Notes to Myself


Food for Thought

Puzzle of The Week

Very interesting puzzle! On 3 occasions I thought I found the answer…and then found a better solution. Hope I’ve finally got it right…

Source: A puzzle group on internet


James Randi – Secrets of the Psychics Documentary

I am always in search of interesting documentaries and thought provoking lectures, videos and ideas – particularly related to topics I am passionate about. So I watched few good documentaries and video lectures related to Maths and I’ll write a separate blog about that. But while doing that I came across this documentary: “James Randi – Secrets of the Psychics Documentary (Full)“.  Do watch it to get rid of some of the misconceptions you may have about certain unscientific notions or ideas.


7 Geometry Puzzles

Pink shaded region in above square is what % of area of the square?

Hint: You do not have to know the side of the square to solve this.

Sridevi and Principle of “Fit For Purpose”

Popular Bollywood Actress and arguably the first female superstar of Hindi Cinema, Sridevi (Age 54) passed away in Dubai on Saturday.

Sridevi is the first Hindi film actress I remember from my childhood days. I remember “Kaate Nahin Katate…” from Mr. India which I watched in 1987 when I was 7 yr old. (Oops did I just reveal my age?). This was before I watched on screen Madhuri Dixit (Tezaab in 1988 and Tridev and Parinda in 1989). Technically Sridevi is the second actress I watched. I remember Mandakini from Ram Teri Ganga Maili posters (in 1985). But I didn’t watch the movie until much later. But Sridevi was the first actress I remember seeing on screen.

Anyways, to cut the story short, Sridevi passed away in a tragic way. Initially it was reported that the cause of her death was a massive cardiac arrest. Immediately the WhatsApp University Professors swung into action! There were many messages circulated on WhatsApp speculating the cause of cardiac arrest.

One of the common theme was that Sridevi had regularly undergone surgery and invasive treatment and was on Botox to maintain her as slim and trim actress, trying to defy her age and look younger. Several “experts” talked about the side-effects of such treatments and stressed that such a tragic event was bound to happen.

One other message, on a lighter note, said:

An interesting aspect to note: Boney Kapoor (Sridevi’s husband and film producer) who drinks, smokes and doesn’t follow diet outlived the fitness freak (Sridevi).

I couldn’t resist myself and replied:

Nothing can beat this extreme example. Khushwant Singh (99) outlived BKS Iyengar (96).

For the uninitiated, Khushwant Singh was a famous Indian writer, journalist who routinely indulged in wine and women, never exercised, led a life full of (so called) vices and yet lived till age of 99 years. On the other hand, BKS Iyengar was a Yoga guru who practiced Yoga till his death and spread Yoga all over the world. And yet he lived only till age of 96.

And immediately I got the response which I had expected. In fact, I had framed the point such that I would get this reaction so that I could build upon it.

One friend said: But look at the Quality of life. Iyengar Sir was so fit even in his 80’s and 90’s. Khushwant Singh could barely walk in that age. So Iyengar lived a richer and better-quality life.

That gave me the opportunity I was looking for – to preach one of the key principles I like: “Fit for Purpose“.

Fit for Purpose is one of the core principles of Six Sigma or Lean philosophy. It also forms the backbone of Quality.

How does one say that Iyengar’s life was of better quality than Khushwant Singh’s? Yes, his fitness level was far better, but what was the purpose for which they used their bodies? Khushwant Singh was not a Milkha Singh who would run 100 m race, nor was he a Jagjit Singh, who would sing for hours at a concert (and hence needed to maintain his vocal chords and throat). Khushwant Singh was a writer and a journalist – which meant that he had to have a sound mind, alert brain, working eyesight and decent hand eye coordination. But among all these, sound mind and alert brain were the key. And Khushwant Singh had both, till very end of his life.

