Amar and Alok , two friends, set up a business venture together. Both invested a lot of money in the business and spent all their time trying to promote it.

For a few years everything seemed to be working out fine. Then Alok wanted to diversify. He persuaded Amar to invest their profits in another venture. Amar wasn’t so sure – what if the venture failed? – but agreed after much persuasion by his friend.

The two went ahead with the venture. Unfortunately, the new business did fail. They incurred very heavy losses. So they poured in all the money they had made till then to keep the business from sinking. But it was no use. Their venture was still destined to doom.

Forgive and Forget? [Illustration by Sudheer Nath]
Forgive and Forget? [Illustration by Sudheer Nath]

Within the space of a few years the two friends had gone from riches to rags.

Amar, who had been persuaded to throw in his money, could never forget that the idea to invest came from Alok. He couldn’t forgive his friend’s lack of judgment, for he had never doubted it once. He was deeply shocked.

After a few days, the shock turned to fury. He was sure his friend had betrayed him. So he was determined to take revenge. One day, he went quietly to Alok’s house and set it afire. There was nobody inside the house so no deaths occurred. But everything was burnt to a cinder. Alok was left with nothing.

While running out of the house after setting it on fire, Amar had been spotted by Alok who was returning home. But he could never prove the fact. He too, burned with rage. And decided to take revenge his way.

He set up a business on his own and made some money with it. And then he began systematically to destroy the business of the man who was his friend once. There were so many ways to do it – a few calls to the clients his friend had, a few nasty rumours.

Because he was in a better position than Amar, he could do a lot of damage too. The other tried to follow his example but couldn’t – he was in too weak a position.

It happened that in a few months Amar lost everything else too. He went to Alok’s house one day. “Let’s stop this madness.” he said. “We’ve hurt each other enough.”

“I don’t particularly enjoy taking revenge either,” agreed the other. “But you asked for it”.

“I was only reacting to what you did. Your judgment cost me my entire life’s saving. But maybe it’s possible to put all of this behind and become friends again?”

“No”, said Alok, who had lost his house. “You’ll never forget what happened to your money and I’ll never forget what happened to my house. There’s really no way we could become friends again. For while people might learn to forgive after a while, they can never forget the wrongs done to them.”

499 words | 4 minutes
Readability: Grade 4 (9-10 year old children)
Based on Flesch–Kincaid readability scores

Filed under: folktales
Tags: #money

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