Digital Dimdima

INDIAN FOLK TALES

The Man Who Wanted Nothing

Wali Dad was a carpenter who lived alone and worked hard the whole day long. His tastes were simple and his wants few, so he spent very little of the money he earned. One day he found that the jar in which he kept his money was full to the brim.
"I must empty it," he thought, "or I'll have no container for my money."
He took the jar to the local jeweller, emptied its contents on the floor and asked the jeweller to give him a bracelet worth the sum. The jeweller gave him a pretty little bracelet made of gold.
Wali Dad wondered what he should do with the bracelet. He saw a merchant at the head of a line of camels laden with goods, and asked him where he was going.
"To the palace," said the merchant, importantly. "The princess has ordered some clothes."
"Will you give her this bracelet too," said the carpenter, handing over the bracelet he had bought to him. "Tell her it's a gift from Wali Dad."
The princess liked the bracelet and sent him a camel-load of the finest silks in return.
"What will I do with these silks?" groaned Wali Dad when the merchant brought the heavily-laden camel to him.
"Give them to someone else," suggested the merchant.
"Who?"
"Perhaps the Sultan of Kesh."
So Wali Dad sent the silk to the Sultan who, delighted with the gift, sent him six of his finest horses.
Wali Dad sent them on to the princess.
"Who is this Wali Dad? And why is he sending me gifts?" she asked her advisor.
"Probably somebody who wants to impress you with his wealth," said the advisor. "Send him a gift that he cannot match. That will humble his pride."
The princess sent him 20 mules laden with silver. Not wishing to be burdened by so much wealth Wali Dad sent the silver to the Sultan. The Sultan was perplexed.
"Who is this Wali Dad? And why is he sending me gifts?" he asked his advisor.
"Probably somebody who wants to impress you with his wealth," said the advisor. "Send him a gift that he cannot match. That should humble him."
The Sultan sent Wali Dad 20 cartloads of precious stones which Wali Dad promptly re-routed to the princess. The princess, her curiosity piqued, decided to pay him a visit. She set out secretly, taking only her maid with her. Their enquiries led them to the humble dwelling of the carpenter. As they were looking around in bewilderment, a handsome man of regal bearing came riding towards them. It was the Sultan of Kesh. He too had decided to make the acquaintance of the mysterious Wali Dad. The Sultan and the princess fell in love with each other, at first sight. After a short courtship, they announced their marriage.
Wali Dad was now a famous man. As he refused to go to either of their palaces, the princess and the Sultan sent him a chest full of gold. But it was never delivered. When Wali Dad saw the Sultanís men bringing the gold, he fled the village and was never seen again.

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