People often rate physical fitness far more than needed. I am not saying physical fitness is not necessary. It is very much required; but only to suit the purpose. Because the incremental effort and resources needed for achieving that extra bit of fitness is wasteful; and at times it is harmful too. For example, a software engineer, sitting for 8 hours in office needs to be fit. He should exercise to keep himself fit. But he doesn’t have to develop 6-pack abs. I have often seen that youngsters these days don’t understand this basic concept of “Fit for Purpose” and they take supplements, pursue extreme diet, exercise far beyond capacity to “look fit” (i.e. muscles and 6-pack abs).

But are they really fit? Many youngsters who appear fit from outside die of sudden cardiac arrest, or commit suicide or cannot handle mental stress. So their body could be fit, but their minds aren’t. Is that the sign of fitness? In fact, many a times even their body is not fit. Muscle does not equal to fitness. Flexibility, strength, durability, sustainability etc are all characteristics of fitness. But people succumb to only one definition of fitness – muscular and toned body. The same is true in case of women – and then they join the race of being fit, as per the social norms. They follow diet which isn’t natural to them, use cosmetic surgery, use all sorts of therapy to “look young”. But what about “feeling young”. What about developing a sound and agile mind?

I think “Fit for Purpose” is a very profound mantra which can be applied in almost all spheres of life. At common minimum, all people should aspire to live a long healthy, disease-free and productive life. And that requires a body and mind which fits that purpose. Post that, depending on your profession or your goal you would need additional fitness, which you not only want to achieve but also maintain.

“Maintain” part is important. Acquire a fitness level which can be maintained steadily. And do not focus only on Body. Focus equally on Mind. In fact, for most people who work in usual professions, soundness of Mind is more important than that fitness of Body.

Always remember: Fit for Purpose!

Know your purpose, your goal or your role; and see what fits it. Don’t go by someone else’s notion or opinion.

This is true not only about the body/mind but even for how you lead your life.tub.

Was Sridevi leading a life which was fit for her purpose? Or was she overtly obsessed with fitness and indulging in wrong/risky means to remain fit? We would never know…

The latest news on the cause of her death suggests that she was drunk and she accidentally drowned herself in the bath. It is also speculated that she was depressed or was unhappy and hence not “mentally fit”. So the pendulum of speculation has swung from one kind of fitness (Botox and surgery stories) to the other (“mentally unfit”, depressed). Good for TRPs…bad for family and close relatives involved.

Anyways, hope the people see fitness in right perspective and do what is fit for themselves, not influenced by someone else’s notion of it.

P.S: The second profound principle I like is “Right First Time”. Will write about it some other time.

Understanding The Punjab National Bank /Nirav Modi Scam

Understanding The PNB Scam!!!

What actually happened in PNB scam? Let’s start from the concept.

First, The Concept

Let’s understand how things work.

Some importer, let’s call him Nirav Modi or NM, wants to import pearls or diamonds and then sell them. The purchase requires money, so NM approaches a bank, say Punjab National Bank (PNB).

PNB says look, I’ll give you a loan but it will be like at 10%.

NM thinks hard and says, no, that’s too much. Wait, why don’t I take a foreign currency loan instead, after all I’m buying in dollars? Much lower interest rates no? I can get at LIBOR+2% and LIBOR is like 1.5% so I’ll have the money at 3.5%!

But who will give NM a foreign currency loan? A bank abroad? They don’t know NM. They don’t have any history of NM, so why will they give him money?

SO NM goes to PNB and says, boss, you’re my banker, so please help some foreign bank give me some money to buy diamonds. Say that you will guarantee my loan by giving me a “Letter of Undertaking” (LOU).

PNB now should be saying look, if you want me to give Rs. 100 cr. guarantee, you give me stuff worth 110 cr. at least. As collateral.

But PNB, for some strange reason, doesn’t ask for collateral. More on that later.

So now the foreign bank is ready to lend NM the money. Because PNB will guarantee it. And the foreign bank trusts PNB. Why does it trust PNB?

