Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Vemana on misers

లోభివాని జంప లోకంబు లోపల
మందు వలదు, వేరు మతము గలదు
పైకమడిగినంత భగ్గున బడి చచ్చు
విశ్వదాభిరామ వినుర వేమ

lObhivAni jampa lOkambu lOpala
mandu valadu, vEru matami galadu
paikamDiginanta bhaggun baDi caccu

లోభివాని = a miser
చంప = to kill
లోకంబు లోపల = in this world
మందు = poison
వలదు = not needed
వేరు = different
మతము = opinion
కలదు = is there
పైకము = money
అడిగినంత = as you ask
భగ్గున = flaring
పడి = having fallen
చచ్చు= would die

Vemana makes fun of the miser’s love for money. A miser would love his money more than his life. So, if you want to kill him Vemana says that you don’t have use any medicine, or poison. It is enough if you ask him for money. He would flare up and would fall dead. It is no doubt hyperbole. But, such is the love of a miser for his money.

I am reminded of a story that I heard in my childhood. There were thieves in the house of a miser. They searched the house but could not find the booty. Then they caught hold of the man and started torturing him to tell the place where he kept his riches. As a part of the torture they asked him to sit on burning embers. It appears the miser was ready to do that and was removing his clothing. Thieves were dumb stuck. They asked him what he was up to. The miser said, if the skin is burnt it would grow gain. But, if the clothes are burnt they cannot be recovered. I am sure the thieves must have left the fellow and went to another place looking for their luck. Misers are what they are.

Another story.

A journalist went to interview a rich man. The rich man asked the journalist whether he would record the voice or take notes on paper. The journalist said, he would record the dialogue. “Then I think we shall use the night lamps! Why waste energy with lights when you are not writing anything?” said the rich man. The journalist said “You have already answered many of my questions!”

Vemana, in many poems, expresses his sense of humor. This is one among them!

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