that. I shall take it up with the village chief. Let me see what he’ll do to you.”

He straight away went to the village chief and told him about the quarrel and how he got injured. Unfortunately, Gopal was not aware that the village chief was corrupt and would demand a bribe for a favourable decision. The village chief pulled out a coin from his pocket and placed it on the table next to his chair. He said, “Fifty”.

Gopal was bewildered for a moment. He soon realised that the village chief cleverly avoided mention of any bribe, but at the same time made it clear to Gopal what he was expecting. Feeling disgusted, he just turned around and went away. When he met Sripal again, he said, “You had only exhibited your physical strength. The village chief showed the power he has by virtue of his position. Come on, let us talk it out and find a solution.”

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