Because PNB sends a message on SWIFT – the banking message service – that PNB guarantees Rs. 100 cr. of money for 180 days for Mr. NM at an interest rate of, say, LIBOR + 2%. It’s like a message – written in stone, effectively – that says PNB will pay if NM doesn’t pay.

In fact the foreign bank trusts only PNB. So it gives the money to PNBs account with it, called by PNB as a “Nostro” – the account that PNB maintains with banks abroad, where the other bank will send money meant for PNB customers.

PNB’s nostro account gets the money.

PNB then gives NM the money from the Nostro account, usually paid off to whoever NM is buying his diamonds from. This payment is to someone outside India usually, to fund a purchase of diamonds or whatever.

Note this carefully: The other bank gives money to PNB’s Nostro account. Not to NM. They don’t care about NM. They only know that PNB has given a guarantee on the SWIFT channel.

Note: the other bank is nowadays mostly the foreign branches of Indian banks. Because the phoren banks have realized something sinister – that PNB’s guarantee is a strange beast that isn’t backed with much, but we’ll come to that

The foreign bank couldn’t care less about whether NM was buying diamonds or bitcoin – to them, PNB would pay back even if NM’s bitcoin wallet got stolen.

Why does PNB give a guarantee? Fees. Each year, a bank may charge upto 2% to give the LoU.

So What Happens When It’s Time To Pay Back?

NM has to get the pearls in India, sell them, receive the money and pay PNB. On the due date written on the LoU.

Then PNB will pay back the foreign bank saying okay, we got the customer’s money so we’re giving it back to you. With interest etc.

That’s what is supposed to happen. But in reality, things went a little berserk, it seems.

The Reality: A Bit of a Ponzi

NM might not pay back at all. NM might use the money to speculate in the markets. Or do something else.

What if NM in the above example simply didn’t have the money to pay back? Instead, he asks a PNB official to open ANOTHER LoU. For the amount owed plus interest. So if we had the first LoU at $10 million the second one is $11 million to cover the interest on the first.

The money from the second LoU is used to repay the first. It’s just rolling over of credit. Over and over. Standard definition of a ponzi scheme.

This can easily balloon into a larger amount, so large that it’s too much. In effect many such arrangements have turned into semi-ponzi schemes, with one LoU being opened to repay another and so on.

Which is what is likely to have happened.

We don’t know the details, but it looks like:

Nirav Modi took loans from foreign branches of Indian banks through an LoU issued by PNB

This was done through a SWIFT based LoU issued through a rogue employee (or many of them) at PNB

The orders never showed up in the core banking system for monitoring

LoUs were rolled over all the way since 2011, and possibly increased over time too.

The rogue official retired in 2017, and the replacement refused to roll over the LoU which came due in Jan 2018 because he couldn’t find the past transactions in the system

No rollover means a default, since there was no money to pay. So PNB quickly files an FIR saying oh goodness we have lost 280 cr. on the Jan LoUs

Then someone said, “Abeyaar, is there more of these not-in-system LoUs? Someone check no?”

Then someone checked.

Oh gawd. 11,400 crores.

That’s a lot of crores.

Everyone in the bank panicked.

Why couldn’t Nirav Modi just pay it back? He must have the original money no?

Because if it was ever intended to be paid back, the rollovers wouldn’t have been required. At some point, things got so out of hand that rollovers were required in order to stay current.

Typically this would not be a problem. If PNB had done things right, they would have had collateral worth the amount of guarantee, and they would have sold that collateral and paid the foreign bank.

But, and here’s the real issue: PNB didn’t have any collateral.

Why did PNB give a guarantee without collateral?

If you and I go for a loan to a bank, they’ll ask us for income proof, and collateral. Only small tiny personal loans and credit card loans come backed without collateral. For something of the order of 11,000 cr. you would think they would ask for collateral.

Especially after the scene with Mallya where loans to Kingfisher were given on nearly no collateral (though even there they had a house and some promoter shares pledged)

Why did PNB give this guarantee then? It’s typical – banks give guarantees for more the amount you give as collateral. Because business relationships etc. And then:

Because nearly every bank is doing it.

The loan was not a “fund based limit”. In a fund based limit like a term loan, the bank pays out money. In non-fund-based limits, the bank will only pay if someone else defaults or an event happens – like a Bank Guarantee or an LC or an LoU.

Meaning, PNB assumed that the foreign bank was giving a loan directly to Nirav Modi and that PNB needed to pay only in case Nirav Modi defaulted. So in the eyes of PNB it was always an “non-fund-based” loan.

But this is how a significant part of import financing works. They all rollover credit, and they all use LoUs for much higher than they can offer as collateral.

From my sources, the scale is huge. For every Rs. 100 that a bank has collateral, they will easily provide LOUs for upto 6x the amount. This is a real problem – that most public sector banks do not keep much collateral against non-fund-based limits given to importing customers.

So even if a bank has collateral, it’s nowhere near enough. And then, such unfunded liabilities are not even reported to RBI!

Basel Reporting: No Disclosure

PNB has “unfunded” exposure of 11,000 cr. they say. But they don’t even reveal it in their latest Basel III disclosure:

The funded exposure to “Gems and Jewellery” is shown at 1860 cr.

Unfunded to the same sector: 842 cr.

This doesn’t even add up. So, in effect, PNB didn’t reveal that it was funding massive quantities of “unfunded, contingent exposure”. They will of course pretend that they didn’t know, because the transactions weren’t in the core banking system.

Did Employees Hide it? Was PNB Responsible or was it a fraud?

Can employees be responsible? Could they have hidden the credit and the rolling over of LoUs? But honestly, how does a 11,000 cr. credit pass muster without top management realizing it?

Think of it – your nostro account with these other banks keeps getting big credits that add up to 11,000 cr. Will you not reconcile it in the accounting? The “why is this money even here?” question should have been asked by someone who audits accounts, one thinks?

And the SWIFT messages. It’s a specific kind of message. Why wouldn’t PNB audit the SWIFT trail? Reconcile it with the core banking system? How many more such skeletons will tumble if they do?

Their excuses are

Data wasn’t entered into the core banking system. (Of course, otherwise you would have had to report it)

LOUs weren’t authorized. (Hard to believe, because the amounts are very large. Surely someone on the top would know?)

The SWIFT system was illegally used. (Again, hard to believe that a bank like PNB would not audit its SWIFT messages regularly. Or its auditors. Or RBI.)

On the face of it, it looks like the ex-employee is being used as a scapegoat. It’s likely that a lot of people were in on this thing. And that it generated massive, fat fees for PNB all these years.

Fees wise: Imagine 11,000 cr. worth LoUs being renewed each year – that’s upto Rs. 200 cr. in fees that was all hitting PNB’s top line. You could bribe an employee to maybe give you a small increase – say 10-20 cr. but when you hit numbers like 11,000 cr. this is surely something the top management would know.

What’s the Scale of this scam?

While PNB reported it as a 11,000 cr. scam, they filed an FIR with the CBI for only Rs. 280 cr. This has probably expanded since then but even if the total outstanding is as much as that, there’s a good chance that the actual loss amount will be lesser.

All of it will be borne by PNB right now. Whether someone abused their SWIFT usage is not relevant, if PNB’s SWIFT message said they will pay, they have to pay if there is a default.

But think about the fallout. The problem was that some liabilities were not in the system. There could be more such LoUs. From the same branch or others. Other banks could have such LoUs too. It’s trivial to start looking – and we know that Nirav Modi will not be an isolated case.

Also, the issue was that the limits had no collateral behind them. If all banks are told to verify their non-fund-based limits and demand collateral against them (say at least 25%) then the scale would be absolutely massive. It’s not like this is happening only with Nirav Modi or Choksi. A very large number of importers of commodities have been doing this, and rotating credit. A change in regulation here can change the game dramatically for every other bank (and import account) in the system.

The simple point: this particular transaction will result in a lower loss than 11,000 cr. for PNB. Because of recoveries and such. But if RBI asks all banks to pull up collateral on such lending and stop such practices, the scale is many times larger.

What about the PNB stock?

It’s fallen 17%. But note that it already has 60,000 cr. of gross NPAs. Another 11,000 cr. will hurt it but not kill it. It won’t die – the government will take it over. Shareholders might suffer, but come on as a shareholder of a public sector bank you’re used to suffering.

The problem really is: There is never just one cockroach. When you go deeper, you are likely to find more dirty, dark secrets, and none of them will be any good.

PNB is gonna hurt for a while, but so are others who will find their books similarly tarnished once they investigate.

Will This Bring The Market Down?

Have you been living under a rock? Nothing will ever bring the market down, nowadays.

But the one thing that does bring markets down is the outflow of liquidity. What if so much of the “ponzi” credit – essentially money that was rolled over very month – is being invested directly, or indirectly, into stocks? If RBI tightens up, liquidity will pull money out of stocks, and that will hurt.

Of course, this hurts the fiscal deficit since PNB has to be rescued. So bond yields are up to 7.6% and therefore we’d avoid any long term funds or bonds. Short term it will have to be.

But overall, we wouldn’t worry too much. Just react, don’t predict. What would you do if stocks fell? Better to answer that than to say they will, or they will not.

(And no, not buying PNB)

Our View: Fix it.

This is the Indian public sector banking system. Fix it.

How can you have transactions on SWIFT outside CBS? Fix it.

Why would you not reconcile the nostro accounts? Suspend the auditors. Fire top management. Fix it.

Closing the door behind Modi, who’s already left the country, is probably useless. If you find fraud, invoke their personal guarantees, and file cases to attach their personal properties. After that, file in NCLT to make these companies insolvent. Take the hit, and try to recover.

Find out more such instances where collateral cover is too low. Find out if the LoUs or LCs are just getting rolled over or is the customer actually paying back through the Indian current account. And if not, demand more collateral to avoid further spread of the ponzi.

But this is quite unlikely to happen because the banking system is going to take massive hits now, and we’re going to have to deal with the fallout of really horrible systems. It’s amazing that our banks have been this lax, but they have been allowed to; with no bankers being investigated, the rot inside the banks has been ignored and instead, industrialists have been the target of outrage. It’s time to look at banks as malicious players too, and to fix that rot.

Note: Based on WhatsApp forward and publicly available information. Attributed to Deepak Shenoy, but I have not verified.


The four circles represent cinder paths. The four cyclists started at noon. Each person rode round a different circle, one at the rate of six miles an hour, another at the rate of nine miles an hour, another at the rate of twelve miles an hour, and the fourth at the rate of fifteen miles an hour. They agreed to ride until all met at the center, from which they started, for the fourth time. The distance round each circle was exactly one-third of a mile. When did they finish their ride?

Cyclists Puzzle

Soul Curry: Interviewing God

I dreamed I had an interview with God. “So you would like to interview me?” God asked. “If you have the time,” I said. God smiled. “My time is eternity. What questions do you have in mind for me?”

“What surprises you most about mankind?” God answered…”That they get bored with childhood, they rush to grow up, and then they long to be children again. That they lose their health to make money…and then lose their money to restore their health. That by thinking anxiously about the future, they forget the present, such that they live neither in the present nor in the future. That they live as if they will never die, and die as if they had never lived.”

God’s hand took mine and we were silent for a while. And then I asked…”As a parent, what are some of life’s lessons you want your children to learn?”

“To learn that they cannot make anyone love them. All they can do is to let themselves be loved. To learn that it is not good to compare themselves to others. To learn that it only takes a few seconds to open profound wounds in those they love, and it can take many years to heal them. To learn that a reach person is not the one who has the most, but is one who needs least. To learn that it is not enough that they forgive one another, but they must also forgive themselves.”

P.S.: I do not believe in God…well almost. (At least not in the colloquial sense). But if a good message has God as an ‘Actor’, I don’t mind sharing it.

Good Read: the beauty of the ellipsis

I had read this blog post “the beauty of the ellipsis” long back, in 2011, and had liked it a lot!

The website (now defunct) was called “mnmlist” and was all about “minimalism” and extreme simplicity. Ever the blog/website template emphasizes minimalism with no clutter, sidebars, widgets and simple plain text on white background. Even the titles of blog posts are all in lower-case, signifying simplicity and equality.

The website design and contents have Zen-like spiritual touch and it accentuates the core idea of minimalism.

I am reproducing the blog here with credits. You can also go through other write-ups on this blog.

mnmlistthe beauty of the ellipsis

On Twitter recently, I wrote: ‘The purest beauty in life is in the ellipsis.’

Someone then asked: ‘How is an omission the purest form of beauty?’

This is the essence of minimalism. The ellipsis is the punctuation mark (…) that indicates an intentional omission. From Wikipedia: “An ellipsis can also be used to indicate a pause in speech, an unfinished thought, or, at the end of a sentence, a trailing off into silence.”

If that description doesn’t inspire thoughts of beauty in you, you might not be a minimalist.

A pause in speech is silence. Silence is one of the most profound ways to connect with your inner voice, with nature. Silence is the best part of speech.

An unfinished thought is any thought, really — if a thought is “finished” it’s dead. We are all of us in transition, all the time, and our thoughts can be no exception.

Trailing off into silence implies that there is much left unsaid … that what is said is only the start.

Intentional omission is the foundation of minimalism: we leave things out because they are unnecessary, and retain only what we need or use or love. Omitting the unnecessary is a thing of pure beauty.

Say less, and hear more.

Do less, and have a greater impact.

Make less noise, and appreciate the silence.

Send out fewer emails, and make each one count.

Tweet less, and each one becomes more meaningful.

Have fewer possessions, and enjoy the space.

Have fewer “friends”, but make each relationship stronger.

Appreciate the spaces between everything.




मला आयुष्यात मिळालेले वक्त्रुत्व स्पर्धेतले एकमेव बक्षीस ह्या गोष्टीमुळे मिळाले. (इयत्ता ६ वी मधे. तेही ३ रे बक्षीस). तेही वक्त्रुत्व गुणांपेक्षा ह्या गोष्तीतील भाबडेपणाला मिळाले असावे.

६ वी चे वर्ष माझ्यासाठी विशेष संस्मरणीय होते कारण मला हस्ताक्षर स्पर्धेत पहिले, चित्रकलेत दुसरे तर कथाकथनात तिसरे बक्षीस मिळाले होते.

असो. स्वतःचे कौतुक पुष्कळ झाले. आता गोष्ट सांगतो…
आटपाट नगर होते. तिथे एक राजा राज्य करत होता. त्याने आजूबाजूची लहान मोठी राज्ये जिंकून आपल्या राज्याचा विस्तार केला होता.

राज्याच्या तिजोरीत भरपूर खजिना आणि धान्यकोठारात भरपूर धान्य होते. एकूणच राज्यकारभार चांगला चालला होता. पण तरीही राजाला मन:स्वास्थ्य नव्हते.

आपण कुठे तरी अपुरे पडत आहोत असे त्याला वाटायचे.

एके रात्री तो असाच वेष बदलून राज्यात फेरफटका मारायला निघाला. जाता जाता त्याला एक झोपडी दिसली. त्या झोपडीतून त्याला गाणे गुणगुणण्याचा आणि काम करत असल्याचा आवाज ऐकु आला. इतक्या रात्री कोणी तरी तरी काम करत आहे हे पाहून राजाची उत्सुकता चाळवली गेली. तो झोपडीपाशी गेला आणि आत डोकावून पाहू लागला.

आत एक लोहार आपले काम करत होता. राजाला बघताच तो काम करायचे थांबला. त्याने राजाला ओळखले नाही पण तरीही कोणी एक वाटसरु आपल्या दाराशी आला हे पाहून त्याने राजाला बसायला पाट पुढे केला आणि प्यायला पाणी दिले. तो काम करुन दमल्याचे त्याचा चेहरा स्पष्टपणे दाखवत होता पण तरीही तो आनंदी आणि समाधानी वाटत होता.

इकडचे तिकडचे प्रश्न न विचारता राजाने त्याला थेट प्रश्न विचारला, “तुम्ही खूप आनंदी दिसता. ह्याचे कारण काय?” लोहार म्हणाला, “असेलही कदाचीत. ह्याच्याबद्दल विचार करायला मला कधी वेळच मिळाला नाही.” त्याच्या इतक्या बेफ़िकिर आणि निर्विकार पणाचे राजाला खूप वैषम्य वाटले. तो म्हणाला, “नक्कीच तुम्ही खूप पैसे मिळवत असणार, खूप नावलौकीक कमावत असणार. अगदीच काही नाही तर निदान देवपूजा आणि दानधर्म तरी भरपूर करत असणार.” लोहार उत्तरला, “भल्या माणसा, तू आत्ता जाणीव करून दिलीस तेव्हा मला जाणवले की मी ह्यातले काहीच करत नाही. खर सांगायचे तर हे सगळे करण्यासाठी माझ्याकडे वेळ आणि पैसा दोन्ही नाही. पूर्ण दिवस मी राब-राब राबतो आणि मिळेल तो सगळा पैसा खर्च करतो. मग मी हे सर्व कधी आणि कुठल्या पैशानी करणार?”

राजा चक्रावला. त्याने विचारले, “म्हणजे. तू मिळवतोस किती आणि त्या पैशाचे तू करतोस तरी काय?”

लोहार म्हणाला, “मी जे काही मिळवतो त्याचे ४ भाग करतो. एक भाग स्वत: खातो, एक भाग कर्ज फेडतो, एक भाग उधार देतो आणि एक भाग नदीत फेकतो. बस्स.”

राजा उतावळे पणाने म्हणला, “अरे बाबा असे कोड्यात बोलू नकोस. नीट स्पष्टपणे सांग याचा अर्थ.”

लोहार म्हणला, “मी एक भाग खातो म्हणजे एक भाग स्वत: वर, माझ्या पत्नीवर खर्च करतो.

एक भाग कर्ज फेडतो म्हणजे तो भाग माझ्या आई-वडिलांवर खर्च करतो आणि त्यांचे उपकार माझ्या परीने फेडण्याचा प्रयत्न करतो.

एक भाग उधार देतो म्हणजे माझ्या मुलावर खर्च करतो. म्हातारपणी तो माझी काळजी घेईल हीच त्या मागची स्वार्थी भावना आहे.

आणि राहिलेला शेवटचा भाग मी नदीत फेकतो. म्हणजे माझ्या मुलीवर खर्च करतो. आज ना उद्या ती सासरी जाणार. तोवर तिला सांभाळणे हे माझे कर्तव्य आहे. त्यानंतर माझ्या तिच्याकडून कसल्याही अपेक्षा नाहीत. हे सगळे करता करता आपण म्हणालात त्या गोष्टींचा विचार करायला मला वेळच मिळत नाही”

राजा काय समजायचे ते समजला. तो तिथून उठला आणि निमूटपणे निघून गेला.

मन:शांती मिळावी म्हणून काय करावे असा प्रश्न आता त्याला पडला नव्हता.

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